Apprenticeships used to be the JAM.

“Hey Pa, I want to be a blacksmith.”

“Okay, John Boy. Head down to the Blacksmith and be his apprentice.”


Pa didn’t say, “Okay, John Boy. Read these three blacksmithing books and take a blacksmithing course.”

Back then they understood that simply learning about something didn’t bring mastery. Knowledge combined with experience and practice — that’s the only recipe that works.

Let’s say I’m looking to hire someone to work on my next album. You want the job. I ask you what you’ve worked on, and you tell me that you’ve taken every one of my courses, watched every one of Graham’s and Warren’s videos, read every one of Björgvin’s articles, and listened to every one of Ian’s and Lij’s podcasts.

While that’s great stuff, I would still stare at you blankly, waiting for you to tell me something you actually DID. Knowledge is great, but ONLY if it’s combined with experience and practice. Until you’ve actually done the work, over and over, you won’t get any better, you won’t improve, and you won’t get the job.

Think of yourself as an apprentice rather than a student. For every new thing you learn, apply it to a real project in your studio. Spend as much time DOING as you do LEARNING.

Joe Gilder
Home Studio Corner

P.S. Looking for a virtual mixing apprenticeship? Dueling Mixes is what you want. Learn from me and Graham. See how we approach each mix. Mix the song yourself. Rinse and repeat. Every month. You’ll get better…almost by accident. Check it out.