Capturing a live performance is worth more than re-playing a sample.
A clear process of making results in a clear experience of listening.
Have the music sounding coherent at each stage of its crafting.
Seek sounds compelling on their own.
Pay attention to those (fleeting) moments the music takes you outside of itself.
How did you create the conditions for that to happen?
Re-use what you already have elsewhere in the piece before making something new.
Synthetic-made need not mean synthetic-sounding.
The acoustic is the richest starting point and a model for your ending point.
A beat of any type hems in the direction in which the music can move, so drum carefully.
If a collection of sounds work together, try to make several pieces with these sounds.
Use reverb, but without blurring the individual parts or their collective texture.
Effects are maximized at the exact threshold point where it’s hard to tell
if they’re being used, or how.
Melodies make great bass lines.
The shorter the sound, the more space it leaves for other ones.
Your choice of timbres is a key composing decision because which sounds signals as much as how the sounds are used.
Imagine composing as the secular equivalent of a devotional practice:
making something that invites closer attention.
If you’re convinced by the sound, maybe someone else will be too.
Even the briefest of pieces can be arranged into a form, tidied up, and finished.
This is good practice for future (and longer) work.