Music Production from Scratch – A List of Resources - EDMtips

Music Production from Scratch – A List of Resources

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Electronic music production is a never-ending journey of excitement, frustration, elation, and a continual adventure.

Mastery takes years, and starting from scratch can seem a daunting task.

Today we have a guest post EDMtips subscriber and student, Dan Roy, and he shares some of the resources that have helped him the most...

Take it away, Dan!...


"Hi, my name is Daniel Roy, and I am a world-class electronic dance music producer and DJ.

Well, at least that's the vision I have in my mind!

In order to slowly turn that vision into reality and to take the proper steps towards achieving this dream I knew I would need some good resources and to connect with people who were already finding success in music production and music marketing.

I have had the good fortune of either discovering excellent resources on my own or have met good people in the music industry who have taken the time to refer me to these excellent resources.

I am still a very new music producer, having only been doing this for roughly a year. I have an incredible amount that still needs to be learned if I want to be successful. But after reading, studying, and practising a lot over this time, I can safely say I know a lot more now than I did a year ago.

So if you have a dream of becoming successful in the EDM scene, then maybe this list will be of help to you. The list is made up of books, ebooks, online courses, as well as links to Youtube channels, websites, and Udemy courses.

The first section of the resource list is geared towards cultivating within yourself what I would call the “prerequisites” to achieve any dream in life: things such as willpower, creativity, and focus, among others.

The second section of the resource list is geared more towards the actual music production and music marketing side of things. Where applicable I have also included links to social media for many of these resources.

I'm hopeful that this list will serve two purposes.

  1. That it will be a good starting point for anyone with the dream of making it in the music industry.
  2. That it will represent a way for me to say thank-you to some of the people that have given me advice or that have even offered to me their own resources.

These are people who are already successful in music production and marketing yet have taken precious time out of their day to patiently answer my questions.

Whose ever hands this list ends up in, please feel free to take this list and do with it as you please.

It's free. Use it, change it, make it look better, throw it out, whatever you wish!

And please don't be offended or read anything into where your particular resource might fall in the order of the list… it's just a list!

Lastly, if you see a resource listed that belongs to you then please let me know if I have omitted some information or misrepresented your resource in any way and I will be sure to fix it.

Good luck to everyone on your music production journey!"

– Dan

Mindset & Workflow Resources for EDM Producers

Mindset & Workflow Books

  1. So Good They Can't Ignore You – Why Skills Trump Passion In the Quest for Work You Love – Cal Newport
  2. Deep Work – Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World – Cal Newport
  3. Steal Like An Artist – 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative - Austin Kleon
  4. Show Your Work! - 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered - Austin Kleon
  5. The Greatness Guide – Robin Sharma
  6. The Greatness Guide Book 2 – 101 Lessons for Success and Happiness – Robin Sharma
  7. The School of Greatness – A Real-World Guide to Living Bigger, Loving Deeper, and Leaving a Legacy – Lewis Howes
  8. Flow – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  9. Creativity, Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  10. Living Forward – A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want – Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy
  11. The One Thing – The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results – Gary Keller and Jay Papsan
  12. Creativity On Demand – How to Ignite and Sustain the Fire of Genius – Michael J. Gelb
  13. Manage Your Day-to-Day - Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, & Sharpen Your Creative Mind – Jocelyn K. Glei
  14. The Creative Habit – Learn It and Use It for Life – Twyla Tharp
  15. The Talent Code – Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and Just About Anything – Daniel Coyle
  16. The Willpower Instinct – How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It – Kelly McGonigal
  17. Grit To Great – How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You From Ordinary To Extraordinary – Linda Kaplan Thaler & Robin Koval

Mindset & Workflow Youtube Channels, Websites, and Social Media Resources

  1. Siim Land – Life coach offering advice, techniques, and one-on-one coaching concerning physical and mental health, productivity, motivation, general well-being, diet (particularly the ketogenic diet), and intermittent fasting.
  2. Motivation Grid – Offers motivational and inspirational quotes and videos for self-improvement.
  3. Be Inspired – Offers motivational and inspirational quotes, videos, and book lists for self-improvement.
  4. Thomas DeLauer – Life, health, and fitness coach offering advice on topics such as exercise, nutrition, and motivation.
  5. Adam Ivy – Music producer and educator offering advice and techniques on topics such as building an online business, networking, marketing, and branding.
  6. Robin Sharma –Author and speaker offering advice and techniques centred around leadership and personal mastery.
  7. Elliot Hulse – Life and fitness coach that offers advice on how to become the strongest version of yourself in all areas of your life.
  8. Lewis Howes – Author and talk show host offering advice and techniques on becoming your greatest self. Hosts a regular podcast where successful people in a variety of fields are interviewed in order to share wisdom.
  9. Brian Johnson – Offers advice and techniques on a variety of topics all with the goal of helping a person optimize their life. Brian has read many books on these subjects and has gleaned from these books their most important nuggets of wisdom. These have then been organized into what he calls “Philosopher's Notes” or “101 Classes”.
  10. Actualized.org –Life coach offering advice and techniques as well as one-on-one coaching on how to master your psychology and live an extraordinary life.

