From Timbaland's MasterClass

Making a Beat: Getting Warmed Up

Collaboration with producers and engineers is a key part of Tim’s process. In this chapter, Tim teaches you how he shares music with his team to get them excited and into the creative groove.

Topics include: Find Music Everywhere • Uniqueness and Contrast


Collaboration with producers and engineers is a key part of Tim’s process. In this chapter, Tim teaches you how he shares music with his team to get them excited and into the creative groove.

Topics include: Find Music Everywhere • Uniqueness and Contrast


Teaches Producing and Beatmaking

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What I like to do-- when I come in a session, I like to just play what I've been working on and just get the sonics right. And then I st-- then we're going to start from scratch and just make something. See what we come up with and just have fun. Let the music guide us in this sweet, old session today. I just want to see how these sonics sound. Let's play this. Let's see how these sonics sound. [MUSIC PLAYING] How do you keep the right people around you in your community? It has to be a community of music. It's no right or wrong to communicating and sharing. It's just, do they have the same love as you? And if they don't say love you as you, why is you communicating with them, you know? And if they can-- you could sit on the phone or on a text, talk about stuff or hours, and you were like, yo, we were talking about music for like an hour, or this drum pattern, or teaching the notes. And you're like, dang, this is our life. And when you've got that type of person, the community builds. [MUSIC PLAYING] Now watch Fetti. [MUSIC PLAYING] FETTI: [LAUGHING] - See? - What's the tempo on this one? - 81. MAN: What is it? - 81. [MUSIC PLAYING] Woo. Watch the trick happen. [MUSIC PLAYING] See? [MUSIC PLAYING] We're getting warmed up. [MUSIC PLAYING] See, that sound makes me feel like I'm on the beach, you know? [MUSIC PLAYING] Yeah. [MUSIC PLAYING] - What tempo's that? 81? TIMBALAND: 81. I never was that great in school. I'm going to sit here and admit. Reading-- my thing was-- even talking to you, it's hard for me to talk about music as something that-- because I just-- I can express it more than talking about it. Like if I said, ooh, the bass line. "OK, what--" and somebody that might be smart. A quarter note? Nah. [BEAT BOXING] That's how I talk. I can't do the high-intellect, "quarter note," "minor to this, to--" no. It should move like this. [BEAT BOXING] "What?" And then it's people who know all the intelligence of music talk. But when I come in like, no, you don't hear it's off? Move it back a grid. Move it this way. "Huh? It's going to be off the grid." It's going to move a certain way, trust me. So they'll move it, but their musical theory and how they see it on the screen or on the computer don't match up to how I see it in my brain. And then when I get to show them-- "how you know how to do that?" Because I just mimic-- I need you to mimic what I just did. It might don't look right on the screen, but it's going to feel right. (WHISPERING) "Oh, I get it." So I talk with my mouth, with sounds from mouth. Like if I say I want it, [BEAT BOXING], to sound like that, they be-- "oh, OK. It's like a clap." So I can't-- I'm not a very descriptive person. I've got to do-- what you call it? What's that? Charades. So I've got to do it that way. OK, so Fetti, what is that sound that you just played over the top of there? - It'...

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.

This class has opened my eyes to new workflows and also given me new way to think about production and song creation.

Seing how others love what you love and find success via love justifies more my path.

An amazing producer, the best to ever do it. Glad I was able to watch his creative process. The classes taught me to take my time and try new sounds.

Great Master class ! Sooo motivating ! Thank you soooo much


Sam W.

I liked his discussion at 10:00 about having an open mind, specifically when you hear sounds out in the world that could be used as elements in a beat. I often have the attitude that 'today I'm going to make a song', but that mindset has often restricted my creative flow. So I'm taking this advice.


just started picking up on sounds & rhythm in surroundings this past weekend on a road trip. didn't recall too much once i got back to the studio, so i imagine that's an improvable part of memory. if not, there's always audio recorders & notepads to fill pockets.

A fellow student

I drum on my legs all the time trying to get a rhythm started. It annoys the hell out of everybody but I’m honestly in my own world trying to create something magnificent.

Jovan G.

Cant Go on without commenting. This is changing my mindset towards composing beats, thanks Tim


Timbooooo u great!!! Ur team great!!! Ur masterclass great!!! One question: What r the advantages of Ableton vs Protools? Thanx!

Erik P.

Sonic Gumbo, now that sounds good lol. So literally right now I'm sitting next to my fireplace and I can hear the wind going through it and I started snapping my figures to the cadence of the rhythm. Lesson learned listen to your surroundings. I've sat by it multiple times and never thought of it this way.


I wonder if it might help the collaboration process if all three of you had your screens mirrored on the wall so you could see each others work. I do this in my programming work with others in real time. I think I will do this when I collaborate sometime.


Tim, I have to say it's refreshing to hear unfiltered instruction and to hear you describe and show your process is amazing and inspires me.

Raederle P.

I liked looked up the karaoke versions of the songs Timbaland mentions in this video and just listening carefully to the instrumental arrangements Timbaland created. Dirt off your Shoulder (without the rap) is incredibly hypnotic. In fact, all of Timbaland's creations have a hypnotic feel to me.

Allie G.

This is where all teens got kicked out of the house cause we'd be too we'd hang out in someone's garage....freezing our butts off, playing rythyms, another on all percussive instruments, creating instruments out of it is all in a synthesizer with tech and software/hardware to add and store etc. Memorization from last week of the bass line, rythym, syncopation on various instruments.... you still have to have the beat inside .....Mr. Timbaland is a creative genius INSIDE ! Thank you for sharing your life with us !