From Timbaland's MasterClass

Making a Beat: Adding a Topline

With help from New City vocalist Adrian Mitchell, Tim shows you the most important step in making a chart-topping hit— creating the vocal melody or “topline”— and shares his philosophy on lyrics.

Topics include: Record However You Can


With help from New City vocalist Adrian Mitchell, Tim shows you the most important step in making a chart-topping hit— creating the vocal melody or “topline”— and shares his philosophy on lyrics.

Topics include: Record However You Can


Teaches Producing and Beatmaking

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Okay, so now, I have Adrian, a songwriter, the group of New City, one of my new acts. I got him here. I did a track, yes, well a day ago. And I want to play it for him and show you how we process music, how we go to the next level with something that we already started. So Adrian, what's up, my G? - What's up? - So I'm going to play you what the crew, what we all did. - For sure. - And let this vibe do it. - Yeah, let's let the speakers speak, man. - See, we don't really talk about it. We just let the speakers speak. So with that being said, Chris. [MUSIC PLAYING] [DISTORTED VOICE] Oo. Yeah. And as you see, the speaker was talking to it, as it's talking to you. Break it down now. When you get in the room with the artist, it's all about just conversation, just-- you know, just talking. And you're doing music. There's no thought process. It's all about having fun. And the music come out. Then when you first-- get the first-- oo, didn't [INAUDIBLE]. You know what we should do? And everybody is throwing the ideas. You know, once the track is-- like, everybody is just throwing, bouncing out. It's the energy, you know, having a drink, laughing, going in the booth. It's all about making this part fun. Because after this is work. Just be who you are. You're a musical genius. Your gift, your gift to sound, you're presenting sounds to hear his lovely voice, or her voice, serenade across your lovely instruments and your well-thought-out, put-together track. You ready? - I'm ready. Yeah, let's do it. - Come on. Basically, now, he's going to go in. But I know you heard the track before. It had a lot of instruments. But we emptied out some of the instruments to create space. Right, guys? - Yeah. - So now that we emptied out some of the instruments, so Adrian can go in there and layer-- or do what he do, do what he do best, see what-- see what the speakers tell him what to do. That being said, Adrian, you ready? - Yeah, all good. - Let's go. [MUSIC PLAYING] - (SINGING) Trying to talk about it. Maybe fight about it. All them games, I don't want to fight about it. Risk my life with dodging. I put my life on doubt for everything. I can't bring me to you. Tell me when I gotta go. Tell me you want to take it there. Tell me if I'm on a roll 'cause I can be the one [INAUDIBLE]. You gotta let me know it. I'm taking you [INAUDIBLE]. I'm picking up the focus. Hey, yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm talking about your mornings. Can't get you out of focus. Baby, I know, yeah. Working around for the half of my life, thinking of where I-- no, no, no. The shot is-- - [HUMS MELODY] - (SINGING) I wanna know if you've been talking about us, no, yeah. You've been looking for me, trying to make [INAUDIBLE]. Yeah. Yeah. - That's a dope real part. - (SINGING) Working up my focus, trying to make the [INAUDIBLE]. Yeah, yeah. TIMBALAND: Pause it. - (SINGING) Yeah, yeah. ...

Find your beat

Grammy-winning music producer Timbaland takes you behind the boards to teach you his process for creating iconic tracks with artists like Jay-Z, Missy Elliott, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, and Aaliyah. In his first-ever online class, learn how to collaborate with vocalists, layer new tracks, and create hooks that stick. Step into Timbaland’s studio and learn from one of the industry’s most innovative hit makers.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I was very satisfied! Timbaland is a very talented musician! The information was well given! Loved this class! Thank you Masterclass!

Timbaland reminds me of a guru. His calm flow and focus is what I believe help to make good musicians great. Excellent Masterclass.

What an awesome class. What Tim and his crew are teaching here is not music production, but soul and feeling. This has been incredibly inspiring, and definitely something that I will return to and watch again. I have been stuck with my producing for a while, but this has been an excellent reminder to have fun and not take things too seriously.

A phenomenal insight into the mastermind of Timbaland! Feeling inspired, energised and ready to take risks.


Mark L.

Its so crazy how similar Tim's process is to my own, freestyling melodies to come up with songs/lyrics etc.

Mitchel M.

I like this Class a lot, and wow i can't stop watching those great man work. (having fun) So beautifull to see how easy it goes. (a great WOW factor) I hope some day i can do the same, I am working on it . ;-)

Sarah F.

I keep getting an error message for the DOWNLOAD PDF <?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?> <Error> <Code>AccessDenied</Code> <Message>Request has expired</Message> <X-Amz-Expires>3600</X-Amz-Expires> <Expires>2019-06-10T03:05:53Z</Expires> <ServerTime>2019-06-10T16:29:58Z</ServerTime> <RequestId>C844061858B0FCC2</RequestId> <HostId>BT7m/IcUJ3RX0Ke1XSkim7bjc/p8ImHXnaV5OseacCyk7Sq1YD43pScDiPj31NETN3F+JT55ZOM=</HostId> </Error>

Marcelo M.

Creativity surpasses everything, Tim shows us how we can have great things through the simplest things. Simplify the simple. Lesson of gold

Gonzalo F.

huge lesson !! Thanks Tim. Stay connect with the music and create with a free and fun mindset. Great !!


Learnt so much from this chapter having spent so much money with various produces over the years. Don't get me wrong I learnt loads but now learning to do it myself. Tim's advice in this chapter justified that decision in just needing raw talent, creativity and a computer. :))

Erik P.

Love the simplicity of that it’s all about the “Feelin” and just improvising to serve the music. Great metaphor about the Ginger and Sushi.

George E. H.

"Record however you can" Man... just listening to Tim and the team saying that guts and creativity outshines quality takes so much weight off my back. Right now my recording booth Is my closet so you get my feeling lol. Thanks again for this great lesson

Sara F.

I can't find the stems :( This is awesomee. What auto-tune plugin does Timba use??

Leon T.

Well I got the stems and let the speakers speak - this is what happened ... Thank you for another amazing class !!!