If you want to learn to produce music faster as you rapidly learn and improve very quickly, you’re going to want to watch this video until the end, I promise.
And no, this is not just a pitch for my course producer accelerator, because, frankly, if you aren’t willing to put into practice what I talked about here, then you aren’t ready for my course in the first place.
Sadly, most YouTube production channels are going to tell you things like this EQ trick will save your life or this compression hack changed my life or some other insanely dishonest line to get you to continue watching their videos.
Hey, I get it.
I have to make catchy titles too.
But in this video, I’m basically going to give it to you straight without being dishonest, just trying to get you to watch more of my videos.
But if you want to watch more of my videos, that’d be cool too.
There are multiple things you need to do.
If you want to learn quickly, I’m going to cover multiple aspects in this video.
So buckle in and let’s do it.
If you want to learn to produce faster, then you need to focus on producing more quantity and less quality right now.
Now, before you throw shade at me in the comment section, I’m not saying that quality does not matter.
What I am saying is that, in the beginning, quantity is more important than quality if you want to learn fast.
So there’s a book called Art and Fear in which a story is told about a photography class where the teacher breaks the class into two separate groups.
Group A had to focus on taking as many pictures as possible throughout the semester and were graded on the number of photos.
The quality of one photo was used to grade Group B.
In other words, they had to spend the semester trying to get the perfect shot.
The result was that the group that was graded on quantity had objectively better photos in the end.
So here’s the deal.
When you are first learning, the temptation is to think that you have to know all the things to make the perfect track when the truth is that you don’t even know what things to be on the lookout for what things matter what things are hard or easy, or really anything.
Basically, you kind of don’t know anything.
So your focus should be familiarity with creating more music, and I can tell you from personal experience, after producing for almost 13 years, that the more songs I make, the more I learn, period.
Even now, the harsh truth is that your first handful of songs will probably kind of suck.
Producing is one of the deepest and most challenging skills to learn in all of music.
And I feel like I can say that because I’ve actually worked as a composer, a songwriter, arranger performer, I’m a pianist, classically trained pianist and done almost everything in the world of music.
And I can tell you that production is basically the combination of all of those skills into one trade.
So, yes, it’s hard, which means you need to give yourself some grace.
Take a deep breath before you begin; the more songs you create, the faster you’ll learn to play in a period of quantity rather than quality.
the beginning of number two, after you’ve mentally decided to make more songs and focus on quantity, the ratio of time you spend producing or actually making music to watching tutorials or watching online courses should never be equal.
In other words, while I create tutorials and even have my own music production course, I believe that you should spend more time putting what you learn into practice than on actual learning.
So, if you watch a tutorial on a topic, the temptation is to just continue watching more tutorials.
What I’m saying is, stop doing that.
There is a big difference between knowing something mentally in your brain.
And knowing it from experience, because you’ve done it when you watch a tutorial, you might just think, Yes, yes, I’ll move on to the next one.
But you probably won’t get it until you actually do it.
So this is really simple.
But you need to actually experience what you learn and not just stuff your brain with information.
We live in the most information-saturated era in history, but people do not appear to be any smarter.
Why is that?
Because there’s a difference between reading or watching something and actually doing it.
There’s a really good book called The death of expertise.
You might want to check that out.
In short, you should spend way more time actually making music than watching tutorials.
There’s a direct relationship between expertise and time.
In other words, if you want to be an expert, then you have to put in the time practicing.
It’s not magically going to happen on its own from simply watching tutorials.
And, by the way, I’m not saying that I’m an advocate of the 10,000 hour rule that’s been debunked numerous times.
And I’m not trying to just call them any of my students here.
But I know I have students who blow through my entire course in a matter of days.
And the truth is, there’s no way you can actually learn like that.
Sure, you might have just stopped a ton of info from entering into your brain.
But how much did you retain?
And how much do you actually know how to implement without practicing it and experiencing it?
Probably not a lot.
And if you’re one of those students, I’m not bashing you.
I’m just saying you should probably pack and take it slower and put into practice the brakes a little good talk.
Okay, that brings me to number three.
If you want to learn faster, then you need to practice what is called active listening.
The concept is that when we listen to the music we love, most of the time, we’re listening to it in a consumer’s mindset.
Basically, we’re listening to feel happy or feel the music or really enjoy it as it was meant to be enjoyed by the creators.
However, if you truly want to improve your manufacturing facility, you must remove your consumer hat and replace it with an analytical hat.
Active listening is the practice of listening to music with a hyper-analytical mindset where you’re aiming to learn every single aspect of what is happening in the song.
What’s the tone of the piano?
How does the song keep your attention?
Are there new ideas being introduced regularly?
Every four bars, every eight bars?
What’s the climax of the song?
When is the climax of the song?
How does the song grow over time?
Does the song have a low point?
Is there an intro to the song?
