Cover image of Hack Music Theory
(10)
Music

Hack Music Theory

Updated 12 days ago

Music
Read more

Learn how to make great music that stands out! Taught by multi-award-winning music lecturer Ray Harmony and his protégé wife Kate. Ray has been teaching music theory for 24 years, and along the way he's made music with Serj Tankian (System Of A Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine), Steven Wilson, Devin Townsend, Ihsahn, Kool Keith, Madchild and many more! Download their free book at: HackMusicTheory.com

Read more

Learn how to make great music that stands out! Taught by multi-award-winning music lecturer Ray Harmony and his protégé wife Kate. Ray has been teaching music theory for 24 years, and along the way he's made music with Serj Tankian (System Of A Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine), Steven Wilson, Devin Townsend, Ihsahn, Kool Keith, Madchild and many more! Download their free book at: HackMusicTheory.com

iTunes Ratings

10 Ratings
Average Ratings
6
1
2
0
1

Pretty Good content, horrible delivery.

By nogenres - Nov 30 2018
Read more
The content is good, though I do wish the episodes were longer and dove deeper into the ideas discussed. Everything seems super rushed and the people delivering the information couldn’t me more annoying. Why does it feel like I’m watching a infomercial in the 90s? It’s not only patronizing but distracting. Your already making it relevant enough with the examples your using, I don’t think you need to treat your audience like a bunch of 1st graders.

Very good,

By windcandy - Nov 11 2018
Read more
But I have to agree, porting the video to audio makes it seem like I’m listening to an infomercial. I’m sure that is not the intention. I wish for the following: longer episodes that dive deep into these complex areas of theory. The examples they use are outstanding, but it makes you want more content that is fit for the audio world. Cheers!

iTunes Ratings

10 Ratings
Average Ratings
6
1
2
0
1

Pretty Good content, horrible delivery.

By nogenres - Nov 30 2018
Read more
The content is good, though I do wish the episodes were longer and dove deeper into the ideas discussed. Everything seems super rushed and the people delivering the information couldn’t me more annoying. Why does it feel like I’m watching a infomercial in the 90s? It’s not only patronizing but distracting. Your already making it relevant enough with the examples your using, I don’t think you need to treat your audience like a bunch of 1st graders.

Very good,

By windcandy - Nov 11 2018
Read more
But I have to agree, porting the video to audio makes it seem like I’m listening to an infomercial. I’m sure that is not the intention. I wish for the following: longer episodes that dive deep into these complex areas of theory. The examples they use are outstanding, but it makes you want more content that is fit for the audio world. Cheers!
Cover image of Hack Music Theory

Hack Music Theory

Updated 12 days ago

Read more

Learn how to make great music that stands out! Taught by multi-award-winning music lecturer Ray Harmony and his protégé wife Kate. Ray has been teaching music theory for 24 years, and along the way he's made music with Serj Tankian (System Of A Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine), Steven Wilson, Devin Townsend, Ihsahn, Kool Keith, Madchild and many more! Download their free book at: HackMusicTheory.com

Rank #1: How to Write Great Songs: Chord Progressions (Song 1)

Podcast cover
Read more

How do you go from a blank canvas to a great chord progression in half an hour? Easy, just follow these six steps.

Step 1: Choose the scale/mode that reflects what you're feeling
In this video lesson we chose Dorian, which sounds like the cloud with a silver lining. Dorian is a minor mode so it's obviously on the sad side of things, but unlike Aeolian (AKA “the minor scale”), Dorian has an unmistakable optimism to its character. For all the modes' individual personalities and vibes, check out my Hack Music Theory for Songwriting & Producing PDF.

Step 2: Choose a key note for your mode
What note do you want to start the mode from? We went with E this time, which is a favourite for guitarists as it's the lowest note we can play on a guitar in standard tuning. If you're working with a singer though, ask them what range they like to sing in. Start your mode in the lower (but still very comfortable) side of their range, so it climbs up to somewhere on their higher side by the time you get to the octave of your key note. If you can't decide where to start, just start anywhere, as you can always move everything up or down at a later stage.

Step 3: Write out the mode from your key note
You can do this either by counting semitones, or by working out the key signature. I cover the semitone approach in Hack Music Theory, Part 1, and I cover the key signature approach in the aforementioned Songwriting PDF. For Dorian, the semitone formula is 2 1 2 2 2 1 2, so from our E key note, we get: E F♯ G A B C♯ D

Step 4: Write out all the chords in your mode
Do this by using the "leapfrogging" pattern for building chords: play a note (e.g. E), skip the next note (e.g. F♯), play the next note (e.g. G), skip the next note (e.g. A), and then play the next note (e.g. B), resulting in a triad (e.g. EGB). Do this from all seven notes. Here's our chords in E Dorian: Em / F♯m / Gmaj / Amaj / Bm / C♯dim / Dmaj

Step 5: Choose the specific chords that tell your musical story
Every mode has both major (happy) and minor (sad) chords, so pick your chords and their order in a way that exactly conveys what you want to say. Also, pay attention to the harmonic rhythm of your chord progression, i.e. how long you spend on each chord. We chose: Em → Bm → Gmaj → Amaj → Dmaj

Step 6: Use inversions and sus chords to make your chord changes flow
Changing from one chord to another breaks the flow for a split second, and therefore creates a weak link in the music. Most popular music songs are full of these weak links, but here's how you can not only avoid them, but turn them into opportunities for extra awesomeness! Whenever you have a chord change where the two chords share a note, that's called a common note, and they're our best friends. Re-arranging the notes in your chords to keep each common note in the same place within the chords (i.e. bottom, middle, or top), is by far the best way to make your chord progressions sound ultra smooth and professional. Whenever you have adjacent chords though, e.g. Em and F♯m, you won't have a common note, so you need to make a common note by using a sus chord. Check out the video lesson above for details on this mega helpful hack!

Here's our final chord progression:

Spelling

Chords

I

Em

V

Bm/D

♭III

Gmaj/D

IV

Asus2/E → Amaj/E → Amaj

♭VII

Dsus2/A → Dmaj/A →Dmaj/F♯ → Dsus2/E

And that's that, a great chord progression in six easy steps! Have fun writing, and be sure to connect and let us know how you got on with your homework, or as we prefer to call it, hackwork. Until next week, happy songwriting!

Ray Harmony
Music Teacher
Victoria BC, Canada

Wooohooo!!! You're a mere 30 minutes away from being even smarter than you already are. Just head over to your inbox now for your free download.

There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.

 

“most brilliant, fast, easy & fun music theory book I’ve ever seen”  –DEREK SIVERS, CD Baby founder

  We use this field to detect spam bots. If you fill this in, you will be marked as a spammer.  DOWNLOAD FREE BOOK /* Layout */ .ck_form { /* divider image */ background: #EAE9EA url(data:image/gif;base64,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) repeat-y center top; font-family: 'Assistant', light; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; font-size: 16px; border-top: none; border-top-color: #666666; border-bottom: none; border-bottom-color: #3d3d3d; -webkit-box-shadow: none; -moz-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; clear: both; margin: 0px 0px; } .ck_form, .ck_form * { -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } #ck_subscribe_form { clear: both; } /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; } .ck_form.ck_horizontal { } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: none; } .ck_form.ck_vertical { background: #fff; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; } /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form { background: #fff; } .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; } } /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 { margin: 0px 0px 0px; font-size: 0px; padding: 0px; } .ck_form_content p { font-size: 14px; } .ck_image { float: left; margin-right: 5px; } /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea { display: none; } #ck_success_msg { padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; } .ck_label { font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; } .ck_form input[type="text"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 20px; margin-top: 40px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="email"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 5px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="text"]:focus, .ck_form input[type="email"]:focus { outline: none; border-color: #aaa; } .ck_checkbox { padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; } .ck_checkbox input.optIn { margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt { margin-left: 4px; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p { display: inline; } .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button { width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 10px 0px 0px; padding: 14px 8px; font-size: 18px; background: #d74128; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; } .ck_form .ck_guarantee { color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by { display: block; color: #aaa; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover { display: block; color: #444; } .ck_converted_content { display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; } /* v6 */ .ck_form_v6 #ck_success_msg { padding: 0px 10px; } @media all and (max-width: 403px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 30px; } } @media all and (min-width: 404px) and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 57px; } }
Feb 09 2017
39 mins
Play

Rank #2: How to Write a Bass Line & Lead Melody like Marshmello “Happier” (ft. Bastille)

Podcast cover
Read more

Happy New Music Friday, and welcome to the Hack Music Theory show! So, today Marshmello dropped his new single “Happier” (ft. Bastille), and there’s a theory hack in this song that pretty much guarantees it’s gonna appeal to a huge audience. What’s the hack? And how can you use it in your own music? The answers comin’ up. But first… Tea!

