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In order to become a record producer, you must first have musical talent and enough passion to drive you to learn how to produce music, as well as how to break into the music industry. You should also learn how to operate technical equipment that is commonly used in music studios. Though it is not absolutely necessary in order to become a record producer, taking classes that relate to the craft or pursuing a degree in a discipline related to music production will be of great benefit in establishing a career in music. Finally, you will need to find artists to produce music for in order to build a reputation and become a record producer.
If you believe you have the basic musical talent needed to become a record producer, spend time honing your skills and learning the business first. Music industry careers are highly competitive, and having musical talent often is not enough to break into the business. Learn the ins and outs of what it takes to become a music producer from a business point of view, as well as from a musical perspective first. A good way to go about doing so is to approach an established producer to mentor you while you learn the business. You may even want to work as a production assistant for a while to get a closer glimpse at what record producers do on a daily basis.
Music producers are not just good musicians with an ear for talent. Producers must also know how to operate the latest studio technology to be successful. Since this equipment is not always affordable to purchase and practice on your own, it is a good idea to take classes or attend college to learn to operate it. Specialized studies will also help you learn other skills needed to become a record producer, such as managing production budgets, negotiating contracts and overseeing entire production projects.
After gaining all of the skills necessary to become a record producer, you will need to find artists to collaborate with professionally. Some producers start off producing for artists without charging an upfront fee in order to gain experience and a reputation in the industry. Eventually, however, you will be in a position to work full time as a music producer and set your own prices for your production services.