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5 Ways You Can Improve Your Beats

  1. Fade

    Fade

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    Making beats can be repetitive. If you make beats every single day, or even just on a regular basis, it can become tiresome and that's because you're just doing the same thing. It's great to have a beat-making routine, and if it works for you then that's great, but there's always room for improvement, even if you're the best beatmaker on the planet. Here are 5 ways that you can improve your beats.

    1. Get Feedback

    Believe it or not, most people don't like criticism! Yes, it's true. Have you ever told your girlfriend that she looks fat in those jeans? If you have then you sir have a lot of guts. The same thing can apply to your beats - has anyone ever told you that your beats suck? How did you handle that criticism? I know it's hard to get feedback from people, especially if it's online because you're getting feedback from strangers, but in the long run it will help you greatly.

    When I say feedback, I don't just mean something like, "Nice beat, I like it". That means nothing at all. In IllMuzik's forum Showcase section, I always open each thread by telling everyone that they need to leave feedback if they expect to get feedback. I've seen some people just leave a quick note, but that doesn't help. What you need is feedback like, "I like your drums but the bassline needs to change a bit. Have you tried a different pattern?". Something like that is constructive criticism.

    2. Use The Feedback

    If you do get constructive criticism from someone - use it! This is where problems can arise because most people don't like it when someone tells them their beat is no good and they need to change this or that. There are times when the person giving you feedback doesn't know what they're talking about, so that's why I understand how some people won't like the feedback. However, when you do get good feedback, definitely use it.

    By using the good feedback you get, it WILL help your beats. If people are telling you that your mix sucks, then listen to what they have to say because if you apply the advice they give you, guess what? Your mixes will improve.

    3. Listen To Other Types Of Music

    I love Hip Hop and that's what I mainly listen to, but I also listen to a lot of other types of music, like Electronic, 80's, R&B, and whatever else sounds good. The reason why is because it's music that I just like and sounds good to me, but also there are many times where I get ideas for my own beats when I listen to those other genres. I also hear lots of samples that I could possibly use from the songs, so that's another good reason why I listen to them.

    Listening to other forms of music is not only pleasing to the ears and great for finding samples, but it's a good way to hear how certain techniques are used in those genres. For example, when I hear an 80's song, I can hear how they have a certain type of intro, then about 3/4 of the way in they have a bridge, etc. When I hear things like that it gets me thinking and I start to think of ways that I can use those techniques in my own beats. In other words, think outside the box.

    4. Try Something New

    As I mentioned at the beginning, making beats can be repetitive, so it's good to always try something new. It could be that you want to start sampling a certain artist and see if you can come up with something dope, or it could be you want to incorporate electric guitar into your beats. Whatever the case may be, just try something new to give yourself a challenge.

    By challenging yourself on a regular basis, it will reflect in your beats. You might discover certain tips or tricks, but also it will keep you on your toes. If you're doing the same thing when making a beat, like putting together a drum loop, sampling some vinyl, and then adding a bassline - why not break up that routine? You could even just change the order of how you make a beat, like starting with the bassline first.

    5. Take 5 Days To Make 1 Beat

    "Making a beat" is defined differently for everyone, because to some it means just making a simple 4-bar loop, to others it means making a full-fledged production that is ready for an emcee. A lot of us will just make a beat real quick and then fine tune it the next day maybe. Why not take 5 days to complete the beat?

    It could mean that you take 5 days to finish your loop, or it could mean 5 days to finish the final product. No matter how you define it, challenge yourself by taking your time. There's no need to rush your productions, and this is a great way to spice things up in order to improve your beats. I know 5 days seems like a long time, but it's just an example. For you it might be 2 or 3 days, it's entirely up to you.

    Conclusion

    It's never easy to come up with new techniques or to improve your workflow, because humans are creatures of habit. Once we get set in a routine, we stick with it because it's comfortable and we just can't be bothered. If you find yourself stuck in a rut or if you just want to improve your beats, try any of these five tips, but no matter what - make sure you improve something.

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    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
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