I am constantly meeting people who want to make music but don’t know how to get started. They usually play an instrument or sing, they have a desire to write and record songs, but they are overwhelmed by all the technology (including DAWs) and choices now available to them. I understand. I’ve been making music on computers for 30 years now. Here’s my advice:
First off, forget all the technology for now and think more conceptually in terms of: writing, recording, producing. Those are the three main steps of music production, and they are the exact same no matter what technology, DAW or plugins you end up using. If you are going to self produce, you need to learn all four of them. Let’s talk about each one:
1 Writing music. Someone needs to write the music for your song. You can do it yourself if you are willing to learn some music theory basics and can play chords and form melodies. Go on YouTube and search “How to write a song.” That should keep you busy for a long time.
However you can also find someone to write a song for you on Fiverr. They will write it in the style you want for your vocal range. Then, all you need to do is record your vocals over it and get someone else on Fiverr to mix/master it. If you want to go this route, grab a free copy of my e-book “How to make a song in 3 easy steps” to learn how to use a soundful.com instrumental to make a song with your vocals.
2 Recording music. Songs must be recorded to be published. The most common way to do this is with a DAW (computer program for making music). However even DAW’s like Garage Band can be overwhelming if you are new to recording. If I was you. I would use the free software called Audacity. It now offers multi track recording, and there are endless videos on YouTube regarding how to use it with even a cheap laptop. Start recording your ideas. Experiment. Get used to recording. As you get more and more comfortable you can try another DAW. Then again, people make commercial grade music with Audacity now.
Whatever you do, avoid complicated technology for now if your goal is just to learn how to write songs. Focus on becoming a more skilled and knowledgeable musician first, learn the technology later. I would also avoid apps like Band Lab and Soundtrap for now.
3 Producing music. Producing music involves transforming ideas and recordings into songs with embellishments, expansion, enhancement, and other techniques to form a good song. It takes many years of listening, analyzing, training, and experience. Good music producers are not formed overnight. If your goal is to record a song and get it to market quickly, and you are just starting out, you would do well to find a music producer on Fiverr and work with them. They will help you select the right kind of music for your goals, record, mix, and bring it up to a respectable commercial level. Yes, you can learn how to produce yourself by watching YT videos. But don’t expect it to happen overnight.
So really, it all comes down to your goals. Therefore, the most important question to ask yourself is: what do I want to do? Your answer to that question will dictate your next steps. If your answer is: I want to write songs, then you need to learn how to write songs. If your answer is I want to write, record and produce my own songs, then you have three related but different disciplines to learn, and this is going to take some time. Conversely, if your goal is to simply get recorded and published, then I recommend following the steps in my ebook and getting an instrumental track, adding your vocals to it, and paying someone to mix and master it for you.
Leave a comment here if you have any questions or want me to give you feedback on your song.
Image courtesy of pixabay.