So, here is my proposed agenda that I sent her - The first lesson isn't for two weeks so I can make changes, can anybody make any recommendations?
And no, before you mention it, I will not be teaching her on Ableton Live. I will be teaching her on REASON first. I'm final on that. I think that it's better for her to learn how to operate in a hardware type setting before we start abstracting things like in Live. Besides, Reason is a simpler program overall. It's not as flexible, but too many options can be a hindrance when you have a total N00B.
Anyways, here's my proposed schedule that I sent to her:
The program I'll get you started with is called REASON.
It's a good starter program with about 85 - 90% of the sound quality
of more professional, but more complicated programs. The biggest
advantage of REASON is that it looks like a real studio, with all the
controls you would see on hardware equipment. If you learn on REASON,
you'll know how to operate in a real studio.
First, I would discuss MIDI with you. That means 'Musical Instrument
Digital Interface', and it's the basic composition tool for most
electronic music. You'll need it for everything except for maybe old
school hip-hop. House, techno, trance, Drum and Bass, Breaks all will
require some knowledge of midi. We will go into greater detail about
MIDI and arrangement later on.
The second lesson would be on synthesis, or how to make / modify your
own sounds. We will use something called "subtractive synthesis". We
will discuss three basic things;
1. Oscilators (what makes the sound)
2. Filters (what changes the tone of the sound)
3. LFOs and Envelopes (change the sound over time)
Honestly, I could talk for weeks about synthesis. However, I will
just give you an introduction. For most times, you don't need to make
a sound from scratch, you can use a preset sound and as long as you
know the three things above, you can change that sound to your own
tastes, which is important.
The third visit, we could talk about some basic effects and mixing.
This is 95% art and 5% science. This seperates the pros from the
beginners, so there's not much I can teach you in a day - it took me
two years to get good at mixing. (by the way, I assume that you know
but some people think "mixing" like a DJ does... I don't mean mixing
records like a DJ. mixing is the term used by audio engineers use
when they mix multiple channels of sound to produce one recording - in
the old days they were mixing vocals, bass, drums, guitar, and all the
other instruments on to multi-track tape. We will do something
similar with electronic sources.)
Lastly, we'll talk about arrangement - how to lay out a track that has
tasteful variation, builds and releases, or other things. Up to this
point, we will only work with loops, and from this point on we will
actually make "tracks".
anyways, I hope this doesn't intimidate you, but if you want to
learn enough to get started, you'll probably want to visit for about 3
to 5 hours. Any less, and it's wasted time, any more and we'll just
What kind of music are you interested in? Could you provide me some
links to producers or genres you like? That way I can tailor what I
will teach to your personal style.