We listen to a song on a recording and we say, “wow! I love that song”. Little did we know that there’s a lot more into it behind the scenes. If you think about it, a piece of music is created from nothing to a beautiful work of art. I always wonder to myself how a masterpiece came to be from scratch, just someone’s tinkering with a piano or guitar or any other instruments.
Well, that’s a start. The whole process from nothing to a released music album is what we’re going to talk about here. Song production is no easy task, to say the least. There are many music production classes online, but only a few would make sense. So, here I am reviewing Timbaland’s MasterClass.
Why Do We Need This?
You might be clueless right now on why I need to review a music production class and present it to an audience of singers. Well, the reason is simple. I know for a fact that some of you have far-reaching dreams. A handful of you will make it through their exceptional singing talent. Some will become popular because of their performing style and charisma. And a few of you will produce their song and become viral and famous.
Have you heard of Daniel Bedingfield? Some might call him a one-hit-wonder, it’s true. But the same is true with Johann Pachelbel with his canon.
Going back to Bedingfield, he got a break when his hit song If You’re Not the One broke out in the US airwaves. Unlike most artists, he’s a one-person team and wasn’t backed by a label before he got famous. He writes, sings, and produces his songs.
Also, he has three songs that become popular. The two of them, Gotta Get Through and Never Gonna Leave Your Side, found massive success in the UK.
The point here is writing your song, singing it, and producing is another path for you to take to become a professional singer. Many celebrities found success by following this kind of path to glory. Many started their career as music producers. And one of them is Timbaland.
I’m sure that you’re familiar with Timbaland, and I’m guessing that you have a few of his songs saved on your iPhone. But for those who’re not aware of him, he’s one of the country’s most popular and successful rappers, DJ, music producer, and songwriter.
His primary music production works help other artists like Missy Elliot and Aaliyah to obtain a much more elevated status in the entertainment industry. One of his most notable projects is Justin Timberlake’s song, Cry Me A River, which helped Justin spearhead into the music industry as a solo artist after getting separated from his former band, N*Sync.
Besides his production work, he is a prolific songwriter, having at least 200 written songs reaching Billboard charts both in the UK and US. Almost every celebrated hip-hop and R&B artist sang one of his songs that resulted in a hit.
MasterClass: How Good is it?
Compared to Christina Aguilera and Usher’s classes, Timbaland only has 12 lessons with 12-minute length. But it doesn’t mean that it’s less meaty than the two. Unlike direct singing lessons like the former two, Timbaland’s course is substantial and technical, which will require you to take in small amounts before you get things right.
Unlike most classes on the web about music production and beat-making, Timbaland doesn’t start with gears and confusing terminologies. He starts his session with an amusing yet straightforward method of making songs. Timbaland does it pronto and only uses his creativity and mouth.
My mouth was left agape when he did that. I’m sure the creators from MasterClass scripted some parts of the course, but from just a cool beat using his voice and transforming it to a relaxing song was just plain astonishing.
The course is also entertaining. If you’re not a fan of Timbaland, you’ll be surprised at how down to earth he is on this course. And I know if it’s intended, but the videography is quite weird for this course. It’s like you’re talking to three different Timbaland’s. You got the young and energetic Timbaland that do lyrics in the booth. You got the calm and mature Timbaland that explains production. And lastly, you got the old, and wise Timbaland with hair peppered black and white that provides somber advice on what you need to do to make music.
What he teaches is insightful for both a vocalist and a songwriter. And with his instructions, it seems that anyone can make a beat as long as they can move their lips and produce a sound.
Also, he touches the surface when it comes to music theory, particularly chord progressions. This knowledge is handy when learning new songs or trying to create a musical notation of a song.
What Disheartened Me
I was purely optimistic that this can teach me to make excellent music alone and fast. Unfortunately, I mistakenly set the wrong expectations. The class is good, but it suits teachers, producers, and people behind the recording booth better.
But don’t think that it’s worthless to singers. It’s enlightening to watch and learn how people develop songs from little beats alone. It can also help you understand how songs are structured. And you’ll have a better understanding of how rhythms, chord progressions, and effects blend to empower a song’s vocalist and its lyrics.
Besides, even if he didn’t start with technical knowledge and equipment, I affirmed that you still need some form of deeper understanding with sound mixing and using recording devices. And if you look closer, the equipment required is quite a considerable investment to have.
As a singer, Timbaland’s course will not be your primary reason you’ll subscribe to MasterClass. It would be Christina’s or Ushers. However, it’s an excellent follow up to those two courses. And it’s this reason why taking the all-access subscription is worth more than other online classes that teach singing.
Nonetheless, for teachers, singers who want to be recording artists, and hobbyists, this is a course for you. This class is much more valuable if you like R&B and hip-hop. And it completely complements the DeadMau5 electronic music production course, which is also in MasterClass.
Click this link to go straight to Timbaland’s class, : Timbaland Teaches Producing and Beatmaking