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4 Tips I Wish I Knew When I Was Starting Out

New to making music? We’ve all been there. These tips will help.

By Sam Kalt

When I was in high school, I decided I wanted to make my own music. Since then, I’ve released two of my own albums, produced for tons of local artists, and today I run my own recording studio! My perspective on music, how to make it, and what it means to me has changed so much along the way. Here are a few tips that have helped me achieve my goals as a musician.

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1. You Can’t Bake a Good Cake With Bad Eggs

If you want to improve as a musician, then you need to work on your craft! There are lots of “ingredients” to making a song, and the more skills you have the better. Whether it be lyrics, performance, theory, or studio know-how, by consistently learning about new parts of music, you’ll be able to expand your creative toolkit! Try dabbling in new genres, using new songwriting techniques, or learning a new instrument. Something I did to help expand my creative toolkit was when I signed myself up for singing lessons. I had zero confidence in myself as a vocalist, but it pushed me out of my comfort zone. Now I have experience in a whole new area of music.

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2. There Are No Bad Ideas

My friend Coco once told me during a writing collaboration that there are no bad ideas. His idea behind this phrase was that when you have an idea, go with it for a while before you shut it down!

The reason that so many artists suffer from writer’s block is because they overthink their ideas and let them go before they have a chance to be explored. You don’t need to know exactly what you want as an end product when you start on a project. Creativity has momentum, and once you get it going, it will grow.

3. Find Your Team

So many artists think that they have to do everything on their own. If you really want to upgrade your sound as an artist, you need to find your team! Collaboration is key in creativity. Ideas grow exponentially when you have other people to bounce them back and forth with. Your craft is being a musician. Put things like recording, producing, distribution, and marketing into the hands of people with experience in those fields. Find people who you trust, who understand your music, and who have skills that you don’t. In my role as a professional producer, I get to let artists focus on their music while I take care of the engineering side.

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4. Make Your Own Luck

I’m extremely lucky that I get to work as a music producer, but it’s not like I randomly ended up here either. I had to make my own luck! I always picture my goals like they’re rooms in a building, and the opportunities that lead to them are the doors. If you’re always putting in the effort and searching for opportunities to move one room closer to where you’d like to go, eventually you’ll find a door that’s unlocked for you! As I’ve been going through the hallways of my music journey, I’ve knocked on hundreds of doors that I wasn’t let in to. However, the more doors you try, the more likely you are to find an open one! Sometimes I would even find a door cracked open along the way to another room, so I’d open it up and head down a different path. Honestly, my goal wasn’t always to end up owning a recording studio. In high school, I wanted to be a Dubstep producer. Working toward that goal opened the door for me to produce for other artists, which led to me being able to work at a recording studio, and now I’ve had the opportunity to open my own. Always search for and take opportunities to grow.

About the Author: Samsonite Music Production is a music recording studio located in Salt Lake City. SMP is owned and operated by professional music producer Sam Kalt. Artists of all experience levels are welcome! SMP offers studio recording, instrumental production, mixing, and mastering. Follow SMP on Instagram, and book a free studio tour to see if SMP is a good fit for your project.

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