How to Make Music Without Playing an Instrument

It’s very possible to make music without playing an instrument through the use of your laptop, phone, or tablet.

  • You can create loop-based music using music samples (such as vocal samples, basslines, synth samples, etc)
  • You can create music using MIDI and virtual instruments such as samplers and drum machines.
  • You can use music apps on your phone or tablet to create music using a combination of the above methods.

Create Loop-Based Music

It’s quite easy to get started with making Loop-Based Music as a beginner as long as you have a computer, phone, or tablet. Loop-based music is music created by putting together different samples to create a full song.

These can be done in software applications such as Garageband or Ableton Live, referred to as DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) Software.

For example, Ableton Live has a great “session view” where you can create full arrangements of loop-based music. Though, there are also plenty of other free DAWs as alternative options.

A loop can consist of a few bars and you can simply repeat this pattern and tweak effects as time goes on. An editor allows you to arrange and tweak these loops with various effects.

There are an incredible amount of loops and samples available online: LoopCloud and Splice are the two options I would recommend most.

Multiple tracks play simultaneously and each track has its own effect settings which come into play. Loop-based music is often found in dance and electronic genres, where loops are used particularly often to create drum tracks.

Create MIDI-Based Music

One way of making music is by using virtual instruments such as synthesizers directly in your computer. This lets you play tones and melodies without needing any musical instrument skills.

The DAWs that we mentioned previously (such as Garageband or Ableton Live) all come with the capability of playing virtual instruments.

It’s easy to learn the basics of music theory, but after that, you don’t necessarily need to go crazily in-depth into the theory. You can get plugins such as Scalar 2 by Loopmasters which makes creating chord progressions and melodies very easy.

Using Music Apps

There are plenty of great music-making apps for both iOS and Android devices which you can use to make music. FL Studio mobile is a popular choice for creating full arrangements, and it has great sounds right out of the box. Caustic is another great option, which is more suited to sculpting sounds, but it didn’t seem quite as easy to use for me in terms of creating full song arrangements.

Can You Compose Music Without Playing an Instrument?

It’s very possible to write music without playing it with an instrument, and there are many popular composers who never touched a musical instrument. However, it’s a lot easier to understand musical concepts by playing an instrument.

Either way, you have plenty of options for making the music sound good through instruments, once you know how to write the music. The modern world is full of amazing digital possibilities!

The Drawbacks of Playing Music Without an Instrument

There is not as much feedback as you would get from playing an instrument and listening to the results live. Particularly at the start, the process of producing music can be more tedious and less fun than simply playing it yourself.

Playing a musical instrument can be a very nicely contained way to come up with new creative ideas. The problem is that you don’t develop as a musician as much if you rely too heavily on virtual instruments and apps.

Playing a musical instrument by itself also allows you to switch off from digital devices and take a break.

You should try to find the best of both worlds: learning an instrument and also having fun playing music through apps. It’s not too difficult, and there are plenty of good choices out there!

It’s also much more engaging to perform live with a musical instrument.

Conclusion

You don’t need to play any musical instrument at all in order to create great music. No matter what your level of musical knowledge is, there are plenty of applications and programs that allow you to create your own melodies.

However, if you do find that you love to create music on your computer, I would certainly recommend that you learn to play a musical instrument, as it can open up your world to a whole new layer of creative possibilities.

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