Beats are the foundation of music. They are the creators of rhythm and the source of that deep desire we feel to dance when we hear them. Who wouldn’t want to learn how to create this kind of magic?
If you want to learn how to start making beats, there are a few things you need to know to get started. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about beat making for beginners. We’ll provide you with a list of tools you’ll need, discuss what makes a good beat, and teach you how to make beats like a pro.
Everything You Need to Start Making Beats
While you may think you need high-end professional beat-making equipment, you can start producing beats with simple equipment that almost anybody can get their hands on. In fact, using relatively inexpensive equipment allows you to produce great quality beats — often, you can’t even tell they weren’t produced in a professional studio. This means you can start making beats without saving for months to afford professional equipment.
So what tools do you need to start making beats? This one is obvious, but a computer is the most important piece of equipment for creating beats. Most people already have a decent PC or Mac computer and as long as it runs, it should be enough to get you started.
The only consideration is that if you have a laptop with a small screen, it’s best to invest in a monitor. Software for producing beats needs to display a lot of data, which can be difficult to view and navigate on a small laptop screen.
Speaking of software, you’ll need some kind of music production software. This can be anything from a simple beat maker to a more complex DAW (digital audio workstation). A DAW is a tool that actually allows you to put together beats and get them to sound the way you want. There’s a wide range of modern DAW options available, most of which come with a long list of features that will offer you countless creative possibilities and customization options.
The most popular paid DAW used today is Ableton Live, but there are also free alternatives such as the lite version of Ableton Live, Pro Tools First, and Soundbridge. We have heard educators and students like Soundtrap and Garageband for creating and collaborating – learn more about getting started on these DAWs with an iPad. There are plenty of great options out there, so do some research and find the one that’s right for you.
If the DAW you choose doesn’t have a beat sequencer, you will need to get one that allows you to build and arrange your samples over a grid. You will also need a sample library from which you can draw inspiration and explore different creative paths.
In addition to music production software, you’ll need a MIDI controller. This will allow you to input notes and create melodies. For beginners, this is an essential tool because it simplifies the process of learning how to make your own beats.
When you have a MIDI keyboard, it will be much more convenient to make beats on your computer as you’ll be able to seamlessly blend different samples and voices in real time. There are a variety of MIDI controllers on the market, so find one that fits your needs and budget.
When making a beat, most people don’t think about how much storage space it will take up. That’s why it’s also a good idea to invest in an external drive. Beats files can take up a lot of space, especially as you experiment with different variations and want to keep multiple versions of the same beat. There’s nothing worse than putting in hours of work to create a masterpiece, only to lose it when your computer doesn’t have enough storage.
Last but not least, you’ll need a good set of headphones. This is important for two reasons. First, you’ll need to be able to hear your beats clearly in order to make adjustments and get the sound just right. Second, you don’t want to disturb your neighbors (or vice versa) when you’re making music at night.
Once you have all of the necessary equipment, you’re ready to start making beats!
The Basics of Beats: What Makes a Good Beat?
There’s a certain flow that most beat makers follow and it revolves around two key concepts you will need to familiarize yourself with: variation and repetition.
To the inexperienced ear, beats sound like nothing more than repetitive sounds, rhythms, and sequences. But the science of beats goes much deeper than just keeping rhythm. While repetition is part of the foundation, good beats have an element of surprise to keep listeners on their toes. After all, repetition would be boring without variation. That’s why good beats require subtle (and not so subtle) changes that keep the listener engaged and anticipating the next sequence.
So how can you create this variation/repetition combo? Start out with the basic elements, which include kicks, high-frequency percussion, bass, and snare. Most beats also have more song-like melodies either in the background or forefront that provide variation and keep the beat progression going.
How to Make a Beat for a Song
As you’re learning how to make a song beat, there are a few simple steps you should keep in mind. But before you start layering rhythms and sounds, it’s important that you define what you want to create.
When exploring how to make music beats, you have a virtually limitless amount of possibilities, and that can become overwhelming. Part of creating beats and harnessing your vibe and your passion, so think about what type of mood you’re going for and consider what elements could help you accomplish it.
Ready to learn how to make beats? Here are a few tips to get you started:
• Start by choosing a tempo. This will be the foundation of your beat, so it’s important to get it right. Tempo plays a vital role in how your beat is going to sound and impacts how different samples sound together. Therefore, it’s important that you set your tempo before you start adding in other elements.
• Next, add in some percussion. This can be anything from a simple kick drum to a more complex arrangement of drums and cymbals. This is where you can start building upon your foundation and creating that repetition we talked about earlier. The end result should be a catchy rhythm.
• Once you have the basic rhythm down, it’s time to add some melody. Use your MIDI controller to input notes and create a catchy melody. This is where you can really start harnessing the vibe you want for your song and adding a little personality.
• Finally, add in some other elements like sound effects or vocal samples. These can make your beat more interesting and unique. Want to add a little flair to your beat? Layer in some vocals that harmonize with the melody you’re using.
With these tips in mind, you’re ready to start making beats! So fire up your music production software and get started.
Power the Passion of Music
Learning how to make beats can be a challenging process. But once you start putting together beats and creating your own music, you’ll find that the effort is well worth it.
At Save the Music, we believe in the power of music. We offer a range of music programs and online music education designed to help children get the resources they need to fuel their passion.
Check out our three-part tutorial video series, Get Started Recording Your Own Music, to help you easily navigate the ins and outs of producing your own music with easy-to-access software that you can find right on your own personal technology devices. Contact us today to learn more!