Can You Teach Yourself Music Production?

can you teach yourself music production? - decibel peak
can you teach yourself music production? - decibel peak
can you teach yourself music production? - decibel peak

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Can you teach yourself music production?

YES, an artist has the ability to take absolute control of his/her musical education using FREE educational platforms such as YouTube or even purchasing online courses on the subject of music production.

HOWEVER, you’ll essentially be taking full-responsibility for your “self-education”.

Though, it’s become easier than ever for musicians to teach themselves these highly technical skills.

In my opinion, it’s actually preferable to stay away from the “education system” and consult these sometimes FREE resources instead of pursuing “higher education”.

I NEVER said it was going to be easy though.

To be completely honest, MOST musicians never make careers out of their craft. BUT, the ones that DO have usually dropped out of school or haven’t gone at all.

That’s just a personal observation on my part, but let’s keep digging. Shall we?

Where else would you learn music production?

I imagine that somewhere out there, there’s a school that offers a degree in some form of music recording/production. Usually, these institutions are considered “trade schools”.

One of the biggest drawbacks is that they’re VERY expensive.

LOTS of students also report it being a complete waste of their time AND money.

Here are some of the options we have here in Montreal, Canada…

  • Trebas Institute
  • Teccart Institute
  • Recording Arts Canada (RAC)

However, it’s MUCH better than wasting years of your life earning some sort of university degree in some specific field of music. You’d most likely end up spending even MORE money on university.

In the meantime, you have people like me…

Instead of going to university (I got accepted BTW), I decided to go to work and start a music production/publishing company on the side.

After 2-3 years out in the real world, I started doing the music thing full-time.

“Student Me” would just be starting his final year as a Bachelor right now.

We can’t even guarantee IF that version of me would have a “job” walking out of there.

I have to admit though, I have seen job listings on LinkedIn that said they were looking for full-time music composers. HOWEVER, they all require 3-5 years experience.

There’s absolutely NO requirements in regards to certification though.

In other words, I think you’re better off learning music production out there in the “real world” for 3 years instead of wasting your time in school.

BUT WAIT, there’s still more to consider…

You’re better off going to business school (or finding a MENTOR)

What most people don’t realize is that I spent those 2-3 years learning more about MARKETING (online marketing to be more specific) than music production.

That’s why I say that you’re better off going to business school.

However, I still believe that that’s a HORRIBLE idea.

The only REAL way to learn about business is to start one of your own.

The teacher can’t help you either because he/she is an employee, not a CEO…

That’s why I personally believe that MENTORS are the way to go.

If you don’t know what a mentor is, you’d be very lucky to find a good one.

I’m grateful every single day that I’ve met many men who saw enough potential in me to invest some of their time and energy. That being said, I know that many of you haven’t had such opportunities.

That’s okay because you can find mentors all over the internet.

It’s not the same, obviously BUT… It’s all you really need to learn and succeed.

Regardless, your mentor isn’t necessarily someone who practices music production. What I’m saying is that you’re better off finding someone to teach you about BUSINESS.

Of course, I’m assuming that you want to teach yourself music production to earn your living doing exactly that; making music (not just as a hobby).

If that’s the case, then I hope you’ll take my words seriously.

To this day, I still sacrifice making music to work on my marketing strategy.

So, you can definitely teach yourself the skill of music production by consulting YouTube tutorials and possibly even purchasing some online courses.

However, the only way you’ll actually SUCCEED is by treating yourself as a business.

That’s one of the main reasons I created Decibel Peak Academy…

It was to provide that kind of guidance to people like you.

How I learned to record, produce, mix, master and publish my own music

It actually started when I was 16 years old.

I had barely been playing electric guitar for 3 years and I had already downloaded my first DAW and had an audio interface. I had even saved my money to purchase Steven Slate Drums 4.

Of course, I was born in the digital age and was raised with computers.

That being said, I was also using YouTube videos at the time.

I learned about music production by watching others and by experimenting myself with the projects I was working on. Of course, music composition goes hand-in-hand with music production.

That’s why I say that there’s no school that really teaches this stuff…

To teach yourself music production, you essentially need to teach yourself EVERY other component of music.

The music producer is like the “director” of the music world.

That’s also why I say that to teach yourself music production, you need to teach yourself business/marketing as well; it’s part of the job.

YouTube.. The UNIVERSITY of the future

Most of us have realized that it’s possible to learn MANY things on YouTube.

However, you might be skeptical… “Is this really all I need”?

I’ve gotten by just fine with YouTube videos. Actually, even when I was actually studying music in CEGEP (what you’d consider community college in other countries) I was learning with YouTube.

Even then, I knew that school wouldn’t teach me everything I needed to know.

That being said, I will briefly mention that the experience was well worth it. However, that was largely because of SOME of the teachers I had and the actual difficulty of the program (there were LOTS of dropouts).

So, I still recommend you get used to working with YouTube.

The best way to apply what you learn (or to know what you need to learn) is to actually look for projects to work on. Instead of building a CV, you’re building a portfolio.

What about purchasing online courses?

The next best thing if you ever feel like you need more than what’s available for free is to start looking at online courses.

Personally, I’ve only ever purchased ONE… Sync Academy.

AND guess what that course was mostly about… The business-side of music production and how you can get your music placed on TV and film.

Let me tell you, that was something I was NEVER taught about in school.

That’s why I’m saying that you’re MUCH better off finding teachers online. That way, you can actually find professionals that actually practice what they preach.

Just make sure to do your background research…

There are also a lot of FAKE TEACHERS on the internet.

That being said, I think purchasing your own online course also adds a level of accountability that free content doesn’t provide.

You’ll most likely want to get a return on your investment. No?

When you pay for something, there’s a better chance that you’ll actually succeed.

If it’s your parents’ money, it’s one thing, BUT… That’s why most people who start university usually finish. If nothing else, at least they accomplished THAT.

Okay, let’s wrap this up.

Summary: Can You Teach Yourself Music Production?

As you just learned, teaching yourself music production seems pretty difficult.

However, you most likely realized that it’s the ONLY WAY.

If you can find me an actual institution that meets all of the criteria I just mentioned, you absolutely need to let us know in the comments.

Other than that, you’re lucky that you found

It’s a personal encyclopedia of knowledge that documents the process of starting my own music production/publishing company.

You’ll most likely find other platforms like mine out there, but Decibel Peak is truly unique.

If you’re interested in finding out more, you have nothing to lose by joining Decibel Peak Academy. The 1st month is free and I think that’ll be just enough time for you to realize how we do things differently (and BETTER).

If you’re determined to succeed as a music producer, then I hope you’ll take ACTION!!

Thanks for reading, now let’s get started!

Picture of Stefan Chamberland

Stefan Chamberland

Stefan is a highly proficient sound professional who specializes in sound for picture. His journey into sound production began at the young age of 16, where he initially produced music that went on to feature on local television. Today, Stefan utilizes his extensive expertise to record production sound and lead the audio post-production process for a variety of projects in the TV, Film, and New Media industry. Driven by his passion for sound for picture, Stefan founded Decibel Peak, a platform designed to empower and support emerging sound professionals while contributing to the growth of the industry.

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