THE THEORY
When isolated, the lead synth melody in the “Happier” chorus/drop definitely sounds like it’s in F major. However, when you add the bass line under the first bar of this melody, something strange happens: it now sounds like it’s in D minor. Why? And how? Well, F major and D minor have the exact same notes. They’re what we call: relative keys. So, what determines whether this melody is in F major or D minor? The bass. Yep, the bass line is the musical foundation upon which everything else is built. So if the bass emphasizes D (like Marshmello does in the first bar of his drop), then the lead melody sounds like it’s in D minor. But if the bass emphasizes F (like he does in his second bar), then the lead melody sounds like it’s in F major. Emphasizing both root chords in relative major and minor keys (like Dm and Fmaj in “Happier”), is super popular with EDM/Pop crossover producers, like The Chainsmokers and David Guetta. Using this relative major/minor crossover hack allows your song to appeal to people with a preference for music in major keys and people with a preference for music in minor keys, which covers pretty much everyone (other than the mavericks, of course!). And by the way, if you need help understanding scales and relatives keys and all that good stuff, no problem we got you covered, just read our free book “12 Music Theory Hacks to Learn Scales & Chords”, which you can download below.

THE HACK
Okay, so you can write this kinda chorus/drop in two simple steps. Step 1: Write a lead melody, using a major scale. Step 2: Write a bass line that emphasizes the root note of that major scale, and the root note of its relative minor scale. And for this example, we’ll use D minor and F major, like Marshmello. Alright, now let’s work through these two steps in more detail. So, start by setting your grid to 1/16 notes, then to get that “Happier” rhythm, play every third 1/16 note in each bar. And by the way, if you need help writing melodies, just use the Melody Checklist in our Songwriting & Producing PDF. Alright, now it’s time to get stuck into the low end! So, for Step 2 (the bass line), start by playing the root note of the relative minor key, which in this example is D. And that’s gonna make your first bar sound like it’s in D minor. Then, work your way up to the root note of the relative major key for the second bar, which in this example is F. And that’s gonna make your second bar sound like it’s in F major. Also, remember to use plenty of rests in your bass line, if you want that EDM drop vibe. And lastly, we used counterpoint to write this lead melody and bass line, which creates an awesome musical depth from the two totally independent layers. And if you’re interested in learning how to use counterpoint, that’s also in our Songwriting & Producing PDF (click and scroll down).

THE END
Remember, we intentionally wrote our example to be very similar to the original song, but we did that for the sake of this lesson. So, instead of copying Marshmello, please explore how you can use these hacks creatively with your own musical personality, so it sounds like you! Also, quick question. Do you struggle to finish your music? If you answered yes, then we can help you. Yes indeed we can, just check out our cutting-edge online apprenticeship course, where you’ll learn how to make new sections for existing sections, how to transition between sections (even when they’re in different keys), and most importantly, how to finish your songs. If that sounds useful to you, the head on over to: HackMusicTheory.com/Apprenticeship. Alright, that’s it! We really hope you found this video helpful, and if you did, subscribe and hit the bell to get notifications. Also, we believe in sharing our knowledge for free. Please pay it forwards by teaching these hacks to a friend, so they can benefit from this lesson as well. I’ve been teaching music theory for 24 years, so I can safely say that the best way to learn something, is to teach it to someone else. So, go forth and teach! And on that note, thanks for joining the Hack Music Theory revolution. We’ll see you next New Music Friday!

Kate & Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony)
Music Teachers & Producers in Vancouver BC, Canada

LEARN
1: Read our free book (below) & watch our YouTube videos
2: Read our "Part 1" book & "Songwriting & Producing" PDF
3: Learn our Secret Art of Song-Whispering, and effortlessly finish your music!

ABOUT
Hack Music Theory is the pioneering notation-free method for making great music. Taught by award-winning music lecturer Ray Harmony, and his protégé (and wife) Kate Harmony, from their studio in Vancouver BC, Canada. Ray is the author of critically-acclaimed book series "Hack Music Theory", and has made music with Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), Ihsahn (Emperor), Kool Keith (Ultramagnetic MCs), Madchild (Swollen Members), and many more. Kate has the highest grade distinction in Popular Music Theory from the London College of Music, and is the only person on the planet who's been trained by Ray to teach his Hack Music Theory method! While these Hack Music Theory YouTube lessons teach music theory for producers and DAW users, they are designed to accommodate all music makers (songwriters, guitarists, etc.) and all genres, from Electronic Music to R&B, Pop to Hip-Hop, Reggae to Rock, EDM/Dance to Metal (and yes, we djefinitely Djent!).

Wooohooo!!! You’re a mere 30 minutes away from being even smarter than you already are. Just head on over to your inbox now for your free download.

There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.

 

“The most brilliant, fast, easy & fun music theory book I’ve ever seen!” DEREK SIVERS, CD Baby founder

We use this field to detect spam bots. If you fill this in, you will be marked as a spammer. DOWNLOAD FREE BOOK /* Layout */ .ck_form { /* divider image */ background: #EAE9EA url(data:image/gif;base64,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) repeat-y center top; font-family: 'Montserrat'; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; font-size: 16px; border-top: none; border-top-color: #666666; border-bottom: none; border-bottom-color: #3d3d3d; -webkit-box-shadow: none; -moz-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; clear: both; margin: 0px 0px; } .ck_form, .ck_form * { -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } #ck_subscribe_form { clear: both; } /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; } .ck_form.ck_horizontal { } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: none; } .ck_form.ck_vertical { background: #fff; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; } /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form { background: #fff; } .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; } } /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 { margin: 0px 0px 0px; font-size: 0px; padding: 0px; } .ck_form_content p { font-size: 14px; } .ck_image { float: left; margin-right: 5px; } /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea { display: none; } #ck_success_msg { padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; } .ck_label { font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; } .ck_form input[type="text"] { font-size: 16px; text-align: center; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 0px; padding: 8px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="email"] { font-size: 16px; text-align: center; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 8px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="text"]:focus, .ck_form input[type="email"]:focus { outline: none; border-color: #aaa; } .ck_checkbox { padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; } .ck_checkbox input.optIn { margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt { margin-left: 4px; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p { display: inline; } .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button { width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 0px 0px 0px; padding: 8px 8px; font-size: 18px; background: #d74128; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; } .ck_form .ck_guarantee { color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by { display: block; color: #aaa; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover { display: block; color: #444; } .ck_converted_content { display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; } /* v6 */ .ck_form_v6 #ck_success_msg { padding: 0px 10px; } @media all and (max-width: 403px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 30px; } } @media all and (min-width: 404px) and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 57px; } }
Aug 18 2018
5 mins
Play

Rank #3: Ed Sheeran Goes Djent

Podcast cover
Read more

What does Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber’s song “I Don’t Care” have in common with the metal subgenre Djent? The answer is shocking and eye-opening, so click play to find out now! Subtitles/CC available.

Just before we jump in though, we wanna say a heartfelt Thank You for your lovely comments on our genre lesson last week, we’re so grateful, and we’re so touched that you feel the same way about genres. You know, we truly are honoured to be a part of this positive and open-minded Hack Music Theory community with you all. And by the way, if you missed last week’s genre lesson, please check it out, because this one is based on that one.

WELCOME
Hello revolutionary music makers, we are Kate Harmony and Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony), and welcome to Hack Music Theory. We help you make great music that stands out, so you can move and grow your audience! If that sounds useful to you, then subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit that bell to get notified every Friday, when we publish our new video. Also, if you’re new to our channel, be sure to download our free book “12 Music Theory Hacks to Learn Scales & Chords” below. Alright, it’s time to open your DAW to hack music theory. But first… tea!

THEORY
So, apparently we mispronounced Ed’s last name in our lesson last week. Oops! I guess we let the cat out the bag with that: so yeah, we’re not really fans of Ed’s music. He seems like a really nice guy, but his songwriting is just a little too predictable for us. If you dig his music though, that’s awesome. And if you don’t, that’s great too, cos that’s actually the whole point of this lesson. So, what can a Djent fan find to appreciate in Ed Sheeran’s music? Well, in the song “I Don’t Care” that he did with Justin Bieber, the whole track is built on a super syncopated rhythm, which doesn’t even play beat 1 (and by the way, syncopation is when you accent an off-beat). And not only do Ed’s bass and drums lock in to play this rhythm together, but the bass line starts by playing the root note for two bars. Now, here’s the shocker: super syncopated grooves chugged out on the root note are literally what Djent was named after.

