Hi Isaku! I composed this beat yesterday and was wondering if I can get your opinion on it.  I think its pretty simple… I only used EM7 to Em7 lol I kind of liked the restricting feel of just those two chords… fit the story i was kinda trying to tell. I wanted to lengthen it out and add a B section, but I wasn’t completely sure what to do with it yet. Do you have any suggestions? https://soundcloud.com/useless-ai/a-potion-on-the-shore/s-pJvNpulUVrM

Hey man,  First of all very cool beat.  I like how the drums sound live and aren’t robotic.  It gives them this very distinctive hiphop sound a la J Dilla, Questlove, Chris Dave, etc.

The most important suggestion I can give is to start working with other people.  Every work that I’m still proud of involved at least 5 other people.  For this song it might be a rapper/singer, live strings or flute, keys, mix engineer, etc.  You’ll probably feel a lot better about this song in 5 years if you get at least 3 other people involved.

There’s really only so much you can do on your own and you’ll always need the help of others.  It’s important to go to local gigs, meetups, jam sessions, etc to meet people and find people to work with.  You will grow so much faster and your work will be so much better.

In terms of specifics, some common techniques are:

1. Create a Drop – drums cut out, everything else keeps going for a few bars, drums come back in

2. Use a Filter – use EQ to cut out the highs and lows of everything except the drums.  Drums keep going.  Gradually take the filter off.

3. Explore Bass Lines – explore different roles the bass can have.  Typically the bass stabilizes the harmony, and glues the band together, but it can also add color and movement.

4. Harmony – you’re kind of doing what’s called a “line cliche” and there’s a lot you can do with this technique.

Hope this helps, Isaku

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Music Production Q&A with Isaku Kageyama