Ok, so recently I've taken an interest in Producing. And one of the things that should be learned...or at least glance over is Music Theory.
According to Wikipedia:
Music theory is the study of how music works. It examines the language and notation of music.
With that being said, let's get started with the stuff that you NEED to know.
Notes and Tones
On a normal piano there are 88 keys. Now that's a lot, and for a beginner it is almost impossible to wrap your head around.
How am i supposed to learn each and every key?
Well, pianos keys are not all 1 different key with it's own individual name. They are grouped into groups of 7. This is called an octave. And the individual keys that make up an octave are called a tone. Each tone in the octave are organized with a letter. It goes CDEFGAB.
Here's a graph to explain.
Doesn't it seem a little easier now that you aren't looking at the entire keyboard? I'll cover what all you can do and manipulate in these octaves. But that is the basic over view of notes and tones.
Beats and Measures
So now that you know the layout of the very basics. Let's move on to beats, now the most common beat is 4/4 time. The 4 the top stands for how many beats are in a measure. And the bottom 4 is saying how many beats are assigned to what. It's hard to describe timing. But here's a video that may help.
Now that you know what a beat is and how to use it in the most common way. you are gong to need to know how to communicate to an artist or another producer so that they may understand you. Commonly in rap you'll here a rapper say "I'm about to spit 16 bars." Bars are measures, it's just another way to say it. And knowing this will ultimately help you get a point a crossed if you ever work with someone.
"Ok, so let the track ride for 4 bars and come in"
The artist would then count out in 4/4 time 4 times and then come in.
Doesn't it sound more professional then
"Uh, let the beat go for like 10 seconds and come in when it does the drum roll thingy."
Scales are the sexy little babies that will give your song emotion. And the important thing is that your scales are in key. Meaning that according to what kind of a song you want to make, "Happy, Sad" they have to flow together. And that's what scales do. So, say if you wanted to make a happy and up beat song. You more then likely will use the C Major scale. And what it is, is a series of notes, that when played accordingly will give a natural sound.
There are so many scales, so it's awesome to have a cheat sheet.
Here are all the scales, this will show whatever you pick and give you a guideline to play.
Chords are three or more beats, that play in scale make up a very awesome sounds.
The basic C Major chord is CEG. When played (since CMajor is upbeat sounding) it produces a very prominent and strong sound.
Also has a chord section. (On the right)
It will guide you throw the chords.
Ok, so now you know how to play some chords. But you want to make them sound more unique or just throw some style on them without losing that natural sound.
Chord inversions are where you take the highest note(root) an octave higher or lower.
So say you're playing the C Major, you would take the root note "C" either an octave up or down. The sound is different, yet it still has that natural sound.
Chord Inversions also are use to transition through chords faster. The less space your fingers have to move, the more chords you can play.
Making a Melody
Melodies are the things that make a song catchy. It's what is often first recognized when a song is being played.
Think about a time when you didn't know the songs name and you were trying to get someone to help you.
"Dude you know, it goes like bum bum di da bum bum di di di."
A good melody will keep attention. So it's important to try and make a very good melody.
So here are key rules to follow when making a Melody.
*Remember rules are meant to be broken especially in music, you don't have to follow these, but this is the best way to keep a catchy melody.
- Pick a scale
- Start on the root note
- Move up or down from the root note
- Pause to create tension
- Resolve(Find way back down to root note)
Some key notes to take in mind here are:
*Keep the Melody simple, people can tell if you tried to hard. Let the Melody just flow flush with the track.
*Keep jumps to a minimum, try to travel in small steps.
*Repetition helps make it catchy.
Bass lines give a song emotion, as well as something we can show off in our tricked out cars.
Creating a smooth Bassline isn't all that hard, as long as you know what to do.
Follow Chord Progression in scale
Follow root notes (You don't have to do this, depending on the sound you're going for)
Stay in scale
*Time kicks for style
"Booooom PAH! Boom boom PAH!"
*At the end of the loop go up two tones from the root not and drop it down. It adds some style and sounds more progressive.
So when you guys are ready for more, I'll get into some more. :3