Starting a track can be frustrating. Sometimes you don't get an idea of what you want to create or you just don't know where to start. Here are my essential tips for starting a track!
Table of Contents:
1 - Organize
First, I want to give some tips on how you can be organized and more importantly, how you can keep the flow going. When writing down some dope first chords, you probably get excited, and later you get bored of the project. To avoid getting frustrated, I can recommend organizing your project from the absolute beginning. Use colors and name your mixer tracks. You should also group your mixer tracks to keep track of things. This sounds not useful in the first place but trust me, if you start doing it, you will have a way faster workflow and a more consistent one. The second thing I want to mention is that you have to avoid trying to make everything perfect. See the first hours of a new song more like a brainstorming/songwriting session. You can mix everything later or change a note here and there. But at first, make sure you put down the main idea. Ok, let's get started!
2 - Inspiration
When starting a new song you should feel inspired. Try to collect as much inspiration you can get. You can find inspiration everywhere. At first you can go on Spotify and look up some songs in the genre you want to create. If you want to create something unique, don't select a specific genre. Collect impressions from different genres and combine them!
Another thing which is great for getting inspired is by watching masterclasses on YouTube. It's just super inspiring to see other peoples workflows. To be honest I don't know why this works, but it worked every time for me. Give it a try!
3 - Vocals
I know, finding a great vocal to start is super hard. But I found some things that can help a lot to get things started. Use a cover vocal from a famous song and create a "remix". I'm not talking about a remix of the way you think. It's more about having this main element to build a song around. Use this vocal to create chords or a rhythm. When I use this method, I usually remove the cover vocal in the end and get in touch with some singers to create my own original song. By the way, make sure you don't have too many elements from the original songs. Sometimes it can help to find a cover vocal on youtube from a random singer.
When talking about vocals, I also want to mention vocal chops. You can create vocal chops from all vocals and it doesn't matter if it's a good performance or not.
4 - Chords
My second most used method is just starting to put down some chords. I usually select a random key or use the key from a song that I like. After that, I randomly place press notes and try to find some matching sounds. If you're not good with playing the piano or music theory, you can just place root notes and build chords later on. I use a piano VST to get started most of the time. In my opinion it's the most "neutral" element and you can go in all directions after putting down the chords/melody on the piano/piano roll.
5 - Melody
After finding a powerful chord progression, I place notes above. At first, it can be helpful to create a rhythm for the melody to get the groove. The second step can be changing notes from the rhythm and getting a feeling for the sound. After that, you can start playing around with different synths and other layering elements. For some unique sounds, use pitch bends and other effects.
6 - Analog Instruments
Using instruments like a guitar or just any other real instrument can be helpful to get started. There is just no barrier and you have a direct connection to notes. It doesn't matter if you don't use the instrument later in the song. It's just about getting in the right mood/finding a melody.
7 - Workflow
Having a good workflow is absolutely necessary in my opinion. I hadn't understood this when I first started producing. So I want to give you this tip. Organize your project, turn off your phone or other distractions and focus completely on the music. Sometimes it can be even useful to create a checklist for different things. Like creating chords, a melody and the arrangement.
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