17 Powerful Secrets Of Making Music
So you’ve got the passion, the talent, and maybe even some gear. But what’s the secret sauce to making music that’s not just good, but absolutely killer? Lucky for you, we’ve got 17 powerful secrets to help you hit all the right notes (pun intended).
Table of Contents
Learn The Secrets Of Making Music
Making music is much more than writing a song and not all of it is obvious. It is worth stressing there are many links in the chain between having an initial idea for a song and having a popular chart hit. Learning the secrets of making music takes time and effort, even with all the advantages of modern music creation tools.
Bands and music artists are now being advised to pursue a music career as independent artists. No longer is getting signed to a major record label the recommended action. With so many tools available via a computer, bands already have most components of a small label at their fingertips. The internet has played a large part in leveling the playing field, giving artists unparalleled access to the secrets of making music.
You are expected to discover the secrets of making music on your own.
The modern songwriter or musician has to be the master of so many skills in order to be successful. Songwriting, recording, music production, music publishing, band management, distribution, music law, music marketing and music promotion, and performance to name a few.
Collaborate and Network
Two heads are better than one, right? Collaborating with other artists can open up new creative avenues and teach you new techniques. Plus, networking is key in the music industry. That random dude you jammed with? He could be your ticket to your next big gig.
Listen To Other Genres
You like hip-hop? Cool. But don’t ignore rock, jazz, classical, or techno. Drawing inspiration from other genres can add an interesting twist to your own work. Plus, it’ll make you a more versatile artist. So go ahead, expand those musical horizons!
Master Music Theory (At Least A Bit!)
Don’t roll your eyes! A basic grasp of music theory can go a long way. You don’t have to be a Mozart, but knowing your scales, chords, and some progressions can level up your music-making game. You’ll know exactly what you’re doing, instead of just messing around until it sounds “okay-ish.”
Use A Songwriting Process
This is not the same as a “Songwriting Formula” or “Song Template”.
A Songwriting Process is a series of steps that you go through to create a song. It enables you to reliably complete each song that you start writing, to an acceptable standard, in a reasonable time.
Use critique to help you build confidence in the songs you write and the mixes that you make. People offering critique are not the gods of song, no matter who they are. Take time to understand what they suggest and the perspective they are coming from. They are your decisions about your song. Critique is a discussion. During that discussion, you review and analyze songs and you discuss possible solutions to any potential issues… but it is all down to you.
Tools are there to help you. They complete tasks under your control. They help you to replace a bunch of repeatable actions letting you focus on the creative uses of your time and effort.
Know Your Tools Inside-Out
You wouldn’t go into a battle without knowing how to use your weapon, right? It’s the same with music production. Get to know your DAW, your instruments, and your plugins like the back of your hand. The better you know your tools, the more efficiently you can transform your ideas into epic tunes.
Use A Music Production Process
Just like the Songwriting Process, using a Music Production Process helps music producers to reliably craft songs to a high standard within a reasonable time. Such processes often make use of DAW session and mix templates.
Keep It Simple, Silly (KISS)
While it’s tempting to go all-in with crazy sounds and intricate melodies, remember that less is often more. The KISS principle applies big time. Your listeners don’t need 20 different instruments playing at the same time. Focus on what truly matters: melody, rhythm, and vibe.
It's All About That Vibe
You can have the most technically flawless track, but if it doesn’t have soul or vibe, it won’t resonate with people. How does the music make you feel? Happy? Pumped? Melancholic? Make sure you convey that emotion effectively.
Use Reference Tracks
Struggling to get your mix to sound as good as the pros? Use a reference track! This is a song that you think sounds amazing, and you can use it as a benchmark for your own mix. Compare your track to the reference and tweak until you’re vibing at the same level.
Take Breaks (Your Ears Will Thank You)
If you’ve been mixing for hours, your ears will start to deceive you. Seriously, it’s a thing. Step away from your setup for a bit. Grab a snack, take a walk, or even call it a day. When you come back, you’ll hear things you didn’t notice before, helping you make those fine-tuning adjustments.
A special classification of tools. From mix automation to marketing automation, automation tools allow you to precisely carry out tasks in a repeatable way with the last time as good as the first. When it comes to music marketing, the early days of automation are gone. You can use automation in an intelligent way, taking the grunt out of grunt work.
Use A Release Process
Use a release process to coordinate your music marketing without missing a beat. From email automation to automated social posting synchronized with your releases. Beyond individual releases your release process can account for multiple releases and release types from new releases of songs, EPs, albums, and videos, you can also coordinate videos promoting previously released material.
Team up with other artists to cross-promote. This can take different forms from completely informal social posting to agreed cross-promotion. Artists can more effectively cross-promote via musical collaborations including songwriting, remixes, making special appearances, and being featured artists.
Have Fun (Seriously!)
The most important part of making music? Enjoying it! If you’re not having fun, something’s off. Take risks, experiment with new sounds, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Because at the end of the day, if you’re loving what you’re doing, it’ll shine through in your music.
That’s a lot of know-how!
The Secrets Of Making Music
And there you have it! These 17 secrets of making music are like your musical cheat sheet. You don’t need to follow them to a T, but keeping these in mind will surely help you turn those musical dreams into a kick-butt reality. So what are you waiting for? Take these secrets of making music and go make some noise! 🎶
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