How To Become A Music Producer – Get Started In Music Production (Step-by-Step Guide)

Here is a helpful beginner’s guide on How to Be a Music Producer and beatmaker.

To become a music producer, it is essential to learn the fundamentals of music production. Learn music terminology and software, and study music producers. The best way to learn how to be a producer is to create a lot of music, learn through repetition, and work hands-on with musicians.

Becoming a successful music producer involves more than just making beats.

  1. How to Become a Music Producer
  2. Reasons Music Producers Fail
  3. 10 Reasons Why Producers Fail
  4. Common Questions

This guide will provide you with helpful tips on how to succeed in the music industry:

  1. How to create better music
  2. Build a brand that stands out
  3. Get your music heard

How to Become a Music Producer

Here are our tips on how to be a music producer.

1. Set the Goal to Be a Music Producer

How to Become a Music Producer
How To Become A Music Producer

The first step to achieving any goal is deciding what your goal is and then creating a plan to achieve it.

Create a plan on how to become a music producer.

If you don’t set this as a goal, you aren’t going to be fully committed and put in the needed work to complete this goal.

Being a successful music producer isn’t going to happen overnight.

You need a long-term plan and strategy to help reach your goals.

If music production is just a hobby, then it’s ok to make just 2 beats per month. But if it’s something you want to be your full-time job, then 2 beats per month is not enough.

Setting a goal raises that standard of what you should be doing more frequently to help reach your goal. When it comes to setting any goal, it’s important to write your goal out, and hang it on your wall to see it often.

Revisit your goals often to be reminded of what you are focusing on.

Read our article on How to Set Goals.

Related: What Is A Music Producer’s Salary?

2. Work Like Music is Your Full-Time Job

How much time would you spend making music if it was your full-time job? Start working like that, because your competition is putting in a lot of hours.

There is a saying that says “Fake it till you make it”. That’s what you need to do with your work ethic.

Start treating music like your full-time job. Do all the things that music producers are supposed to do. Then, hopefully, you will be able to make music a full-time job.

You need to put in a lot of hours to make music your full-time job. Treat music production like a 9 to 5 job. You need to come to work every day and create music.

I’m not encouraging you to quit your job. Do not quit your job. Come home and work on your own projects if they are important to you.

If you aren’t willing to put in the work, while other music producers are. You will be outworked.

3. Learn Music Production

Learn Music Production - How to Be a Music Producer & Beat Maker
Produce Music

Music production is the foundation of your career.

You’ll have to first select the music software you want to use and learn everything you can about the music program.

Learning how to play musical instruments is a plus.

Music theory is important if you want to get creative. You should study scales, chords, and progressions before starting to create your own.

Audio engineering (mixing) is also essential to create quality beats that can be listened to by label managers without being ignored.

4. Study Successful Music Producers

Music Producer Hit-Boy - How to Be a Beat Maker
How To Become A Music Producer Music Industry

Think of a few of your favorite music producers.

Study their music and history, and figure out how you can learn from their experiences.

If you went to art school, you would be required to learn about other artists.

You would study their techniques, thought processes, and work over the years.

Do the same with learning about music production.

Related: Become a Better Producer & Musician

5. Work Hands-on with Music Artists

How to Be a Music Producer & Beat Maker

If you want to grow as a music producer, you need to go beyond just sending beats to music artists.

You will really grow by working in the studio with music artists.

When you are working with music artists, you can throw around ideas and customize the beat.

You also have more input on the direction of the song.

You can make suggestions on the hook, verses, and more to collaborate to make a better song.

When you just send beats to music artists, you don’t know how good or bad the song will be.

Hands-on experience is one of the best ways to learn music.

But when you work directly with music artists, you can collaborate to make a song that you both are proud of.

As a music producer, you want to build a discography of music to showcase your skills.

You want to be able to showcase songs you produced that you are proud of.

Also, if you are new to music, working hands-on with music artists is one of the best ways to learn.

You will get a lot of requests and get a better idea of what music artists are looking for.

6. Collaborate with Music Producers

Develop Collaboration Skills

Work with other music producers to learn and network.

You can collaborate on projects.

Get and give feedback

Learn from one another.

Collaborate with other music producers.

Hanging out for a couple of hours can be very inspiring.

7. Start Networking

Network With People In the Music Industry

Getting to know people in the music industry is vital for success.

You can’t do everything by yourself.

Do some web-based research and make a list of contacts from label managers, club owners, and other producers who can help you advance your music career.

Meeting people face to face is even better.

Attend networking events and music conferences.

You can also go to clubs and get to know people in the music industry.

8. Learn About the Music Industry

Pick up some music-related books to learn about the music industry because there is so much to learn:

No one will be more invested in your future and success than you.

So you must take charge and learn all you can.

9. Get Feedback on Your Music

You’re bound to make mistakes, especially when you’re just starting out.

When it comes to making music, it’s normal to spend long hours in front of the computer brainstorming ideas, trying out different beats, or tweaking details.

You may think you’ve created something awesome, but you feel something is off when you compare your track to other quality productions.

