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Arts & Entertainment

Making a Beat: Adding a Topline


Lesson time 22:13 min

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.

Teaches Producing and Beatmaking
Step inside the production studio with Timbaland. In his first-ever online class, Tim teaches his process for creating infectious beats and making sonic magic.
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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 . 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 . You gotta let me know it. I'm taking you . 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 . Yeah. Yeah. - That's a dope real part. - (SINGING) Working up my focus, trying to make the . 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.

Passion, relentless creativity, unselfish collaboration and global perspective of the craft. Tim, I want to interview you! Hit me up at We are a Hip Hop station in Florida. You've been here before!!! Thanks for a great class!

Thank you for inspiring us with your beautiful and honest way of approaching music. You thought me what it means to love music.

I liked this class but I felt it was more a chat with Timbaland (wich is great) than a class. It inspires you more it teaches you. I believe that is more a class of creative inspiration than a class of how to produce.

Amazing and inspiring! Greatly enjoyed it and was inspired to create a new jam using some of these techniques and ideas!


Larry G.

Prof Fede really settled into his element throughout the class. His coaching on how the "feel" is and his thought process gave some use full keys to mastery.

Michael D.

I don't see any links to the stems Tim is talking about? No links in the workbook either.

Sebastian X.

At one of the first lessons it says you can download some of the songs (especially the on from the intro and during the first lessons) in the resources sections. But I can't find the resources section.

Api H.

Explains why Tims music is so infectious... thinking about putting together a studio now haha!


This is so insightful! The process of putting a song together is usually shrouded in so much mystery as each person has his / her own creative process. This episode makes 'their' collaboration style really transparent and relatable. I love to see the excitement on their faces when they hear something that they like: ) Truly awesome!

Brandon T.

I catch myself conducting a short freestyle to beats I put together. This is very motivational. I love this video!

Harvey S.

This is by far the best musical production course I have followed ever. The tips Tim gives are wild! Thanks Tim and crew!


this lesson was great but why does the songwriter Adrian look like a mix of Drake the rapper and Drake from Drake & Josh

A fellow student

This masterclass has helped me bring out the best in people i work with ! i actually came on to go over some notes and had to watch timbo in action , truly inspiring . executing your creations is key!. watching his process helps unclutter yourself. ive listened to his music for half my life and now i get to see him in action. so much information in here this is truly your field of diamonds of information !. @bryandavidstheoneandonly

Kevin F.

Tim it's like you in my head. You confirm all the things I thought about making music.