As a producer, you might be wondering if you need to learn music theory. After all, some of the biggest names in music like Skrillex and Diplo have achieved massive success without any formal training in music theory. However, it’s important to understand that music theory can help you become a better producer and enhance your overall musicality.

What is music theory?

Music theory is the study of how different elements of music such as melody, harmony, rhythm, and form work together to create a piece of music. It covers everything from the basics of reading sheet music to advanced topics like chord progressions and counterpoint.

Why should producers learn music theory?

1. Better understanding of musical concepts: Learning music theory can help you understand the underlying concepts behind the music you create. This knowledge can help you identify what works well in a track and why it works.

2. Improved production skills: Music theory can help you create more complex harmonies and melodies that sound pleasing to the ear. It can also help you develop a better sense of rhythm and timing.

3. Collaboration with other musicians: If you plan on collaborating with other musicians or vocalists, having a basic understanding of music theory can make communication easier and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

4. Career advancement: Knowing music theory can set you apart from other producers who don’t have this knowledge. It shows that you are serious about your craft and willing to put in the effort to improve your skills.

What specific areas of music theory should producers focus on?

1. Chord progressions: Understanding chord progressions is essential for creating harmonies that sound good together. You’ll want to learn about major and minor chords, as well as more complex progressions like jazz chords. Melody: Melody is what makes a track memorable and catchy. Learning about scales, modes, and intervals can help you create melodies that work well with your chosen chords. Rhythm: Rhythm is the backbone of any track. Learning about time signatures, tempo, and syncopation can help you create more interesting rhythms that keep listeners engaged. Arrangement: Arrangement refers to the structure of a track. Learning how to build tension and release it through different sections of a song can help you create tracks that are more dynamic and interesting.


While it’s true that some producers have achieved success without any formal training in music theory, it’s important to understand that learning music theory can only benefit your career as a producer. It can help you create more complex harmonies and melodies, improve your overall musicality, and set you apart from other producers in the industry. So if you’re serious about your craft as a producer, consider investing some time into learning music theory.