Songwriting Advice

How To Make Psychedelic Music

how to make psychedelic music lyric assistant

The world of psychedelic music is vast, colorful, and intriguing. The genre has a rich history, stemming from the experimental and mind-expanding sounds of the 1960s and 70s, with artists like The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Pink Floyd transcending traditional musical boundaries. Today, psychedelic music is more diverse than ever, spanning genres like rock, electronic, and even pop. If you're inspired by this style and want to create your own piece of mind-bending auditory art, you're in luck! This step-by-step guide will teach you how to make psychedelic music, and if you want to take your songwriting to new heights, be sure to check out Lyric Assistant to craft the perfect lyrics for your masterpiece!

1. Absorb inspiration

The first step to creating psychedelic music is immersing yourself in the genre's rich history. Listen to and analyze the classics while also exploring contemporary artists. This will familiarize you with the various techniques, sounds, and structures that are fundamental to psychedelic music.

2. Choose your instruments and equipment

While no specific instruments are required to create psychedelic music, there are certain staples that can help achieve the unique, hypnotic, and immersive effects. Traditional instruments like electric guitars, keyboards, and sitars can be paired with digital tools such as synthesizers, sequencers, and drum machines. Additionally, consider incorporating unique and unconventional sounds, like nature recordings, vocal samples, and found sound effects.

3. Experiment with sound-shaping tools

One of the key characteristics of psychedelic music is the manipulation of sound, which can be achieved through the use of effects pedals, plugins, and production techniques. Some prominent effects to experiment with include:

- Delay: Creates echo-like repetitions of a sound
- Reverb: Adds space and atmosphere to your track
- Phasers and flangers: Modifies and swirls the audio, creating a psychedelic sensation
- Wah-wah pedal: Alters the tone of an instrument, giving it a voice-like quality
- Reverse effects: Takes a sound and plays it backward, creating otherworldly textures

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Unlock the key to your music career. This game-changing resource puts over 3,000 of the most influential music industry contacts at your fingertips.

Connect directly with the top A&Rs, Music Managers, Producers, Record Labels & Booking Agents who can elevate your music to new heights. With all the content information you need, including email addresses and phone numbers. Don't just dream of success, make it a reality.

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4. Structure your song

Psychedelic music often features unconventional song structures, with sudden changes, extended instrumental breaks, and meandering compositions. However, this is by no means a rule, and you are free to structure your song as you wish. One approach could be to start with a core structure or chord progression, then layer and intertwine different melodies and sounds to build complexity and interest.

5. Write mind-expanding lyrics

The lyrical content of psychedelic music often focuses on abstract themes such as spirituality, consciousness, dreams, and the human experience. To generate ideas, tap into your own experiences and emotions, drawing from moments of introspection, wonder, or even confusion. When crafting your lyrics, experiment with metaphorical language and surreal imagery. If you need assistance in writing lyrics for your track, Lyric Assistant is the perfect tool to help you find the right words.

How To Make Psychedelic Music Example

Imagine you want to create a modern psychedelic electronic track, inspired by artists like Tame Impala and Flume. Start by choosing a combination of digital and analog instruments – perhaps a synthesizer, electric guitar, and a drum machine. Experiment with different chords, progressions, and melodies while incorporating effects like delay, reverb, and phasers. Once your instrumental arrangement is complete, focus on penning introspective lyrics that explore themes of identity and perception. Finally, polish your track with additional sound design elements, such as ambient recordings or reversed samples, and you'll have a truly ethereal sonic trip!

Now that you have the knowledge to create your own psychedelic music, the sky's the limit! Dive into experimentation, embrace the unconventional, and let your creativity flourish. The unique, immersive, and mind-bending nature of psychedelic music is an invitation for both listeners and creators to explore the depths of the mind and the bounds of sonic possibility. And when you're ready to write your next spellbinding song, be sure to use Lyric Assistant to ensure your lyrics are nothing short of transcendent. Happy tripping!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is psychedelic music?

Psychedelic music is a genre that aims to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs. It features unique vocal effects, unconventional song structures, and a wide variety of instruments and electronic sounds to create an immersive and sometimes otherworldly sound.

What instruments are commonly used in psychedelic music?

Common instruments include electric guitars with effects pedals, synthesizers, sitars, tamburas, electronic organs, drum kits, and various types of percussion. Non-traditional instruments like the theremin and mellotron are also often used to add unique textures.

Can psychedelic music be created without instruments?

