Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is production music taken for granted and seen being worth less than it has in the past?

A. Even though there are many so called composers out there right now using computer products to make them sound like they have the talent necessary to be a composer today, some do get away with it. However, I will tell you that technology wears thin after a few projects when the composer is now asked to write anything that doesn't contain things like "loops" and "pre-fabricated phrases". Some day those so called "composers" will be asked to write an orchestral score, or a big band arrangement, or solo piano and guitar and will not have the knowledge to do so.

But back to the question. Production music has suffered because of the invasion of these so called "composers" to the point where a client will pay less for music even if it is somewhat close to what the client wants just to save the money. So in the long run the production music industry suffers too because now we are thought of as just loop composers and the like.

I myself always tell my clients that the instruments they are hearing are live. Any loops I will use are there for added colors… depending on the styles of music of course. Music like Hip Hop and Techno do require a certain amount of looping and for that I am ok with. But normal everyday music of many styles should be played and composed with as many live instruments as you can handle. Be it by yourself, or by hiring other players.

Q. Is there still room in the industry for independent composers?

A. There is still room in any music industry for composers and players. But it truly depends on your talent level. If you are a run of the mill talent and you sound like everyone else that graduates from music school these days with a very limited idea and expertise on your given instrument, then you will fail.

You have to be talented. You have to be accomplished on your instrument. You have to be innovative, and most of all. You have to do it all. By that I mean, there is much more to being a composer these days than  just writing music either on computer or on paper. You have to know how to run your equipment. You need to be a recording engineer, a mixer, a masterer, a musician, and so much more.

Your mixes are a HUGE part of what the client is going to hear. You might have a great song, but if you mixed it poorly, the client is not going to take it. And you only get one chance in this industry.

If you have the real talent and the motivation and the Business skills, you can make it as an independent. You have to have good business sense as well. You can’t just sit back and write music. Someday you will have to pick up the phone and try to sell yourself to clients. That in itself is a real challenge as well,

Q. Is it better to specialize in one genre (or mood) of production music or is it better to cover a wide range of styles?

A. The widest range of styles you can imagine. This is where the real challenge lies. This is where the real musicians stand out from the average 16 year old kid with a synthesizer and a bunch of loops. Listen to the range of styles on my website, you ill get the idea...this must be done in order to call yourself a composer. All real composers write it all.

Q. What advice would you give a composer who is looking to get started in the industry?

A. Make sure you finish school. Even if it is a music education major, you need to have the knowledge of how each instrument works and how to compose for it. I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard "fake" sax solos and other instruments that the so called 'composer" wrote for that the music is not even in the instruments range. This is a tell tale sign that the person has no idea how to play this instrument or what the characteristics of the instrument are.

I mean, if you want to spend your time saying to yourself, "that's good enough", then you will forever be just "good enough". So many so called "composers" are ignorant in this regard. They must feel they don't need to know this for one reason or another but I have to tell you...You Do! You have to be as good as or better than everyone else out there. You have to either be unique, or very consistent in your quality, or very versatile in your styles to be able to make it as a composer.

A good composer will research the music before he or she starts on a project. If you don't know what zydeko music is, you better find out! Someone someday is going to ask you for it. It better be good or you won’t get called again.

Now granted, you will always find company's looking for music that is just "good enough' for them.....but they do not last. And a real composer shouldn't be happy with that "good enough" attitude. If you are, then you need to find another line of work because your music will lack passion, and so many other things in it that it needs and eventually... you will just drift away... and wind up working at Starbucks.