Have trouble getting started with a track? Have you ever finished one?
Do you find yourself listening to the same 8 bar loop over and over again, unable to make a full song out of it?
Do you struggle to get the ideas in your head onto your computer?
Do you find yourself lost and unfocused? That you don’t have enough time to spend creating music?
Do you find yourself unable to write, arrange, and structure songs?
If this sounds like you, join me in this video course as I create a song entirely from scratch with an easy to follow step-by-step method that will have you making tunes for life.
In this video course, I share the easy to follow process that I use to create tracks that eliminates creative blocks and guarantees a finished song when you’re done with it.
This video course is broken up into easy-to-follow sections so that you can choose to work alongside me or digest it all before diving in.
After watching this course you’ll have the confidence and ability to get started with a song, arrange it, and then finish it. Over and over again.
Let’s turn those 8 bar loops into 16, 32, and entire songs!
While this is an introductory course for electronic music arrangement, this is not and introductory course for how to use a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). If you are not comfortable in whatever software you use to make music, I recommend you do that first.
Before hopping into the course, let's talk about how to set yourself up for success by figuring out your rituals and handling distractions.
A quick run down about expectations about the rest of the course.
We will begin constructing the core beat of our track with kicks, snares, and hi-hats.
After completing the beat, we move onto constructing the harmony with chords and a melody.
We now take a moment to do some production work for the sounds currently in our track.
Every song has a beginning! Here, we will look at constructing our songs Intro and how it ties into rest of the track.
Before moving forward, we will sketch out the entirety of our arrangement to give ourselves context as we continue on.
Here we talk about how to best use energy and tension to create a successful breakdown.
Now we talk about how to best use energy and tension to create a successful build-up as we lead into the Drop.
In this section, we will discuss the purpose of a Drop and how to amp them up. Then, we will plug-in our core loop and begin to shift energy and tension within it.
Our songs not done yet but most of the legwork is. Now we will begin to arrange the second half of our song using our previous building blocks.
Here we continue arranging the second half our song.
Finally, we wrap things up with an Outro at the end and talk about how to best close out your track.
Some parting words of wisdom as well as a final listen to our completed track. You can also grab the How to Finish a Track cheat sheet here.
My reader acclaimed eBook on Electronic Music Arrangement is included in this course. You can download it here! It is completely supplementary to the video course and goes much more in-depth on concepts like energy, tension, and emotion.
My name is Zachary Citron, or Zencha, and I man the ship at Zenchamusic which is a creative-process focused music production website.
I am the original writer for Computer Music Magazine’s column Creative Concepts, a space where creative aspects of music production get the limelight in an otherwise technical publication.
Not only have I finished hundreds of songs — I’ve also attended Pyramind Training in San Francisco’s South of Market Area which left an enormous impact on my production skills and perspective.
My official releases include: Shinshu In Bloom, an Okami Remix album successfully funded on Kickstarter; Ceremony of Leaves, an independent moody electronic album of various genres and styles; Tokyo Rails, a short EP inspired by a trip to Japan; a release on Beatport through Breakshop Studios for the Church Williams remix EP, titled Invisible Signs – Zencha Remix; and finally, through Epiphyte Records, a TestPress release and award for my track MicroFracture.
By day, I’m a game designer working at independent game studio called Hammer & Chisel, making hardcore games for tablets. I also drink way too much tea and eat way too much sushi (gimme dat’ Saba). Oh, and I make music sometimes :).