The Ten Track Commandments: Part 1

Uh , Uhh It's the 10 Track Commandments What!I been in this game for years, it made me an animal

It's rules to production, I wrote you a manual

A step by step booklet for you to get

Your beats in tact, not your tracks thrown back

Follow these rules you'll have mad bread to break up

If not, 24k ....but no Jacob

1. Obtain a Copyright for All Your Material

Beat makers and/ or producers, have clever methods of preventing

people from copying or duplicating their work. They attach "tags", which are audio

interruptions that disrupt the actual composition. This may prevent looping,

however, the savviest producers have great ears and can usually listen

to a melody or arrangement and recreate it on their own equipment.

The fact is, the only way to totally proof and protect your work is to

obtain a copyright. By copyrighting you eliminate the

possibility of your compositions being ripped by other producers.

You have a firm legal basis if you ever need to step into court. These links can assist you in protecting 2. Collaborations Can Make the Difference

Most producers who are musically trained are one dimensional.

Some can play the keyboards or piano, others may be

geniuses at sampling or using an MPC. Whatever the case, combining experience

is always beneficial to expanding your musical horizons. If

your production relies heavily on sampling, build with others, such as

keyboardists, bass players , or drummers to create a more

professional sound. If you don't know any trained musicians, contract

some. 50 dollars an hour is the going rate. If you are prepared

with your tracks and know what you want on them, one hour worth of

keys can lace ten to 20 beats. Even if you are adept at playing multiple

instruments, ideas and input from other sources can be invaluable.

Incorporating opinions from people not directly involved in music

production can also be an asset, they tend to just go off the vibe they get

from the song.

3. Stay Up to Date With Technology

While Computers, mp3 players, and CDJs are all integral elements to mixing

up the style in your music, there is not one piece

that you must have to create music. I used to create from a Casio

keyboard with four little sample pads on it. However, if you want your

efforts to be universally adaptive , having a Pro-Tools

set up is an advantage. Staying up with production technology can

increase the speed you record at and bang out more hits.

For instance, you can record a song with an artist without

actually being in his/her presence by simply sending mp3 or Wav files from your computer.

4. Sell Your Beats According to the Value of Your Time

I've seen advertising on where people are

giving beats away for free, or selling them for ten dollars, 50

dollars etc. Everything for sale has a price, but be leery of

downgrading your own art. You might pay ten dollars to go to the movies, ten

dollars for a meal at a dinner, ten dollars for a couple bootleg Cds off the street;

But art takes time, effort, and creative ability, and if that's all that you are saying

it's worth, that's the value people will place on it. Maybe you do

have hot tracks for ten bucks each, but people won't respect it the

same. That being said, giving away tracks just for notoriety or for

someone to give you a shout is also a waste of artistic talent. If

you give a track away, give it to someone who is either notable in a

particular region, someone you feel will blow up major as a

artist, or someone you completely vibe with on a creative level.

Just passing off beats to any "Funky Bunch" crew is not going to build

your name up. Be selective and up the ante if people want your


5. Create a Brand for Yourself

The $100, 000 per beat producers are not just track masters.

When you hire Pharrell Williams or Kanye West to do music for you, you get more than

a beat; you get the personality, funky clothes, and skateboard images

as part of the total package. There are millions of people who can

make hot beats, but most don't have any style or personality to seal the deal.

Personality and swagger sell music sometimes

easier than the music itself. Along with personality, business persona is just as important

as your talents and abilities. Branding your name is the most

effective way to get people to notice you. Sometimes I listen to

the radio and feel like I could easily produce the track that I hear. Why are certain

people getting all the calls? Image sells. Think about your favorite

producers and what extra elements they bring to the studio sessions.Stay tuned for Part 2 of The Ten Track Commandments.