Beat Making 101: How To Make Loops and Samples

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Beat Making 101: How To Make Loops and Samples

In today's first edition of Beat Making 101, I'll be discussing how to make loops and samples. Do you struggle with making original melodies, and always use loops in your music? Are you frustrated that you can't play the piano as well as you want, so you can't be creative when making beats? Don't worry, you're not alone. Many producers struggle with this and that's ok

There are 3 different methods I like to use to get started on new music. These are great techniques you can use to help start your next project.

Method 1: Use Chords

Chords are groups of notes that have a particular sound quality, for example, A minor, which is made up of A, C, and E. Chords names tell you the root note, and the type of chord. Here are some examples:

Simple chords can be created on a piano by choosing any white key and playing the 1st, 3rd, and 5th key in that row of notes. Playing different chords with different rhythms and sounds is a fun and easy way to start getting ideas for your song. You can also chose 2 or more chords, switch between them, and create a pattern.
There are tons of different chords that you can play, and the more chords and combinations you memorize, the more creative you can get when writing music.

Method 2: Use Chord Progressions

Chord progressions are groups or patterns of chords that are arranged to sound a certain way. Once you become more familiar with chords and know how it sounds when you switch from one chord to the next, then you can start creating chord progressions. Chord progressions are the foundation of many modern songs.

This is where it can start to get a bit complicated. Lets find middle C on the piano, and we're going to call that 1. If we go up 1-by-1, assigning each note a number, we will have 7 different notes until we get to the next C. 
If our 1st chord is C, E, G, our 2nd chord is D, F, A, our 3rd chord is E, G, B, and so on and so forth, we'll have 7 different chords that we can use in that scale (C Major scale. Once you understand this concept, you can now start writing chord progressions, which are commonly written in roman numerals (I, IV, VII for example).
There are many common chord progressions - 1-5-6-4, 1-4-5, 6-4-1, etc. Here are a few more common ones:
Experimenting with different inversions is another great way to make your music unique. You can change the inversion of a chord by bring the notes in the chords up or down one octave. Inverted chords will have the same quality, but a different tone. 
Now that you understand chords, progressions, and inversions, go make some of your own and get creative!

Method 3: Find Cool Sounds and Arrange Them 

The last method of writing your own loops is pretty simple. Just find cool and unique sounds, and arrange them into a pattern that you think sounds cool! There are tons of great sample packs out there and new ones get released every week. Splice, ProducerGrind, LoopCloud, FreeSound, and tons of other great websites are flooded with sounds! 

Finding a cool sound in a sample pack is like finding buried treasure! Taking that sound and looping it in your DAW can be a great foundation for your song. You can also change the pitch of the sound as it loops to give your melody some motion.

There you go! 3 great techniques for making your own loops and melodies. If you want more information, check out this full video guide with more detailed explanation and examples.

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