When practiced musicians with years of DIY know-how offer guidance, we listen, because we know that real-world experience offers some of the most accurate and telling lessons. There's no blueprint for newbie independent musicians to follow besides the histories of the folks who've carved that niche outside the mainstream before them — and the bands and artists who continue to cultivate it are the ones with the best foresight into its future.
We're thankful for the musicians who've documented their stories, and by sharing them have given a leg up to those just starting out. The list below is built around five musicians who broadcast their knowledge with the intent of uplifting others; it's a gesture so exemplary of DIY ethos that's another lesson in itself. Read on for our favorite stories they've written.