“Strength lies in differences, not in similarities”
― Stephen R. Covey
We are raised in a culture that focuses excessively on ‘I’, ‘Me’, ‘My’ and ‘Mine’. I want the next iphone. How is that good for me? When do I get my paycheck? That’s mine – I deserve what’s mine!
For the purposes of driving success as a music producer, none of these general attitudes are necessarily wrong, but they may be less productive.
What you focus on will largely determine your success.
For example, you’re working in the studio with a vocalist and you only accept your opinion (on that particular phrase, lyric, melody, performance etc.) as being the correct one. Regardless of whose opinion may be considered subjectively better, what impact does this have on your relationship with the vocalist? What impact does this have on the life of the project as a whole? Are you focussing on details that don’t matter? Are you ‘choosing your battles wisely?’
This is only one of an almost infinite number of possible scenarios that could play out, with every outcome affected greatly by your attitude. The major point is that even if you are a music producer working almost entirely on your own, at some point you will need others. When that time comes, in either a small or large capacity, how will you handle it? Will your focus be to let some things go for the sake of the bigger picture ie. combined and shared success? Or will you apply your maximum OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) to every scenario and run the risk of alienating your colleagues?
Think before you move
What kind of music producer do you want to be? Someone who others enjoy working with and creating shared success? Or someone who others despise and find too difficult to work with?
“A wise man learns from his own mistakes. A very wise man learns from the mistakes of others.”
If you had to start your career as a music producer completely from scratch, how long would it take you? And before you answer that question, really consider it properly. Starting from scratch doesn’t mean just from the start of this course, because this course is built on decades of music production advancements and success from those who came, studied, trialed, forged, led, innovated – all long before this course was even conceived. So if you had to start from scratch before any of the foundations of music production were laid down, what would you be starting with? You’d be starting with electricity and a computer. There’d be no music interfaces, no microphones, no electronic instruments or acoustic instruments that you can plug in – you would have to invent the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), invent the interface, invent the microphone – literally invent every aspect of music production. The only reason you even get to start with all the resources already invented and ready for you to use is because of all those others who have gone before you, laying the foundations that make the possibility of your success so much more realistic and so much faster.
It all starts with humility
Realise first, you are not an island. Even if you intend on working solo 99% of the time, you will still need innovations, inventions, tools, resources, advice and wisdom that others may have. However, the greatest attribute that will increase the speed of your learning and subsequently maximise your success is one that can’t necessarily be taught. It can only be decided. This is the power of humility. Humility starts by acknowledging just how much history has gone before you to empower your learning. Once you make this incredibly important decision, your mind is more open and your ability to learn increases. As your willingness to learn increases, so will your skills and your professionalism, thereby removing the ceiling of limitations as a music producer.
“Those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it.”
― Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?
One may begin to wonder, however, ‘If I am just humble all the time, how will I confidently forge my own sound?’
Innovation and the ability to learn from others are not mutually exclusive. They can exist simultaneously. Getting the balance right may not always be an easy thing, but the aim will always be the same; to learn and to innovate.
Learning and innovation work together. First we learn the knowledge required to become skillful. As we hone our skills with regular use, we develop the ability to innovate above and beyond the traditional uses of those skills. You can’t place a roof on a house until you’ve built the walls. Likewise, it is near impossible to innovate on something you haven’t developed some skill in first. So, continue to learn from others and develop your skills with practice. This will drive your ability to innovate and forge your own way of doing things and eventually lead to developing your own sound/style.
We’re far stronger united than we could ever be apart
Finally, stay connected with our team online and through our student forums and live masterclasses (when made available). Ask questions on our socials and get answers not just from our instructors, but from each other. Empowering each other will multiply our pooled knowledge. You will also have access to other incredible music producers, with possibilities for professional jobs and/or long-term friendships which could help drive greater levels of shared success.
Comment now on our facebook page and share what your goals are to move forward in music production and as a music producer. Share what has already impacted you in the course so far and see how it compares with what others have learnt – you may find value in the differences just as others may find value in your comments!
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