Home > Drew Spence, Griffin Avid, Tips > Advice on making better beats

Advice on making better beats

Advice on making better beats

Strangely enough, most of these thoughts DO NOT center on buying more equipment, better sounds or taking lessons.

I don’t believe you get better by making more beats either. I see advice like “Just keep making beetz and you’ll get better”

In the beginning, it’s mostly about technical concernsHow Do I…?

Eventually, it’s about Control. You want creative freedom to do what you want in the way you want to. You want what fits your style.

A better MIDI controller/keyboard/DAW.  A Simpler work flow. A more organized system of production.

After control comes the quest to control your creativity. You want to understand WHY you get the results you do and even what went wrong when you don’t.

Is it tied to your mood? Your focus? Some cosmic…energy or synergy?  Why were those last 4 beats usable, but today I just made okay stuff?

Let’s go back and answer some early questions and see what bubbles up.

What helped yall to make better beats?

1. Putting your ego aside that you don’t know everything. Lots of producers make consistently “good” beats and think they suddenly know it all. That causes them to stop progressing. Even when every beat is ‘excellent’, you can still continue learning/improving.

2. When you listen and adjust to feedback. What’s the point of asking for opinions if you are already convinced that you are the best you can be. There needs to be a balance between pleasing yourself and pleasing others. Avoid making beats that you don’t like, but you think others might. (mostly) Avoid making beats that are fun to make or nice to listen to. You want to create music that is usable in whatever context you are aiming for.

3. Stop building beats/songs/tracks around drum kits and sounds. Ideas and concepts make memorable records. When you merge a mood to the music, you have something special.

4. Aim for the top. Accept that your career is what happens AFTER you make a hot beat. When rappers begin to think about performing in front of a large audience, they make different rhymes/music. When rappers think about standing in an office pitching their music, suddenly a lot of things that seemed cool in the studio or on their profile page are no longer good enough. Imagine that THIS RECORD/THAT BEAT. That union of rapper to your music is supposed to make it happen. Are you turning out the kind of music someone (rapper + label) can bank it all on?

5. Focus on learning what you need to know. And knowing it WHEN you NEED to know it. Lots of cats try to master aspects of the production chain when they only need a working knowledge. I see cats trying to find DA BEST EQ and learn EVERYTHING about EQ when they need to only understand the basics of mixing and what EQ is for. It’s better to grasp what it’s for as opposed to using it on EVERYTHING because you keep reading that it’s the answer to HOTT BEETZ (along with over-used compression). Why are you studying the intricacies of Publishing when you still haven’t learned how to deliver a finished track in the proper format(s)?

6. Sharing them with the intended audience and seeing what happens. My girl loves my beats. So do my homies. The local rappers aint really feeling them. They mostly say They Aiiight. Do I need to step it up?

And when did you realize that your beats were starting to sound good?

1. When people wanted to use them for records.
2. When people are willing to pay for my time and talent. I would start charging for beats when people ask “How much do you charge for beats?”
3. When people started calling the room with all my equipment in it- a studio.
4. When I started wanting to share my music with rappers and NOT with other beatmakers.
5. When people began to imagine known rappers over my beats “You should give this to…”
6. When my music stopped sounding like beats and started sounding like the instrumentals to records.
7. When people began hearing my beats and asked questions. How did youWhat did you
8. When I began to answer those questions without naming drum machines, synthesizers, DAWs or samples.

I don’t believe you get better by making more beats either. I see advice like “Just keep making beetz and you’ll get better”
So what’s the friggin answer, Griffin?!

Look outward for the reality, look inward to make reality real.

Mighty Zen of you.

Sometimes. Would it be clearer if I said develop the YOU and YOUr music will improve?

Still too hard to understand.

How about “Make music as an exercise in self-expression. Take inspiration from everything around you and NOT just what you hope to gain from the exploitation of your art.”

Okay.

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  1. islandboishane
    January 28, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    This article about to change my life.. thank you

  2. Ada
    January 11, 2015 at 9:19 am

    What’s important to know, is never scrap your beats that you think don’t sound good. What doesn’t sound good to you, may sound like a hit to other. Complete your tracks.

    • June 5, 2015 at 8:49 am

      I like what you say about keeping the tracks. I have a lot that I have not completed but still have.

      • Anonymous
        January 31, 2016 at 1:00 am

        Most of my beats are incomplete. If I’m not COMPLETELY feelin’ it throughout the entire arrangement/mixing process, I get bored and move on to the next one. This is a very bad habit I have.

    • islandboishane
      January 28, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      Can’t say I fully agree with you on this Ada. Yes, you should always finish what you start but If the beat doesn’t live up to your standards at the end, you really shouldn’t be offering it to others. That may have worked back when people couldn’t easily identify quality but now, as competitive as the beat game is, you should only and always look to put out your best. Truth be told, if you’re producing a track and you’re not feeling it, it’s your responsibility to do something about it. Producers/beat makers have that control.

  3. Anonymous
    October 25, 2013 at 1:16 am

    imma like the page on facebook just for those last words

  4. Dan
    June 22, 2013 at 4:32 am

    Will be re-blogging this to my Blog.

  5. February 22, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Reblogged this on FREESHO BLOG SESSIONS.

  6. December 10, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    “Focus on learning what you need to know. And knowing it WHEN you NEED to know it.”

    VERY, VERY important…

    excellent article

  1. April 4, 2012 at 9:18 am

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