The job of a music producer may seem glamorous. From the outside, it may appear that music producers spend their days sitting outside of recording booths and their evenings hobnobbing with the hottest celebrities. However, music producers work hard to make sure that they are their clients produce the best results possible. Anyone considering a career as a music producer should research the typical expectations of the job, meet others in the industry and remain flexible to change.
1. Prepare for the Unexpected
The everyday routine of a music producer can vary widely depending on which group or artist is being worked with and what the expectations are. People can be unpredictable, and musicians often have reputations for being much different than other people. A record launch, negotiating contracts, and getting along with others on a professional level can be difficult for everyone if something goes wrong. Attorney John Branca has talked about how working with the Beach Boys as a music lawyer caused him to realize that dealing with people does not always go as expected.
2. Network Constantly
Breaking into any industry without any contacts can be difficult, and the music business is no exception. Taking advantage of every opportunity to network with others can be a fantastic way to grow professionally. Even people who are not directly involved in the industry may have friends or relatives they can recommend. Attend conferences, shows, and classes in an effort to find new opportunities. Try to form genuine connections, and be willing to help others, even if there is no immediate benefit they can offer in return, as no one likes to think they are being used.
3. Experiment With Different Genres
Even the most passionate country music fan may find value in other genres of music. Try to refrain from being tied down, especially early on. Working with artists in different genres can allow a music producer to pick up more tricks of the trade and develop skills that can transfer to other areas.
4. Find a Mentor
While it is possible to break into the business with minimal contacts, without a mentor, it can be extremely difficult for a new music producer to thrive. Mentors can offer support in the form of industry contacts, small loans, and valuable advice. They may refer clients and can provide context for situations that new music producers may be lacking.
5. Research Innovations
New ways to create and share music have taken the world by storm over the past couple of decades. However, people have been experimenting with interesting sounds and the creation of new music styles for hundreds or even thousands of years. It can be easy for people to dismiss new innovations as fads, but they can be worth checking out. Even if it does prove to be a fad, it can still present a learning opportunity for everyone involved.
Becoming a successful music producer takes hard work and dedication. However, as long as a solid network is built, a mentor found and there is a willingness to experiment, aspiring music producers can increase their chances of enjoying fulfilling careers.