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Photo Credit: Alex Rawson @ Bolthouse Film & Photo
Producer Joe Turner was born and raised in Croydon, England. His childhood was spent in a house full of soul music and a dash of nineties electronica. His grandfather, a jazz pianist, inspired him to write his first song when he was eleven years old. Although during his adolescence he was part of several bands, for some time now he has turned his attention back to writing.
To celebrate the release of ‘Wings’, we sit down with Joe Turner, who shares 5 tips in order to get started and make music.
1.Establish your influences and inspiration
Before you even begin to make your own music, you need to have a clear idea of what sort of style/sound of music makes you tick and gets you excited. There’s no way you will be able to write great songs if you’re not enthused by the type of music you’re making. I would recommend creating a playlist of tracks you love, or listening to some of your favorite albums and using them to help guide you towards feeling inspired.
2. Choose your DAW
There are several different DAWs you can use to create music – which is a blessing and a curse at the same time. There are countless tutorials on YouTube on how to use every single one of them, so spend some time researching the different options you have. A lot of producers/artists are live streaming at the moment and you may be able to find what DAW your favorite artist uses to create the songs you love.
3. Explore YouTube
I touched on this on the previous point, YouTube is an incredible source of information when it comes to getting started in production. Beyond DAW tutorials, you’ll be able to find videos of numerous production techniques, sound design ideas, drum groove concepts, and tons more. If you have a question about production, type it into the search bar and you will find the answer instantly. It’s one of the greatest free education tools out there, so go and get stuck in!
4. Ideally invest in studio equipment
A lot of productions can be done ‘in-the-box’ (within your computer/laptop). However, it is always worthwhile to have some form of equipment at your disposal – the simplest of which would be a MIDI keyboard. There is a huge range of keyboards you can choose from. Find something that’s within your budget and intrigues you. I believe making music should be as physical a process as possible, so having hands-on equipment connects you more with the music you’re making.
5. Music Theory
You’ve got your style, DAW, and production knowledge – now you need to write some MUSIC! Music theory gets a bad reputation because people feel intimidated by it. You don’t have to be Quincy Jones to write a good song! If you can understand the basic principles of music theory, you will be a much better producer as a result of it. The best places to start that I would recommend would be: playing and understanding scales and playing chords within those scales.