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5 Tips to Build Your Music Production Career from Ground Up

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Music is more than an art; it is a thriving industry with lucrative opportunities to earn, grow, and gain popularity. The size of the global market as of 2024 is projected to reach $30.70 billion in 2024 and is expected to touch $45.65 billion by 2029, at an impressive annual growth rate of 8.54%. The best part is that you can be your boss, with statistics showing that 56% of music producers are self-employed.

However, as an independent artist and producer, you cannot expect the initial phase to be a breeze. You may not get the beats right, and the competition makes the journey even more challenging. At times, you may want to give up, but the voice inside keeps pushing you to try and fulfill your dreams. While there are no shortcuts, patience, passion, and strategic planning can help you achieve your goal.

In this article, we will share a few tried and tested tips to find your way and build a thriving music production career from scratch.

Work on Your Skills

What do you need the most to establish yourself as a music producer? Of course, musical skills! You may be blessed as an artist, but you should still develop a foundation in music theory and composition. Work on your niche, whether you want to become a voice artist or play an instrument. Skill development enables you to understand the fundamentals like melody, harmony, and rhythm.

Avoid getting knee-deep into the production process unless you are completely confident in your skills and capabilities. With nearly 56,000 music producers working in the US, an extra effort to develop your skills can take you a long way in the competitive industry. At this point, consider developing your own style with regular practice and experimentation.

Master Music Production Software

Talent and skills give you a head start, but you need an in-depth understanding of production software to get a smooth start. The field relies on digital audio workstations (DAWs), so mastering it is the key to growth and success.

Ableton is a popular DAW for electronic music production, preferred by beginners and seasoned producers alike. It has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to experiment with sounds and loops. The live performance feature helps you design unique combinations of instruments and effects. 

You can take the approach of trying to learn from YouTube videos, but it’s often difficult since there is very little structure, there will be gaps in what you learn. If you are learning from multiple sources, you will also end up getting repetitive information. It’s okay as a beginner – as everything is new.

But the best way to get your skills up to speed, is with a structured series. Taking an Ableton masterclass will get you industry-ready by elevating your arrangement, composition, mixing, and mastering skills. A masterclass can give you a comprehensive overview of the features, plugins, and effects of Ableton. From here, you can make the most of the tools it offers.

Set Up a Home Studio

Once you learn the basics, you are ready to get started with the production work. At this stage, you will need a studio to produce, record, and edit your tracks. As of 2023, there were 21,631 audio production studios in the US. You may not struggle to book a slot, but shelling out hundreds for a few hours sounds painful. Setting up a home studio is an ideal alternative.

Fortunately, you can start with a small investment with basic essentials for practice and experimentation. The bare minimum for a home studio includes a computer, a microphone, studio headphones, and a quality audio interface. Over time, you can invest in acoustic treatment and studio monitors to enhance your setup further.

Broaden Your Horizons

Becoming a successful artist is about broadening your horizons and appreciating a wide range of musical genres. You will have a favorite niche, but trying something different helps you grow as an artist. Actively listen to various music styles, from classical to country music, rock, hip-hop, and everything in between.

As you listen, try to analyze the arrangements, instrumentation, and production techniques used in each genre. Although you may continue producing the same music, expanding your knowledge makes you a better artist. It also inspires your creativity as a producer. Beyond listening to tracks, follow successful artists and legendary producers to seek inspiration from their success stories.

Collaborate and Network

New music producers must collaborate and network to explore learning and growth opportunities. Music production is an evolving field with something new to learn every day. Moreover, the industry is collaborative, where artists must build connections to exchange ideas, gain valuable insights, and work together on projects.

Networking with other producers, musicians, and vocalists will also help you refine your production skills and gain industry exposure. Consider building a network by joining online communities and forums. Look for social media groups dedicated to music production as they can help you connect with like-minded individuals and stay updated on the industry trends.

In conclusion, you need more than talent and skills to become a successful music producer. A strategic roadmap with these steps sets you up for success. Start early to gain an advantage and compete with the best in the industry.

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