So the main feature in Ed’s song also happens to be the main feature in a metal subgenre that’s the antithesis of Ed’s music. How crazy is that?! But, because the instrumentation is different, people sadly don’t hear this connection. And that was one of the genre truths we revealed in last week’s lesson: genre is sonic packaging. Change the instruments, and you change the genre. So if you take the syncopated rhythm from Ed’s song and play it on an 8-string guitar with distortion (or a 9-string, if you’re feeling very Djenty!), then you’re no longer playing pop, you’re now playing metal. And this is only one of countless examples of how you can use the music theory from a song in one genre to write a song in literally the opposite genre, but only when you peel back that sonic packaging first, so you can see the actual notes inside. And that process is exactly what we’ll be exploring in this new genre series. 

PRACTICAL
Alright, now you’re gonna learn how to use the music theory from Ed’s song to make your own Djent version, but remember, you can use the theory hack in this lesson to make music in any genre you want. And that is true for every video and podcast we have ever made, and there’s about 160 of them already, so tuck in! Right, for the example in this lesson, we’ll be using our version that we made earlier. So, start by setting up four bars of 4/4, with your grid set to 1/16 notes, and your tempo set to 102 BPM. And that’s actually the original tempo of Ed’s song, so we didn’t even need to change the BPM to turn it into Djent. Also, Ed uses F♯ as his root, but we’re taking that way down to a low A.

STEP 1. CHUG & RUN
Ed’s syncopated rhythm is centred around beats 1a, 2+, 3a, and 4+. So we used the exact same rhythm to start with, and we also chugged it out on the root note (just like Ed), to prove exactly how Djenty his song is in its original form. So, over your first bar and a half, come up with a simple but super syncopated rhythm, something like that. Then, as if that wasn’t Djenty enough, Ed uses another classic Djent trick: he throws in a 1/16 note run after the one-note chugs, to add interest. So over beats 3 and 4 in your second bar, add a 1/16 note run. Ed simply uses an octave of the root note for his run, but we’ve taken this opportunity to do something less predictable, and we encourage you to do the same.

STEP 2. VARIATION
Now, you could just repeat these two bars and call it a day, but that would be too repetitive for our tastes, so we changed things up in our third and fourth bars to inject more variation and keep things fresh. They’re still based on the first couple bars, but we just added some extra chugs on the root note, and then we also added a 1/16 note triplet into our run at the end. And that’s it, we’ve now got Edjent!

MORE
Lastly, we get loads of people asking how to transition between sections, and also, how to structure and arrange songs. And while these are essential skills to learn, please understand that we can’t teach them for free, because that is our secret sauce which we teach in our online apprenticeship course. So, if you wanna learn how to go from a blank screen to a finished song, then join over 700 other music makers also on the course. And, it helps us pay the rent too, so it’s a win-win!

Kate & Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony)
Music Teachers & Producers in Vancouver BC, Canada

LEVELS
Level 1 - Read our free book (below) & watch our YouTube videos
Level 2 - Read our "Part 1" book & "Songwriting & Producing" PDF
Level 3 - Practice making music using our lessons (PDF+MIDI+WAV)
Level 4 - Learn our secret art of song-whispering & finish your music

ABOUT
Hack Music Theory is a pioneering DAW method for making great music that stands out, so you can move and grow your audience! Taught by multi-award-winning music lecturer Ray Harmony, and his protégé wife Kate Harmony, from their studio in Vancouver BC, Canada. Ray is the author of critically-acclaimed book series "Hack Music Theory", and has made music with Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad), Ihsahn (Emperor), Kool Keith (Ultramagnetic MCs), Madchild (Swollen Members), and many more! Kate has the highest grade distinction in Popular Music Theory from the London College of Music, and is the only person on the planet who's been trained by Ray to teach his method. On that note, the "Hack Music Theory" YouTube channel teaches relevant and instantly-usable music theory for producers, DAW users, and all other music makers (songwriters, singers, guitarists, bassists, drummers, etc.) in all genres, from EDM to R&B, pop to hip-hop, reggae to rock, electronic to metal (and yes, we djefinitely djent!).

COPYRIGHT
© 2019 Revolution Harmony
Revolution Harmony is Ray Harmony & Kate Harmony
All content (script & music) in video by Revolution Harmony
Thumbnail photo of Ed Sheeran courtesy of Heinz

Wooohooo!!! You’re a mere 30 minutes away from being even smarter than you already are. Just head on over to your inbox now for your free download.

There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.

 

“The most brilliant, fast, easy & fun music theory book I’ve ever seen!” DEREK SIVERS, CD Baby founder

We use this field to detect spam bots. If you fill this in, you will be marked as a spammer. DOWNLOAD FREE BOOK /* Layout */ .ck_form { /* divider image */ background: #EAE9EA url(data:image/gif;base64,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) repeat-y center top; font-family: 'Montserrat'; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; font-size: 16px; border-top: none; border-top-color: #666666; border-bottom: none; border-bottom-color: #3d3d3d; -webkit-box-shadow: none; -moz-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; clear: both; margin: 0px 0px; } .ck_form, .ck_form * { -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } #ck_subscribe_form { clear: both; } /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; } .ck_form.ck_horizontal { } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: none; } .ck_form.ck_vertical { background: #fff; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; } /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form { background: #fff; } .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; } } /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 { margin: 0px 0px 0px; font-size: 0px; padding: 0px; } .ck_form_content p { font-size: 14px; } .ck_image { float: left; margin-right: 5px; } /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea { display: none; } #ck_success_msg { padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; } .ck_label { font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; } .ck_form input[type="text"] { font-size: 16px; text-align: center; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 0px; padding: 8px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="email"] { font-size: 16px; text-align: center; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 8px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="text"]:focus, .ck_form input[type="email"]:focus { outline: none; border-color: #aaa; } .ck_checkbox { padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; } .ck_checkbox input.optIn { margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt { margin-left: 4px; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p { display: inline; } .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button { width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 0px 0px 0px; padding: 8px 8px; font-size: 18px; background: #d74128; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; } .ck_form .ck_guarantee { color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by { display: block; color: #aaa; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover { display: block; color: #444; } .ck_converted_content { display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; } /* v6 */ .ck_form_v6 #ck_success_msg { padding: 0px 10px; } @media all and (max-width: 403px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 30px; } } @media all and (min-width: 404px) and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 57px; } }
Aug 02 2019
6 mins
Play

Rank #4: Jacob Collier, Negative Harmony & How to Write a Negative Melody

Podcast cover
Read more

Hello, Ray Harmony and Kate Harmony here. Welcome to the Hack Music Theory show. It’s an extra special one today, as it’s our first show as a married couple. Yep, on the weekend we officially became Mr and Mrs Harmony. But, instead of going on a honeymoon this week, we returned to our studio to make more music theory videos for you.

And, it seems the universe rewarded us for our dedication, as last night the genius Jacob Collier came to town, and we would’ve missed him if we were on a honeymoon. If you don’t know who Jacob Collier is, let me sum him up in a nutshell. Whenever the world is lucky beyond lucky, we get gifted with a human who somehow manages to work their compositional and performance skills to an equally genius level. My hero, JS Bach, is the obvious example of these extraordinary musicians. Now in our time though, we have Jacob Collier, who is a mere 22 years young, and has already proved himself worthy of that comparison.

Jacob’s show last night was truly mind-blowing and heart-blowing, and left us speechless. But, we did manage to get our tongues back after the show to have an inspiring chat with this humble genius. He mentioned that the incredible June Lee, who is a fellow music theory nerd like us, had just uploaded a new music theory interview with him yesterday. So naturally, we went home and watched the whole 38-minute video after midnight, twice. If you missed part one of this interview series, which June uploaded a couple months ago. It ended up going viral, and now every musician and their cat is obsessed with this negative harmony thing Jacob talked about.

So, in Jacob’s latest video, he talks more about negative harmony, and we know that’s going to spark even more interest in the topic. Seeing as we’ve already had tons of people asking us to do a video on negative harmony, that’s what we’re going to do today. In this new video, Jacob excellently explains this theory as both a harmonic concept and a melodic concept. And in the context of popular music these days, melody is far more important than harmony. This can been heard in most of today’s big hits, which focus all the attention on the vocal melodies and bass lines. Sometimes these hits don’t even contain any chords, and when they do, they’re often in the background acting as sonic filler.

