How did you learn?

Hello everyone,

I’ve been interested in making live music with live coding for not so long and was wondering a few things.

  1. What live coding language did you learn first?
  2. How did you learn it?
  3. How do you get from playing single patterns to forming a whole?


1 Like

Hi Florian !

Good question, do you mean the first language specifically learned for live coding ? In that case, I kinda never learned any of the “traditional” ones really well, because after dabbling in ChucK, TidalCycles and SCLang for a bit I fairly quickly decided I wanted to build my own system(s), and learned how to use them along the way. Having some years of previous programming experience surely helped, but it’s not necessary I suppose.

Still takes a lot of practice, though, because creating a system and using it are somewhat different things.

That being said, learning in that case is mostly experimenting with the features of the chosen language as a first step, and later on trying to focus on musically meaningful combinations. Not getting stuck on the same material for too long and making cuts is something I had to practice a lot. Like, set a theme you want to start out with, and a theme you want to arrive at, and try to modulate between the two. Record the whole thing to check if you actually succeeded. Also, become familiar enough with the language so you can listen to yourself instead of just struggling with the syntax.

I’d say there’s no magic bullet or secret here, it’s mostly practice and experience. General experience as a musician helped me a lot because it built a general sensitivity to musical dynamics etc., but again, I’ve seen and heard a lot of good live coders who haven’t had any musical experience before, so I’d say it’s not mandatory either way.

There’s an interesting thread about practicing here: How do you practice?

Hi @parkellipsen!

Thank you for your reply.
Having experiences in music, but bit so much with coding, I’ll try to focus on getting myself familiar with the language.
Also, your approch by theme is very interesting and I will for sure try that out!



I learned it before documentation for it existed, so I learned by watching @yaxu’s video recordings. I also learned from modifying and playing with his code snippets that he posted in his SoundCloud clips. Then I tried using it every day for a year and “practiced”.

Ah, this is a matter of personal taste. It’s a very creative question and there is no right or wrong answer.


  • play multiple patterns together
  • separate patterns into different sonic frequencies (e.g. low, medium, high)
  • separate patterns into different densities (e.g. busy percussion vs slow textural elements)

I would say just play with layers, learn what you like, learn what you don’t like.


Thanks @kindohm!
I didn’t tought about watching performances.
I’ll definetly give it a go.