The Timbaland Music Producing and Beatmaking Masterclass online course is one of the most interesting classes on the Masterclass learning platform, but it’s definitely not for everyone.
This first-of-its-kind insider look into the genius behind legendary music producer Timbaland is something that I didn’t know I’d been waiting for for years, and I would recommend it to any of my peers who have any sort of interest in Timbaland, his genre of music, or music-making in general.
In this review, I discuss everything you need to know about Timbaland’s Masterclass, from why you might be interested in it, what you can learn from it, and everything you get by signing it, so that you can make your own choice on whether or not it’s right for you.
First, what is MasterClass?
MasterClass is making waves as an online education platform because the instructors are some of the world’s most successful people.
The format of MasterClass is pretty standard for the e-learning industry. You get access to lessons in the form of videos and notes.
What makes MasterClass unique, and utterly compelling, is this:
- The instructors are legends in their field. MasterClass has 80+ instructors and all of them are household names. It’s pretty staggering how MasterClass was able to recruit these instructors to come aboard.
- The video lessons are epic. This is because the production quality is Hollywood level good and that the instructors are so candid when they talk about their craft.
I’ve taken over a dozen MasterClasses and I found each one valuable. You can read about my overall experience with MasterClass in my review here.
In my opinion, I’ve found MasterClass more engaging and useful for my brain than binge-watching Netflix all day.
Before we get stuck into Timbaland’s MasterClass review, I’m sure you’re wondering:
How much does MasterClass cost?
If you want to consume just one class, it will set you back $90.
But MasterClass also offers an All-Access Pass that gives you unlimited access to every class for $180 per year.
They’ve also got a money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied within 30 days, you can get a full refund.
I have the All-Acess Pass option as I originally signed up for the writing courses. It’s completely up to you though, obviously.
Why I Decided to Check Out the Timbaland Masterclass
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a huge fan of Timbaland hits growing up.
As an early 90s kid, I was in high school right around the time when Timbaland really took over the scene. With hits like Pass at Me, The Way I Are, and Scream, there were few artists I listened to more than Timbaland back in the day.
And what I love about Timbaland is that he’s not just a musician; he’s a producer who’s worked with the best of the best.
Even just casual music fans should know that his influence can be heard from the tracks of all kinds of artists over the last two decades.
Jay-Z, Aaliya, Justin Timberlake, Missy Elliott — simply put, if you’ve ever stepped into a club, you’ve danced to a Timbaland beat.
So when I first saw that Masterclass had worked with Timbaland to produce a class all about music production and beatmaking, it just felt like an obvious choice, especially since I already had my MasterClass membership.
I’ve been following Timbaland for years, and he’s not really as loud or flashy as so many celebrities today.
This Masterclass is the first time Timbaland has ever done anything like this, giving you an inside look into how he makes hooks that stick, layers tracks, and collaborates with the best vocalists in the industry.
Am I a professional in the industry? Not at all.
Do I ever think I’ll have a real career making music? No chance.
But getting access to the mind of one of the greatest music producers of our generation is an opportunity I could never pass up.
As Timbaland says in the class, “As long as you love music, you are welcome in this world of producing.”
And there are few players in the music industry who have made me love music more than Timbaland himself. Signing up to this class was just an obvious choice.
What Timbaland’s Masterclass Is All About
The Timbaland Masterclass online course covers everything you need to know to understand the fundamentals behind music producing and beatmaking.
You get a professionally-made inside look not only into the mind of an industry-veteran music producer, Timbaland, but also the team who has been with him every step of the way: co-producers Angel Lopez and Fede Vindever, and audio engineer Chris Godbrey.
You get to understand what really goes into music production. Think of all the questions you might have ever wondered about music, like:
- How is music made?
- How do they come up with the beats?
- Do they think of music first, or lyrics first?
- How do they connect beats together to make up tracks and songs?
- How do different artists with different styles collaborate successfully with each other?
