The following might seem like a laundry-list of what’s required but the more you commit yourself to excellence and mastering many areas, the better and the more in demand you will become.
- Taking some lessons. A little formal training can go a long way. In particular, learning the piano/keyboard or guitar is great, since those instruments common and versatile.
- Experimenting with whatever you can get your hands on. Bang around on a drum set/pots and pans, fool around with a bass, and pick up a bow and start with that violin/cell. It doesn’t matter. Just immerse yourself in playing around with instruments.
BBC Music – ‘introducting’
De Montford University
Islington Music Workshop
University of Hertfordshire
Full Sail University
- Learn about music theory and composition. While the word ‘Theory’ conjures up thoughts of intervals, tones, semitones and accidentals (sharps and flats) a little knowledge can go a long way and help you identify issues when the music just doesn’t sound right, e.g. out of beat or the wrong type of notes, keys, instruments etc. Aural test CDs can help regarding your ear training.
- Learn about songwriting and lyric writing techniques Basic song structure like verses, chorus and bridge are easy enough to understand. Producers often work with artists and songwriters to streamline and improve their songs.
- Listen to the arrangements and instruments used in songs. Get familiar with how different instruments affect the sound and feel of the music.
- Identify common features in great songs. While no one knows an exact magical formula to write a hit, you may discover several key elements that make songs indelible. Often it can be found in the melody (either at the beginning or in the chorus) which is simple but written in such a way that is catchy and memorable .
- Pay attention to mixes and how they help/hurt the song. Producers work closely with engineers to craft the sound quality of music.
- Read books, articles and jounals about recording techniques, songwriting and composition. It’s easier to know what you’re listening for if you know the recording process intimately.
- There are a lot of components involved with the audio signal flow when recording. Some of these may include: mixing boards, microphones, monitor speakers, Loudspeakers Amplifiers, Headphones, DAW Controllers, Microphones, Mic preamps, Mic stands, Cables and rack equipment such as Compressors, Preamps, Mutieffects Processors, EQ’s, Studio Signal Processors, Dynamics Processors and other effects .
- Many hardware components are also available as software units, but controls are basically the same.
Go to live music gigs, concerts and open mic sessions
Finally, be prepared to work immensely hard especially if you get your first job. You will start at the bottom so whether that’s an internship, an engineer or simply setting up microphones around a drum kit you will be able to go from underling to a top-flight producer IF you take whatever role you’re in seriously.