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How to Become a Music Producer

Part 2: The skills you need to get ahead

Part one of this series covered the basics of what a music producer is and how to get started. Now it's time to learn more about the skill sets required to be a successful music producer. Mastering all six skills is not required, but lacking any will have a negative impact on your career in the long run.



6 skills a music producer needs to have: 


1. Play an instrument


Having a comprehensive understanding of music is a must. And being well versed in at least one instrument is a great way to get ahead. 


2. Sound engineering


Understanding the technical basics of recording music will also really help. Get some microphones and a digital recorder to get started. Try recording local bands and play around with some audio gear. 



3. Music theory and composition (aka song writing)


A good music producer is also a good song writer. You need to know the details of what makes a good song and album. You can take classes to get better at music theory as it's a very academic subject. The more exposure you have to music the better. 




4. Managing people

It usually takes a lot different people to put together an album. It's the music producer's job to make sure everyone works well together and the project moves forward on budget. So people skills and being good at managing people is critical to success. 


5. Communication

Sometimes people need some help communicating what they need. A music producer often has to translate what someone is saying into something really meaningful to another individual. Artists are often not knowledgeable about some technical aspects, and you simply need to get everyone on the same page. 


6. Business/Finances/Contracts

There are also financial and non-musical areas involved in the music business. Contracts need to be made with everyone involved from the record labels to artists and studios. You need to know how to set a budget and work within the given restraints. Keeping finances in track will help ensure your success.