Here are 7 music production lessons most teachers and instructors would never teach.
1. Don’t Make the Mistake of Trying to Write the Perfect Song
This is, in my opinion, one of the most important lessons in music production.
I used to think that perfectionism was a positive trait.
In fact, it was something I used to brag about.
Being a perfectionist, on the other hand, is a pain — it’s nearly a disease. It indicates you’re reluctant to put anything out there unless you’ve double-checked, triple-checked, and refined every little detail.
Perfectionism conjures up images of anxiety in my mind. Perfectionists are insecure people who believe they need to impose their will on their creative work so forcefully and badly that it can’t possibly be good enough without it.
We educate quantity above quality at Hyperbits Music. That is, the only way to learn how to grow better at the entire process of making and finishing music is to repeat it. Not half-baked concepts. There aren’t many melodies. There aren’t many riffs or 8-bar loops.
I’m referring to tunes that are completely done.
The only thing that counts in this session is music creation.
When you’re pushed to finish a song on time, you learn that not every song can be flawless. Every song cannot be regarded as if it were a life or death situation. You’d go nuts if that were the case.
By all means, give it your all on every song you ever write – give it your all.
But virtually every musician would agree that, given the chance, they would almost always modify a few minor details about their song after it was out.
So, what does all of this mean?
It means that we must all quit being perfectionists and prioritize the completion of music over perfection.
2. Hustling is a bad idea
This is one of several music production lessons that may appear paradoxical. It is all about accomplishing more in today’s world. Put up more effort. Hacks for everyday life. Make an effort. Hustle. Sleep a little less.
What are my opinions on the subject? It’s not a viable option.
Please hear me out…
Everyone knows THE artist hustler — the one who shoves fliers in people’s faces to urge them to attend to performances, the one who begs for Facebook likes, Instagram followers, and remix competition votes…
We’ve all heard of him.
And, if I had to guess, I’d say this artist lacks plan. Artists end up going around with their heads chopped off as a result of frantic marketing like this. It causes tiredness and burnout, and it is driven by worry.
And, very honestly, in 2020, this style of marketing isn’t going to work. Hustling is no longer a viable option.
Artists who believe in hustling allow worry to steer the ship. After all, hustling is an external manifestation of your fears, reinforcing the belief that you should constantly be doing more.
Furthermore, hurrying transforms a marathon into a sprint. Of course, when combined with smart work, there’s nothing wrong with working hard – but more labor does not automatically equal greater success.
Indeed, I would say that success must find you. If no one wants to manage you, no one wants to sign you to a label, and no one wants to book you for a gig, maybe — just maybe — your music isn’t ready for the world yet (or you need to grow your fanbase).
It’s fine to take things slowly. For our thoughts to thrive and expand, we need downtime.
Besides, let’s call hustling what it is: a life that is ultimately meaningless, sad, and harmful, favoring reactive tactics over serious thought and planning.
3. Don’t Accept Criticism That Isn’t Constructive
Constructive critique seemed to be the holy grail of all music production advice I read online when I first started creating music. It was the ultimate music producing lesson. It took a long time to unlearn this music producing lesson.
We’ve all heard it before: just obtain feedback, make the necessary modifications, and repeat. Easy-peezy.
To a degree, this is correct. Receiving high-quality comments may be quite beneficial. The problem is that the vast majority of those providing input are just as confused and uninformed about their music as the rest of us.
So, what do you suppose occurred when I started seeking constructive critique from everyone I could?
Naturally, I received a lot of contradictory advise.
Some people felt my music was too complicated, while others said it was too straightforward. Some users complained that the bottom end was too shallow, while others complained that the bass was too strong. Some people told me outright that I wasn’t good enough to compose music. Others claimed it was the most incredible thing they had ever heard.
The issue is that, on the whole, the criticism was uneven and, to be honest, not very useful.
My music didn’t develop significantly until I concentrated my focus and enrolled in a music production program.
What is the reason behind this?
I started gathering comments from 1-2 high-level individuals. Not five, not ten, not twenty…just one or two.
When there are too many cooks in the kitchen, it creates confusion and mayhem.
Other artists concur. In a recent interview with Joey Suki, Jay Hardaway, a well-known electronic dance music producer, told how he submitted Martin Garrix a track called “Electric Elephants” for comments.
Martin, to cut a long tale short, was not a fan of the drop. However, Jay Hardaway ignored the criticism and kept the song alone, and it went on to become a big success.
The lesson here is to stay away from constructive criticism. Half of the time, the feedback you receive is either completely incorrect or, at best, lazy.
Plus, you can’t satisfy everyone all of the time.
