One of the most common advices every music producer would give a beginner is to make sure they love listening to lots of music. This is an essential part when it comes to start making your own music productions because the biggest part of a musician’s day is listening, making and mixing music.
What every beginner in the music production field should ask himself, is if he truly wants to get a job as a music producer. If the answer is yes, his work will be sometimes hard and some days maybe even considered a grind, but always pleasant and rewarding when listening to the results.
How to get a job as a music producer
So let us look to the basics of becoming a music producer.
After the analyzation of a music production, the learning process follows. This is the process where you gather all the information from every song you like listening to and start searching, reading and learning about them.
Firstly, you can gather information about the main differences between song structures in specific genres. For instance, there are crucial differences between structuring trap beats and structuring classic hip hop beats. Same goes for dubstep and chillout and eventually every other music genre.
What is more, you can start noticing whether any loops or instruments are included in the track, any sound effects that may interest you or a specific method that may have been used for the drum loops.
As time goes by, it will be easier for you to determine whether you like the overall feeling of a song and decide if you want to work on something similar or on something completely different. There are literally endless paths you could follow considering music.
Study music production
Studying music production is becoming more and more accessible for beginners, mostly due to the internet and youtube.
Every music producer can have access to millions of videos and tutorials about basic or advanced methods of creating music, covering all kinds of genres. It is up to you when it comes to how much time you are willing to invest in order to learn and improve your music creation skills.
With a simple search on youtube, anyone can discover in depth tutorials for almost every DAW, music software or plugin they want to use in their music productions and after watching them practice in the convenience of their home or studio.
There are also lots of e-books and guides available online that can help beginners create their first music productions, providing step by step tutorials and techniques on how to improve their sound and music in general.
Study your music producer models
One important aspect of learning and improving as a music producer, is to study other music producers and musicians that are already successful, especially those in those specific genres that you belong too.
Listening to their records and studying their unique styles of creating music will help you develop a better understanding of music production in general, but also acquire useful skills that they have already successfully used and made their songs sound great.
Ask yourself if there is room for improvement in their techniques and apply them to your own productions. There is no better way to upscale your music and music in general than taking something old and sometimes outdated and bringing it back to life from a fresh perspective.
Studying successful artists and music producers will be one of the most valuable free lessons you can take, so make sure you do not skip this step.
Study a musical instrument
If you know how to play an instrument, no matter the instrument, then you have one of the most useful tools available. Especially considering electronic music that most times it is a one-man situation, having the ability to play an instrument can upscale and improve your music production quality a lot.
The most common musical instruments that music producers have studied are the piano and the guitar. These are great instruments with endless possibilities. Specifically knowing how to play the piano or the keys in general, is a valuable skill as it is one of the most functional music instruments in the electronic music industry.
This is because usb and midi keyboards are some of the most essential tools for a producer, and having the ability to play them gives you a huge advantage compared to the rest of the producers.
If you have not already tried, it is highly suggested that you study one of those two musical instruments or any other instrument you may like as it will help improve your music productions’ quality by far.
Other musical instruments you may want to study are:
- Acoustic guitar
Music producer jobs
There are plenty of jobs for music producers. You can either pursue a career that is based on fame such as Timbaland, Pharrell or Dr Dre or work with famous artists, or you can pursue more conventional careers such as sound engineer or music teacher.
Both career types have the same knowledge requirements when it comes to using the equipment or creating a music production, mixing and mastering, but a career of fame requires that a producer is willing to accept and embrace publicity, whereas the other option does not.
You have to know what type of person you are and what your expectations and ambitions are before starting to pursue any of the two options, although sometimes in the music industry, unexpected situations occur and things take their own way.
The salaries of music producers have a wide range and many factors affect this range. On average, we can safely say that established music producers earn somewhere between $10.000 and $100.000 per year. Of course, there are producers that are just starting who earn much less, and successful well-known producers that make much more, up to millions.
We cannot stress enough that there does exist an exact timeline about when a producer will start earning money or obtain a stable salary. It is a profession that requires strong networking skills, creativity skills and a bit of luck in order to succeed and start living of music.
One key factor that affects the salary of a music producer is the level of experience. More experienced producers who can produce better sound and more satisfying results on both music creation and audio mixing, are highly expected to work with established artists with big budgets, so they have bigger estimated earnings.
Popularity is another important factor that determines the salary of a producer. The more popular the producer the bigger the earnings.
In order to become popular though, a music producer has to invest very big amounts of money and time. Money was invested into buying the equipment when he first started learning how to make music and all the other times that he decided it was time to upgrade his equipment.
The time that was invested can be calculated by the endless hours of working on his music projects, revisiting and improving them, learning to use his equipment and studying everything about audio mixing and mastering.
All those investments and sacrifices are taken into account to determine a producer’s salary, and it is a general rule that the more time and money you invest you increases the chances of success dramatically, although it is admittedly one of the most competitive fields.
Music production is a magnificent form of art and one of the most rewarding professions (for those who want to pursue it as a profession) in terms of creativity, satisfactions and sense of participation.
It has to be noted that it requires lots of hard work and isolation, reading and countless days of practice and research for improvement. Investing money into buying equipment is an engagement every producer has to make from the beginning, so you have to know that a start-up budget is required in order to start making your own music.
Nevertheless, we believe that it is worth the time and expenses and everyone that has a dream of becoming a music producer should at least give it a try and start experimenting with his own style, sounds and methods.
Take your time, have lots of patience, keep learning and embrace creativity. When it comes to music production, success is not an over-night process but it is available for anyone willing to work hard!