It’s always good to get into any project with a mind-set to be successful.
This not only prepares you to win,
but it also prepares you to learn and adhere to the principles of seeing the project to completion.
When I got started in music production,
I was so overwhelmed with everything that I had to learn and apply,
This can be especially true for most beginners,
but once you stick to the script long enough you eventually start to see some results.
These results then lead you to wonder just what success means in music production.
I wrote this post as a how to guide on how you can get to a level of success in your music production,
How you can develop the right skill and mindset that will allow you to grow as a producer.
So read on, because I will share to you the most valuable insider tips that ensure your success,
and guarantee that you stay in the game long enough to see yourself win.
What does success mean in music production?
It takes quite a significant amount of time to be successful at anything, remember the first time you ever drove a car?
It felt like an impossible task at the time, but when you did it over and over again you got better,
You no longer hit the breaks too hard,
plus you no longer had a problem navigating with the steering wheel,
and finally You essentially just got better.
After you got better and better you finally got your driver’s license
and you no longer needed instructor in the car in order for you to drive.
What I have just described is an example of success,
starting out knowing where we want to end up and continuously striving to get to that destination.
Success in the music production world essentially means reaching and achieving a level of mastery in the music production game.
It means mastering the fundamental elements that are involved in music production and continuously applying our selves to achieve even more,
let me take you back a bit,
Remember when you first got started ? You had no idea what mixing or mastering or compression meant.
You were a beginner in the music production world,
and particularly what you wanted to acquire was knowledge and understanding of the production world.
You did this because you had a destination in mind; which was being a successful music producer,
So you strived hard,
got into the game and started learning and applying what you learnt into the craft.
what you need to known is…
the idea of success differs from person to person,
Your idea of success is different from my idea of success,
But this should not stop you from learning what it takes for you to become a successful music producer.
There are thousands of resources online that promise you success but most of the time,
These resources often cater to people that have some music production experience,
Therefore it becomes difficult for newbie producers to jump on such a bandwagon because they do not know how to navigate properly.
that is why with this post, i will walk you through
and point you towards areas of music where you should direct your energy and action to achieve success.
I’ll be your navigation to the destination of becoming a successful music producer that knows how to do and carry out their job effectively.
Enough of the journey and destination talk,
let’s jump straight into business and see what steps you should take to get started and excel.
How to succeed in music production
Any successful person will tell you that they rely more on their goals than anything,
As a matter of fact achieving goals is one of the driving forces behind most successful people.
Having the mind-set and ambition to want success is nothing without a process,
therefore goals act and serve as the tools and processes to use and follow to achieve mastery in music production.
Therefore you have to ensure that you have goals that are setup and geared towards accomplishing the overall objective,
Your goals should be clearly laid out plans and tasks that will drive you to your success.
One method that I use is basically categorizing my goals into two categories;
Short term and long term plans.
My short term goals are pretty much any objectives I can fulfill within a short period of time,
whilst the long term goals are objectives that my entire business model is based on,
these goals are the grand scheme.
Essentially what you have to do is create goals and categorize them in the categories I mentioned.
You want to make sure that your short term goals are a reflection of what is to be achieved in the future.
Your short term goals are the day to day activities that you carry out in order to further the mission or the long term goal in this case.
Your long term goals should involve everything that you wish to achieve in the next couple of years,
and they should be clear and concise enough to be broken down into smaller day to day practices that can ensure your success.
How to develop your goals
In your goal development make sure you base the ideas that you come up with on the future,
You can do this by defining your future or putting it into perspective.
Perspective will come from figuring out why you want/wanted to get into music production,
that’s the only way you measure what success means to you.
To develop your goals you can use this easy step process that I developed when I just got started:
STEP 1: Allow your goals to start out as ideas.
For example, one Idea that I intended to make a long term goal was learning how to become a multi-genre music producer.
STEP 2: Figure out what it is you’re trying to accomplish,
when I first got started I wanted to learn how to produce music fully, from composing to beat making to sound engineering to mastering.
That eventually became one of my long term goals
STEP 3: Don’t get rid of ideas that may seem out of reach at the time.
STEP 4: Brainstorm and refine your ideas into a plan of action.
Short term goals
With short term goals you should be more focused on improving performance,
and basically focus on the tasks that require your immediate attention like;
buying the right gear, and learning how to produce.
Make sure you break down these immediate attention tasks into every day plans that you develop each day with the right process.
Long Term goals
your long term goals should focus more on potential and what you could possibly achieve,
these types of goals should be developed and built over time and they should be complimented by your short term effort.