For this reason, I can see an awesome application for the negative melody concept in popular music, in the way of vocal or bass lines, and that’s what I’m gonna share in this video. By the way, Jacob explains the melodic use of negative harmony at 4:21 in his new video, and we’re gonna zoom into the C negative major example he gives.

Before we jump in though, here’s a little disclaimer. Firstly, the example I’ll be teaching in this video is just one of a myriad of possibilities for using negative harmony, so please use this as inspiration to experiment with your own ideas. And secondly, negative harmony is just a theory, conceptualized by one person, so while many musicians are getting caught up in arguments about whether it exists or not, and if it does, how to correctly apply it, none of this is relevant. Exactly, negative harmony is just another creative hack that we can put in our songwriting toolboxes.

I’ve been teaching music theory for over two decades, and throughout that time I’ve had countless musicians argue with me that music theory hinders creativity, and unsurprisingly, not once has this argument ever come from someone who actually understands music theory, because those who learn theory, experience the exact opposite. Music theory ignites creativity, as it connects things that were previously disconnected; music theory expands our musical vocabulary, allowing us to easily express things we could never previously express.

Now, without further ado, here is our brand new video lesson that we spent 17 hours each working on today (34 hours total), which shows you what "negative melody" is, and how to use it in popular/electronic music. So, if you wanna flip the script on your songwriting and try something completely different, check out today's episode of the Hack Music Theory show: Jacob Collier, Negative Harmony, and How to Write a Negative Melody (15-minute YouTube video), and be sure to catch Jacob's personal message to you at 0:20 in our video/podcast. But first... tea!

We really hope you dig our new video lesson, and if you wanna get your hands on all the vital theory hacks you need to write great songs, then please download my Hack Music Theory for Songwriting & Producing PDF.

Lastly, thanks big time to our patrons over on Patreon for supporting our work. And if you wanna join our Hack Music Theory revolution and get exclusive content too, then please sign up at Patreon.com/RevolutionHarmony

Thank you for being brave and committing to make the world a better place through better music. Until next week, happy songwriting & producing!

Kate & Ray Harmony - Victoria BC, Canada
Musicians | Songwriters | Producers | Teachers

Wooohooo!!! You're a mere 30 minutes away from being even smarter than you already are. Just head over to your inbox now for your free download.

There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.

 

“most brilliant, fast, easy & fun music theory book I’ve ever seen”  –DEREK SIVERS, CD Baby founder

  We use this field to detect spam bots. If you fill this in, you will be marked as a spammer.  DOWNLOAD FREE BOOK /* Layout */ .ck_form { /* divider image */ background: #EAE9EA url(data:image/gif;base64,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) repeat-y center top; font-family: 'Assistant', light; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; font-size: 16px; border-top: none; border-top-color: #666666; border-bottom: none; border-bottom-color: #3d3d3d; -webkit-box-shadow: none; -moz-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; clear: both; margin: 0px 0px; } .ck_form, .ck_form * { -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } #ck_subscribe_form { clear: both; } /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; } .ck_form.ck_horizontal { } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: none; } .ck_form.ck_vertical { background: #fff; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; } /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form { background: #fff; } .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; } } /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 { margin: 0px 0px 0px; font-size: 0px; padding: 0px; } .ck_form_content p { font-size: 14px; } .ck_image { float: left; margin-right: 5px; } /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea { display: none; } #ck_success_msg { padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; } .ck_label { font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; } .ck_form input[type="text"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 20px; margin-top: 40px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="email"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 5px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="text"]:focus, .ck_form input[type="email"]:focus { outline: none; border-color: #aaa; } .ck_checkbox { padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; } .ck_checkbox input.optIn { margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt { margin-left: 4px; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p { display: inline; } .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button { width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 10px 0px 0px; padding: 14px 8px; font-size: 18px; background: #d74128; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; } .ck_form .ck_guarantee { color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by { display: block; color: #aaa; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover { display: block; color: #444; } .ck_converted_content { display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; } /* v6 */ .ck_form_v6 #ck_success_msg { padding: 0px 10px; } @media all and (max-width: 403px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 30px; } } @media all and (min-width: 404px) and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 57px; } }
Jun 30 2017
15 mins
Play

Rank #5: Songwriting mini-course (chord progression, bass melody, drums, etc.)

Podcast cover
Read more

It's taken us five months of non-stop work (literally!) to build a YouTube community of 500 people. But then, something unbelievable happened this week...

After uploading our video Jacob Collier, Negative Harmony & How to Write a Negative Melody last Thursday (which has now reached an astonishing 14,000 views), we’ve had the great pleasure and honour of welcoming 1,000 new subscribers to our Hack Music Theory community on YouTube. Wow!!!

To celebrate, and to thank each and every single one of you for your interest in our unorthodox approach to music theory, we've worked around the clock the last few days to make you a free songwriting mini-course (36-minute video on YouTube). It covers how to write and arrange a chord progression, bass melody, drums, and much more (including our magic 16/8 hack).  But first... tea!

We hope you enjoy the video/podcast, and please share it with your musician friends, as we're trying to start a music theory revolution! Also, if you wanna get your hands on all the vital theory hacks you need to write great songs, then please download my Hack Music Theory for Songwriting & Producing PDF.

Lastly, thanks big time to our patrons over on Patreon for supporting our work. And if you wanna join our Hack Music Theory revolution and get exclusive content too (including the multi-track MIDI file from the example in our mini-course), then please sign up at Patreon.com/RevolutionHarmony

Thank you for being brave and committing to make the world a better place through better music. Until next week, happy songwriting & producing!

Ray Harmony - Victoria BC, Canada
Musician | Songwriter | Producer | Teacher

Wooohooo!!! You're a mere 30 minutes away from being even smarter than you already are. Just head over to your inbox now for your free download.

There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.

 

“most brilliant, fast, easy & fun music theory book I’ve ever seen”  –DEREK SIVERS, CD Baby founder

  We use this field to detect spam bots. If you fill this in, you will be marked as a spammer.  DOWNLOAD FREE BOOK /* Layout */ .ck_form { /* divider image */ background: #EAE9EA url(data:image/gif;base64,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) repeat-y center top; font-family: 'Assistant', light; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; font-size: 16px; border-top: none; border-top-color: #666666; border-bottom: none; border-bottom-color: #3d3d3d; -webkit-box-shadow: none; -moz-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; clear: both; margin: 0px 0px; } .ck_form, .ck_form * { -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } #ck_subscribe_form { clear: both; } /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; } .ck_form.ck_horizontal { } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: none; } .ck_form.ck_vertical { background: #fff; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; } /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form { background: #fff; } .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; } } /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 { margin: 0px 0px 0px; font-size: 0px; padding: 0px; } .ck_form_content p { font-size: 14px; } .ck_image { float: left; margin-right: 5px; } /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea { display: none; } #ck_success_msg { padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; } .ck_label { font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; } .ck_form input[type="text"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 20px; margin-top: 40px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="email"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 5px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="text"]:focus, .ck_form input[type="email"]:focus { outline: none; border-color: #aaa; } .ck_checkbox { padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; } .ck_checkbox input.optIn { margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt { margin-left: 4px; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p { display: inline; } .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button { width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 10px 0px 0px; padding: 14px 8px; font-size: 18px; background: #d74128; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; } .ck_form .ck_guarantee { color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by { display: block; color: #aaa; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover { display: block; color: #444; } .ck_converted_content { display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; } /* v6 */ .ck_form_v6 #ck_success_msg { padding: 0px 10px; } @media all and (max-width: 403px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 30px; } } @media all and (min-width: 404px) and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 57px; } }
Jul 07 2017
36 mins
Play

Rank #6: TOOL “Fear Inoculum” Music Theory (Guitar Riffs)

Podcast cover
Read more

Can you believe it? After 13 years, there’s finally new music from Tool. So in this lesson you’ll learn a music theory hack from TOOL “Fear Inoculum”, and how to use it to write your own odd time signature riffs and polymeters! Subtitles/CC available.