The Timbaland Masterclass answers all these questions and more.
It helps you understand that music production and beatmaking requires understanding your own mind; the best way to get the most creativity out of you.
It’s all about finding your workflow, or the best way for you to build a track from start to finish without losing momentum, because if you lose that momentum before a beat is done, you might never be able to pick it up again.
The greatest insight you will get from this Timbaland music producing Masterclass is just the ultimate understanding of how this creative journey can be so strict and strenuous, and you will see the challenges that music producers face.
They kind of live life on a different frequency from the rest of us, because their brains are always open, like antennas looking for a signal, a sound from any source to serve as inspiration for the next hit beat.
15 topics are covered in the Timbaland Masterclass, and these are:
- Studio Session: Making a Beatbox Beat
- Building Beats: Tim’s Process
- Making a Beat: Getting Warmed Up
- Song Origins: “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”
- Making a Beat: Starting With a Chord Progression
- Making a Beat: Tweaking and Layering Drums
- Song Origins: “Pony”
- Making a Beat: Manipulating Vocal Samples
- Making a Beat: Creating a Breakdown
- Song Origins: “Gossip Folks”
- Making a Beat: Adding a Topline
- Song Origins: “Are You That Somebody?”
- Tim’s Influences
- How to Persevere
So overall, the course is so much more than just the “formula” on how to write a song or make a beat.
Timbaland doesn’t just tell you straight, “This is how you make a beat, this is the software you need, these are the steps you need to take”, because he emphasizes that beatmaking isn’t just a chore or a task with a step-by-step process.
Like the old saying, “Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day; teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime”, Timbaland really delves into the mental processes that make up his music production journey, and you really feel like he’s making a real effort to impart his personal wisdom in the class, telling you all the personal parts of music production that you can’t really put into words.
Who Is Timbaland’s Music Producing and Beatmaking Masterclass For?
This isn’t the kind of course I would recommend to just anyone.
I know a lot of people who might lose interest just a few minutes into the first video, and that’s fine; we all love music, but the art and science of music production isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
If you can relate to any of the following, then you might be interested in this amazing Masterclass:
- You are a professional in the music industry and want to expand your skills and knowledge
- You are trying to break into the music industry at any capacity — songwriter, music producer, or anything else — and you want an insider’s look on how the professionals do it
- You are a fan of Timbaland or his style of music and would love to get a deeper look into what goes on behind your favorite tracks
- You like learning from professionals in any field, and love hearing the processes and thoughts behind making things that become great
- You already have a Masterclass all-access pass and are looking for some quality insight into a field that you might know nothing about
Here’s the thing: if it interests you, you will learn so much from this Masterclass, more so than most other music-focused classes out there. if it doesn’t interest you, then you won’t like it at all.
So it really depends on you and how much you think you will benefit from what Timbaland tries to teach.
What Makes Timbaland The Perfect Mentor?
If you’re not sure who Timbaland is, just think back to 2009 hits like The Way I Are, Apologize, and Give It To Me.
These beats have that drummy, upbeat RnB flair that’s like a signature on every Timbaland track.
He also collaborated with Katy Perry for one of her earlier songs, If We Ever Meet Again. He’s also worked with many more amazing artists including Jay-Z and Beyonce.
If you need something else to jog your memory, listen to 2006’s absurdly popular hit SexyBack with Justin Timberlake, which went on to win him Best Dance Recording at the Grammys.
These are just some of the songs that made Timbaland a clubhouse favorite, who now has more than 20 music award nominations and 15 wins to his name.
Beatmaking is a process that’s specific to every artist. Some begin with instruments, others go straight to audio software and mess around with tunes.
But what makes Timbaland so interesting is that his beats start with one accessible instrument: his mouth.
This makes Timbaland an amazing mentor. Not everyone has a decked out studio or any instrumental skill.
For people like me who only have a rudimentary understanding of audio engineering, Timbaland shows you that equipment isn’t going to make or break your beatmaking.
