The Formula Behind Great Producers: Deep Mastery of the Basics

I recently started reading a book called 5 Elements of Effective Thinking.

It’s all about, well… thinking.

One quote really stood out to me:

“Don’t face complex issues head-on; first understand simple ideas deeply.”

And it made me think about production.

See, music production is complex. It has lots of moving parts.

The biggest mistake new producers make is trying to understand everything at once instead of developing a foundational understanding of the basics.

The more you understand skills like music theory, songwriting, arrangement and mixing, the better positioned you are to master more complex and specific techniques.

Back to the book…

“When you learn anything, go for depth and make it rock solid.”

Depth comes from repeated, intentional practice and concentration.

If you’re trying to learn music production, you want to focus with intensity on the basics, trying to understand everything in detail.

It’s one of the reasons why we designed EDM Foundations to have FOUR full song walkthroughs: you can’t help but develop depth of understanding if you go through them all.

“Deep work on simple, basic ideas helps to build true virtuosity—not just in music but in everything.”

I’ve talked at length about Deep Work, both in this article and in my Producer Mindset Mastery course.

The truth is: you can’t develop deep mastery of the basics without removing distractions and ignoring the unimportant.

This is one of the most difficult yet rewarding skills that everyone, producer or not, should develop.

“The depth with which you master the basics influences how well you understand everything you learn after that.”

If like many producers you skip over the basics because you find them boring, you’ll soon find yourself hitting a ceiling without an ability to progress further.

You might want to write better songs, but you lack a deep understanding of basic music theory. You can learn some techniques to help you write better songs, but without a foundational knowledge, you’ll have a hard time.

Or you might want to design some unique sounds. You might happen to create some by accident, but without a deep knowledge of synthesis, you’re just playing a guessing game. You’re not in control.

How do you develop deep mastery of music production basics?

One option is to DIY it. Gather educational material and create your own learning plan. Work on your knowledge gaps, spend time to truly understand what you’re learning.

The other option is to take a guided approach, which is what we offer in our Foundations program.

You’ll develop a deep mastery of music production basics through four full song walkthroughs. Not just “knowledge,” but real musical skills that will enable you to confidently tackle the complex task of making your own original music afterwards.

The best thing about it? You can get started right away—just in time for the weekend.

Click here to learn more and enroll​

About the Author

Sam Matla

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I'm the founder of EDMProd and co-author of EDM Foundations. Hobbies including producing, drinking coffee, and reading. Drop me a line on Twitter and follow me on Instagram @sammatla.


P.S. You might be thinking, “Yeah, you’re just another guy with an online course. What makes this any different to what else is out there?”

And before you ask the question: yes, you can learn a lot from YouTube.

So why EDM Foundations?

First of all, this isn’t a course we’ve thrown together over a matter of weeks. It’s been intentionally designed and iterated upon over three years (we usually do a complete redesign once every 12-18 months). The current version took over 6 months to develop. We pride ourselves on quality.

Second, we’ve had almost 3,000 producers enroll (2,982 at the time of writing). Many of them have had great results. The testimonials on this page say it all.​

Finally, it’s an action-based course. We don’t expect you to sign up, sit back, and watch a bunch of videos while munching down popcorn.

You need to follow along with the walkthroughs to develop the deep mastery that I’ve talked about in this email. It will take some work and effort, but it will be extremely rewarding.

Sound like you? Click here to enroll now​