Master Ableton with THESE Shortcuts | Part 1

Welcome to the first part of our Ableton Key Commands series! In this blog post, we will explore the essential key commands that every Ableton Live user should know to enhance their music production workflow. Mastering these key commands will help you save time and navigate through Ableton Live more efficiently.


Overview of Essential Key Commands:

  1. Save (Cmd + S): The simplest and most crucial key command in any software, Cmd + S, saves your current project instantly. Make it a habit to save your work frequently to avoid losing any valuable progress.
  2. Undo (Cmd + Z): Made a mistake? No worries, hit Cmd + Z to undo your last action. This command is a lifesaver when experimenting with different ideas.
  3. Computer Keyboard Toggle (M – Computer Keyboard): Quickly enable or disable the computer keyboard.
  4. Toggle Second Window (Cmd + Shift + W): If you work with multiple monitors, this key command is invaluable. It allows you to toggle the second window in Ableton Live, making it easier to access different views simultaneously.
  5. Clip View vs. Device View (Up Arrow + Shift + Tab): Switch between Clip View and Device View with Up Arrow + Shift + Tab. This helps you focus on specific aspects of your tracks without getting overwhelmed.
  6. Show/Hide Detail (Cmd + Shift + L): Free up screen space by using Cmd + Shift + L to show or hide the Detail View. This is especially handy for smaller screens or laptops.
  7. Activate/Deactivate Clips (0): Press ‘0’ to activate or deactivate selected clips in your session view. It’s an efficient way to control which clips are playing.
  8. Select Loop (Command + L): Quickly select the loop region using Command + L. It’s a time-saver when you want to work on specific sections of your arrangement.
  9. Draw Mode (B): Toggle Draw Mode on and off using the ‘B’ key. In this mode, you can draw automation or MIDI data directly on the clip.
  10. Browser Search (Ctrl + F): Easily find and access devices, samples, or presets by using Ctrl + F to search within the browser.

Explanation and Application of Key Commands: Now, let’s see these key commands in action and understand how they can improve your music production process:

  1. Imagine you’re working on an intricate beat, and suddenly, the power goes out! No worries; thanks to Cmd + S, you saved your project moments before the outage, preventing any data loss.
  2. You made a drastic change to a synthesizer patch but don’t like the result. With Cmd + Z, you effortlessly revert to the previous state and try a different approach.
  3. You want to record a vocal take without the metronome, press ‘M,’ and it’s gone! Now you can perform without distractions.
  4. While mixing, you need to access a specific plugin’s parameters quickly. Cmd + Shift + W brings up the plugin window instantly.
  5. You’re working on a complex MIDI arrangement, and toggling between Clip View and Device View (Up Arrow + Shift + Tab) helps you focus on refining the MIDI notes or adjusting the instrument’s settings.
  6. Need more screen space for editing MIDI clips or arranging audio? Use Cmd + Shift + L to hide the Detail View and free up valuable workspace.
  7. Your project has multiple clips playing simultaneously, and you want to isolate specific elements. Use ‘0’ to deactivate unwanted clips, narrowing down the mix to the essentials.
  8. To create a seamless loop for your track’s chorus, select the desired section and press Command + L. The loop is set, and you can now work on perfecting that section.
  9. Drawing automation is essential for adding movement and expression to your music. With ‘B’ for Draw Mode, you can effortlessly draw automation lines on clips and devices.
  10. The browser is your treasure trove of sounds and effects. Utilize Ctrl + F to find the perfect element for your track without scrolling through endless lists.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Create muscle memory for the most used key commands to work faster and more fluidly.
  • Customize key commands according to your preferences and workflow.
  • Regularly review and practice using key commands to reinforce your memory.

Conclusion: Mastering these essential Ableton key commands will significantly boost your productivity and creative output. Incorporate these shortcuts into your music production process to streamline your workflow. Be sure to check out the corresponding YouTube video for a more in-depth demonstration of these key commands.


  • Have you already been using some of these essential key commands in your Ableton Live workflow?
  • Which key command do you find the most useful in your music production process?
  • Are there any other key commands that you frequently use and would like to share with the community?

Thanks for watching part one of our Ableton Key Commands series. If you are new to Ableton want to review our Ableton Beginners Guide be sure to catch up. Make sure to subscribe on YouTube for weekly tips and tricks. All first-time clients receive a free stereo-mastered sample, inquire to get your free sample now.