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Easy music theory (scales, chords and stuff)

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Postby dUnreal » 19 Jul 2010, 11:38

Since I couldnt find anything about this on harderstate, I thought I could give this tutorial a shot :p
Some of this stuff is very basic, but I will try to get some more advanced theory into it.

Scales: What you build melodies and often (atleast I do) your intro on.

A major scale can be from C to C, only white notes. http://img828.imageshack.us/img828/8981/scale.jpg
If you make a scale like this and drag the whole scale to the E-note, you will have a major E-scale instead :)

Let's say that from C to D is one big step (cause of the black note between them) and from E to F is a small step.
By this system a major scale is big-big-small-big-big-big-small no matter where you decide to put the first note.
Different scales like melodic minor, harmonic minor and such can be found (in FL) at: Piano roll->Piano roll options->chords.
Hardstyle often builds on the aeolian scale (big-small-big-big-small-big-big)
Anyhow; stick to the scale and it will sound a lot better than if you just randomly place notes.

Chords: Major and minor chords can be combined to add emotions to your track.

A major chord is like this: Image (C-E-G)
And a minor chord is like this: Image (C-bE-G)
The chords I have made is C (major) and C minor. If you move, lets say, the C one vowel up, it will still be a C-chord, but it will have E as the bassnote. As long as only C, E, and G is involved, it's a C-chords.

The melody I will analyze is Zatox - Creation. Image
By looking at which notes he's using I made clear that he's using an aeolian b-scale: Image
It's very good and catchy, but still, very simple. He is sticking to the chords in the whole melody.
The chords are B-minor (B-D-#F), A (A, #C, E), G(emotionless - I will explain that*), #F (#F, bB, #C).
*an emotionless chord have no tierce (or maybe it's called third in english), which makes it neither major or minor.
If you look at the notes that the chords have and the notes that are played in the melody, they are very much the same. Therefore it sound good :)
As a beginner, you should start with making simple melodies. If you look at for example wildstylez - no time to waste, he's using a lot more notes in the melody than the chords hold, but it still sounds good.

This was my first tutorial even written, and I hope that I could learn somebody something with it :D
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Postby TakkU » 25 Jul 2010, 01:27

Very nice dude! I found something about different chords here:

http://www.pianoworld.com/fun/vpc/piano_chords.htm

There you can compare different chords, so you won't be planting notes all over the place without it sounding right ;)
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Postby dUnreal » 25 Jul 2010, 02:51

Thanks, that was pretty useful actually :)
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Postby Dunno » 19 Nov 2010, 23:47

Great Tutorial !
But How do you know which chords to pick for the bassline ?
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Postby Kid Krime » 21 Nov 2010, 21:42

I found some scales at a website. They also desribed the most common emotion these scales are used for:

http://www.trancetutorial.com/Scales%20Page%201.htm

You should really check it out.
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Postby dUnreal » 05 Dec 2010, 10:20

Dunno:Great Tutorial !
But How do you know which chords to pick for the bassline ?


That's up to you. There isnt any right or wrong ways to pick chords, but there are some chords that sound better together, and some chords that lead to each other.
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Postby kajdijkstra » 06 Apr 2011, 21:57

Thank you for this tutorial, I was looking for this. PS. I thought that the melody of `wildstylez - no time to waste` in the F# - Phrygian minor is , There are a few keys out of that range but that are "no chord tones". or is this wrong? i,m still a noobie :D
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Postby TheBassAddict » 09 Jul 2011, 11:28

Very nice tutorial mate, but the song you've analysed was zatox - andromeda not zatox - creation, just so you know! :p
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Postby Marcotjuh » 09 Jul 2011, 11:44

Tip for FL users:

Piano Roll
> upper left corner that little arrow thing (options)
> Helpers
> check both Detect Scale and Note Grid Highlights

Then you have some sort of Scale detector so its easier to pick the right notes.

The only downside is; it only detect Minor and Major and nothing else :p
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Postby Mystral » 13 Mar 2012, 04:28

Thx for this tutorial dUnreal and thanks to Marcotjuh for this amazing tools. It saved my life !!! xD
Btw, I'll also learn the scales & chords, otherwise it's like cheating if I only use the scale detector. :P
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Postby Shiver » 14 Mar 2012, 02:36

Nice tutorial, but i have still 2 question that drives me crazy.
1. I've heard that most dancemelodies are created in minor. So i'm looking for a nice minor scale to build a melody, yet i read that hardstyle often builds on aeolian scales. After a little google i can figure out that an aeolion scale is the same as a natural minor. But i see that there are also scales like, Lydian, locrian etc. How do i know that those sound like minor scales? :? Or do you have someting like Aeolian major scales and aeolian minor scales?
2. If i use for example a B minor scale, does my melody needs to start with a B or can i start with any note within that scale?

I hope somebody can clear this up for me.


Thanks
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Postby dUnreal » 14 Mar 2012, 14:36

Music is a free thing, you don't even need scales to build a song if you got a good ear. I personally like the aeolian and the major scale. There is only one aeolian scale, and it's a minor scale. I think that lydian, locrian, etc are mostly used for church music and such, but I'm not sure.

As I said, you can do whatever you want since it's you that makes the music, but I think that you often want to start with a minor b chord if you're using a minor b scale. Hope I made some sense ;)
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Postby Shiver » 14 Mar 2012, 14:50

Ok, that clear some things up.
Yet i have one more question.

In most tutorials or pictures of a melody, i dont really see chords?
Are those the bassnotes or do they put them under the melody within another layer ?

Thanks.
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Postby dUnreal » 14 Mar 2012, 15:13

Often, I use the keynote in the chord as the note in bassline and kick. Then I use the chord as a guideline for making the melody :)
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Postby Collator » 09 May 2012, 18:28

Scales really helped thanks
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