Beat making is a skill that takes quite some time to master. It personally took me a good 3 years to learn and understand beat making at an advanced level.
I’ve been making beats for over a decade now but I still learn a lot from working with new and older music producers.
Beat making in a nutshell is all about coming up with the best ideas and doing your best to implement them well with a Digital Audio Workstation.
In this post I’m going to discuss how to come up with beat ideas. I hope you find some of these techniques helpful.
With that said, how do you come up with beats ideas?
1. Listen to music
As a beat maker or music producer, you should be constantly listening to music to literally stay on top of your craft.
Listening to records by other people allows you to get inspired while learning new things that you can use in your own beat making process.
2. Recreate songs with a spin
This is one of the easiest ways to have a beat going. Simply figure out the type of beat you want to make, find a reference beat and then simply recreate the reference with a spin.
Recreating beats with your own spin can help you come up with your own ideas while using the reference beat as inspiration.
3. Summon your inner compose
Composing is an easy way of making beats and coming up with beat ideas.
Don’t focus on making a complete beat, just focus on making a complete melodic composition.
This will allow you to focus on the music and worry about the beat later.
Composing allows you to focus and centre your attention on creativity.
4. Watch beat making videos
Beat making videos are available all across the Internet and you can easily access them.
There are so many skillful music producers creating a lot of content that can be beneficial not only for idea generation but learning as well.
Spend some time watching people make beats and you’ll surely get inspired with some ideas to get you started.
5. Sample interesting loops
Loops are pretty much everywhere now. You can easily go online and download loops for free.
They can help you come up with ideas for beats easily.
Just be sure to work on loops that inspire you to make a beat. You can easily cook up beats with samples that you generally like.
Collaboration is another great way to get ideas for beats. If you’re a beat maker or music producer, you more than likely have producer peers that you can collaborate with.
Working with somebody that is skilled is a great way to come up with interesting beat ideas, so don’t over look it.
7. Purchase or get a midi kit
Midi kits are great and there are similar to loop kits. The only difference is that midi kits have midi information that you can apply any instrument to and make great music.
Sample loops just like midi kits can help you get creative and come up with some interesting beat ideas.
8. Get yourself some loops
I earlier mentioned finding interesting loops to help you come up with beat ideas. Another idea related to this is simply buying and downloading a bunch of loops.
Listen to them and surely ideas will come running toward you.
Premium loop packs usually have the best loops as compared to free loop packs so you might want to spend a couple of bucks on good material.
9. Just start
One of the ways in which beat ideas can come to you is by simply starting a new project.
Have an idea of the kind of beat you want to make and then start to create that beat from scratch.
This will help you get over any creative blocks.
10. Finish up projects
Every producer out there always has a bunch of unfinished projects sitting on their computer.
If you don’t have any beat ideas, try to go over your unfinished projects and finish them off.
This will help you connect with old ideas that you came up with in the past.
This is quite helpful in coming up with new ideas.
11. Listen to instrumentals
As a beat maker or music producer, you should listen to music As much as possible, but other than that, you should also listen to instrumentals a lot.
Instrumentals can help yield your own unique ideas that you can apply in your own beat making projects.
12. Have an idea of what you want to make
One of the reasons why most people find it difficult to come up with beat ideas is that they fail to recognise what they actually want to make.
This is why it’s important to have a general idea of what you want to make.
If its a hiphop song, try and narrow it down to tempo, groove and overall feel.
Once you do this, you can then easily come up with ideas to fill in the gaps of your skeleton idea.
13. Let the Metronome be your guide
The Metronome is an underrated tool but it is quiet helpful. Rather than trying to come up with ideas out of the blue use the Metronome as you come up with random ideas.
This will help stay within tempo and this can easily help you come up with some cool ideas.
14. Study other beat structures
While listening to instrumentals or songs by other people, pay attention to everything going on in the record.
Studying beat structures is a great way to come up with your own unique ideas.
Take the time to study the drum patterns, melody patterns, arrangements etc.
All this information can be helpful in finding your own creative spark for beat ideas.
15. Come up with melodies
Melodies are the thing that drives music. Come up with a cool melody and you can easily have a beat going.
Jump in your DAW right now, select a key and start messing around with various melody ideas until you find the one that you like.
This will easily provide you the ideas to come up with a complete beat.
16. Reverse melodies you’ve made
Don’t forget to reverse your melodies when in doubt.
Simple effects and techniques like simply reversing a composition can make it a whole new different melody. This can help you come up with some ideas to finish off your beat.
17. Half time your loops
Half time is another cool effect that can help you generate some beat ideas. It is quite underrated but I’ve found it to be an invaluable tool that can change any composition for the better.
When it doubt, use half time!
18. Chop up loops
Loops are a great way to generate your own beat ideas but in any case that you find it difficult.
Try to Chop up the loop with a slicer tool and then rearrange the loop to make it something completely unique.
This can help you come up with good and solid beat ideas.
19. Listen to songs you don’t listen to
If you have a particular genre of music that you don’t like or don’t listen to, LISTEN TO IT.
Try and find inspiration in a strange place.
Music is spontaneous and it pays to sometimes to chase and find inspiration in unfamiliar places.
Don’t over look this. Sticking to one genre is great, but you don’t have to restrict your taste to a single genre.
Explore and experiment.
20. Watch Kanye West in the studio
Kanye West is one of most talented musicians to ever live. Take sometime to watch his studio sessions and you’ll learn a lot.
Wanna know the cool part?
Your mind will be steaming with ideas after you spend a reasonable amount watching Kanye West make music.
21. Watch Timbalands Live streams
Timbaland is another great producer that is always putting out great content for beat makers.
Get on twitch and find his live streams and you’ll learn a lot about his creative process.
This should be enough to give you inspiration and beat ideas.
22. Watch T-Minus make beats
T-Minus is another great producer that is known for producing various records for popular musicians Like Drake, DJ Khaled etc.
Find his Twitch live streams and see how he goes about making his beats.
You’ll learn alot about technique and coming up with unique beat ideas.