That’s why you should send the track to a producer friend and simply ask for feedback.

10. Get Creative to Stand Out

Don’t be dull, and avoid being a copycat.

Sure, you can follow trends, but you won’t stand out from the crowd if you don’t add some originality to your music production and brand.

Try to draw inspiration from other music genres and incorporate elements into your own genre.

11. Develop a Professional Music Brand

Work on developing a professional music brand that attracts professional music artists.

If you look amateur, you will attract amateurs.

Invest in a professional website, a quality music logo, quality graphics, and more.

Act like you are a professional music business.

How to Brand Yourself As A Music Producer

12. Promote Your Music Brand

Once you have defined your brand, you want to work on exposing others to your brand.

Set standards for your brand so when they think of you, they think of a professional music producer and quality beats.

13. Claim Your Producer or Production Name

Once you have created a music producer name or music production name to go by, claim it online.

Register a domain name of your producer or business name.

Claim your name on social websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so someone else doesn’t take the name first.

14. Learn Digital Marketing

If you want to be seen on the internet, digital marketing is a must.

It’s not complicated to get a grip on the basics, and it will help you a lot when marketing yourself.

Learn about keywords and SEO to ensure you always have the best content.

15. Interact with Your Fans & Followers

Always interact and show your gratitude towards fans and supporters. They will help to spread the word about the projects you create.

Always try to respond to comments that people leave you online.

5 Reasons 80% of Music Producers Fail

Here is a great podcast by Busy Works Beats on five reasons why 80% of music producers fail.

10 Reasons Why Producers Fail

  1. Wrong Mindset – You need to believe you make money from selling beats. You need to know that there are people online making good money selling beats and you can do it also.
  2. Expecting Results Without Hard Work – If you want to succeed you will need to work hard. Don’t just expect beat sales to come to you.
  3. Limiting Customer Reach – Take advantage of all the online beat selling markets to find customers. Offer music services as well to help increase your income.
  4. Poor Marketing – Work on effective marketing for your beats and not spamming people.
  5. Not Interacting with Music Artists – Music artists are your customers. You need to work with music artists and build relationships. Don’t just tag them on Facebook and spam them with social media posts.
  6. Not Taking Action – If you learn something new like marketing techniques, take action, and learn so you can improve the technique to make more money.
  7. Too Many Freebies – You need to pick and choose who you give out free beats to. You need to convert music artists into paying customers. Related: Pros & Cons of Offering Free Beats
  8. Not Selling Enough – You need to value your time, and you need to make sure others value your time. So you need to promote your products, services, and beats to help meet your financial goals.
  9. Copying Other Music Producers – Get inspired by other music creators, but you need to define your brand and do what you can to stand out.
  10. Low Beat Prices – Find the right pricing for your beats. If you price your beats too low, music artists may look at them as low quality. Also, you will make less money. So experiment with beat pricing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Music Producer?

A music producer is someone who works with music artists to create music. This can involve creating custom beats, collaborating to decide the type and feel of a song, providing feedback on lyrics and hooks, and so much more.

Related: What Is A Music Producer? | What Is a Ghost Producer?

What Does a Music Producer Do?

There are a lot of misconceptions and confusion about the work of a music producer. The fact is that music production is a very broad profession with lots of possible roles to take part in.

When working with a band, a music producer is generally responsible for helping the musicians find their best sound, the best arrangement for the song they are working on, and so on. With Electronic and Hip Hop music genres or all-in-the-box production, the music producer usually produces the beat by himself for the singer to sing or rap on it.

Today, with music becoming more genre-defying each day, there are no hard rules about this: each producer has their own way of working. Either way, the main role of the music producer is always to help people accomplish a certain sound the music artist has in their head.

Do I Need a Music Production Degree?

Nowadays, the most important thing for a music producer is a great portfolio to showcase your work. That being said, it doesn’t mean a degree in music production won’t serve you: by going after a degree, you will learn and put into practice your skills and meet a lot of people, but don’t rely solely on it.

Are There Music Production Courses & Schools?

There are a lot of music production courses being offered nowadays, most of them online. Some great schools to check for music production courses are BerkleePoint Blank Music School, and Icon Collective.

Of course, there are also a lot of free tutorials and courses online that you can gain a lot of knowledge from, and sometimes, that’s all you will ever need. Make sure you search on places like YouTube. Plus, put your skills to practice regularly.

Do I Need a Lot of Money to Make Music?

No, many music producers have started making music with a computer, music software, and a MIDI keyboard.

Those are the very basics you need to get started. There is even free music software to download to start making music for free.

What Music Producer Equipment Do I Need?

A lot of beginners tend to think they need a big professional music studio with a huge mixing board.

The truth is all you need to start is a computer, a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software, some good pair of headphones or speakers, and your desire to learn.

Of course, with time, you will want to step up your gear. If you want to record vocals and instruments, an entry-level interface and a good microphone are not expensive and are a great investment.

Another popular choice for producers of any genre is a MIDI keyboard: it will let you play your favorite synth plugins via a real keyboard and save yourself a lot of time.