Music Production and Music Marketing Resources

Music Production and Music MarketingYoutube Channels, Websites, and Social Media Resources

  1. Sadowick Production – Offers electronic music production tutorials, sample packs, sound banks, and project files for a variety of EDM genres. Uses Ableton Live but many of the ideas and techniques can be applied using any DAW. The videos and products offered range from beginner to advanced making them relevant resources to check out no matter what your skill level is at.
  2. EDM Tips – EDM producer named Will Darling who offers advice and techniques for creating a variety of EDM genres of music. This is done through tutorials, courses, and some very handy free resources. The instructor has been an EDM producer for 20 years and teaches the material in a clear and concise manner with opportunities to practice what you have just learned built into the pace of the courses. Uses Ableton Live but many of the ideas and techniques can be applied using any DAW.
  3. Panos Savvidis – EDM producer offering advice and techniques for creating a variety of EDM genres. Uses FL Studio but many of the ideas and techniques can be applied using any DAW.
  4. Heroic Academy – A music management agency that also offers resources covering a variety of topics in the music industry including marketing, networking, mastering tracks, and using Soundcloud, among others.
  5. ADSR Music Production Tutorials –Offers electronic music production tutorials and advice on sound design and synthesis, sample packs, sound banks, and project files for a variety of EDM genres. Uses Ableton Live but many of the ideas and techniques can be applied using any DAW. The videos and products offered range from beginner to advanced making them relevant resources to check out no matter what your skill level is at.
  6. EDWAN –EDM producer offering advice and techniques for creating a variety of EDM genres. Uses FL Studio but many of the ideas and techniques can be applied using any DAW.
  7. SeamlessR –Electronic music producer offering advice and techniques for creating electronic music with lots of insight on the music industry in general. Uses FL Studio but many of the ideas and techniques can be applied using any DAW.
  8. Sonic Scoop –Offers tutorials and interviews filled with advice and techniques for a variety of subjects relevant for music production and music marketing as well as gear reviews.
  9. EDMProd – EDM producer, podcast host, and author named Sam Matla who offers advice and techniques for creating a variety of EDM genres of music. This is done through tutorials, courses, podcasts, and some very handy free resources. Through his “Prodcasts” Sam regularly interviews artists and other people who have become successful in the music industry. The interviews provide important and relevant knowledge and advice for aspiring musicians. Sam's courses and tutorials teach the material in a clear and concise manner with opportunities to practice what you have just learned built into the pace of the courses. Uses Ableton Live but many of the ideas and techniques can be applied using any DAW.
  10. Hooktheory –Offers an online ebook that teaches music theory using a system called relative notation. They also offer an easy to use online program called Hookpad that allows you to quickly write out melodies and chord progressions. The program has a feature that suggests which chords sound the best together.

Music Production and Music Marketing E-Books

  1. Creative Strategies – Techniques & strategies for each stage of the production process - Sam Matla
  2. The Producer's Guide to Workflow & Creativity – How to beat creative block, finish more music, and have fun doing it – Sam Matla
  3. Become a Music Making Machine – Get more music finished, more quickly, and to a higher standard than ever before - Will Darling
  4. The No-Bullshit Musician's Guide to DIY Self-Promotion – Landr Select

Music Production Online Courses

  1. Music Theory for EDM Producers – Will Darling

  2. The Ultimate EDM Mixing Course – Will Darling

  3. EDM Foundations – Sam Matla

  4. Workflow Foundations – Sam Matla & Connor O'Brien

  5. The Road to Mainstage – Bass Kleph

  6. Holistic Songwriting - Friedmann Findeisen

Udemy Courses

I have taken a variety of courses on Udemy.com. Some of these have been Ableton Live specific. Other courses use Ableton Live yet still offer a lot of useful content no matter what DAW you are using. Out of all the courses that I have taken here are some of the best ones in my opinion:

  1. Ultimate Ableton Live Complete: Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 – Jason Allen, Ph.D./Ableton Certified Trainer
  2. Music Theory for Electronic Musicians - Jason Allen, Ph.D./Ableton Certified Trainer
  3. Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 2 – Minor Keys - Jason Allen, Ph.D./Ableton Certified Trainer
  4. Sampling: Using Sampling for Sound Design & Production - Jason Allen, Ph.D./Ableton Certified Trainer
  5. Introduction to Electronic Music Production with Ableton – Sam Matla
  6. Songwriting, Marketing, and Building Your Brand With Music – Christopher Greenwood
  7. Smart Songwriting: Write Great Songs That Attract Listeners – Christopher Greenwood

Many thanks to Dan for sharing his list of resources!

What would you add or change to this list? Let us know in the comments below!

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About the Author

My name's Will Darling. I've been making and playing dance music for over 20 years, and share what I've learnt on EDMtips. Get in touch on Facebook.

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