Music is a universal genre of art that goes beyond ethnic, national, racial and religious lines and the presence of global music platforms like SoundCloud, Spotify and YouTube has added to the popularity. For the most part, people have always been enamored by singers or rappers, AKA the faces of music at the expense of producers, AKA the faces behind the music. Nonetheless, producers like Kanye West, DeadMau5, Skrillex, and Diplo have captured the fans’ attention over the last decade. As a result, music production is now viewed almost in the same glamorous lens as music composition and recording.
If you are looking to have a music production career, here are 7 steps to get you started:
Decide What You Want
When the younger generation talk of music production, what they have on their minds is beat-making. However, making beats is just one aspect of music production. See, beatmakers just make beats and go while producers have a say in the whole process of composing, arranging, recording, performing and releasing a song or a musical project. As such, it is important to be clear on what you want to pursue before putting time and energy into learning how to be a producer. Do you want to make beats and help write songs like Boi-1da or do you want to be the overall boss in production in the style of Dr. Dre?
Research What You Need to Hack Music Production
You can only learn music production by actually doing it. Before you even get to the more business side of the job, you need to learn the basic technical skills such as track composition, mixing, and mastering. While there’s a lot to learn from the Internet, practical knowledge goes a long way. So, use good ol’ Google to get a list of the things you need for your specific line of specialization, whether it’s a home studio, digital audio workstation or different musical instruments. When you have an idea of what’s needed, you will be able to direct your resources towards it and make the learning process easier and faster.
Familiarize Yourself with Common Software and Tools
You need to have an understanding of some of the most commonly used music production software such as FL Studio and Pro Tools to stay competitive. Notably, these tools make up part of a typical Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) which further includes an input device and a sound card or audio interface. While the best DAW’s are relatively expensive, they enable you to create a higher quality sound, so consider it an investment. Also, buy a good quality stereo receiver by reading a bunch of online stereo receiver reviews.
Learn How to Write a Decent Song
Songwriting skills are vital to having a successful music production career. Knowing how to come up with good melodies, harmonies, and rhythms will make you a better producer. Most importantly, learn how to write lyrics that not only make sense when read out loud, but that also sound great musically. It’s hard to write good songs while you don’t have the inborn talent, but you can always polish up your skills from looking at online music production tutorials.
Practice Your Craft
Once you get a good DAW, it’s time to put in work towards getting better at your craft. Dedicate a few hours a day to writing and composing music and set realistic challenges for yourself along the way. Read articles and tutorials, watch videos, etc. – anything to make you a better producer.
Enroll in a Music School to Learn Music Production
This is a no-brainer. Music production school teaches you essential music production tips that you may not find on the Internet and gives you more exposure. You will also get to build connections with other producers and artists and maybe get to intern at big music production companies.
Get the Business Part Right
As opposed to musicians and DJs, producers are almost always the ones taking care of the business side of musical projects. Producers take part in negotiations with different people that are involved in a project and further provide creative direction. So, get out of your house and build connections within your local music community. Familiarize yourself with musicians, dancers, engineers, and promoters as you might need them later.
Well, learning music production is now quite within reach for many as compared to some just a decade ago. If this is what you’re passionate about, then by all means go ahead and learn – you could just be the next big thing in the industry!