Ableton's interactive lessons teach the basics of music production

Learning Music cites real-world examples in free tutorials.


It's incredibly easy to make a music track today with all the killer tools out there. You don't have to convince a bunch of musicians to show up in your garage to record a session, nor do you need to become a multi-instrumentalist like Prince. All you need is a decent digital audio workstation like GarageBand or Ableton Live, and you can put together your own version of a hit song in a surprisingly short amount of time. Not everyone is savvy about creating tunes with their computer, however. In order to help, the folks behind Ableton Live have a new website called Learning Music to help anyone with a web browser learn the basics of modern music production.

The interactive site has dozens of mini-lessons, including sections on beats, notes and scales, chords, bass lines and even song structure. It assumes no previous knowledge, either, making it a good starting point for the newbie producer. There are several real-world songs deconstructed, as well, including Queen's "We Will Rock You," Robert Hood's "Ride," and Beyonce's "All the Single Ladies" to help you see music in action. Each lesson has an interactive, Ableton-live style section that gives you a space to practice the ideas in, like adding in kick drum parts or editing a melody on a piano. You can export many of these little examples into Live, as well, which turns the whole thing into an interactive advertisement for Ableton's flagship music sequencer.

Still, if you're new to the music production game, Learning Music is a solid option. The instruction is simple and easy to follow, and the ability to play with the knowledge could keep you coming back for more. The website joins Ableton's book on creative production strategies and artist-led instructional production videos as the company's push into training up a whole new generation of producers, each of whom might become customers.