Regardless of whether you’re an aspiring producer or musician, there’s no better time to begin making music than today. The industry has become bigger than it was before, with more genres to explore and plenty of high-quality musical instruments and recording equipment available and accessible now more than ever.
However, success cannot be achieved overnight. Although modern technology offers plenty of convenience in different aspects of the craft, budding musical artists and producers will still need to face all sorts of challenges on their way to success and fame.
To help you get started, here are five tips that new musicians and music producers can use to make launching their career in the industry easier:
1. Learn from Experienced Musicians and Producers
Experts who have worked long, fruitful years in their trade have more to offer than just their music. They can provide you valuable lessons from situations they went through first-hand.
While studying from books and manuals can be helpful, working under the guidance and with the support of a mentor can teach you the basics as well as provide more in-depth instruction by showing you the ropes can and demonstrating the actual processes involved when music is made and produced.
2. Pick the Right Gear
Using good-quality instruments and music production gear is an essential part of your journey towards success in the music industry. Having an excellent instrument in your hands as well as an in-ear monitor while performing live could help you put on a flawless performance, not to mention perform without any worries about potential equipment malfunctions.
Guitarists should make sure to invest in reliable guitar models to achieve the sound you are looking for. Not only do you need to buy an excellent guitar, but you also need to choose the best compatible accessories and supporting equipment to bring out the guitar’s best sound.
Make sure to do your homework before buying any piece of equipment. Go online, research the models and specs offered by various music equipment brands, and read reviews and comments from others who have used it before. This will help you ensure that the equipment you buy will be appropriate for creating the kind of sound you want to make.
3. Be Obsessive About Saving Your Work
While this tip is mostly for music producers, artists who record their own music could also benefit from it.
Here’s one indisputable fact about computers: They tend to crash at times.
Just imagine: You’ve gotten the mix just right, and right before you are able to save your work, your computer or its software crashes. That’s all there is to it. Hours of work, gone. Just like that.
To avoid experiencing this mind-numbing situation and protect your music creations, you have to build a habit of saving your work. This isn’t just about saving your files and recordings before you leave your computer or studio at the end of the day. We’re talking about obsessively pressing the CTRL+S or CMD+S buttons as you work.
While it may seem like a trigger-happy compulsion, doing this will ensure that your music compositions and arrangements are always successfully stored in the hard drive of your computer. This way, your music is safe and sound.
4. Make Music You Want to Listen To
Another excellent tip you should remember when making music is that you have to make sure that you play and create the kind of music you like.
Take the case of “The Velvet Underground & Nico,” the debut album by the American rock band the Velvet Underground which was released in 1967. The album was virtually a commercial flop after selling a meager 30,000 units within five years. Still, it was able to make waves in the music industry, with its influence still being felt and heard in music produced today.
Why? Because the artists stuck to the kind of music they believed in and didn’t get lost in the process of selling their craft.
The same goes for music producers. The best possible way to perfect a producing style is to follow the footsteps of those who have already mastered that particular sound.
If you have some producing gurus you admire, be sure to study their work. Analyze the different sounds they used, how they laid out the tracks, and take note of even the smallest details of their work.
Make a habit of recreating tracks from the greats. Not only will this teach you plenty of things about sound design, but it would also lend you know-how in song arrangement and structure.
5. Practice, Practice, and Then Practice Some More
While this may be a bit obvious, it still is worth mentioning that both artists or producers need to be continually honing their skills and perfecting their specific crafts. The only way to get better at creating music is to put in regular practice times.
For artists, jamming with friends and other musicians serve as great opportunities to develop playing skills. You can also try recording your music and listen to it to identify areas you can improve on and practice more next time.
For producers, it’s best to establish a routine where you create beats every single day. Having a studio schedule helps to carve out time for working on new or existing music projects.
Playing and producing music is a passion that can also turn into a career. If you want to make a living as a music artist or producer, you have to sufficiently educate yourself and train regularly to improve your skills. Use this article as a guide and make great music that will wow the world.
Amrit Shivlani is the Founder and CEO at Music Majlis, a community-driven e-commerce platform that offers a wide variety of musical instruments and equipment for every musician and sound professional. The company’s goal is to make music-making, recording, producing and mixing accessible and available to everyone.