How Do I Start Making Music?

Check out our beginner’s guide on how to make beats. There you will learn the basics of music software, hardware, song structure, and more.

Then we suggest you…

1. Make a lot of Music – You will get better with practice and repetition.
2. Work with Music Artists – Hands-on experience is the best way to learn.

We also highly suggest you watch some online music courses to speed up the process of learning software and music techniques.

Is it Hard to Become a Music Producer?

Becoming a music producer today is not hard. Back in the day, you would need a complete studio, multiple contacts, and a lot of money to get started.

Nowadays, with endless tutorials being offered for free on the Internet, all you need is your computer, your will to learn, and great marketing skills.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Music Producer?

That’s a very personal question. Depending on how much time you spend improving your skills, you may get a grip on it in no time.

If you seriously want to become a music producer, it’s recommended that you practice for several hours every week, preferably every day.

How Can I Earn Money Producing Music?

Today, with the advent of the internet, there are many ways to earn money producing music. One of the most popular ways is selling beats online: you produce the beats, upload them to your website or a beat-selling store, and sell them to rappers and singers.

Other ways to earn money producing music include producing stock music and soundtracks for videos, producing sample packs, or even licensing your own tracks to be used in movies, videos, and tv: the possibilities are endless. It’s also a great idea to learn about marketing.

Related Videos

Get Started in Music Production!

Music producers and future music producers alike must remember that the journey to becoming a successful music producer is not an overnight success story.

This path requires an understanding of music theory, the ability to handle multiple audio channels, and a robust knowledge of different genres.

It’s important to be well-versed in various music production programs, such as digital audio workstations and recording software, to produce high-quality music.

Being a professional music producer goes beyond just making music. It includes both creative and technical aspects, such as hiring musicians, managing recording sessions, and even understanding chord progressions.

Recording engineers, sound engineers, and other music industry professionals play a critical role in this process.

It’s also essential to have experience with a variety of digital musical instruments and multiple instruments, as this can greatly influence the sound of your own music.

Having a proven track record in the music business is valuable. This involves more than just understanding how the music business works; it also involves cultivating music industry links.

Getting a music production degree from a reputable music school can give you a leg up, but real-world experience in recording studios is just as crucial.

Successful music producers often excel in various roles. Familiarity with a variety of music genres and musical concepts, from electronic music to musical composition, is also crucial for a well-rounded producer.

The world’s most successful music producers have a common trait – they love music. So remember to stay passionate about your craft.

Explore different musical genres, always be ready to learn, and remember to start producing music that resonates with you.

The journey to becoming a successful record producer requires technical skills, musical knowledge, a creative mind, and a solid understanding of the music business. Above all else, it requires a love for music.

Always remember, the success of the music you produce isn’t determined by the fancy tools in your home studio, but by the passion and dedication you bring to your work. So, keep learning, keep creating, and keep pushing the boundaries of what you believe is possible.

Being a music producer has become very popular nowadays and quite easy to start.

Years ago, you would need a lot of equipment to get started.

But nowadays, all you need is a laptop and a digital audio workstation. You can do it. You will just have to work very hard to reach your goals.

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Related: 14 Best Music Production Schools

Mark V.

Written By Mark V.

Mark Valenzuela is a professional blogger, entrepreneur, and educator with more than 15 years of experience in music production. In 2008, Mark founded Hip Hop Makers, a top resource for aspiring music producers and beatmakers. He specializes in content on music production, software, gear, and free music resources. Committed to empowering creators of all levels, Mark continues to inspire and help music creators pursue their dreams.

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  1. Hahahaha funny as hell but legit. I spit bars for a decade before deciding to produce n it’s been a long 5 months but I’m getting there for sure. everything from branding to aliases to faking trap, dead on! literally in my breakthrough project, I’ve even gone on acoustic guitar, I won’t touch anything that makes a trapped attempt. I like producing A LOT more than rapping. N I don’t suck at rapping. and although these are my upcoming project, they’re getting better and now I can’t even write the bars as quick as I can sit n drop a beat in 30-60mins. Love the website to be with it since digging into prod. pt.2

  2. I think marketing and sales has a say in this as well. You can be pure gold, if you don’t learn how to sell, how to market yourself it doesn’t matter anyway, nobody knows you even exist.

    If you rely on a random platform like facebook, youtube or other social media you are also lost in the noise and nobody cares until you start getting traction. Now, getting traction, that’s the tricky part. I think most people get stuck here and eventually quit since it’s an uphill battle unless you got cash and maybe run some adds or something for that initial kick.

    Also, if you are “too creative”, too different, unless there’s a big name behind the style people will probably skip, consider your stuff garbage. I think the key here is how you massage an existing successful style rather than being radically different.

  3. Great article! Lots of helpful tips. I think “8. Get Feedback” and “6. Get into Networking” can’t be stressed enough. Having people you can trust to give their honest opinion on your producing is so critical.

    I think the following article could be a good compliment to your article:

    Thanks again for the great tips and article!

  4. thanks for the information

  5. good one keep it up

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