What Is Producing?
I deal with a lot of bands who simply aren’t sure what producing is. Some have no idea what it can do to their songs. Some are under the impression that some guy (who also owns a strip club) who has a limo and pony tail is going to call them “baby” and turn them into New Kids on the Block with guitars.
While this sort of thing might exist, I don’t think these sort of producers stick around very long. I could be wrong. The way I see it, a producer is just regular music dude who is working with you to make your songs the best they can be. I’m guessing that everyone has a different idea of what a producer is and I think that stems from the idea that a producer does different things in each situation. One band may have songs that are good but lack an extra push. Another band may just need to be excited in the recording process.
I’m convinced of 2 things.
A Producer does not necessarily have to be a great musician
A Producer does not necessarily have to be a great songwriter.
To me, all a producer has to do is help people who are good at the two things above do those two things better. This could be everything from playing blindfolded, to intentionally ruining a song just to see how the band puts it back together.
I think a producer’s job is to challenge the song. Take the song, tear it apart, push it, pull it, twist, it and see what happens. What happens if we do the most obviously wrong thing to this bridge? Try it. See. Record it live and see. Did it work? Does it sound like crap? Maybe it does sound like crap, but listen to how the chorus sounds now. Hmm. Now the chorus is bigger. Let’s play something less crapty on the bridge but with the same feel. Ahh.
I get excited just pretending that I’m producing a record right now. I find it so exciting to get all the creative juices going with a whole band with the band and I all working together democratically and pushing them to make their songs better. If the band doesn’t like a direction, no problem. We go a different direction.
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