Learn How to Make Beats with Ableton’s New Website

    With a tutorial deconstructing Beyoncé’s "Single Ladies"

    Ableton Live is widely regarded as the to go-to Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) for electronic musicians performing live, but it’s also becoming a popular studio tool for prominent producers such as Flying Lotus, Panda Bear, Skrillex, and many more. And now, the Berlin-based company is offering a new learning website designed to teach prospective users “the basics of music making.” “No prior experience or equipment is required; you’ll do everything right here in your browser,” the website assures.

    The tutorial goes on to teach you how to make beats by giving you a grid with a pre-made drum pattern that you can customize. It provides back-to-back comparisons of acoustic and electronic drums in order to train the user’s ear to distinguish between the various components that go into a beat. There are also comparisons between drum tempos that suit different genres, whether it’s dub, house, or drum & bass.

    Ableton goes on to deconstruct several notable songs, such as Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks,” and Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” The tutorial lays out the rhythmic patterns of these popular songs onto the same grid they allow the user to customize, essentially providing a blueprint for how beat patterns are made in the program. There is also a short music theory tutorial on the use of scales, chords, and melodies, with a musical example of Bob Marley & The Wailers’ “Get Up, Stand Up.”

    The site follows Ableton’s 2015 educational book, Making Music—74 Creative Strategies For Electronic Music Producers. We won’t give away the whole tutorial for you, but if you’ve been wanting to get into the world of music production and beat-making, this new learning music site is a terrific way to get a glimpse of what producers really do behind the scenes (or in this case, behind the screens).