Five steps to becoming a successful music producer


So you want to be a music producer. Besides a deep – if not obsessive – love of music, what else is required to jumpstart this career path? It takes a combination of knowledge, hard work, will power, and creativity. Talent too, of course. The road can be long, winding, and packed with traffic and unexpected obstructions, but therein lies the inspiration for music, right? Here are some steps you can take for increasing your chances of success:


Being a music producer requires a lot more than a love of the art. Breaking out onto any scene calls for knowledge in the art of marketing. Business skills in general, such as time management, money management, and how to launch a startup, are all very relevant. In this sense, a college education with a business or marketing emphasis may be useful. With that said, just about anything can be learned online for free or at a reasonable price, business skills included.


One of the biggest misconceptions about the mashup genre and other digitally-dense forms of musical expression is that it doesn’t require any musical talent or experience. While years of playing piano aren’t required for somebody to confidently produce brilliantly composed tracks from a variety of artists, having some grasp of musical fundamentals is important for communicating in a team setting. If instruments are foreign, find one which seems fun to learn and find an instructor through to get started. Even if you never play that instrument for a single recording, the experience will undoubtedly improve your abilities as a music producer.


Approaching talented musicians for possible collaborations often requires a reputation of some sort. It all starts with getting out there and meeting people. This can even be done online, as much as attending live shows is still recommended. These days, entire albums can be collaborated on by dozens of artists without any of them ever meeting face-to-face, but nothing will ever materialize if connections aren’t made. Connections are only made if you reach out and stay active.



Producing music involves a lot of trial and error. Hours and hours of recordings and sound engineering are required for the average professional-grade track. Many hours which seem promising may lead nowhere, whereas sometimes the seemingly forgettable work is the source of a beautiful sample or hook. Have an open mind when working with other musicians, and always be willing to try something new.


There’s nothing wrong with sticking with a single genre of music, even if it kind of goes against the core principle of the mashup. However, an aspiring music producer should never stop giving new music a listen. This is especially the case if mashups are your thing. There might be a Croatian folk song out there with a chorus which, when slowed down and repeated, provides the perfect sample for a hip hop recording you’re working on.

Being a music producer certainly requires an undying love of music. But it also calls for skills above and beyond a good ear. Music producers must have business savvy, know the basics of musical theory, connect with musicians, and be willing to do the hard work it takes to create something compelling. Stick close to these tenets, find an audience, and there’s no telling where the music will take you.


Article Submitted By Community Writer

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