Timbaland Teaches Producing and Beatmaking

Meet your instructor: Timbaland, producer of countless Top 40 hits for artists ranging from Jay-Z to Missy Elliott and Justin Timberlake. In your first lesson, Tim shows you how to create an entire track with just your voice and a microphone.

TIMBALAND: Well, here we are in the Hit Factory. I have my Team Timbo here– Chris, my engineer, been with me for years, Fede and Angel, Team Timbo, part of Team Timbo. There’s a big expansion. But this is the main hub.

What are you seeing here is I’m opening up to y’all and showing you how I do it at home. This is what I do with my crew. All my, you know, Angel, Fede– we all collectively be together. We all work together through our laptops, and how we– our workflow is just like a ongoing party. We just transfer sounds to one another, and just cut the speakers on, and jam out.

[HIP HOP MUSIC]

So we’re going to make music. We’re going to talk about the music. And I’m going to talk about some of my songs that I already created that were hits, and talk about how I created them at the time, and what was my thought process.

We’re going to record vocals. We’re going to show you how melody is structured from a writer, from me working with a writer, me working with the artists. You’re going to see all of that in this class.

But if you want to know about the technical parts about the EQing and producing, that’s more about going online tutorials about plug-ins and other things. But you’re going to learn about feeling. You’re going to learn about getting the groove and enjoying one another, fellowship.

New producers, young producers, other– if you’re up and coming, show me your work. Show me what you got. Show me what it is. Show me what you want to do.

I start using my mouth as a instrument because when I try to tell people what I want, or what I was looking for, or what I wanted to hear, I always had a problem articulating. But my mouth was the easiest way to articulate things, for me, when it comes to music. If I can do the rhythm with my mouth first, then I can duplicate it on a drum machine.

But the first part has to be in my head and my mouth. I have to come out with the sounds because it’s in my head. And it just comes out. Take “Are You That Somebody,” I use my mouth on that because I wanted to do a roll. And I knew I know how to do this clicking sound, so I put that in that. And I just fill up the space with my mouth.

“Cry Me a River” was started with my mouth. And then the song was created around that. I started with doing just a melody, just the melody of the song with my mouth. And then I layered it. And then we added instruments on top.

So a lot of times, I can start off with just my mouth to get the basic melody. And then I build around that. So I would like to show you instead of talking about it how I sta…

LESSON PLAN

01. Introduction
02. Studio Session: Making a Beatbox Beat
03. Building Beats: Tim’s Process
04. Making a Beat: Getting Warmed Up
05. Song Origins: “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”
06. Making a Beat: Starting With a Chord Progression
07. Making a Beat: Tweaking and Layering Drums
08. Song Origins: “Pony”
09. Making a Beat: Manipulating Vocal Samples
10. Making a Beat: Creating a Breakdown
11. Song Origins: “Gossip Folks”
12. Making a Beat: Adding a Topline
13. Song Origins: “Are You That Somebody?”
14. Tim’s Influences
15. How to Persevere

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