Finding a Mentor

Discussion in 'Production' started by timeslut, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. timeslut

    timeslut Member

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    Hi all,

    Have any of you found a production mentor who accelerated your learning curve? I have been seeking this out as I feel that having some direct guidance and observation (outside of Livestreams and Youtube tutorials) would really help my learning process. While I've been able to find mentors for other areas of my life (exercise, business), my quest for a music production mentor always seems to be answered with "just practice". While practice is definitely good (and obvious) advice, I believe theres a lot of value in directly interacting and learning with someone who is where I want to be.

    For those that have had a mentor, was it not possible until your releases were good enough? For those who haven't, what is your take on this age old concept for improvement (mentor/student relationship)?

    So far, I'm not getting any responses to my messages via Facebook/Soundcloud to my favorite producers or labels. I'll be in London (technically, Reading) until February, so hopefully I can make some connections in the meantime.
     
  2. miszt

    miszt BASSFACE Royale

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    unfortunately, practice really is the only way to get good at anything, and its definitely the most important aspect...i know you are tired of hearing that, but that's reality i'm afraid! it takes engineers years of practice to get half decent, and decades to get really really good

    look up Masterclasses in google, loads of top producers do them, some free, some not, and of course youtube can teach you almost everything you would ever want to know about anything :) ...knowing stuff is only a tiny fraction of engineering tho, experience from practise is where the knowledge becomes useful
     
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  3. djdizzy

    djdizzy Active Member

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    like miszt said, I think all the replies will be telling you what you don't want to hear. I doubt there's very many ppl on here who have had the luck of being mentored. we're probably all self-taught on here. i'd love to have a mentor but I think that's probably an extreme rarity when it comes to music production. i've had mentors for alot of things too. I think it's easier to find a mentor for things that are highly illegal than it is to find a mentor for music production. at least that's my take on it.
     
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  4. TinnitusD&B

    TinnitusD&B Member

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    Instead of posting threads trying to find someone to directly help create/influence your sound you should lock the doors, turn up your speakers and make tunes until something good comes out! It's the only way to help shape your sound and increase your musical/production skill level.

    Also producers aren't mentors for us amateurs. If you ever get to the levels they've reached you might be able to get tips off them backstage before your set. Maybe.
     
  5. Eternaloptimist

    Eternaloptimist Active Member

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    xtrah mentors in london. get a mentor if u can afford. it will defo save you a lot headaches. first though, make sure understand sound(free course on coursera) then seek mentorship.
     
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  6. Abstract Design

    Abstract Design New Member

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    I know what you are talking about timeslut. I've never had a mentor in producing music, but I had kind of a mentor on guitar. We were really good friends from college music courses and started hanging out and jamming all the time. After I met him, I was playing guitar everyday basically, and I was learning new things quick. I improved at guitar faster than ever before, and it was all because of this friend/mentor. He had played consistently for years and years. I pick up a guitar once every so many months, but he kept me dedicated.

    Imo, a mentor is good and bad. On the one hand, you'll learn many things. On the other hand, you're only going to learn what your mentor feels is important. And considering most mentors are experienced and stay consistent, you will probably develop great habits, but you probably won't learn anything very new or exciting because your mentor will want you to use the old and safe ways that are known to work.

    Maybe what you need, instead of a mentor, is a fellow producer or group of producers that you can bounce ideas off of or share your works with. Who knows, you could even collab with these guys! I know I am definitely interested in telecommuting with a fellow producer, maybe even start some joint projects! If that sounds cool to (any of) you, send me a message on soundcloud at

    https://soundcloud.com/mrkessler
     
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  7. Innovine

    Innovine Active Member

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    Electronic music as a whole is too new to have a mature concept such as mentorship. About the best you're going to get is peer review and support by posting tunes in the track feedback forums and discussing your work. Also, reviewing other amateur tracks can help you enormously, as you practice hearing whats wrong with the track and how to correct it. No amount of listening to and A/Bing your track against masterpieces gets you that talent.



    I've had mentors in guitar, drums, and like you, business. It's great, but I don't think it exists in electronic music yet. Too many bedroom producers being experts on forums, not enough money and market to teach professionally, no culture of teachers and lessons (besides youtube tuts by random peeps), not long enough established to develop formulaic training methodology, changing technology, techniques and style at breakneck pace.. most are struggling just to keep up, nevermind take time to help others learn.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
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  8. timeslut

    timeslut Member

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    This is good advice. Although I would pay Xtrah if I had the dough ;). It's interesting to hear that a lot of you are self-taught/haven't had a mentor either; I do think in person-meet-ups help make the connections stronger (and the feedback more likely) when it comes to critiquing each other's tunes.

    In the meantime, I'll see you all on the New Track section of the forum.

    I do remember reading how Cyantific/Wilkinson helped mentor Dimension a bit (he sent them his tunes). So I do think this holds some truth: if you reach a certain threshold, other producers take notice and realize your potential.
     
  9. Innovine

    Innovine Active Member

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    I guess it doesn't help that dnb is more specialized/underground/rare than guitar playing, and many producers are alone in their geographic areas. The internet is the only way to communicate with like-minded producers for most of us.
     
  10. TinnitusD&B

    TinnitusD&B Member

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    of course, but they would have to see a certain level of talent before they invest their time.
     
  11. Abstract Design

    Abstract Design New Member

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    Chea that's why I'm trying to do the telecommuting thing with some like-minded producers. I'm tired of random input and opinions from people who might be making Liquid when I'm making minimal, etc.