Becoming a music producer isn’t just about sitting alone with your thoughts. It is all about making progress and getting closer to your dream. Here are 8 advices on how to become a music producer.
Learn to play piano.
I would say, learn to play any instrument. However piano is the most versatile instrument for music producer. Nowadays music production is also about your ability and skills to work with MIDI. With samples libraries you can easily replace huge orchestra, drummer, guitar player or whatever instrument you like. It can be said, that your workstation – DAW – is just another instrument in your hand. And depends on you, how smart you are and how realistic you can program and put together samples. Also, whether you are just trying to work out a concept or want a particular phrase recorded, a piano is almost indispensable.
Read magazines and books on Music production
It is always good to know what is new in music industry. Master the technology. Become part of community. Be updated. Music producers are more or less geek-nerds. They like to speak a lot about new technology arrivals: microphones, preamps, mixing desk, etc...Good source for your monthly music information cake (except this website) is a Sound on Sound magazine. Also, the more you know, the more you can be sociable with other music producers. Check out our list of essential books written on music production. Choose some and improve your knowledge.
Choose your DAW and stick with it
Truly, it is not good idea to learn every other week different program. Therefore, choose one and master it! Don't forget: Your music production mainly depends on your musical skills and abilities to work on your ideas. No matter what DAW you are using – whether it is Logic, Reason, Cakewalk or Pro tools, technical output is the same – WAV audio file. The spirit makes a difference.
Learn from the others
If you don’t understand mixing, you’ll have to pay someone to do it. Or the other way is to become a student of music production course. There are many possibilities how to learn music production online and also there are some free courses from well known universities. Other option is to share your knowledge with other music producers, watch them during action – mixing and implementing what you learnt into your new productions. Nowadays there are lot of online free video courses, that can help you with your music production. Find your guru and stick with him. If you want to do everything alone – without help from the others, you are limiting yourself unnecessarily.
Collaboration is your new friend
Two things about collaboration: collaborations have produced some of the most memorable music in the history and collaboration can be success story or also nightmare. Also, If you think all day long how to become a music producer, collaboration can get you closer to your dream. Don't be afraid to go up to a producer you admire and ask him if they'd like to work with you. Earn the trust. Every collaboration can start from pretty small things – like cleaning audio-edit cuts, session preparation, etc....
Experiment with genres boundaries
If you want to come up with something new, you have to experiment: master one style and try to mix it with other (for example hip hop with folklore can work nicely). The more genres you become fluent in, the broader your horizons will be (and the more clients you’ll get).
Rework your favorite song
Take a known song and remake it. Give that song your own spirit, transform it into something totally different. With every new music production, you are pushing your own limitation and boundaries.
Train your ear. Learn how to listen first
Music production is about making music. Therefore it is a good idea to take some time out every week to listen music. Listening is a fundamental practice that you should constantly develop. Art of listening. Try to identify instruments used in the song, scales, tempo, song arrangement....Learning how to listen music will put you years ahead before music producers who haven't develop that skill.