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6 Essential Takeaways from Rick Rubin for Music Production Success

In today's world, music producers are always on the lookout for creative inspiration and techniques to enhance their sound. We've been consuming a lot of Rick Rubin content lately, diving into his podcasts and books. Rubin, a renowned music producer, has shared valuable insights on creativity that can be applied to music production. In this article, we'll discuss six key takeaways from Rick Rubin that can help you level up your music production skills.


The True Instrument is You

In his book, Rick Rubin emphasizes that the true instrument in music production is the artist themselves. Often, music producers get caught up in debates about which digital audio workstation (DAW) or plugins to use. However, the most important thing is the artist behind the art, as their work is a culmination of their life experiences. The listener ultimately hears the finished product, not the specific tools used to create it.


Context Matters

Rubin explains that context plays a crucial role in music production. He encourages producers to think about how different elements sound in various contexts. For example, consider how an 808 snare drum sounds in a trap beat versus an indie beat. Experimenting with sounds from different styles can lead to creative breakthroughs and unique productions.


Create an Open Environment for Creativity

Rubin suggests that creativity is an ethereal force that we must be ready to accept. To tap into this creative energy, it's essential to create an open environment free of distractions. For example, try cutting off Wi-Fi, putting your phone in a separate room, or establishing a ritual to initiate the creative process. This can help you remain focused and more likely to produce something exceptional.


Embrace the Ruthless Edit

According to Rubin, the ruthless edit involves stripping a song down to its absolute essential elements. This process can take a song in an entirely new direction that might not have been initially planned. It's essential to be open to removing elements and rebuilding a song to discover new ideas and opportunities for creativity.


Take Care of Your Physical and Mental Health

Rubin emphasizes the importance of physical and mental health in the creative process. By exercising, eating healthily, and maintaining a clear mind, you can access the creative headspace more easily. This can lead to increased focus, energy, and patience when working on music production projects.


Build a Habit Around Your Identity

Lastly, Rubin encourages music producers to base their habits around their identity. If you identify yourself as a music producer, it becomes easier to establish a consistent routine and stay dedicated to your craft. This mindset shift can make it more natural to sit down and create music regularly.



Rick Rubin's insights into creativity and music production can greatly benefit aspiring and experienced producers alike. By focusing on the artist's role, considering context, creating an open environment, embracing ruthless edits, taking care of your physical and mental health, and building habits around your identity, you can unlock new levels of success in your music production journey.



    1. Who is Rick Rubin? Rick Rubin is a legendary music producer who has worked with artists across various genres, including rock, hip-hop, and pop.

    2. What is the role of context in music production? Context refers to how different elements sound in various settings, which can influence the overall feel and impact of a song.

    3. What is the ruthless edit? The ruthless edit is the process of stripping a song down to its core components, identifying the elements that truly define it. By removing extraneous parts, you can often discover new directions and ideas that you wouldn't have considered

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