How to be a Music Creator in Ableton

An EDM audience viewing a colorful stage set and a DJ

Turn to Ableton’s Get Started Making Music Guide

Some of the best advice for becoming a music creator in Ableton comes from Ableton itself. To get started, you need to be familiar with the basics of music making. This free learning guide starts you off nice and easy. By playing around with prerecorded drum, bass, rhythm and melody patterns, you get to experiment with various combinations. It then guides you through the process of making beats.

The beat making module allows you to add or subtract notes from the open hat cymbal, closed hat cymbal, clap and kick drum as well as vary the tempo. The module after that acquaints you with various drum sounds which can make the same notes, and goes into the differences between digital and acoustic versions of the same drum sound.

Additional modules help you understand beat and tempo in more detail and go into the common tempo ranges for various genres of music from dub, to hip hop, to house, to techno, to dubstep to drum and bass. Backbeats are covered as well as bars (a grouping of four beats). Songs are created by putting multiple bars of music together to form longer sections, then putting together these longer sections to create a song. Further modules help you discover pitch, keys, scales, chords, basslines, melodies and song structures.

These modules are chockful of breakdowns of familiar songs so you can see how everything you’ve learned fits together to form a song (song structure). What we especially like about this The Ableton Get Started Making Music Guide is that you don’t have to purchase or download Ableton to use it. Furthermore, it will work on ANY device, including your smart phone. You don’t need to know how to use Ableton (which can be tricky to the newcomer) to start using the guide in order to learn Ableton and what it takes to start becoming a music creator.

Use the guide wisely. Plan on spending as much time as it takes to fully understand these components of electronic music creation and song structure. Pay particular interest to the components that appeal to you and which are commonly used in the genre of music you want to create. Once you have accomplished this important learning phase, you’re ready to make the transition to Ableton in a way that makes sense.

Once you’ve downloaded Ableton, there are a few things you’ll need to figure out on the technical side in order to incorporate your recently gained knowledge of basic music making. To start, open Ableton and go to Project, then New Live-Set. The next step is to create beats. This is done by selecting samples and placing them on your track. The biggest difference between the learning guide and creating music in Ableton from scratch is that the latter will give you will have a much wider range of choices. When you have your basic beats the way you want them, simply duplicate them and place them in the order you want, adjust the tempo and add effects like pitch. Then continue to add chords, basslines and melodies to the mix. After that, finalize your song and share it with your trusted circle, if you think it’s ready to share.

Want to learn how to record in Ableton by working directly, one-on-one with a professional who can show you how it’s done? Give us a call. 1-800-755-7597.


Learn more about making music with Ableton.

Joey Paranoia on Ableton and Elemental Creative Urges

Get your music production certification and build your music production and audio engineering skills by learning with an industry professional near you.