WELCOME
Hello revolutionary music makers, we are Kate Harmony and Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony), and welcome to Hack Music Theory. We help you make great music that stands out, so you can move and grow your audience! If that sounds useful to you, then subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit that bell to get notified every Friday, when we publish our new video. Also, if you’re new to our channel, be sure to download our free book “12 Music Theory Hacks to Learn Scales & Chords” below. Alright, it’s time to open your DAW to hack music theory. But first… tea!

THEORY
In Tool’s epic ten-minute title track “Fear Inoculum”, there’s a standout section that starts at 5:49. Its foundation is a super tasty 11|8 drum groove (which we’ll hack next time, so stay tuned). The bass line in this section is also in 11|8 and locks in with the drums, creating a tight and energetic rhythm section. Above that, Adam Jones plays some classic Tool-style guitar, centred around the open A string. But the coolest thing about his riff, is that it’s not in 11|8, it alternates between 12|8 and 5|4. This makes the riff feel like it’s speeding up and slowing down, because 12|8 has a pulse of dotted 1/4 notes, while 5|4 has a faster pulse of 1/4 notes. And all this is happening in that polymeter of the guitar playing 12|8 and 5|4 against the rhythm section playing 11/8, which creates crazy syncopation!

PRACTICAL
Alright, now you’re gonna learn how to use this theory to make your own version. And for the example in this lesson, we’ll be using our version that we made earlier. So, start by setting up four bars that alternate between 12|8 and 5|4, with your grid set to 1|8 notes, and your tempo set to 150 BPM. Tool uses A Phrygian for this section, so we’ll use it too.

STEP 1. THE 12|8
The magic of this riff is as much in the rhythm as it is in the pitches, so you’ll write the rhythm first, then add the pitches afterwards. We’ll start with the bar of 12|8, which consists of four dotted 1/4 notes. And if you’re new to dotted notes, a dotted 1/4 note equals three 1/8 notes. Now that you’ve got the rhythm for your 12|8, it’s time to assign pitches. Adam used the Phrygian mode here, cos it has a dark vibe. And if you’re new to modes, A Phrygian is: A B♭ C D E F G. So choose any of those notes, but be sure to start on the open A string, and include the ♭2.

MORE
By the way, if you wanna learn everything you need to know about modes in three simple hacks, then check out our Songwriting & Producing PDF (click & scroll down). It also contains hacks on how to write guitar riffs, bass lines, chord progressions, melodies, counterpoint and more, and it comes with MIDI examples too!

STEP 2. THE 5|4
Now, here’s the bit where your riff is gonna sound like it’s speeding up, cos the pulse changes to 1/4 notes in this bar. So, for your rhythm, you can play a combination of 1/4 notes and 1/8 notes. And the more 1/8 notes you play, the more energy you’ll inject. Then after you’ve written your rhythm, it’s time to assign pitches, and once again, you can play any notes from A Phrygian, but be sure to include A and B♭. And here’s a couple bonus hacks. To get that classic Tool sound, you can create some harmonic dissonance by lengthening the low A in your 12|8 bars, so the other notes are played over the top of it. When you hit that high B♭ over that low A, it’s so Tool! But if you want even more Tool, then bend into that high B♭ from the high A.

NEXT
Right, so now you’ve got a Tool-inspired riff. Congratulations! But, if you wanna make a proper epic like “Fear Inoculum”, then you’ll need many more minutes of music! So, if you wanna learn how to write other sections (like a bridge) for an existing section, how to transition between sections (especially when they’re in different keys), and how to structure and arrange your song, then join our online apprenticeship course.

Kate & Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony)
Music Teachers & Producers in Vancouver BC, Canada

Take Your Music to the Next Level

LEVEL 1 – FREE BOOK
"12 Music Theory Hacks to Learn Scales & Chords" will give you a super solid music theory foundation in 30 minutes!

LEVEL 2 – SONGWRITING & PRODUCING PDF (click & scroll)
This is our best-selling PDF, which includes MIDI file examples. Learn the essential hacks for songwriting and producing, like our Melody Checklist (the ultimate list of do's and don'ts for writing great melodies). You'll also learn how to write chord progressions, bass lines, riffs, counterpoint harmonies, and more!

LEVEL 3 – LESSON PACKS
After learning our essential hacks, it's time to put them to practical use and start writing some new songs. Lesson packs include step-by-step PDF guides to making music for different instruments and in different genres (electronic, metal, soundtrack, etc.), as well as multitrack MIDI files of the examples.

LEVEL 4 – ONLINE APPRENTICESHIP
Go from a blank screen to a finished song, in this online video course. Learn how to write new sections for an existing section, how to transition between sections in different keys, how to structure and arrange, and much more! This course has been called "life-changing" many times, so join 700+ music makers now (from all genres), who are learning Ray's secret hack: Song Whispering.

ABOUT
Hack Music Theory is a pioneering DAW method for making great music that stands out, so you can move and grow your audience! Taught by multi-award-winning music lecturer Ray Harmony, and his protégé wife Kate Harmony, from their studio in Vancouver BC, Canada. Ray is the author of critically-acclaimed book series "Hack Music Theory", and has made music with Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad), Ihsahn (Emperor), Kool Keith (Ultramagnetic MCs), Madchild (Swollen Members), and many more! Kate has the highest grade distinction in Popular Music Theory from the London College of Music, and is the only person on the planet who's been trained by Ray to teach his method. On that note, the "Hack Music Theory" YouTube channel teaches relevant and instantly-usable music theory for producers, DAW users, and all other music makers (songwriters, singers, guitarists, bassists, drummers, etc.) in all genres, from EDM to R&B, pop to hip-hop, reggae to rock, electronic to metal (and yes, we djefinitely djent!).

COPYRIGHT
© 2019 Revolution Harmony
Revolution Harmony is Ray Harmony & Kate Harmony
All content (script & music) in video by Revolution Harmony
Thumbnail photo by Mick Hutson

Wooohooo!!! You’re a mere 30 minutes away from being even smarter than you already are. Just head on over to your inbox now for your free download.

There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.

 

“The most brilliant, fast, easy & fun music theory book I’ve ever seen!” DEREK SIVERS, CD Baby founder

We use this field to detect spam bots. If you fill this in, you will be marked as a spammer. DOWNLOAD FREE BOOK /* Layout */ .ck_form { /* divider image */ background: #EAE9EA url(data:image/gif;base64,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) repeat-y center top; font-family: 'Montserrat'; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; font-size: 16px; border-top: none; border-top-color: #666666; border-bottom: none; border-bottom-color: #3d3d3d; -webkit-box-shadow: none; -moz-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; clear: both; margin: 0px 0px; } .ck_form, .ck_form * { -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } #ck_subscribe_form { clear: both; } /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; } .ck_form.ck_horizontal { } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: none; } .ck_form.ck_vertical { background: #fff; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; } /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form { background: #fff; } .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; } } /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 { margin: 0px 0px 0px; font-size: 0px; padding: 0px; } .ck_form_content p { font-size: 14px; } .ck_image { float: left; margin-right: 5px; } /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea { display: none; } #ck_success_msg { padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; } .ck_label { font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; } .ck_form input[type="text"] { font-size: 16px; text-align: center; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 0px; padding: 8px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="email"] { font-size: 16px; text-align: center; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 8px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="text"]:focus, .ck_form input[type="email"]:focus { outline: none; border-color: #aaa; } .ck_checkbox { padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; } .ck_checkbox input.optIn { margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt { margin-left: 4px; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p { display: inline; } .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button { width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 0px 0px 0px; padding: 8px 8px; font-size: 18px; background: #d74128; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; } .ck_form .ck_guarantee { color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by { display: block; color: #aaa; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover { display: block; color: #444; } .ck_converted_content { display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; } /* v6 */ .ck_form_v6 #ck_success_msg { padding: 0px 10px; } @media all and (max-width: 403px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 30px; } } @media all and (min-width: 404px) and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 57px; } }
Aug 09 2019
5 mins
Play

Rank #7: Genre Explained - The Truth About Genres

Podcast cover
Read more

There’s a ton of genres, subgenres and even subsubgenres, but in this lesson you’ll learn the truth about why none of them are real, even though they are.

Hello revolutionary music makers, we are Kate Harmony and Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony), and welcome to Hack Music Theory. We help you make great music that stands out, so you can move and grow your audience! If that sounds useful to you, then subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit that bell to get notified every Friday, when we publish our new video. Also, if you’re new to our channel, be sure to download our free book “12 Music Theory Hacks to Learn Scales & Chords” below.

