Being a music producer is portrayed by the media as a very glamorous but seemingly quite an elite job. The names of people such as Timbaland, Jay Z, Dr Dre and Quincy Jones are known across the globe. However, this image has made the career seem almost impossible to access for the general person. How can you go about breaking into the industry without being lucky enough to know the right people? If you have a passion for music production and want to get into it then here are a few tips to help you get further in the job.
Analyse Your Strengths
Music producers are expected to do a vast array of work nowadays. Different people specialise more in certain areas and then employ others to fulfil the other roles or approach others to get these things done on their behalf. One of the first things you should do is work out exactly what it is that you are strong at. What do you feel you can do well? Make a list so that you can understand your own strengths and weaknesses. Look at whether you are a talented musician or not. Are you technically minded and understand sound engineering? Are your personable skills one of your biggest assets? How is your knowledge of music theory? Be honest with yourself about your aptitude to use technology and computer software. Only once you have worked out what you can do well will you be able to decide what you need to improve and what you can live without knowing. Choose some of your information gaps and work on them. Either go to college and study or get experience learning from others how to do some of the tasks you feel less confident in. Knowledge is power so they say and as you build up this knowledge so your confidence and skill will increase. You don’t need to know how to do everything but you should attempt to improve on many of the aspects of music production to make you a more attractive prospect to musicians.
You are not going to go from zero to a hero overnight. You need to work your way up the ladder like with any career. Experience is key to your self-development and it will be an invaluable way of learning the ropes. As you spend time fulfilling different job roles in a recording studio so your technical skills will improve and your breadth of knowledge will increase. How certain things relate to one another and the practical reasons for how and why things are done will be apparent to you as you work within the field. One good piece of advice is to try to work in an environment which is similar to the route you wish to follow. Obviously, all music producers work slightly differently but by finding a place to work which is similar to your interests you will learn more transferable skills you can use in the future. There is no point spending years working within sound production with an orchestra if you want to become an electronic music producer. Whilst some aspects will remain the same you will be spending time learning things not pertinent to your future goals.
This could make or break your success at becoming a music producer. As you get work experience you need to build up a network of people who can share ideas with you and have contact with other people within the industry. When you get to the point of running your own recording studio you will need these contacts to help you with all manner of things. You might need backing musicians or equipment suppliers. It could be that these contacts can introduce you to other people who are interested in your work and this could lead to valuable working opportunities in the future. No man is an island as they say and within music production this is very much the case. As stated earlier you won’t be expected to know how to do everything but music producers will have to know a way to get these things done even if it is not done by oneself. Attend events and network yourself through social media. Whatever it takes do it! Your network or lack of could change whether you make it or not so put the time into it.