Most people in producer forums ask whether a person needs to be able to play an instrument for them to be a music producer.
The fact is, being able to play an instrument can be advantageous and can certainly make producing somewhat easier, but it is not a pre requisite for producing. However, Having music theory knowledge can give a producer more context which can help them carry out their work much more efficiently.
With the rise of digital music production, things are much more simplified.
Virtual instrumental can be played via midi and a midi kit with some chords can be simply be used to make a full song.
Playing an instrument certainly makes things easier and may allow the producer to thrive in sessions that require that instrument to be played, but you don’t need to know how to play an instrument to be a music producer.
The Instrument Most Crucial To Music Production
Playing an instrument isn’t a prerequisite for great music production but learning some instruments can be of help to you.
The most important instrument that any producer should atleast learn; to help them further their producing abilities is the piano or a keyboard.
Pianos and keyboards are made in a way that makes them one of the easiest go-to instruments to learn music theory.
Music theory is certainly important in music production because it can help a producer understand the dynamics of music much more deeply, which can them give them an edge.
For example, knowledge of harmonics and melody can simplify the way one goes about instrument selection, instrument pairing and vocal mixing.
An ordinary producer with little or no theory knowledge may do their best to create the best possible music, but a person with some theory knowledge is at an advantage because they have a blueprint they can easily follow, which is theory.
A piano can be a great way to learn about keys, chords, scales, tones, pitches and alot of other things that are helpful in music theory.
Therefore learning the piano can greatly aid your music production game and can be the gateway to learning how to play other instruments like guitar.
The Keyboard Players advantage
I decided to add this part into the article to follow up on the importance of learning how to play the Keyboard or piano because of the advantage that most keyboard players have when it comes to producing music.
Understanding music theory can be difficult but once it is grasped, it is drilled hard into a person’s brain.
If you have a good understanding of how chord progressions work and you understand key signatures and other elements, you’re of a better advantage than the ordinary guy with no theory knowledge or practice.
Frequently Asked Questions.
There is so many questions surrounding this topic, its helpful to answer them in order to have some more context.
Do you need to read music to be a producer?
Reading sheet music requires a deep understanding of music theory.
Being able to read music effectively requires years of practice and training.
For someone looking to get into music production, you don’t necessarily need to be able to read music the traditional “sheet music” way,
because it would take you too much time to grasp theory.
As far as music production is concerned, all you need is a good understanding of musical keys and how they work in relation to each other.
This right here is good foundation for anyone looking to take up music production, because it is very rare these days for you to ever encounter a situation that would require you to read music for you to produce a record.
Music production doesn’t always necessarily call upon the ability to read music.
What you need is a basic understanding of music theory, a basic understanding of recording, mixing, mastering.
These elements are more crucial to music production.
Reading sheet music may not be as necessary in music production but if you wish to evolve and become a composer, it would be absolutely necessary.
Can you learn music production without playing an instrument?
You can definitely become a great music producer without ever having learnt how to play an instrument.
Music production is digital now, you don’t require knowledge of an instrument for you to be considered a musician.
All you need is the ability to make music either digitally or physically.
Digital Audio Workstations these days come equipped with all the tools you need to help you become a music producer.
I think a more helpful route would be learning music theory or atleast having an understanding of it.
This can greatly change and help the way you approach record creation.
Furthermore, any person that produces music utilizes music theory whether they know it or don’t.
Therefore lessons in music theory would add on to what you already practice in your DAW.
You don’t need to focus on learning an instrument, focus on learning theory and maybe practicing on a piano or keyboard to cement your knowledge.
A good place to start is picking a music theory book and combining that with some YouTube tutorial videos because you’ll find hundreds on the platform.
All in all, learn music theory first.
Can you make beats without knowing how to play piano?
You don’t need to know how to play piano to be able to compose beats.
If you have a basic understanding of how basic things like chord progressions work, you can easily make beats without actually knowing how to play piano.
Music production like I’ve said over and over in this post is heavily digital nowadays.
Therefore you can simply do everything on a MIDI Keyboard without needing the expertise of playing a piano.
Knowing how to play an instrument definitely has its benefits but you should never be of the idea that you can’t take on music production without knowing how to play an instrument.