So, one of the most common questions we get is: Will your theory hacks work in my genre? As we get this question so often, we decided to dedicate a whole lesson to this genre issue. So, the answer to the question is… Yes, our hacks will work in your genre, because they work in all genres! And there you go, hope you enjoyed the lesson, and we’ll see you next week for another theory hack. Okay seriously though, the answer really is yes, but let’s explore why. So, in this lesson you’ll learn the truth about genres, then over the next few lessons we’ll analyze the music theory behind some examples that prove this truth. So if you wanna learn what Ed Sheeran’s music has in common with the metal subgenre Djent, and other such crazy but true genre facts, then be sure to subscribe and stay tuned.

Alright, first things first, why is genre so important to songwriters, producers, and music lovers in general? Well, it’s because our human brains have evolved to live in tribes, and genres create musical tribes, which in turn results in a divide between us (the insiders) and them (the outsiders). But, when you look at human history, anything that has ever created a divide between people is not good for anyone, and on the other hand, anything that brings people together is good for everyone. And it’s easy to see how music brings us together, but it’s just as easy to see how genres push us apart. Imagine two people walk past each other on the sidewalk, one’s wearing an Ed Sheeran shirt, the other’s in a Meshuggah shirt. You can guess very accurately what they’re thinking about each other, and it’s not “Hey we both love music so much we’re wearing shirts to show it, that’s awesome!”

Now, you may be thinking: Yeah but Ed Sheeran sux! That’s not the point here (and besides, there’s artists that suck in every genre), the point is: music connects us, while genres divide us. And accepting that truth will in no way diminish the enjoyment you get from your favourite genres, because when we dig deeper into the concept of genre, we find absolutely nothing wrong with it. The only problem is our attachment to, and identification with, specific genres. That’s the real issue.

Imagine how amazing the music industry would be if instead of only connecting with people in our genre, we extend our circle of compassion to include everyone. Also, genres are often born as a reaction (or an antithesis) to other genres. For example, you wouldn’t have metal if you didn’t have pop, and you wouldn’t have electronic music (played on virtual instruments) if you didn’t have organic music (played on real instruments). Just like night and day are opposites yet harmoniously coexist, so too do all genres and their opposites.

So now you know the first truth: Genre is far more about the tribe (i.e. the community and its culture), than it is about the actual music (i.e. the melodies, harmonies and rhythms). That’s why from a purely musical perspective, we can take a song in any genre and easily transform it into another genre, even its opposite. And that fact introduces the second truth: Genre also functions as music’s sonic packaging (i.e. its instrumentation and production).

Now, you may be thinking: Yeah, but genres do have musical characteristics that make them sound the way they do. And while there’s obviously an element of truth in that statement, it’s not enough to make the statement as a whole true. Here’s why: Those musical elements that people think are specific to a genre, can easily be found in other genres as well, except they’re not instantly recognizable due to a different context (i.e. a different sonic packaging). For example, that characteristic reggae rhythm (known as the skank) is often heard in EDM, but isn’t necessarily recognizable as a skank because it’s played on a synth instead of a guitar.

So, what’s the takeaway from all this? As a songwriter or producer, when you free yourself from the concept of genre, you free your music and the process by which you make it, because all songs at their core are just notes. And when you understand the relationships between all the notes and how they work together (in other words, music theory), you can apply that knowledge to making music in any genre, or a combination of genres, or no genre at all. And because genres come and go just like trends, it’s a waste of time focusing too much on something as fickle as genre. Instead, focus your time and energy on writing great melodies, harmonies and rhythms, cos great music is timeless!

And lastly, we have two questions for you (please answer in YouTube comments): What’s your favourite genre? And what do you love about it? Also, please help us spread the truth about genres by sharing this lesson with your music friends. Thanks for reading, we’ll see you next week! And remember: Music connects, genre divides.

Kate & Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony)
Music Teachers & Producers in Vancouver BC, Canada

LEVELS
Level 1 - Read our free book (below) & watch our YouTube videos
Level 2 - Read our "Part 1" book & "Songwriting & Producing" PDF
Level 3 - Practice making music using our lessons (PDF+MIDI+WAV)
Level 4 - Learn our secret art of song-whispering & finish your music

ABOUT
Hack Music Theory is a pioneering DAW method for making great music that stands out, so you can move and grow your audience! Taught by multi-award-winning music lecturer Ray Harmony, and his protégé wife Kate Harmony, from their studio in Vancouver BC, Canada. Ray is the author of critically-acclaimed book series "Hack Music Theory", and has made music with Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad), Ihsahn (Emperor), Kool Keith (Ultramagnetic MCs), Madchild (Swollen Members), and many more! Kate has the highest grade distinction in Popular Music Theory from the London College of Music, and is the only person on the planet who's been trained by Ray to teach his method. On that note, the "Hack Music Theory" YouTube channel teaches relevant and instantly-usable music theory for producers, DAW users, and all other music makers (songwriters, singers, guitarists, bassists, drummers, etc.) in all genres, from EDM to R&B, pop to hip-hop, reggae to rock, electronic to metal (and yes, we djefinitely djent!).

COPYRIGHT
© 2019 Revolution Harmony
Revolution Harmony is Ray Harmony & Kate Harmony
All content (script & music) in video by Revolution Harmony

Wooohooo!!! You’re a mere 30 minutes away from being even smarter than you already are. Just head on over to your inbox now for your free download.

There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.

 

“The most brilliant, fast, easy & fun music theory book I’ve ever seen!” DEREK SIVERS, CD Baby founder

We use this field to detect spam bots. If you fill this in, you will be marked as a spammer. DOWNLOAD FREE BOOK /* Layout */ .ck_form { /* divider image */ background: #EAE9EA url(data:image/gif;base64,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) repeat-y center top; font-family: 'Montserrat'; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; font-size: 16px; border-top: none; border-top-color: #666666; border-bottom: none; border-bottom-color: #3d3d3d; -webkit-box-shadow: none; -moz-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; clear: both; margin: 0px 0px; } .ck_form, .ck_form * { -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } #ck_subscribe_form { clear: both; } /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; } .ck_form.ck_horizontal { } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: none; } .ck_form.ck_vertical { background: #fff; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; } /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form { background: #fff; } .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; } } /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 { margin: 0px 0px 0px; font-size: 0px; padding: 0px; } .ck_form_content p { font-size: 14px; } .ck_image { float: left; margin-right: 5px; } /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea { display: none; } #ck_success_msg { padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; } .ck_label { font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; } .ck_form input[type="text"] { font-size: 16px; text-align: center; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 0px; padding: 8px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="email"] { font-size: 16px; text-align: center; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 8px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="text"]:focus, .ck_form input[type="email"]:focus { outline: none; border-color: #aaa; } .ck_checkbox { padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; } .ck_checkbox input.optIn { margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt { margin-left: 4px; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p { display: inline; } .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button { width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 0px 0px 0px; padding: 8px 8px; font-size: 18px; background: #d74128; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; } .ck_form .ck_guarantee { color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by { display: block; color: #aaa; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover { display: block; color: #444; } .ck_converted_content { display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; } /* v6 */ .ck_form_v6 #ck_success_msg { padding: 0px 10px; } @media all and (max-width: 403px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 30px; } } @media all and (min-width: 404px) and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 57px; } }
Jul 27 2019
5 mins
Play

Rank #8: How to Write a Beautiful Piano Chord Progression & Melody

Podcast cover
Read more

The piano is a universal instrument, so a great piano part will give your song a timeless feel. And in this lesson, you’ll learn how to write a beautiful piano chord progression and melody, which will stand the test of time. But first… tea!

DOWNLOAD PDF + WAV + MIDI FROM THIS VIDEO

Hello revolutionary music makers, we are Kate Harmony and Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony), and welcome to Hack Music Theory. We help you make great music that stands out, so you can move and grow your audience! If that sounds useful to you, then subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit that bell to get notified every Thursday, when we publish our new video. Alright, let’s jump in...

THEORY
London rapper DAVE just dropped his new single “Black”, which is a goosebump-inducing song with one of the most sophisticated piano parts we’ve heard in the New Music Friday playlist in a very long time! What makes the piano part so good? Two things. First, the chord progression lasts for an epic 16 bars. This is extremely rare in today’s music, which usually consists of four-bar loops. Second, the chord progression switches back and forth between the natural minor (popular music’s favourite scale) and the harmonic minor, which creates a Classical flavour to the piano part as the harmonic minor is the quintessential Classical scale. And it’s this Classical vibe that adds a timeless feel and a musical weight to the song, which in turn makes Dave’s important lyrics even more powerful.

