Music Arrangement Tips For Beginners

Music Arrangement

Once you have all your sounds recorded or programmed if you’re only using your computer then the next thing is to arrange the music into a song. Music arrangement on its own is also an art you need to learn as a music producer.

There is some theory behind arranging songs so that the listener does not get bored while listening to your music. Arranging music using a software is one of the easiest way because you can visualize everything.

If you don’t think you’re up for this then hiring a profession to do the right thing is a good choice but they tend to be expensive. So on this blog post I assume you’re doing it yourself.

Let’s look at how you can get the best arrangement like the professionals.

Know Your Style

You need to do some research in order to know the style you’re going for. Listen to the most popular songs and figure out what is happening and then replicate.

Check out some of your favorite songs, listen to why you really like the songs. Which part of the arrangement do you like the most? How can you add that to your songs? Once you have figured that out then you know how a good arrangement should sound like.

Don’t Just Save it on Your Mind

A lot of people make the mistake of listening to songs and then try to do everything from the head. With that approach you will forget a lot of things.

You need to take down notes while checking out all your favorite songs or songs that have the style you’re going for. Some arrangers even put everything on the wall.

Turning Your Notes Into a Song

Once you have all your notes done then you should have the final arrangement written down or do what other music producers do and put the arrangement on the wall of your studio.

All you need to do from now is read your notes and apply but if you don’t have the notes then most of the things are going to be trial and error which can result into a lot of frustration for you. So avoid that as much as you can.

Professional Music Arrangement

Let me give you an idea of how a good music arrangement should sound like. But this is also determined by the style of music you’re going for so this will not work everywhere that is why doing some research is very crucial.

For a typical POP, Hip Hop, RnB, Soul, Dance or any popular music the music arrangement should go something like this.

Think of how a James Bond movie is arranged, you have the intro of the movie with loads of action to capture your attention. Then you have the story line of the movie, then some more action and then the story continues again and more action towards the end.

The aim is to keep the viewer glued to their seat till the movie ends.

That’s exactly what you need to do with your music. You need a really catchy intro for the song, then a verse which will be followed by a catchy chorus part.

After the chorus then you’ll have your second verse and this is where a lot of people make a mistake by making the 2nd verse the same as the 1st verse. Make sure your second verse has more instruments and vocal parts like backings and adlibs as compared the the 1st one.

Same with the 2nd chorus then after you can go to a break-down of the song or use a middle-8. Now before going back to the last chorus you need to do something different again. Instead of going to the last chorus like you did before you might want to add a bridge or some kind of build up and the last chorus should be full and more energetic than any other part of the song.

If you follow these steps then your listeners will never get bored when listening to your songs because they keep building till the end.

That’s the trick to getting good music arrangements for your productions. Post any questions or comments below and I’ll respond as soon as time allows.

How to Produce Music 101: Form & Arrangement

What Does a Music Producer Do?

What Does a Music Producer Do

Music Producer Back in The Days

In today’s world a music producer can be a lot of things. The producer today can make beats, do the recording and even do the mastering for the song. Basically these days an individual can do something that took a team of musicians, an executive producer, engineers and artist in a bedroom studio.

Back in the days all a music producer would do was to find an artist they think has potential and talent. Then find session musicians who will play instruments. At that time producers used to keep database of session musicians, the producer didn’t make the music. All they did was foresee the progress of the album.

They didn’t only do the recording, they also managed the budget of the entire project, mentor the artist and supervise the mixing and mastering process.

That’s exactly what a music producer would do back in the days but things have changed now. Everything is done digital.

The Digital Music Producer

Back then, major record labels used to spend millions building proper recording studios and hire professional musicians. It was really hard to get into the music industry.

Equipment and music instruments were also expensive so being independent was never an option. You had to really work hard and have great connections.

Things changed when people could have personal computers at home. Big companies like Steinberg saw an opportunity and grabbed it with both hands. They released a music making software called Pro-16 in 1984 and they started releasing cubase in 1990.

Even Pro-16 was a Multitrack Sequencer with MIDI functionality. Cubase was the 1st DAW to introduce VST (Virtual Studio Technology), effects, EQ and automation in 1996.

This was a game changer, but the real revolution happened in 2002 when Cubase could do everything without the need for outboard gear. That’s when the role of a music producer changed completely.

Music making equipment was becoming cheaper and hardware companies started making software to emulate their hardware.

New Age Begins

These days a music producer can do everything from coming up with ideas for the album, doing the engineering and even do the promotion themselves.

