You don’t need to be a grade 8 pianist to produce music. You don’t have to be able to play an instrument at all. All you need is motivation, and most likely, a laptop.
One of the advantages of living in our digital age is the technology that grants accessibility to all kinds of creative pursuits. This is particularly true when it comes to music production, because even if an individual isn’t inspired to learn an instrument, that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy sequencing beats or reversing vocal samples.
If people from a plethora of backgrounds are creating new music then more innovation and experimentation is inevitable. From site based samples to incorporating genre bending influences from bygone eras, the ease of implementing varied styles within modern music production encourages thinking outside of the box. Check out the Guzu genre pioneered by South African collective Fantasma. It combines hip hop elements with electronic and Zulu Maskandi music, diversifying electronic music by pulling on South African roots. That’s just one of hundreds of possibilities.
You don’t need to look further than soundcloud to see that modern music production has become a melting pot of genres and styles lead by people sat in front of a computer and a DAW (digital audio workstation). A fresh track can start with any element, from field recordings, infectious beats to delectable synth basslines made on software like Logic or Ableton. From there, it can take shape as the unlimited extent of creative freedom stretches out over it.
Serious artists operating from their bedroom can make waves in bedroom production trends. Among the more notable bedroom producers who have gone on to become international successes are James Blake, Hot Chip and Disclosure.
Artists like Blake have been referred to as ground-breaking. Perhaps there’s an argument to be made that bedroom production engenders a more personal, experimental approach to making music.
Divorced from what are considered professional musical practices, in the bedroom music can be made without judgement, without conforming to notions of popularity, and can help the creative juices flow. You don’t have to stop until you’re happy with a mix, and the mastering is an aspect that can be conducted in a private way. This allows you to perfect and tweak levels of compression, reverb, pitch and panning at your leisure before you unleash your track on the world.
There are downsides in this exciting time for electronic music for the individual. Career longevity has declined because there is just so much music being discovered; today’s next big thing may be replaced by tomorrow’s. But never fear, there are ways to capture the edge. You may not need a long history of musical tuition to make great tunes but you do need to know what you’re doing. Yes, you can play, experiment and perhaps stumble into musical territory that forges the sounds of the new zeitgeist. You could even get lucky and attract the attention of labels. But if you never master the basics of the tools you’re using then you may not stay lucky for long.
Accessing expert music production tuition is easy. London’s leading schools for music production like SubBass Academy of Electronic Music and Point Blank now provide offline courses at cheaper rates. These up to date courses cover a variety of music programmes and electronic genres to give people a solid understanding of electronic music. If the foundations are sturdy then the creativity can flow wherever you want it to. If you have the mastered the basics of making a solid house track then you will also have the knowledge of how to bend those basics, how to twist the genre and make your signature sound.