Being a music producer in this day and age is not a straightforward job. A music producer has many responsibilities. A music producer works not only on the artist’s demo file to make it better, but also works with the marketing team. That was just an example of how broad the responsibilities of a music producer are. Since a music producer has so many responsibilities, they need to be very skillful. A young music producer can struggle to survive in the big league. It can mainly be because of the lack of knowledge and skills. So in this article, I will talk about 5 fundamental skills required to be a successful music producer.
1. All about being experimental
A music producer must be experimental. It does not matter if you are a music producer that produces his/her song or a producer that helps other artists. You should be able to perform experiments with your music. People do not want to hear the same music again and again. They try to find uniqueness to a content. Even when you are working for a client, they will want some uniqueness in their music. If you keep experimenting with the music you should be able to create something that was never done before.
So you might think, “How to experiment with music?” Cause maybe you worked in the music industry for a long time, and now you are stuck. You are stuck with the same old music you made when you entered the competition, and you do not understand how to be adventurous. So we will go through some points on how to be experimental.
Playing multiple instrument:
To be adventurous, you can start off with learning a new instrument. While learning a new instrument, you might be able to learn a new trick. You can come with a sweet tone if you try to mimic the instrument sound. If you have a good knowledge of all of your instruments. You can try playing them together. Don’t stick to just one guitar and drum all your life. Learn new instruments and add them to your music!
Listen to Different Genres:
Listening to different genres is always a good idea. I will try to briefly explain why. When you listen to a different genre other than your own, you will learn to approach music differently than your usual self. You will be able to create a sound that will be a mixer of multiple genres. Hearing new genres can also motivate you to experiment with it and come up with something very nice piece of music.
Try Changing Your Tempo:
It is very common among music producers to stick with one tempo for a very long time. Try changing your tempo every now and then. Different tempos can give your sound a more relaxing or exciting vibe depending on the change.
You can start off with these techniques: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FasXmoUm8gc
2. Always polishing their music theory
Music theory is very important. It is the foundation of any musician. To be a successful music producer, he or she must have an excellent knowledge of music theory. Music producers should be able to work on what their clients need. A client may want some musical help, which will significantly improve his track. The musical producer won’t help with these sorts of problems. At least not without a good knowledge of music theory. Thus, he will need a bare minimum knowledge about music theory. Having this skill will allow a producer to work efficiently on his/her track without any errors. To get a good idea about music theory, a producer can select multiple ways. Let’s go through some of those ways.
Learning an instrument:
Learning an instrument is the best way to learn music theory. Music theory is fun and an important asset when it comes to learning an instrument. The best instrument to learn music theory is the piano. The piano layout helps to visually support the concepts learned in theory. It is also the first choice of instrument for most of the producers. But instead of choosing a piano, currently, music producers prefer the keyboard. Guitar will be the second choice of instrument for learning music theory. The guitar’s music theory can be very challenging. One will be able to work on complex music and its theory without breaking many sweats.
Books contain a lot of knowledge about music theory. It also provides worksheets and exercises for learning concepts of music theory. Some books are instruments and genre-specific. The best piano-based music theory book I found was Adult All in One Course. As it teaches how to read music and music theory. Its primary focus on how to play the piano. It is very helpful for those who have little knowledge of the piano.
Here is a video on how to learn music theory which can help you get started:
3. Technical expertise is their speciality
A producer should be able to polish a track. They should be able to control music and have the expertise on their instrument. You cannot drain your bank account on buying more hardware or software. Gain complete control over your plugin. When you have the complete control, and you know exactly what you are doing with your sound. Only then you will be able to move forward and buy a new instrument. I will advise you to start from scratch.
How to gain complete control over your instrument?
The answer is very simple. Start with one DAW or digital audio workstation. For example, if you are using FL Studio. Stick to it. Try one plugin at a time. Try to understand what it is doing to the sound. Then try to control it. Improve the sound. When you completely understand what your plugin is doing, and you can control it as you like. Try another plugin. Follow the cycle until you are done with most of the plugin. Then move to another DAW.
Why does a music producer need the skill of technical expertise?
While working for a client, a music producer should be able to serve a polished work of art for his client. A client might ask to find the perfect sound for his demo. You should be able to do these tasks without facing any problems. It is also a music producer’s job to put together all the sounds. So you should know what you will do with the track. For example, you should be the one to decide what recording process to choose that goes with the budget. One of the critical things a music producer is responsible for is the technical work including audio editing, sound design, and ghost production. You need to earn the clients trust to be a successful music producer.
Check out this video on how to learn a new DAW:
4. Being organized and well planned
Pre-production is the work done before the production begins. It usually consists of the organization of files and creating a time table. Before a sound producer can start his production, they must have everything prepared. Time does not wait for anyone. So if you want to be successful, make sure you do not waste any time doing unnecessary work.
So let us start with the organization. You should know where you keep your things. You cannot waste time finding where you put the plugin. You might come across a situation where you have a sound in your head you want to put. But you accidentally forgot about it because you could not find the plugin or instrument you were looking for. A producer must be quick. Maybe you have a good knowledge of your plugin, and you can create your sound in a few minutes. But the only thing that is stopping you from creating music is the lack of organization. So we can already tell you must organize your files. So if you are already done with organizing your file, plan your work out. Make a blueprint of what you will do. Create a checklist. After completing each work, scratch it out. By this, you will feel more organized and feel motivated to work.
Video on why we need to stay organised:
5. Staying cognizant no matter what
Self-awareness is significant when it comes to music production. You must have a sense of idea about your capability of producing music. Firstly, Compare your music with your favourite musician or artist. This will allow you to find the lacking in your music. Do not feel discouraged. Just know that your favourite artist has been doing the same job for a longer period than you. Their work will naturally be better than yours. Use this opportunity to set certain checkpoints your work will need to reach. Secondly, Take constructive criticism. Don’t just ask your family or friends how your music was. They will most certainly say anything to make you feel better. Ask fellow trusted and respected musicians who are more established. They will be able to come up with constructive criticism. It can be an eye-opening opportunity. But don’t take it just as a criticism, instead Take it as a learning experience. We all learn from our mistakes. It will allow us to get better at producing music. Always have patience. Having patience can be the most significant skill for a music producer. Without patience, creating music can be very difficult as it comes from the brain and the heart. If it is not from the heart, your music can lack certain factors that will fail to touch the heart of the audience. So take a break from time to time. It will help you get a fresh mind. Take breaks between each milestone. But never lose focus and you must work hard after the break.
Self-awareness in Music Production?
ALWAYS KEEP GOING! Remember these 5 Fundamental Skills Of A Successful Music Producer
We talked about the 5 fundamental skills of a successful music producer. But does possessing these skills guarantee your success? The answer lies within dedication. If we trade our time with dedication and practice, we are bound to achieve what we are looking for. Even having all these skills, there is no guarantee of your success. But these skills will significantly improve your opportunity of success. Remember, creativity, knowledge, first-hand skills, organized and self-awareness are the fundamental skills. You can always come up with some tricks and tips to amend the fortune of success. Hope this article helped you to clear up some concepts about music production.