One of my long term goals was learning how to produce different genres of music,
but as I continued to develop and sharpen my goals,
I ended up focusing on two genres rather than all of them,
This helped my overall focus and it aligned with the plan of action that I set out.
So make sure you continue to develop your goals to ensure that your path to success becomes a more direct route.
Commit and take action
After you very well list down your goals and develop your day to day plan to go about achieving your goals,
It is then time to go ahead and commit to your plan and take massive action.
This is where the work begins, and you must ensure you are up to the task.
Any sort of success in the music industry begins with learning the trade it self and making sure you reach a professional level.
Let’s discuss a couple of areas that are important in the process of learning.
Make sure you keep an open mind because music is a process that flows,
So don’t restrict yourself, be free to experiment and have fun while you’re at it.
This has to be one of the first things that you pay attention to,
You’re in the music business and therefore you must ensure that you learn how to compose music.
For me this was part of my every day routine,
because it was a long term goal to become well versed with composing music.
I broke down this long term goal into smaller chunks of process and made it part of my short term goals and daily routine.
I mostly focused on learning music theory at this stage,
because it is so important.
This is the stage at which you should also invest in some good beat making software and equipment to test your music theory knowledge on.
I recommend generally trying out a lot of DAWs and figuring out which one suits you best.
Most new and upcoming producers don’t pay as much attention to learning theory as they should.
The bottom line is you need to know music theory therefore I recommend:,
because one time or another you’ll find yourself in a situation that calls for theory knowledge.
It would difficult for you to collaborate with others if you didn’t even know what key your song was in.
Get the picture?
Therefore invest a decent amount of time in learning how to compose music because it will be to your benefit.
This is another key element in the music production process,
You need to learn how to mix vocals and sound engineering to be able to work in various areas that call for these skills.
Your success in music production depends greatly on this particular element combined with other skills.
So get yourself the necessary knowledge and apply it,
I recommend finding a mentor that can help you in the process,
But just because you don’t find one doesn’t mean you can’t educate yourself while you search for a mentor.
This learning process I discuss here should form part of your day to day activities,
In the long run you’ll make a great sound engineer and you can then get it off your long term goal list.
This involves preparing a song for release,
It is basically final touching a song to have it ready to be consumed by the masses.
Make sure you invest a lot of time on this because it is quite an essential skill in the music production process.
Often times many artists tend to outsource mastering engineers to bring their song to perfection.
But this shouldn’t have you think it is not an important skill to learn.
because you will be able to offer an additional service to your clients once you master mastering.
Learning and understanding the business side of the music production game is so important,
Not only will it put food on your table,
but it will make the production process worth while and enjoyable to do.
Learning this side of music should be one of your goals and part of your day to day process.
It’s always good to have a business plan from the onset while you immerse yourself in learning the business side of things.
Your business plan should include the degree to which it will take you to turn a profit once your studio starts running,
also knowing how many expenses you’ll incur along the way is very important.
So it is essential to carry out a lot of research during the initial stages of writing a business plan,
You want to make sure you have every bit covered.
The more you learn in your journey of writing a business plan ,
the easier it will be for you start learning various income streams that you could utilize with your music.
This involves connecting with other music producers and building relationships,
It is very important because building relationships can easily lead up to partnerships that will be the key to your growth.
The most fundamental concept in networking is all about you being known that is why it is important to build the right reputation
and brand image that can reflect your personality.
Being original will get you ahead in this game.
When I first started networking years ago;
I started going to social events for music producers to meet with new people and interact.
One of my closest partners right now is a producer I met from one of these social events.
You now see how fundamentally important networking is.
Not only will it help you identify and meet with you new clients,
but networking can help you discover the best practices that people are implementing in their work to achieve better results.
You also have access to people’s minds when you network,
Which make you better off and have access to new trends in the music production world.
This is why I urge you to be more friendly and more interactive with other music producers,
it will work to the best of your benefit.
While we are on the topic of networking, let’s not forget to mention the elephant in the room
Ever heard of the popular saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know”?
This is entirely true when it comes to building a successful music production career,
You’ll need a network of people that you can call upon when you’re in need of a favour.
Having the right connections can enable you to get into doors and talk to powerful
And influential people that you’d otherwise not have access to without the right connections.
you can meet a new person and build a relationship and have access to their entire network of people that they know.
This is very valuable.
Having a plan of action from the get go and know where you want to see excel to is very important.
The plans you lay out from the onset will determine where you end up.
So make sure you learn the trade, the business side of things, and network and learn from other producers.
This is a learning process and you should be prepared to gain knowledge and apply it.