Yes, with modern music production software (DAWs), it's possible to create psychedelic music using virtual instruments, samples, and synthesized sounds, without ever touching a physical instrument.

What are some of the essential effects used in creating psychedelic music?

Essential effects include reverb, delay, phaser, flanger, chorus, wah-wah, and distortion. These effects contribute to the swirling, spacious, and mind-bending sounds characteristic of the genre.

What role do synthesizers play in psychedelic music?

Synthesizers are pivotal in creating the lush, textured soundscapes of psychedelic music. Their ability to generate a vast array of sounds, from otherworldly pads to piercing leads, makes them a staple in the genre.

How important are lyrics in psychedelic music?

While not always the focus, lyrics in psychedelic music often explore themes of existentialism, consciousness, introspection, and the human experience, and can be a powerful tool for conveying the spirit of the music.

What is a DAW and why is it important for producing psychedelic music?

A Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is software used for recording, editing, mixing, and producing audio files. DAWs are important in psychedelic music production for their ability to manipulate audio and create the rich, layered textures that are characteristic of the genre.

Is it difficult to learn how to produce psychedelic music?

As with any genre, there is a learning curve to producing psychedelic music. It requires understanding sound design, music theory, and audio effects. However, with perseverance and practice, it's an achievable skill.

Are there any noteworthy psychedelic music producers or bands I should study?

Yes, bands like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, as well as contemporary acts like Tame Impala and The Flaming Lips, have been influential. Producers like George Martin and David Fridmann are also noteworthy.

How do I know if my track fits within the psychedelic genre?

While there is a great deal of variation within psychedelic music, tracks commonly have an experimental nature, feature prominent audio effects, and often induce a trance-like or contemplative state in the listener.

What tempo is best for psychedelic music?

The tempo can vary widely depending on the subgenre and mood you wish to convey. It's best to experiment and let the feeling of the track guide your choice rather than adhere to a set tempo.

Can psychedelic music include elements from other genres?

Absolutely. Fusion with other genres such as electronic, rock, jazz, and world music is common and encouraged to create new and innovative sounds.

How can I create the 'trippy' sound associated with psychedelic music?

This 'trippy' sound can be achieved by layering various audio effects, using unconventional scales and chords, incorporating unpredictable rhythmic elements, and applying techniques such as reverse audio and extreme panning.

What kind of music theory should I know for making psychedelic music?

Understanding modal scales, exotic scales (like the pentatonic or whole-tone scale), and chord progressions that differ from traditional Western music can help in creating the unique sound associated with psychedelic music.

Can I produce good psychedelic music on a low budget?

Absolutely. With the availability of affordable DAWs and free plugins, it's possible to produce psychedelic music on a tight budget. Creativity and ingenuity often outweigh the need for expensive gear.

How important is audio mixing and mastering in psychedelic music?

Good mixing and mastering are crucial in psychedelic music to ensure the layered instruments and effects work harmoniously without cluttering the sound space and to achieve the right overall atmosphere.

What are some common songwriting techniques for psychedelic music?

Songwriting techniques include the use of droning notes, repetitive hypnotic rhythms, modal or symmetrical melodies, and dynamic contrasts. Building a track around a lengthy jam session is another common approach.

How can I make my psychedelic music stand out?

Incorporate unique sounds, fuse different genres, leverage unusual song structures, and experiment with sound design. Keeping an open and explorative mindset is key to standing out.

Are field recordings and ambient sounds used in psychedelic music?

Yes, field recordings and ambient sounds can be employed to add depth and realism, and to create an atmospheric backdrop that enhances the overall psychedelic experience.

How significant is the album art for psychedelic music releases?

Album art is often significant in the psychedelic genre, as it visually represents the music's character and can enhance the listener's sensory experience, similar to the iconic album covers of the 1960s.

Where can I share my psychedelic music?

You can share your music on various platforms such as SoundCloud, Bandcamp, YouTube, as well as social media channels. Joining online communities for psychedelic music can also help you reach an audience.

How can I legally protect my psychedelic music?

You should register your work with a performance rights organization in your country, which will help protect your copyright and collect royalties on your behalf when your music is played and distributed.

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About Toni Mercia

Toni Mercia is a Grammy award-winning songwriter and the founder of Lyric Assistant. With over 15 years of experience in the music industry, Toni has written hit songs for some of the biggest names in music. She has a passion for helping aspiring songwriters unlock their creativity and take their craft to the next level. Through Lyric Assistant, Toni has created a tool that empowers songwriters to make great lyrics and turn their musical dreams into reality.

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