Should I Get a Music Production Coach?

You don't have to learn music production alone! In fact, you can save time and money with a coach or a course...

Music production is just like anything worth learning: it seems impossibly complicated on day one, then before you know it you look back and can’t believe how far you’ve come. As long as, that is, you get off on the right foot. If you don’t know where to start, you can spend weeks, months — even years — trying to find that initial foothold that makes the path clear.

So, should you get a music production coach? Or, maybe, should you take a course? …what about going it alone? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each method.

Learn Music Production by Yourself

We’re in a pretty good time for music production. Gone are the days of obtuse, ugly software, hardware made with the expectation of being in a pro studio and used by a grey bearded veteran, and engineers ‘designing’ interfaces for their innovations. Nowadays, user experience is key for music production software and hardware designers, so the ‘onboarding’ process is actually pretty simple. Instruction manuals are sometimes even written by people that seem to actually care about teaching you how to use the gear, not just what the dials control.

Learning music production alone suits some people, but it can be a lonely and frustrating pursuit…

So, if you’re the kind of person that loves to go it alone, there’s hope. Manuals, forums, YouTube, friends who have already started their journey — the secret that a lot of gurus do their best to avoid telling you is that there really aren’t any secrets, the information’s all out there. The difficulty comes in knowing where to start, which order to do things to optimise your path. We’ve all only got so many hours a day; one of the big pitfalls when learning music production completely by yourself is that with so much that you could learn it can be difficult to discern the best thing to learn. Before you know it you’ve got a great grasp of mastering compression techniques but you haven’t quite got the hang of creating interesting drum patterns, you aren’t finishing music, you get discouraged, things come grinding to a halt.

Learning music production completely by yourself is best for people who don’t have a particular goal. If you just like tinkering around and don’t have any particular interest in finishing songs, then by all means take things slow.

Learn Music Production With a Course

Taking a music production course can massively accelerate your progress. Of course, not all courses are created equal — both in price and quality. Not only that, but you need to ensure the course you take aligns with the goals you have for music production.

How do you like to learn? Videos? Bullet points? Screen grabs? It’s vital to ensure that any course that interests you teaches in a way that will give you the best chance of following and absorbing the information within.

There are courses out there that boast specific accreditations and qualifications upon completion. They often offer live webinars and direct tutor access, with a much more traditional classroom-styled experience — and prices that equal university courses (sometimes, but not always, because they offer university level diplomas and even degrees). It’s super important that you’re realistic about what to expect when considering a high priced course like this. Does the qualification you’ll receive actually give you any opportunities you wouldn’t have otherwise? When you actually break down how many hours of expert level coaching you could receive for your enrolment fee compared to the direct tutor access time promised, does it still seem like good value?

There are lots of tempting looking courses that feature prominent artists, and some of them are great. It’s always worth remembering, though, that not all artists are great teachers. It’s really common for these artist-led courses to take on a masterclass-style format that doesn’t necessarily teach the important foundations of music production, but instead are overviews of the artist’s process with the occasional specific tip thrown in. Especially as a beginner, this style of course can leave you equal parts inspired and frustrated, as though the artist is talking more to a peer than a student.

How to Make Music courses are designed by learning experts, with video, audio, graphics and quick reference guides to make learning quick, simple, and fun!

The courses at How to Make Music are (maybe we’re a little biased, but we’ve done our research!) the ideal combination of simplicity and depth, of sitting down for a detailed lesson but also having all the information laid out in quick reference guides, additional audio and video clips, and screen grabs that make it effortless to both follow along in lesson order and return for a refresher as and when needed without having to sit through the whole lesson again for a snippet of information. Not only that, but they’re sensibly laid out by learning experts so that every step, lesson, and module is in the right order, building you up in the quickest and most effective way. Take a look at the How to Make Music courses for an idea of just how quickly and effectively you could get a head start on your music production journey!

Getting a Music Production Coach

Personal coaching is, assuming there’s a good fit of goals, methods, and specialisms, the holy grail of learning. With a music production coach you’ll be able to get guidance specifically tailored to you every step of your journey, and your progress will absolutely skyrocket.

A great coach will work with you to understand what your goals are, where your current level is, and how to get you to where you want to be. They’ll be an expert at the thing you want to learn, but most importantly they’ll guide you to understanding — not just copying. Any great coach’s goal is to get you to the point where you don’t need them any more, by providing an outside perspective that you can absorb and gradually reduce your blind spots. It’ll start with helping you pick the right gear for you and showing you how to work it, and end when you’re so used to having their outside perspective that you can imagine them in your head giving you new ways to approach things without them even being there.

Music Production coaching at How to Make Music is incredibly effective, and you’ll build a relationship with your coach based on a mutual desire to see you achieve your goals. Hour long sessions are delivered over Zoom with video and screen sharing, and what you learn will be tailored to you — from equipment purchase and setup to synth programming to arrangement, mixing, and mastering. It’s super easy to book a session and get started, and when you do you’ll be on a massively accelerated path to realising your music production dreams!

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