A good artist will always want to try and improve their skills of creating good music.
As a producer, I understand the desire and need to make music better. Of course, it’s not an easy process.
Therefore, I have put this post together to show you the ways that helped me made my music better. Everybody knows that improvement comes from practice, so the key here is to always keep trying to be better.
Below is a list of 11 tips that’s worth jotting down:
Exposure is one of the best methods of learning quickly. I’ve learned that most of the learning is in the doing. If you spend more of your time listening to music, you might pick up a few new tricks or tips along the way.
Bear in mind that listening to more music doesn’t mean listening to the same songs over and over again or sticking to your favorite genre. What I mean is that you should explore and discover other genres.
Listen to music you haven’t heard of before and especially try listening to music you don’t like.
Also, listen to music from the past. Find out what turned those classic artists or musicians into legends. I promise you that as you widen your musical peripheral vision, you will definitely increase your ability to create a more artistic musical piece.
There is always room for improvement. All professionals and experts know this. Once you realize this fact, you’ll find that it’ll be easier to learn different skills.
Developing your skills is very important when you’re competing with other great artists and what will give you the edge over them will be your abilities.
When I say hone your skills, don’t just work on what you’re good at or what you know. Many people make the mistake of following a pattern or doing the same thing, like using the same regular beats. Go learn new things and practice them.
For example, take some time making good use of your equipment’s settings, play around with them, and get a feel of what else you can make, such as a new sound for your baseline or everything else in your mix. I admit that I have been guilty of not fully utilizing my tools, but once you strive to know every detail of your equipment or program, you’ll end up having more to work with to improve your music.
This goes along with tip number 2. Too many people get stuck on the thought that they have to find the best product or up-to-date software to make the best music.
Don’t get me wrong, it is a good thing to have the best equipment or instrument, but if you’re always keeping an eye out for the latest trend, then you’ll be losing the value of what you already have. Don’t be afraid to take the time to learn and master your tools. Then, if an upgrade or update is available, you can better judge if that really will improve your music or not.
There’s a common saying that goes, “Money is the root of all evil”. I would have to agree. I have seen people make music for the sole purpose of money and are so depressed with their lives. They seem to revolve around making the most money out of their music, so they tend to be filled with worries about how much sales they’ve made or views they’ve had.
Making music, for this reason, will only get you so far until you begin to suffer. Even if you have the same FL Studio as Justin Timberlake, it won’t mean you’re going to make the same money as he does.
Yes, it’s important to make money, but first love to make music. Be passionate about it. You’ll find that life is more fun and enjoyable when you like what you do, regardless of the results or outcome.
You can never do anything in this world on your own. Sooner or later, you’re going to need someone’s help. Working closely with others, such as singers or other producers, is sometimes the best option to progress in your music career.
Having others around you working on the same piece can also spark new ideas or inspiration. Other creative minds may see things from a different perspective, so working with them might lead you to create a whole new melody or chord progression. Plus, it always pays to have a friend, right?
Whether it is positive or negative feedback, humbly accept them all. The fact that you are getting any response at all is a good thing. Even if you get criticism about your work, just take it as feedback. Who knows, these people might be onto something that you missed or wouldn’t have noticed yourself.
Layering your drums is a great way to give your drum sounds an extra punch. Unfortunately, not many producers do this. This method of creating new drumbeats will surely broaden your sounds. Having new drum sounds can give you the capacity to develop your music into something much more creative.
For example, try to find a ‘primary’ sound that can act as the main ‘hit’ or ‘punch’ for your kick. After that, find a few more kicks to layer with a more mid-low punch to give your kicks that extra sweet sound. In addition, layering percussion sounds, such as toms and congas with your kicks can be used very effectively.
Another good tip is that if you layer two kicks and they don’t seem to be hitting well together, pitching the ‘secondary’ kick up or down a few semitones until finding the sweet spot can usually fix the issue.
If you’re starting off as a beginner, spend some time experimenting on what you can do and how to do it because once you get the idea, you’ll have new ways to create better-sounding music.
This is to add onto the 7th tip. If you’ve just layered an EQ and made yourself an amazing kick or snare, make sure to save it. Even if you haven’t finished playing around with it, don’t just leave your work under the ‘recent’ tab folder. Save it, export it, whatever you can do so that you can easily access it in the future.
One of the worst feelings you can have is when you’ve lost something unique that you’ve created. When you get into the habit of saving, you’ll eventually have a pile of custom made equalization and layered drum sounds that you can access with ease to make better music with.
If you are a perfectionist or serious about wanting to get your music right, then I would suggest investing in studio monitors. You don’t have to purchase the best one on the market, but at least have one.
You will certainly notice the difference once you hear your music through a studio monitor in comparison to your headphones or desktop speakers. The reason why studio monitors are so useful and probably essential is that they help you hear things you wouldn’t normally hear before, for example, equalizer clashes.
Being at the level I’m at now as a producer where I have such a busy schedule, being organized is vital. Organizing all your folders and categorizing your files can be tedious work.
But, when the day comes that you’ve thought of a great idea for a music piece, you won’t have to rush through hundreds of files just to find the right drum sound for your new inspiration because you were organized in advance.
This is not really a tip, but it will make you a good Samaritan! If any of this advice has helped you or at least motivated you to do something better with your music, then give it a share.
There are bound to be artists and musicians out there who might need a little boost. Feel free to share your own tips that have worked for you as well. You know what they say, “What goes around, comes around”.
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