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How Can I Become a Music Producer?

How Can I Become a Music Producer

If you want to become a music producer, you should start by considering what the job fully entails.

You will have to work with artists who can range from elitist prima donnas who refuse to compromise their "vision" to musicians who do not know the first thing about how to work in a studio. You will have to balance the madness of musicians against the concrete realities of what studio engineers are looking to create. You will, of course, also have to answer to the studio executives who are paying for everything and expect to see their investments returned many times over. And all of this will be going on as you try to put your own ideas into an album to help refine the raw product of music into something tangible and marketable to as wide an audience as possible.

You should know about music on two different levels. First you should understand how music works on a theoretical and artistic level. You will need to be able to talk to artists and musicians and so you should be able to join a dialogue about the creative side of the music industry. To become a music producer you might want to take some classes or just do your own research to learn about music, whichever way you learn better. You do not need to be able to play an instrument, but it would be a good idea to at least know how various instruments work and what notes, chords and rhythms are for your artists. Secondly, you need to understand music on the commercial level as well. While your first job is to work with the talent, your second job is to work with the money. You need to know what has sold in the past, what is selling today, and try to predict what will be selling tomorrow.

While any studio you work for will likely have a marketing department all its own, you are also expected to work within the bounds of marketing and selling your musicians as well. Movements in popular music do not often just happen; there is typically logic and a mind behind it. From the "girl power" movement of the Spice Girls to the explosive popularity of boy bands at the end of the 1990s, someone saw that those things could happen and made them a reality. And that is your job. You need to look for the next big thing, and then make it the next big thing. To become a music producer you must have an ear for music and a mind for business.

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