With the barrier to entry arguably lower than ever for musicians, it’s a great time for aspiring independent electronic musicians to make their mark.
Whether you’re focusing on EDM, beat-making or remixes, the scene and audience are most definitely out there for electronic music. Between the likes of YouTube and Spotify in addition to music-specific communities such as Soundcloud and Bandcamp, there are seemingly endless places to get your music out in the open.
That said, you’re not going to get very far as an independent producer unless you have a pulse on the industry and the right tools of the trade. So, what are the five things that every aspiring electronic producer needs to know regardless of their skill level?
Get Your Gear Right
For starters, you’re not going to get far unless you have the hardware and software necessary to craft your own compositions. As long as you have a laptop, you’re golden.
No budget? No problem. You can download a free digital audio workstation such as Reaper until you upgrade to something more robust. There are seemingly endless plugins and virtual instruments out there whether you’re looking for something to create sick beats or epic synth sounds. Additionally, you can get started with the ultimate list of free midi files based on famous electronic composers to better help you understand how songs are structured.
Figure Out Your Genre
Having your niche figured out is also incredibly important as being a sort of “jack of all trades” musician doesn’t do much to stand out. It doesn’t matter if you’re exclusively making beats or EDM tracks: you need understand the history of your genre as well as trends that you can capitalize on within your own tracks. At the same time, don’t give up your own unique sense of personality in the process.
Whether it’s through Facebook groups or comments on YouTube videos of your favorite artists, networking is so important yet often overlooked for musicians. You need to be everywhere from the likes of social media to promoting yourself on Soundcloud, serially “liking” and sharing the music of others just to get your name out in the open. Although networking isn’t the be-all, end-all of your ability to succeed as a musician, you won’t get anywhere by being an island.
Don’t Share Everything at First
This may go against conventional wisdom, but during your early months as a composer and producer, don’t make the mistake of putting your worst content out in the open. While you do indeed want exposure as an artist, you want to stress quality and quantity. Your initial tracks might not be up to your standard or the standard of most listeners: that’s fine as long as you learn from your mistakes.
Being a musician represents being a lifelong learner. This means educating yourself on new editing techniques and learning about essential electronic albums that shaped the genre at large. Once you know the essentials of how to put together tracks, branch out and absorb as much information as you can so you can continue evolving as an artist.
Getting started composing and producing your own electronic tracks is both exciting but potentially overwhelming as you begin marketing yourself. By having more of a focus on what you need to do to grow as a musician and put yourself out there, you can move forward with your music career with a greater sense of confidence.