• Matt Morrell

The Best Ableton Live Teacher on YouTube is a Children's Puppet

I woke up this morning thinking about a puppet.

Over the last few months, I have been working on learning Ableton Live, a piece of software for producing and recording music. It was developed for DJs and dance music (i.e. the "live" part of the name) but it is incredibly powerful for creating all sorts of music.

Ableton is not necessarily user friendly - many people install the software and abandon it within a few minutes. I was definitely one of those people and learning Ableton has been on my list for years while the (expensive) program sat dormant on my hard drive.

The initial learning curve has created a ripe market for a thriving YouTube ecosystem of free tutorials by a range of teachers, musicians, hobbyists, and pros. Ill Factor's Beat Academy, Andrew Huang, and Underbelly's You Suck at Producing are some of my favorites.

And then there's Reid Stefan, a professional producer who has millions of streams on Spotify, incredible tutorials, and a massive following. On the Internet though, he's a puppet.

Initially, it feels like a gimmick. Over time, the content starts to take over and you start to trust the puppet. At some point you forget you're watching a puppet and you just *learn*, which is the whole point.

How do you make a real connection with someone else across the Internet? How do you do it in a book, a song, a movie? Do you put everything out there?

I've wasted so much time waiting for everything to line up. I'll do it when I lose weight. I'll do it when I don't have any debt. I'll do it when things settle down.

What if I had stopped worrying about how I would be perceived and just start putting things out there? What if I take the things that make me *weird* and put that right there out front? What's the worst that could happen? Rejection? Silence?

Put the work first and do whatever it takes to release the ego. Use a puppet if you have to. Just do the work.

Here's the video that got me thinking about this. The level of skill here is unbelievable. I love how there is no acknowledgement of Reid being a puppet. Amazing.


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© 2020 by Matt Morrell