TIPS TO START PRODUCING YOUR OWN MUSIC
We have all heard of the phrase “Knowledge is Power” and I cannot stress how true it is in the music industry. We are living in a day and age where we’ve got access to information at the tip of our fingers. So, if you are a musician who is eager to get their music out there but, you have no clue of how to do so - the answers are a search away.
This video is mainly aimed at songwriters/instrumentalists but to some extent can apply to someone who is an aspiring producer. These five tips will help you on your journey down the rabbit hole that is Music Production.
The first and most important tip is to have the material. If you are a songwriter, go finish writing your songs before you continue any further and, if you are an aspiring producer, find artists/bands with songs ready to be recorded. The reason being that without finished material, you’ll find yourself wasting time trying to do two things at the same time - writing and producing. If you are just getting into producing music, then you’ll be doing three things at the same time. So bottom line, work on your songs before producing.
The second tip is to know to play an instrument - at least the basics. Otherwise, find someone who can and is willing to work with you. This is a great skill to have for multiple reasons, first and foremost, you can accompany yourself when writing or performing and secondly you don’t have to rely or wait on someone else when you want to record an idea or even better, a whole song.
Tip number 3 could actually be a bullet point to Tip 2 and that is to spend some time learning about music theory. So key pieces of knowledge that would be helpful in your music career in general would be the ability to know what key a song is in, time signature, rhythms, intervals and chord progressions to name a few. As an artist and session musician myself, it makes my life and my bandmates’ lives a lot better when we are able to communicate about the song. In a way, we are speaking the same language. Understanding the music vocabulary will allow you to develop as a musician and as producer.
The second to last tip, and this is where we begin to get into music production, is have reference tracks for your songs. A lot of the times we try to think of who we sound like as artists and it may be that little voice in your head saying your unique, and you are but we all have influences and get inspired by songs and other artists. So make sure that for every song that you write you try to find at leat two released songs that may have influenced your song writing, that may have a synth patch that you can imagine on your song - anything that you can relate your song to. If you are starting out, and can’t spend hundreds of pounds on one track, it will probably be the case where your song might not sound like your reference tracks. However, the more you put yourself out there, the more likely it is that you meet a producer who has access to synth patches, instruments, studios etch - and this producer might want to produce your track. This is where you reference tracks come in handy - you can show the producer your vision for your song and that will give them a better idea of how to go about producing your song.
The fifth and final tip is to become acquainted with the music production vocabulary. Understanding terms like recording levels, gain structure, D.A.W., plug-ins, compression, EQ, mixing and mastering - again, to name a few - will make the process of learning a lot smoother and communication with other producers, mixers and mastering engineers better.
So in my opinion, researching and learning will give you the tools to move forward in your exploration of the music production world and will also provide you with the ability to save precious time just by being able to communicate better within the industry.
I hope you found this somewhat insightful and helpful - I don’t claim to be an expert - this is just an opinion that I have built from my personal experience so far as a session musician and recording artist.