Instead, look for one or two talented, high-quality producers who can provide detailed input on a regular basis.
Learn from the regular comments over time to establish your own quality and professionalism standards.
Avoid releasing your music too soon
When it comes to music production training, I’ve found that it’s never too early to start releasing music, according to a lot of information I’ve seen on the internet.
But the fact is that, if you’re selling well, that process will take a long time. As a result, time and energy may be better invested developing and creating higher-quality music.
Furthermore, once you begin releasing music, you should, in an ideal world, continue to do so on a regular basis.
Furthermore, once you begin releasing, each song should outperform the previous one. There will always be rising momentum in this manner.
5. Stay away from the world or hide from it
Do you want to learn how to make music backwards? It’s completely fine to disengage from the world every now and again.
The belief that you must always be sociable, putting yourself out there, networking, and meeting people in your field can lead to burnout.
We aren’t all extroverts. In fact, if you’re a creative person, you’re more likely to be an introvert. That’s just OK.
We aren’t all made the same. This isn’t so much about music creation as it is about life itself. It’s quite acceptable to give in to your inclination to be an introvert (if that’s who you are) and keep your head down while working on your trade.
Besides, whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, I feel that it’s the moments in life when you’re not reacting or responding to stimuli that enable your mind to expand and better understand your art and yourself.
So, do yourself a favor and practice self-love. Do whatever it takes to be kind to yourself, even if it means staying at home and turning off the television (every now and then).
6. Avoid being influenced by others
Listen up, before you dismiss this concept (I’m well aware that this may be the most retrograde lesson in music creation on this list).
Whatever your feelings about his music, Lil Wayne recently acknowledged in an interview with Bumbu Room that when it comes to Hip-Hop, he only listens to himself.
This sparked a massive response, with hundreds of supporters and critics alike taking to social media to express their displeasure. After all, who could listen to simply their own music?
There was a lot of hatred.
My takeaway, on the other hand, was the polar opposite.
As you can see, I feel that making music is a very personal experience. Just because the majority of artists do things a certain way doesn’t imply there aren’t other methods to succeed as an artist.
The principle is straightforward: whatever works, works.
It’s okay to avoid the artists who got you into this mess in the first place on occasion. It’s perfectly OK to turn off your computer and cease listening to new music for a few months. It’s fine to stay away from your influences for a while.
Is it possible to isolate yourself and solely listen to your own music? Probably not, but it is certain that it works for some people.
And, in an age where everything gets repeated, there may be no better way to find your sound than to quit listening to music entirely.
After all, regardless of whether or not it’s any good, what comes out will be fully, 100 percent yours, which is more than many artists can claim.
7. Moderation should be avoided
Everyone preaches moderation as the key to happiness and a healthy lifestyle.
However, I believe that moderation produces mediocrity.
Average people adore moderation because it allows them to avoid truly committing to anything. What’s more, when was the last time you succeeded at anything you did in moderation?
Is it true that Michael Jordan played basketball in moderation? Is it true that Porter Robinson just dabbled in electronic music?
My argument is that everything I’ve accomplished in life has been owing to me being OUT of balance for a period of time – to the fact that I wasn’t living in moderation.
I’m not advocating quitting your work, abandoning your friends and family, and doing nothing else with your life if you enjoy producing music.
But I am saying that if you actually enjoy producing music and want to make a job doing it, you owe it to yourself to get down to business.
Living out of balance is a type of equilibrium in and of itself.
Throughout the year, even sportsmen have varying levels of focus and concentration. They even have seasons: a pre-season, a regular season, a post-season, and an off-season, which allows their bodies and brains to recover after periods of full disdain for moderation.
That’s how it goes in real life. There are deadlines to meet, new goods to launch, speeches to deliver, and objectives to achieve. We all live out of balance from time to time, and that’s absolutely fine.
In music creation, it could be acceptable to spend six months doing nothing but mastering chord progressions and melodies.
The concept is that we must occasionally live our lives completely dedicated to our trade. On the other side, greatness awaits.
We blend an aesthetic craft with the accuracy and focus of science in the field of music creation. However, the basic reality is that we all have quite varied approaches to achieving comparable outcomes.
Normally, I’d advise any producer to broaden their horizons by delving into the essential elements of a successful aspiring producer: networking, education, and cooperation.
Being unusual and standing out, on the other hand, is what produces forward-thinking art and advances civilization.
So here’s my appeal to you: don’t follow the crowd.
It’s an old cliche, but don’t be afraid to be yourself. Find your own unique tone. Always trust your instincts and gut feelings. It will, I swear, take you exactly where you need to go.