SETUP
Alright, now you’re gonna learn how to use this theory to make your own version, and what you see below is our version that we made earlier. So, start by setting up 16 bars of 4/4, with your grid set to 1/8 notes, and your tempo set to 84 BPM. Dave’s song is in the key of D minor, so we’ll use it too.

STEP 1.  LEFT HAND  (chords)
We’re gonna start with the left-hand part, which will simply play octaves of each chord’s root note. These octaves provide a minimal harmonic backdrop, which creates a more delicate sound than full chords. So, first things first, here’s the menu of chords in D minor that you can choose from: Dm, Edim, Fmaj, Gm, Am (or Amaj), B♭maj, Cmaj, C♯dim. Please note: the Amaj and C♯dim chords are from the harmonic minor. Choose whichever chords you like from the D minor menu, but approach your 16 bars as 4x four-bar chord progressions. And start each four-bar progression with the root chord (Dm), except for the last progression, which you wanna start with one of the major chords in the key, to provide an uplifting vibe to the end of your epic 16 bars. Lastly, the Cmaj to C♯dim movement has a magnetic pull to the Dm, so definitely use that progression somewhere.

STEP 2.  RIGHT HAND  (melody)
Right, it’s right-hand time, and that means melody! So, using 1/8 notes, come up with a motif (which is a short musical idea) over the Dm chord. Base your motif around the 2nd note (cos it’s a beautiful interval), and the 3rd note (cos it’s a deeply emotional interval) - over Dm the 2nd note is E, and the 3rd note is F. Then once you’ve got your motif, you can re-use it over the other chords (basing it around each chord’s 2nd and 3rd notes). Next, tie ‘em all together with some other notes, and be sure to use some arpeggios too, which is when you play a chord one note at a time. Also, throw in a few melodic variations to keep things fresh.

BONUS HACK  (intro)
Lastly, if you want a beautiful intro (like in Dave’s song), then use this hack. Set up four bars for your intro. Now, start on the root chord (Dm) and play it for two bars, then go to another chord and play it for two bars as well. You see, by playing each chord for two bars, instead of one bar or less (like in your verse), the harmony in your intro will move at half the speed. This is so powerful, cos when your verse kicks in, the harmony starts moving at double the speed, which makes everything feel like it’s totally ramping up.

NEXT
Okay, so now that you’ve got an intro and a verse, how do you write a chorus and a bridge? And then, how do you transition between all the sections, especially if they’re in different keys? And then, how do you structure and arrange your song? Well, all songwriters and producers struggle with these issues in the beginning, and that’s exactly why we made our online apprenticeship course. So, if you wanna overcome these obstacles once and for all, then our course is definitely for you!

Kate & Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony)
Music Teachers & Producers in Vancouver BC, Canada

LEVELS
Level 1 - Read our free book (below) & watch our YouTube videos
Level 2 - Read our "Part 1" book & "Songwriting & Producing" PDF
Level 3 - Practice making music using our lessons (PDF+MIDI+WAV)
Level 4 - Learn our secret art of song-whispering & finish your music

ABOUT
Hack Music Theory is a pioneering DAW method for making great music that stands out, so you can move and grow your audience! Taught by award-winning music lecturer Ray Harmony, and his protégé wife Kate Harmony, from their studio in Vancouver BC, Canada. Ray is the author of critically-acclaimed book series "Hack Music Theory", and has made music with Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad), Ihsahn (Emperor), Kool Keith (Ultramagnetic MCs), Madchild (Swollen Members), and many more! Kate has the highest grade distinction in Popular Music Theory from the London College of Music, and is the only person on the planet who's been trained by Ray to teach his method. On that note, the "Hack Music Theory" YouTube channel teaches relevant and instantly-usable music theory for producers, DAW users, and all other music makers (songwriters, singers, guitarists, bassists, drummers, etc.) in all genres, from EDM to R&B, pop to hip-hop, reggae to rock, electronic to metal (and yes, we djefinitely djent!).

COPYRIGHT
© 2019 Revolution Harmony
Revolution Harmony is Ray Harmony & Kate Harmony
All content (script & music) in video by Revolution Harmony
Dave photo by Regina Lemaire-Costa

Wooohooo!!! You’re a mere 30 minutes away from being even smarter than you already are. Just head on over to your inbox now for your free download.

There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.

 

“The most brilliant, fast, easy & fun music theory book I’ve ever seen!” DEREK SIVERS, CD Baby founder

We use this field to detect spam bots. If you fill this in, you will be marked as a spammer. DOWNLOAD FREE BOOK /* Layout */ .ck_form { /* divider image */ background: #EAE9EA url(data:image/gif;base64,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) repeat-y center top; font-family: 'Montserrat'; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; font-size: 16px; border-top: none; border-top-color: #666666; border-bottom: none; border-bottom-color: #3d3d3d; -webkit-box-shadow: none; -moz-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; clear: both; margin: 0px 0px; } .ck_form, .ck_form * { -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } #ck_subscribe_form { clear: both; } /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; } .ck_form.ck_horizontal { } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: none; } .ck_form.ck_vertical { background: #fff; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; } /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form { background: #fff; } .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; } } /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 { margin: 0px 0px 0px; font-size: 0px; padding: 0px; } .ck_form_content p { font-size: 14px; } .ck_image { float: left; margin-right: 5px; } /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea { display: none; } #ck_success_msg { padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; } .ck_label { font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; } .ck_form input[type="text"] { font-size: 16px; text-align: center; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 0px; padding: 8px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="email"] { font-size: 16px; text-align: center; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 8px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="text"]:focus, .ck_form input[type="email"]:focus { outline: none; border-color: #aaa; } .ck_checkbox { padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; } .ck_checkbox input.optIn { margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt { margin-left: 4px; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p { display: inline; } .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button { width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 0px 0px 0px; padding: 8px 8px; font-size: 18px; background: #d74128; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; } .ck_form .ck_guarantee { color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by { display: block; color: #aaa; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover { display: block; color: #444; } .ck_converted_content { display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; } /* v6 */ .ck_form_v6 #ck_success_msg { padding: 0px 10px; } @media all and (max-width: 403px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 30px; } } @media all and (min-width: 404px) and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 57px; } }
Mar 01 2019
6 mins
Play

Rank #9: Introducing... the HACK MUSIC THEORY show!

Podcast cover
Read more

Hello, we are Kate Harmony and Ray Harmony, AKA Revolution Harmony, and we're over the moon happy to introduce to you... the HACK MUSIC THEORY show!

Every Thursday (which you must please refer to as Theory Thursday from this day on!) you’ll find us here, sharing our top-secret songwriting hacks with you, for free. We’re writing new music every week, and teaching the music theory behind it as we go. So whether you’re a beginner or a professional, these hacks will have you writing great songs in no time.

After decades of teaching ‘popular’ and ‘classical’ music theory, Ray created a unique crossover method for songwriting, which he called Hack Music Theory. We use this method to write all our songs, some of which have even featured Grammy-winning multiplatinum artists Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Kool Keith, and many more. Ray is also an award-winning music lecturer and author of the critically-acclaimed book series, Hack Music Theory.

Why are we giving away our top-secret hacks, in this ultra competitive music industry? Because a world with better music, is a better world.

Kate & Ray Harmony
Music Teachers
Victoria BC, Canada

Wooohooo!!! You're a mere 30 minutes away from being even smarter than you already are. Just head over to your inbox now for your free download.

There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.

