3 Tips for Finishing Beats Faster!

Need help getting on the fast track to finishing more songs faster? Here are 3 tips for finishing beats faster!
  1. Set Deadlines
    1. 5 minute rule – Set a timer! When you start working on one particular thing such as: a melody, designing a specific sound, looking for the right snare sound….whatever it happens to be, set an alarm for 5 minutes and if you haven’t figured it out by then, MOVE ON!! It’s time to get back to creating because once you lose your momentum its hard to get it back!
    2. 20 hour rule – set a deadline that you will not spend more than 20 hours on a single track. If the track is not completed by the end of the 20 hours (be it one session or a series of sessions), then scrap it and use it for parts. Dwelling on it only delays you from creating other tracks. When you are starting out it’s not about creating the most mind blowing tracks, it’s about practicing your craft consistently. The quality will come with time and practicing new skills as you learn them!
  2. Find Your Work Flow
    1. Learn your shortcuts! Knowing how to access the features of your music production workstation, be it hardware or software, will greatly increase your speed when it comes to making music. Whether it is knowing the key commands to creating a new track or knowing where to change the tempo of the song on your hardware device, finding these things will not only enhance your work flow but it can also increase creativity. Such as being able to quickly change the tempo of your song in order to see if you like it as a faster or slower track.
    2. Organize your library! Having quick access to the sounds you know and love will help greatly speed up the creative process. Take time to find sounds/samples that you like and think will sound great on a track. Once you start your session you can quickly go to these sounds and test them out to see which ones fit with the project you are working on. It cuts down on sifting through presets during the session and will help you with tip #1.
  3. Pick an instrument and make a loop!
    1. If you’re more comfortable with melodies then start with a basic piano or whatever your instrument of choice may be. (you can always change instruments later, just get your ideas out!).
    2. If you are more comfortable with drum/percussive rhythms then start with a drum/percussion kit. (if you struggle with melodies like I used to, stay tuned as I will be posting tips on creating melodies soon.)
    3. Build it up and break it down
      1. Fill that loop with all the sounds that you like and make it as busy as possible! Once you have a loop that is full of awesome ideas and everything is grooving, start making your arrangement. It’s easier to take pieces out then to add pieces in later. If you’ve made a loop that has enough pieces in it, you should be able to create an A section and B section at the very least. (A/B Sections are like the verse chorus of a typical song.
Once you have your A/B sections and arrange them out verse, chorus, verse, chorus. Then you can start to make change ups, intros, outros (also known as a C-section) which will make your track more interesting. However, if you are just a beginner, start with these three steps and you should be on your way to creating tracks faster than ever before! Has this helped you at all in your creative process? Drop a comment below to let me know!

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May 26, 2014 Music Production Tips