One way you can set yourself apart in the endless sea of talented musicians for hire is to develop a producer’s mindset. Producers take responsibility for the final outcome. They look at the whole picture and make hundreds of decisions along the course of project to produce a product that moves the listener.
That’s the producer’s job. If you can make that job easier by taking responsibility for your own role as a musician — essentially “producing” yourself — you’ve set yourself apart.
A framework for a producer’s mindset.
- Listen as much as you can. Understand how each part works together and how your part fits in.
- Evaluate your playing — does it fit? Does it compliment? Does it need to be stronger? Brighter? Less? More? Subtle? Abrasive? More rhythmic?Simpler?
- Edit and Adjust. Ruthlessly cut out everything that doesn’t serve the music. Playing the simplest possible part is almost always the right approach.
This framework works because you’re stepping into the shoes of the producer and making his/her job easier. And that makes you more valuable.
It’s not easy. The skill is built listening critically, working in various performance situations, and putting yourself into creative situations learning stylistically how all the parts work together.
If you want to develop this skill start listening to music differently. Listen purposefully. Immerse yourself in your genre. Listen, pick apart, and be able to talk about and describe everything you you hear. It takes time, but it’s a practice that will make you a more fun, creative, and effective musician to work with.
Hey! Thanks for reading. If you’re not familiar with me, here’s my quick intro: My name is Gary Lee and I’m a professional guitarist in Los Angeles. I specialize in acoustic guitar styles, studio work, and music production.
If you’re interested in working together or would like to learn more about my work at: www.garyleemusic.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org