How did you learn to produce

Hi everyone, how did you learn to produce music. I mean the first stage from idea to write it down. I currently follow some online courses and tutorials, practice everyday, but I still can not write my own tracks. Am I going the wright way to learn and to build up my skills. Please share with me your way. Thank you

Hi @hadoan, I think if you are just starting out, those tutorials are a great place to start. As you say, you then only end up recreating someone else’s track, but it is still good learning.

I did a lot of looking at song construction and just loads of listening rather than hearing. So, really analyse what is taking place in your favourite tracks. I literally write it down bar by bar (usually every 8 bars to be honest that something changes worth noting). Again, when you do the tutorials, try following the ‘principles’ but mix it up. For example, go in to the tutorial with a different chord progression (could be one from a different tutorial). This will cause you to ‘stretch’ your learning. If you look on the forum, I did this with a track by inserting an ‘orchestral’ section and extending the breakdown and also choosing different sound design. Basically, following the ‘core’ of the tutorial but deliberately adding your own touches.

If it is more the composition side, so knowing which chords work or notes and timings etc, then checkout Kristin’s courses on here. They add a lot more technical understanding so that you can move fully away from just following tutorials. Also, because you get access to a live ‘professional’, you can take your own stuff that isn’t working and find out why, and have it corrected live. I did that on a bass line and it completely changed the whole feel of the track.

One thing for sure, I spent a lot of time and money buying the next plugin etc. because I thought it was my setup that just didn’t have the right kit. When I stopped that and started learning, that’s when the results changed.

One final thing. Chunk it down. I see a lot of people on forums that say for example you have to do your own sound design when users are asking for ‘the best hypersaw preset’ for example. I say chunk it down. If you are just trying to get off the ground, work on one thing at a time. So, this could be production and all of your sounds are presets, then come back to sound design once you are comfortable with production.

This was a bit long but I hope it helps. Having gone through the ‘getting off the ground’ stage and still very much a learner myself, I hear you! If I can help in any way, just ask. This is a big subject and Rome wasn’t built in a day.


Thank you so much for your idea, it makes me clear and keep going :wink:

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I learned by playing in a bunch of different bands. I sat as much as I could together with the writers and/or producers of the bands to produce the music. We learned a lot from each other. I also got a lot of “education” out of jamming with other people. By doing that I learned about all kinds of nice tricks and also some theory from the others. So, to play with others might also be a good idea.


music theory, reference tracks and well listening all day dance music haha

new stuff also

Hi everyone, how did you learn to produce music. I mean the first stage from idea to write it down. I currently follow some online courses and tutorials, practice everyday, but I still can not write my own tracks. Am I going the wright way to learn and to build up my skills. Please share with me your way. Thank you

In my opinion, the best way to learn music production is try to do music yourself.
The theory does not help if you do not practice. I began to understand the principles of compression and equalization only when I tried it myself.

I learned to play by ear starting at 4. My grandmother would play something without me watching and I then would play it back. We went from Piano to Ukelele’s etc. Paying by ear is invaluable. Also learning a good theory background can’t hurt. Once you have that things start to fall in place. You can hear a melody or a counter point line - call and response - you start to hear the chords and then the bass line and other instruments. It is like everything else in this business. The more you do it the better you get. Start with ideas. Get them down. As you learn you will learn to flesh out those ideas. Composition class here and NLS might help too.

I’ve been a life long musician. I started on drums in the school band (age 8?). Then switched to guitar (age 11). Then switched to traditional percussion (age 22). I’m 44 now & have made a living in NYC as a percussionist (in one way or another) for 18 years.

As for music production around 1998, I talked my way into a protools studio in my university that nobody was using & started to teach myself. I was HORRIBLE - but I LOVED it. I did about 10 years of doing it wrong and sucking & in 2010, I switched to Live on the recommendation of a friend. Through the grace of god, the hand holding of the same friend & a big blessing from he-who-shall-not-be-named, I was walked into Dubspot. These guys taught me everything I didn’t know about music production (which was considerable) & it’s where I met Danny. He GRACIOUSLY allowed me to audit his classes when there was space.

Here’s the important part. (almost) NOBODY is good at any of this in the beginning. Put a decade or two of learning new skills and techniques in your arsenal & soon you’ll be taking ALL of our gigs!!

A few of things a saw above that I’d stress are:

  1. don’t spend your time buying more and more DAWs & PLUGINS until you NEED them. Learn how to use EVERYTHING you have in you DAW extremely well - until you understand it’s limitations AND you need it to do the thing it can’t do and THEN buy a new plugin instrument, etc.
  2. do it EVERY day. You MUST put in work. For ANY art- if you skip a day, it’ll prolly be fine. If you skip 2 days, you’ll prolly notice it. If you skip 3 days, your audience will notice it. LIVE BY THAT.
  3. (my own 2 cents) LISTEN WIDELY. Stop listening to the music you want to make. Like today. Don’t listen to that ANY more. Go find sounds you never heard of. Ask ppl what they’re to. Study the greats of EVERY genre. Tired of a genre? Study a different period in that genre. Maxed that out? Get a new genre. Did you know people can sing 2 and 3 notes out of one throat in Tuva? Did you know Brazilian samba has origins in AT LEAST 2 regions in Africa? Did you know the “modes” of western music captured a snapshot of the way ppl sang/tunes their instruments in different city-states in Greece? Study ALL music.


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Very good advice! I agree, take it from someone who bought a lot of plugins and gear in the beginning. Don’t! No matter what you think you have all you need in a DAW to get started. If you haven’t taken the Mixing and Mastering courses here then, for sure, don’t spend money on EQs and Compressors etc. until your ears can really hear a difference. I couldn’t agree more about the daily work. Building that habit is vital to success. And influences come from all genres so listen to everything for inspiration.