Welcome to How Not To Make Music. Currently, I am a senior in high school and my main passion is music. I want to study composition in college, grow up, and become rich and famous by making awesome music. Unfortunately, I’m not there yet, but I want to invite you to join me on my journey and hopefully learn from my trials and terrors. In this blog, I’ll give you constructive advice about music composition, production, recording, and possibly performing as well. I’ll be using my music as the prime example of what not to do. Let’s begin…
When you’re making music, I guarantee you will encounter the State of Noodle (otherwise known as becoming stuck in a spaghetti trance while noodling). Noodling is a good thing. Noodling for hours when you need to compose a piece of music is not a good thing. Don’t do that. This can be fixed with one simple step. This step, I will share with you now. Please take notes on this step. All you need to do is this: Hit the record button! The record button is the red one pictured below. (No need to smear your screen. That would make it harder to find the red button.) Just hit the button.
If you record your noodling, you will remember what you did. Not only that. When you record your noodling, you can edit your sounds later—you can rework them and possibly develop them into something you like. It might seem pointless, but all you have to do is press the red record button. You will be surprised at what you find. (For those of you who are colorblind, the red record button is the grey record button, and it’s usually round, and located next to the grey play button.)
In an attempt to head off any questions from all of you gear heads, I am using Logic Pro X with an Akai Professional MPK49 as my controller. However I use other production and recording tools as well, both on Mac and PC. We will discuss this more in the weeks ahead, but for now, let’s keep it simple: just press the red record button and you’re good to enter the spaghetti trance with confidence.
Words by Max Rico