* This is part 8 of an 8-part series of articles on how to make beats. Mostly aimed at beginners, even experience beat makers can benefit from these articles. Part 8: What's Next? So, what have you learned? First, you had to get the right hardware and software to be able to properly make beats, and then you had to spend time learning your setup. You also learned the basics of bars and loops, and how it's best to first start your beat with drums. After all of that, it was time to create a melody and then add a bassline. Is That It? Nope, not at all! What comes next is up to you. The best way to make beats (and to make them better each time), is to constantly practice. Even if you've had a long day you can still sit down for about 30 minutes and do something, even if it's something small. It could be that you create a drum track or work on different patterns; anything that will stimulate your creativity and allow you to get better each time. When I first got into turntablism I would always do something every day on the turntables. Sometimes I would just do a basic scratch, and other times I would do a quick beat match with two records. There were days where I had a long work day and yet I still did this because I really wanted my DJ skills to get better, and that's the only way. "Practice makes perfect" is an old saying that is still true today, and it can apply to anything you do. The more you do something, the better you will get at it, plain and simple. Don't Forget About the Vibe Besides practicing, you must also figure out how to put your emotions into your beats. What I mean by that, is your beats must have a certain vibe to them. You can't just put together drums, bass, and a melody and expect money to fall from the skies! Your beats must have a certain sound that will make the listener actually FEEL what you're doing. You can look at it like a chef. Anyone can put oil in a pan and fry something then serve it. But a really good chef knows it's much more than that. It's about adding certain spices and in the right quantities, then also adding other ingredients and foods as well. Once that is done, the dish must be presented a certain way. The same thing applies to your music. You have to know when to add something to give your beat that extra edge, or to take something out because it clashes with another instrument. Once your beat is finally done, it's time to "present it" to the listener (mixing). My Final Advice The main takeaway from these lessons is that you have to think outside the box and make music the way YOU want to make it. If everyone made music the same way then music would be a very boring thing to listen to, right? Make music, but make it special. Good luck!