Try this: put on your favorite song and listen to it closely. At one point or another, you will probably find yourself bouncing your head around or moving your body to a certain pattern that you hear in the song. What is it exactly that you are finding rhythm in? These are beats, and it is pretty impossible to jam to music that has no beats; especially if you are used to tapping your foot to a tune or slapping your knee to a song. Without beats, music would have no real pattern or synchronization to it. So, say you are a songwriter or interested in writing your own music – how do you go about creating a beat? Luckily for your head-bouncing needs, Udemy offers a wide variety of online courses devoted to music and recognizing beats and rhythm. Get your ears ready for this beat!
Every music genre incorporates beats in one way or another. There are different types of beats, so let’s take a look at them first so that you can have an idea of the choices you have when creating your beats. Beats are grouped into meters, and here they are:
4/4 Meter: The 4/4 meter is also referred to as “common time”. The 4/4 is interpreted as having four beats in a single measure. Four quarter notes will equal four beats, and when you combine all the beats in the notes, you will get four.
3/4 Meter: This meter usually comes across the most in classical or waltz music. The three denotes that there are three beats per measure.
6/8 Meter: This meter has 6 beats, and is most common in classical music. Instead of four, for this meter, eighth notes are generally used.
Creating your own beats!
We will go over some software shortly, but first, let’s take a look at the general guidelines you will need to follow for making a beat using beat making software.
- Genre: First, figure out what type of genre your music is going to fall under. Do your research, listen to the type of music, and determine how the beats are structured. By knowing how the beats go, you will be able to give your own type of music a similar sound.
- Begin: Start forming your beat, but make sure that you start off with something simple – especially if this is your first time creating a beat. For example, start off with four beats per measure. This is a simple and coherent structure to start with.
- Loop: Once you figure out how many beats you want, loop it, and everything will start sounding like a rhythm. There are two ways that you can loop a beat. One, by having short beat sections that are identical to one another, and two, have a section in the measure that builds up and then returns to the beat of the first measure. This will start the looping process.
- Sound: A constant sound that you can follow will provide a foundation for your beat. Aim for a note on every fourth beat.
- Melody: Develop a noticeable pattern for your melody. This might come easily to you, or you will end up achieving it through trial and error.
- Effects: Time to add some flavor, spice, and everything nice to your beats! This can be done easily once the basic structure is accounted for. However, make sure that you do not make it messy. Clean and simple beats make for a good background rhythm. Try not to take the spotlight away from the actual music.
- Instruments: Since you are using an online program, you have the option of choosing whichever instruments that you desire. Choose a high hat, as well as a kick drum or tom for a melody kick. Feel free to play around with your options here. It often depends on what genre of music you are focusing on.
- Instrument effects: Choose some other effects if you want to add more on top of your drum beat. Remember to keep it simple and contained.
- Balance: You are nearly done with your beat by now! Time to add balance to your beat to make sure that no sound it overriding another. Everyone wants to be heard!
Choosing a Software Program
Luckily, there are plenty of online programs available for beat making. But first, determine what type of beat you are making and who or what you are making it for.
- App: There seems to be an app for everything, right? Well, there sure are apps for beat recording as well! Aim for one that exports Mp3s for easy use.
- Sound Programs: There are plenty of free sound programs online available for download. However, generally the free downloads require a little bit more attention and skill than ones you have to pay for. Determine your skill level and time frame to decide which sound program is best for you.
- Software Program: These you will probably have to pay for. There are a number of them that are pretty affordable (under $50), and some that are more pricey. Shop around and look out for these components in a beat making software:
- Sound and effects
- Help and Support
Dance to Your Beat!
With this information, you should have the tools that you need to go about creating your own music with the proper beat making software programs. If you incorporate your creativity with all the technology available, your beat making options can be endless! Udemy.com offers a wide variety of music courses to give you a hand in various genres and skill sets, so don’t forget to check it out.