It’s been almost 3 years since I started producing music. While I did many things right during my journey, there are also a lot of things I wish I knew when starting out. This article will outline the key steps I would take if I could start learning music production all over again.
Avoid the DAW Trap
One of the biggest mistakes I made was choosing a digital audio workstation (DAW) that didn’t work well for me. As a result, I struggled coming up with new ideas and learning new genres. At times, I even questioned if I was meant for music production. If I could go back in time, I would absolutely experiment with DAW free trials before committing to one. It would have saved me time and money. The DAW I started with was FL Studio, but I eventually switched to Logic Pro which suited my workflow better. I’ve heard similar stories from other new producers who gave up on music production because they couldn’t figure out their initial DAW. Luckily, some eventually tried a different DAW that clicked for them. Ever since, they’ve been happily creating music. This illustrates how important choosing the right DAW is when starting out. Take advantage of free trials to find the one that works best for you.
Exercises to Progress as a Beginner Producer
Here are the key exercises I recommend to level up your skills: Learn music theory. It’s far more important than you may realize for emotional songwriting and telling stories through music. Spend time studying music theory fundamentals before even starting to produce. Learn an instrument like piano, guitar or drums. It will aid melodic and chord progression creativity tremendously. Learning piano unlocked a whole new world of possibilities for my productions. Watch full music production tutorials and recreate them from start to finish. Focus on completing a full track rather than making it sound professional. This will teach you arrangement, workflow and how all the pieces fit together. Do remakes of songs you love. Learn from the greats by analyzing and recreating their productions. Do 50% remakes and 50% original creations when starting out.
Recommended Resources for Learning
While the internet has endless educational content, I highly recommend paid online courses. They provide structure, deadlines, accountability and a community. I took the Studio with Kao masterclass which accelerated my progress immensely. Other helpful resources include: Private 1-on-1 coaching for personalized guidance and accountability Melodics to learn piano through guided paths SoundGym and ToneGym for ear training The key is actually putting what you learn into practice. Dedicate focused time blocks for learning and implementation.
Adopting the Right Mindset
Having the proper mindset is crucial for sustaining motivation as a beginner producer. Here are some key tips: Be patient and manage your expectations. You won’t produce professional tracks immediately. Focus on completing compositions first before perfectionism. Consistency over a long period of time is key. Show up every day to put in the work required. Don’t let rejection stop you. Music is subjective and everyone has different tastes. Be proactive in problem solving. Search online forums when stuck instead of giving up. Learning music production takes time but stick with it. Stay curious, keep learning, and you’ll be on your way to success.