Is It Worth Becoming a Music Producer?

Music production is a hard undertaking. It takes a long time to learn. There’s a long list of skills required. It’s potentially expensive. Is it even worth going through all this hassle? Are there big enough rewards at the end?

I’ve written this article to help you come to the answer. It is ultimately your decision, but maybe I can offer some words of advice to help you come to the right decision. You don’t want to waste your time on something you won’t end up sticking with.

Hopefully this article saves you a lot of time and stress.

Overall: Is It Worth It?

It is absolutely worth becoming a music producer if you are a creative mind with a deep passion for music. Creating your own songs and putting them out into the world is a feeling of both excitement and nervousness, but can yield great rewards in the long-term.

When considering whether it’s worth travelling down this road, there’s a few areas you need to think about. This article will walk you through some of these areas.

I encourage you to think and ask yourself questions while reading the different sections in this article. The journey to becoming a music producer is a long road with lots of obstacles and pitfalls, but with huge rewards at the end. It’s up to you to decide whether you think it’s a road worth taking.

How Much Money Can You Make?

A career in music production has the potential to make someone incredibly wealthy. The top producers, such as David Guetta or Martin Garrix, make millions through multiple revenue streams such as royalties, DJ sets, owning record labels, and more.

However, while becoming insanely rich from music production is possible, you must understand that this career choice is very unstable. Only a lucky few actually make it to the top. For the vast majority of producers, it will be a struggle to earn anything worthwhile from your music.

Careers in music are notorious for being very hard to earn a living from, and becoming a producer is no different. The ‘starving artist’ stereotype has a very real basis. If you’re aiming to earn a living from royalties alone, you’re going to have to beat all the odds to do it. I certainly wouldn’t recommend this approach.

Multiple Revenue Streams

However, royalties are not the only way to earn money from music production. We are blessed to live in the internet age, where we have access to resources around the entire world, and can communicate and interact with people anywhere across the globe. This opens up many more opportunities for producers than there were 20-30 years ago.

First of all, there is the classic way that producers earn cash: by performing DJ sets. Performing at a well-known venue, such as a festival, can net you tens of thousands. However, when starting out, it is best to go for smaller venues, such as local clubs or parties. This allows you to build a following, make a name for yourself, and establish a good reputation. Plus, you can play your own tracks in your sets, giving them some exposure. Start small, and gradually move on to bigger things.

The internet has given us producers access to a goldmine of business opportunities. You could emulate what I’m doing, and start your own website, where you sell sample packs and ghost tracks. You can also provide services such as mixing and mastering. Many people build their entire careers around these things!

An Unreliable Income

Ultimately, music production has the potential to be a very profitable career, but be warned: this is not your average 9-5 job. You may be flying high one month, and earning nothing the next.

It is not a career for those looking for a guaranteed paycheck at the end of each month; but rather a career for those who are looking to build a reputable brand over a long period of time, that MAY end up becoming very valuable.

You must be able to use your creativity to come up with new ideas, and be willing to work extremely hard for a very long time, if you want to earn a living from this industry.

Doing What You Love

When considering whether or not to pursue a career, one of the most important things you need to think about is whether you actually like doing it.

If you’re like me, and you love making music, then a career in music production will be very enjoyable. You’ll wake up each day and want to do it. You’ll do it even when you’re not being paid for it.

Waking up in the morning and being excited to do your job, rather than it feeling like a chore, is something we can all agree is worth going after.

But if you don’t particularly enjoy producing music, and you’re considering this career for some other reason, then I would caution you against it.

The road to becoming a music producer is paved with countless amounts of failures and rejections. If you don’t have the inner drive and passion, you will give up eventually. There is only so much a person can take, especially when the motivation is external rather than internal. Passion is what drags you through the toughest moments. If it’s not there, then you will find it virtually impossible to get through those times.

Do you love making music? Do you wake up and want to do it? Would you do it, even if nobody paid you for it? If the answer is yes, then it’s definitely a worthwhile pursuit. If the answer is no, I would probably look somewhere else for something you are passionate about.

The Learning Curve

Make no mistake, learning music production is hard. I mean, really hard.

There’s many people out there who think music production is easy. After all, it’s not like the olden days where you had to learn instruments and do everything from scratch. All you have to do is press a few buttons and the computer does it for you. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The reality is, music production is a skill that needs to be built over time, like any other.

Not only that, but it also requires a lot of different skills combined together. A music producer is responsible for actually ‘making’ a song in it’s entirety. This requires a combination of many unique skills, such as arrangement, music theory, sound design, mixing, mastering, and more.

These are all things that need to be learned and mastered. This takes a huge amount of time and effort. Most people take years to get to a professional level.

The mountain of learning is sky-high, but at the top is a bounty of rewards. Are you willing to climb it? Are you willing to go through frustration and endless problems, to eventually ‘make it’?

Should I Take A Music Course, Or Teach Myself?

There are pros and cons to taking a music course, just as there are pros and cons to being self-taught.


Taking a course allows you to learn a lot quicker and with a lot less headaches along the way. If there is something you are struggling with or don’t understand, you can ask the teacher to help you. In that sense, it is customized for you personally.

There is also a structured approach to courses, so that you can learn everything you need to know, in the right order, at the right time. You don’t have to waste time searching for things you didn’t even know you needed to know.

Probably the biggest benefit of taking a course is the people you will meet. Networking is such a big part of the music industry, and by taking a course, you could meet all sorts of contacts, from fellow producers to label owners and everyone in-between.

However, the downside to taking a course is that they can be very expensive. Some music production courses can set you back thousands. This is the price you must pay for the benefits, and it’s not a small price, either.

If you have the money and are willing to spend it without any negative feeling, I can recommend taking a music production course. However, if the price is too much for you, there is an alternative, so don’t worry about it. If you do decide to take a course, I highly recommend taking it in-person, as opposed to an online course, as this allows you the benefit of meeting new people and networking.


It is absolutely possible to become a music producer without taking a structured, paid course. I myself took this route.

The biggest benefit to being self-taught is the low cost. It is much cheaper to watch YouTube videos, read articles, and listen to audiobooks, than it is to spend thousands on a course.

There is an endless amount of resources on the internet that you can use to learn and improve at music production. You can watch YouTube videos, you can read articles, you can read books. You can even pay small amounts for decent online courses on websites like Udemy. And best of all, you can take it at your own pace. There’s no tight deadlines you need to rush and stress about meeting.

However, the disadvantages of being self-taught is the lack of structure and the lack of personalized mentorship.

You may not even realise that you need to learn a certain skill, and so, you might neglect it. This will create gaps in your knowledge down the line. You can also waste hours looking for tutorials on something, and have to wade through piles upon piles of trash to get to the gold.

Being self-taught also means you don’t have a teacher or mentor looking over your shoulder. The benefit of a teacher is that they can spot your weaknesses and blind spots, and help you overcome them. If you’re teaching yourself, you don’t have that. It’s all down to you. You may not even know what your weaknesses are, which means you can’t improve them.

If you don’t have the money to take a music course, then self-learning is a very viable alternative. It will save you a lot of money in the short term, and you have access to boundless online resources. Just be prepared, there will be a lot of frustration and headaches along the way, and it will probably take longer.

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