How long is the intro?
Were there interludes?
How long are the interludes?
What’s the chord progression?
Does that chord progression change in the chorus?
Or does it stay the same?
What about the bridge?
I mean, I could go on for an hour and write a 50-page essay on every song you could possibly play.
For me, the idea is that you need to become a detective.
If you want to learn how to make incredible songs, you need to basically dissect the incredible songs and figure out what’s happening behind the curtain.
No, you’re not going to be able to see the vocal chain or what plugins were used.
But what you can do is analyze the sound, figure out the melody, figure out the chords, study each and every song you want to model after, and take what you learn and directly implement it into your own production.
In fact, I would argue that whether you practice this or not actively, you are influenced by what you put into your ears, what you listen to, and, well, the 100% impact of the music you make.
So think of it like this.
If you’re already being influenced by these things and making choices to try to sound like what you listen to, why wouldn’t you just study it?
I mean, I know the answer is that it’s usually laziness.
But let’s be real.
This, right here, is a goldmine of information just waiting to be tapped into.
And all you have to do is log into Spotify and push play.
If you were to spend time every day for, let’s say, 30 minutes for a month, analyzing your favorite songs, I promise you that you will uncover things that you had no idea were happening in the music you listen to, and it will change how you make your own music, I promise.
But don’t just listen; actively practice that skill in the moments following it.
In other words, implement it, put it into your music.
So I have two little kids.
Okay, my oldest is two years old.
He’s been learning to speak for several months, and the question is similar to this.
How do children learn how to talk, right?
Thinking about it, they learn by imitation, because when my son hears me say something, he immediately repeats it.
If I say a sentence to my son, he’s going to repeat the last word of that sentence, because that’s all he can remember.
But over time, he’s going to repeat that entire sentence, because he’s going to learn and put into practice what he has learned by imitating it, giving it a year, two years, five years.
Next thing you know, he’s going to be making up sentences and paragraphs all by himself, saying things that I never taught him to say because he’s now learned how to use his own thoughts to formulate his own ideas.
Learning to make music is eerily similar to Picasso’s famous quote: “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.
“So, I’m not advocating plagiarism, but I am advocating imitation of number five.
OK, so far, if you implement the four things we’ve discussed right now, you will see improvement quickly.
But it was this last one that provided me with the fastest growth pattern of all of them: Is it beneficial to learn from someone who knows far more than you do?
In other words, find a mentor or a teacher.
Now, how this worked for me was when I was in college.
I was introduced to an artist who was pretty successful and had been for a very long time.
I told him that I wanted to be a producer, that I had already been producing since I was about 14 years old.
He basically told me that I should be connected with this producer that he knew who lived in town.
He gave me his number and told me to just say that he told me to call him and I did and I called him and, guess what, he literally invited me to come down to the studio that same day.
He basically took me under his wing.
I got to help him produce music, and even almost took a job as a producer for a studio.
Now, why I didn’t is a whole other story.
But the point is that I put myself in the same room as someone who had experience and expertise way beyond what I did.
And guess what, I learned more in a short time with him than I did in years on my own.
Now, I know that most are not going to get that chance or even have that opportunity.
You might not even live in a place where that’s possible.
But if you can, or if you do, then take it without a second thought and do it right now.
If not, and I highly recommend getting involved in a course online that is structured, that’s kind of the key structure.
YouTube is great for tips and tricks and quick information, but it’s not really great for structured learning.
Obviously, I have my own course production accelerator, but there are so many courses out there, and the truth is, you might not resonate with my teaching as much as someone else, so I might not even be the right fit for you in the first place.
I know Andrew Yang has a course music by buddy Avery Berman is an amazing teacher.
I’ll link to his Instagram in the description.
There are plenty of other great programs online.
Now, I strongly advise you not to simply purchase a mixing course.
courses are everywhere, but most of them do not actually teach production.
I’m not trying to knock on them or put them down.
But if you’re getting started, you don’t need to focus on mixing needles or how to dress.
And I can just tell you that I get emails all the time from students who say that they have bought mixing courses and were incredibly disappointed that they did not actually learn how to produce and that a lot of production courses are also going to teach mixing at the end, like mine.
But don’t get wrapped up in just learning plugins and mixing, because the truth is that 85 to 90% of what makes a great track is the production, not the mixing.
But if you’re serious about learning faster, you need to put yourself in a situation where you can learn from someone who’s already been there done that who can impart the knowledge you.
I know so many people balk at the idea of buying a course or paying for a teacher or a mentor.
But I can almost guarantee you that if you say you want to learn the piano, anyone who actually plays the piano will tell you to find a teacher and pay for lessons.
That’s what you need to do.
Producing is no different.
In fact, I would say even more so with producing because it is way more challenging learning how to play the piano.
The truth is, life is way too short for you to learn it all on your own.
With that, I will see you in the next video.