Music Production For Newbies: 5 Steps To Get You Started

An intro to the world of music creation.


Have you got an ear for a good bop? An eye for the newest gear? A creative talent needing to be released into the world?

Maybe you have experience with playing an instrument or with DJing or maybe you only sing in the shower, either way this article should help you get your head around the most daunting part of any new hobby: the start.

#1. DAWs

A Digital Audio Workspace is a program that allows you to visually create, build and arrange your beats whilst offering numerous FX, pre-set instruments and built-in plugins. There are many DAWs out there so to decide which one is best for you, we suggest doing some research on the ones that best suit your genre.
Once selected, play around and getting to know your DAW as much as possible over the next 6 months. Read articles, watch tutorials and where possible, hang out with other musicians. Get to know the music they are interested in, which DAW they use, and the other gears that they prefer. Everyone has their taste most especially in gears. One audio interfaces might not fancy other's. Also, watching other producers gives an insight to different states of workflow.
Ableton Live offers a free 30day trial which you can download here.

#2. Research

If you already have a basic understanding of music theory, scales and keys etc. you can skip this stage. However, if not, we suggest just doing a bit of basic research into the works of the musical world; knowing notes in chords and chords in keys. You don’t necessarily need to play an instrument but knowing all the chords in a few keys and being able to navigate a piano/ keyboard certainly helps. Your music creation will run just that little bit smoother when knowing basic chord progressions.

#3. Listen

This one I can't express enough! Listening to the artists and bands that best represent the style of music you want to create is such a great way to learn. Analyze the songs, the structure, the sounds used, the type of beats and whether or not they're using samples. The more you break down the tracks the more you can initiate a similar sound and the better trained your ear will become for mixing and balancing levels.

#4. Have fun with it!

When starting out as a producer it is best to try and discover all sorts of styles, sounds and techniques, the more you experiment, the quicker you’ll learn what your sound is even if it is a tremolo technique or something else you really like.. So, go crazy! No one has to hear the first few beats. ;)
Watch YouTube videos to figure out structural arrangements and popular or unconventional MIDI patterns.

#5. Set Goals

Set yourself the challenge of making one beat every day for a month and stick to it. You don’t have to make a full composition it could just be a 10min jam or 16bar loop. Either way, you will be amazed at how quickly you progress. Try not to sweat the small stuff, focus on the main things like the structure, the instruments and making sure everything is in the same key.

Stick at it and you'll be the dopest beat machine in no time! 

For those of you based in Berlin or visiting in October, we're STOKED to announce our all-girls Music Production Workshop which will be landing on October 19th, Berlin, Germany. For more info click here.



Up next: Gird Your Loins, It’s The Devil Wears Prada Musical