He goes into the creative process involved in the making of a song and how you can transform a recorded audio of your own voice by adding melody, harmony, and all these cool elements to it.
Is this a technical MasterClass?
No, you won’t learn how to use audio software as a beginner; if you’re looking for a tutorial on how to start using audio equipment and software, there are better sources out there.
What Timbaland does, however, is share what he knows of things like chord progression, layering drums, and where to seek out inspiration.
It’s definitely a MasterClass designed to pique your curiosity and get your creative juices flowing.
Everything You Get With Timbaland’s MasterClass
With the $90 single class pass or the $180 all-access pass, you can access the following deliverables:
- 15 video lessons. The entire course can be completed in 3 hours and 2 minutes.
- A downloadable workbook with exercises and supplemental materials that will help you connect with the course. If you’re new to music production and don’t understand some of the jargon, those terms are broken down and explained in the workbook.
- Easy access through almost all digital devices including Amazon Fire Tablets, smart TVs, PCs, and personal devices
- Practice tracks. I was really surprised to see this among the downloadables. Timbaland has created two sets of samples and tracks that you could practice on so you don’t have to create one from scratch.
The MasterClass has 15 videos, with topics ranging from the beatmaking process to insight on songs he’s previously composed.
For Timbaland fans who want to get into his head, this is definitely a fun way to understand how he begins the song making process and how to elevate a sound to make it studio-ready.
The MasterClass has two major “components”, Making A Beat and Pony:
Making A Beat
The Making A Beat sections of the course are all about the production itself. The videos offer great insights into how he works, from creation to collaboration.
I think my favorite is “Making A Beat: Getting Warmed Up” where he shows his collaboration process with his producers and sound engineers.
For the most part, these videos break down songs into structure and you learn exactly what makes songs sound good.
For example, in “Making A Beat: Adding a Topline”, they talk about creating that unique but familiar vocal melody that’s an ingredient to any chart-topping song.
Part of the course is understanding how Timbaland’s mind works. In the Song Origins section of the MasterClass, Timbaland would go into how a certain song was produced, including the iconic Pony song.
These videos are less about technique and more about fleshing out your creativity to take your track to the next level.
Is Timbaland’s MasterClass Worth It?
I’ve read other reviews talking about how the course was on the shorter side but I don’t think Timbaland tried to fast-track through the entire thing.
Each video was straightforward, concise, and instructive. On top of the workbook, you get to practice on the tracks included in the course and kind of tinker with the things that you learned from watching him.
At first I was just copying exactly what he did to try and replicate the same results, but as I progressed through the course I found myself wanting to experiment with new beats.
It didn’t always sound great, but the fact that the tracks are available for you to practice on really makes a world of difference in terms of hands-on application.
Granted, I’m not a very musically gifted person but I still managed to string up a decent sequence or two. I can only imagine how fun it would be for someone who has a better musical background.
Did I enjoy this class? It was definitely fun.
Learning new jargon and techniques is great, but I think Timbaland’s personality and passion just makes the course that much more enjoyable.
Music production can feel so obscure and tech-heavy but Timbaland’s MasterClass offers you a front seat to straightforward, creative, and accessible beatmaking.
I can see this MasterClass working for all sorts of learners.
For someone like me who has a very basic understanding of sound engineering and a keen interest in music, this course turns songwriting and beatmaking into something that I can actually learn piece by piece.
Timbaland teaches songs in structures; something that has little moving parts and pieces like beat, rhythm, lyrics, and hooks.
If you learn how to do each component well, you’re on your way to creating a good song.
I have no doubt that someone who has a more solid skill set and a way better understanding of music than I have will really get their money’s worth with the course.
And even if you already know all the fundamentals of beat creation and studio production, it’s still worth going through the course for Timbaland’s magnetic, innovative, and yet humble energy alone.
Or get the MasterClass All Access Pass here.
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