The digital era has changed everything. A producer is free to express himself to the fullest without a lot of boundaries and rules. So these days a music producers role can be anything really.

But in a traditional world, a music producer is someone who makes sure the workflow of the project is as smooth and fun as possible. A music producer can be the DJ or a music band member, it’s totally up to you.

Only your imagination can limit you!

How to Become a Music Producer

How To Make Electronic Music

Making Electronic Music

Here’s a simple guide that will help you learn how to make electronic music just like some top electronic producers such as Deadmau5. This tutorial will be beginner friendly and the strategies are easy to implement no matter what software you’re using.

You could be using Garageband, Ableton, PC, Mac or even an iPad. No matter what you use this free guide will teach you how to make a good sounding electronic song for beginners and experts alike.

Find Your Signature Sound

The key to making the best electronic music is to 1st find your signature sound. Listen to a couple of top producers till you find one style that you like the most. Don’t rush this step because this is what will separate you from the rest.

Don’t copy the producer exactly, try to be unique and add your own flavor. You can even mix 2 or 3 styles just so that you can be different.

The Basic Equipment

Music Recording EquipmentThese days it’s pretty easy to build a recording studio without spending a lot of cash which is a good thing for those who’re just beginners. The basic studio equipment you’re going to need is a Computer/Laptop (it could be PC or Mac), Music Software, A Midi Controller, Audio Interface, Studio Monitors and Headphones.

That’s just the basic stuff to get you started, you can get more stuff as you grow. Technology has made it possible for all audio companies to create top quality gear. So don’t worry too much about which equipment brand to choose.

The most important thing to think about is what features do you want before buying anything. Don’t buy something just because it’s expensive or cheap, figure out what you’re going to do with it.

External VST

To get the most out of your music making software then you’re going to need to invest in external VSTs. Basically a VST is a virtual instrument which you’ll use to choose sounds. All audio software do come with good sounds built-in but to get the sound your favorite producers are making then you’ll need to use what they use.

For electronic music, the most used plugins are Hypersonic, Native Instrument Massive, Sylenth1, Korg Legacy Collection, Tone2 Gladiator, Spectrasonics and a whole lot more… If you can’t afford any external VSTs then you’ll need to invest some time learning sound design.

Electronic Music Samples

One other thing that your software will lack is the samples you’ll need for the specific genre you’re making. There’s a lot of good places to find samples and that is going to require a lot of digging.

Advice I can give you is that free samples wont cut it and they wont help you compete with the big guys. So don’t be afraid of popping up some cash to buy samples, vst and effects. There’s are a lot of good samples but make sure the get the ones that are designed for making electronic.

Producing Electronic Music Tips

Once you have your setup ready then you can start producing your beats. You’ll want to start with the basics, learn what the top producers are doing then see if you can apply. If not then a quick research might fix the problem.

Great places to ask questions are forums, facebook groups, yahoo answers etc.

Some basic music theory will definitely come in handy when you start producing music. Learn at least how to play one musical instrument, you don’t have to master it. The aim is to understand key, chords and maybe some scales as well.

Once you have aquired some music theory then you can listen to your favorite songs to figure out the structure of the song. It is much easier to break-down a song to figure out what is going on if you know instruments and have theory as compared to someone who doesn’t.

Then you can listen to how popular artists are using chords, melodies, vocals, rhythm, groove, hooks, solos etc. and apply the techniques.

Mixing and Mastering

This is a more advanced step which will also require you to spend some time learning after you’re comfortable with making dope beats. The mixing part will be the hardest to learn but once you know your way around audio mixing then the mastering part will be much easier to understand.

Basically what you do in mixing is balance all the sounds to make everything audible without distorting. The kick needs to be phat and the snare needs to be thumpin, with the hi-hats sizzling. Actually you’ll be polishing the sounds and blending them together using effects such as equalizer, compressor, some ear candy like reverb, delay etc.

Once the mixing is finalised then you can choose to send your finished track to a mastering engineer (which is a wise decission) or do the mastering yourself. The mastering part is for making the final mix sound good when played in different sound devices such as radio, ipad, tv, in a club, car etc.

Then if the mastering is done, it’s time to get your music out there. Really hope the post did give you some tips on how you can jump start your electronic music production career.

Asking how to make electronic music is a general question but if you have any specific questions then leave a comment below and I’ll answer any question you might have.

Good luck!

How To Make AVICII Electronic Music Style in FL Studio

Passionate About Music