 

“most brilliant, fast, easy & fun music theory book I’ve ever seen”  –DEREK SIVERS, CD Baby founder

  We use this field to detect spam bots. If you fill this in, you will be marked as a spammer.  DOWNLOAD FREE BOOK /* Layout */ .ck_form { /* divider image */ background: #EAE9EA url(data:image/gif;base64,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) repeat-y center top; font-family: 'Assistant', light; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; font-size: 16px; border-top: none; border-top-color: #666666; border-bottom: none; border-bottom-color: #3d3d3d; -webkit-box-shadow: none; -moz-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; clear: both; margin: 0px 0px; } .ck_form, .ck_form * { -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } #ck_subscribe_form { clear: both; } /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; } .ck_form.ck_horizontal { } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: none; } .ck_form.ck_vertical { background: #fff; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; } /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form { background: #fff; } .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; } } /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 { margin: 0px 0px 0px; font-size: 0px; padding: 0px; } .ck_form_content p { font-size: 14px; } .ck_image { float: left; margin-right: 5px; } /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea { display: none; } #ck_success_msg { padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; } .ck_label { font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; } .ck_form input[type="text"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 20px; margin-top: 40px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="email"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 5px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="text"]:focus, .ck_form input[type="email"]:focus { outline: none; border-color: #aaa; } .ck_checkbox { padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; } .ck_checkbox input.optIn { margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt { margin-left: 4px; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p { display: inline; } .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button { width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 10px 0px 0px; padding: 14px 8px; font-size: 18px; background: #d74128; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; } .ck_form .ck_guarantee { color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by { display: block; color: #aaa; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover { display: block; color: #444; } .ck_converted_content { display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; } /* v6 */ .ck_form_v6 #ck_success_msg { padding: 0px 10px; } @media all and (max-width: 403px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 30px; } } @media all and (min-width: 404px) and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 57px; } }
Feb 02 2017
1 min
Play

Rank #10: Writing a Chord Progression for a Melody

Podcast cover
Read more

Learn how to write chords for a bass line in this unedited video that reveals the process of making music.

Hello revolutionary music makers, we are Kate Harmony and Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony), and welcome to Hack Music Theory. We help you make great music that stands out, so you can move and grow your audience! If that sounds useful to you, then subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit that bell to get notified every Thursday, when we publish our new video.

The music making process is shrouded in secrecy and always takes place behind closed doors, cos writing music in front of people (or while on camera) is a very vulnerable thing to do, so nobody does it. But, we are here to change that once and for all! Our passion is to reveal that there is nothing mysterious or elusive about making music, it’s merely a simple step-by-step process fuelled by theory and creativity, which we can teach you right now! To learn more, click here.

Okay, so after watching this video, you'll know how to write one section, but how do you write the other sections? And then, how do you transition between all the sections (especially when they’re in different keys)? And then, how do you structure and arrange your song? Well, these are issues that many songwriters and producers struggle with, and that’s exactly why we made our online apprenticeship course. So, if you wanna overcome these obstacles once and for all, then our course is definitely for you!

Kate & Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony)
Music Teachers & Producers in Vancouver BC, Canada

LEVELS
Level 1 - Read our free book (below) & watch our YouTube videos
Level 2 - Read our "Part 1" book & "Songwriting & Producing" PDF
Level 3 - Practice making music using our lessons (PDF+MIDI+WAV)
Level 4 - Learn our secret art of song-whispering & finish your music

ABOUT
Hack Music Theory is a pioneering DAW method for making great music that stands out, so you can move and grow your audience! Taught by award-winning music lecturer Ray Harmony, and his protégé wife Kate Harmony, from their studio in Vancouver BC, Canada. Ray is the author of critically-acclaimed book series "Hack Music Theory", and has made music with Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad), Ihsahn (Emperor), Kool Keith (Ultramagnetic MCs), Madchild (Swollen Members), and many more! Kate has the highest grade distinction in Popular Music Theory from the London College of Music, and is the only person on the planet who's been trained by Ray to teach his method. On that note, the "Hack Music Theory" YouTube channel teaches relevant and instantly-usable music theory for producers, DAW users, and all other music makers (songwriters, singers, guitarists, bassists, drummers, etc.) in all genres, from EDM to R&B, pop to hip-hop, reggae to rock, electronic to metal (and yes, we djefinitely djent!). 

COPYRIGHT 
© 2019 Revolution Harmony
Revolution Harmony is Ray Harmony & Kate Harmony
All content (script & music) in video by Revolution Harmony

Wooohooo!!! You’re a mere 30 minutes away from being even smarter than you already are. Just head on over to your inbox now for your free download.

There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.

 

“The most brilliant, fast, easy & fun music theory book I’ve ever seen!” DEREK SIVERS, CD Baby founder

We use this field to detect spam bots. If you fill this in, you will be marked as a spammer. DOWNLOAD FREE BOOK /* Layout */ .ck_form { /* divider image */ background: #EAE9EA url(data:image/gif;base64,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) repeat-y center top; font-family: 'Montserrat'; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; font-size: 16px; border-top: none; border-top-color: #666666; border-bottom: none; border-bottom-color: #3d3d3d; -webkit-box-shadow: none; -moz-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; clear: both; margin: 0px 0px; } .ck_form, .ck_form * { -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } #ck_subscribe_form { clear: both; } /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; } .ck_form.ck_horizontal { } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: none; } .ck_form.ck_vertical { background: #fff; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; } /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form { background: #fff; } .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; } } /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 { margin: 0px 0px 0px; font-size: 0px; padding: 0px; } .ck_form_content p { font-size: 14px; } .ck_image { float: left; margin-right: 5px; } /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea { display: none; } #ck_success_msg { padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; } .ck_label { font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; } .ck_form input[type="text"] { font-size: 16px; text-align: center; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 0px; padding: 8px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="email"] { font-size: 16px; text-align: center; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 8px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="text"]:focus, .ck_form input[type="email"]:focus { outline: none; border-color: #aaa; } .ck_checkbox { padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; } .ck_checkbox input.optIn { margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt { margin-left: 4px; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p { display: inline; } .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button { width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 0px 0px 0px; padding: 8px 8px; font-size: 18px; background: #d74128; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; } .ck_form .ck_guarantee { color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by { display: block; color: #aaa; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover { display: block; color: #444; } .ck_converted_content { display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; } /* v6 */ .ck_form_v6 #ck_success_msg { padding: 0px 10px; } @media all and (max-width: 403px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 30px; } } @media all and (min-width: 404px) and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 57px; } }
May 03 2019
52 mins
Play

Rank #11: The Best One-Note Bass Line of 2018

Podcast cover
Read more

Sometimes a section in your song will want a simple bass line, in fact, sometimes it’ll want nothing more than one note. But, almost all one-note bass lines sound like they were made by a complete beginner. So, how on earth do you make a one-note bass line that is intelligent? Keep watching to find out. But first… tea!

Hello revolutionaries, we are Kate Harmony and Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony), and welcome to Hack Music Theory. We help you make great music that stands out, so you can get discovered! If that sounds useful to you, then subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit that bell to get notified every Saturday, when we publish our new video.

Right, so in this video we’ll be revealing the second (and final) release on our “Most Artistic Music of the Year” list. And if you missed last week’s video, then watch that to discover the other release, as well as the criteria for making our list. Also, we’ll be announcing the winner of our Apprenticeship giveaway at the end of this video, so stay tuned. Now, without further ado, the second artist on our very short list, is: THE ARUSHA ACCORD.

This band is seriously the most underrated band on the planet, and their “Juracán” EP is the most unbelievable (and underrated) release of 2018. Their new EP is overflowing with breathtaking vocal melodies, goosebump-inducing harmonies, mind-expanding riffs, a revitalizing rhythm section that awakens your body, and the most creative song structures you’ll ever hear in Popular Music. Just a warning though, The Arusha Accord makes music only for the most open-minded music lovers. But that’s you, innit? So as soon as this video ends, go listen to them and hit repeat, cos it’ll take many many listens to explore their musical depths. And start with “The Road (Amor Vincit Omnia - Part 1)”, which is the song we’ll be covering in this video. Alright, now it’s time to open your DAW to hack music theory.

THEORY
A monumentally important element in intelligent bass lines, is obviously: melody. So when you remove the melodic element (by staying on one note), you have to compensate with your rhythm. And ideally, you want your one-note bass line to be thrillingly unpredictable, which will draw your listeners in with its intrigue. So, let’s talk about rhythm then. Most humans love symmetry. That’s why 99.9% of Popular Music uses time signatures that are symmetrical. This means the music has a regular and predictable pulse, like the continuous 1/4 notes in 4/4, or the continuous dotted 1/4 notes in 12/8. However, there are a few brave artists out there who are freethinking “black sheep”, going against the current, and The Arusha Accord is the black sheep’s black sheep. They celebrate the unorthodox beauty of asymmetry, by creating irregular and unpredictable pulses in their music. The results are mesmerizing, and help extend the longevity of their music into the timeless realm! And that is how you make an intelligent one-note bass line. 

Set-Up
Alright, now you’re gonna learn how to use this theory to make your own version, and what you see on the screen right now is our version that we made earlier. So, start by setting up four bars of alternating 10/8 and 12/8, with your grid set to 1/8 notes, and your tempo set to 115 BPM. In the intro of this song, The Arusha Accord chose D for their one note, so we’ll use it too. And before we jump into the steps, if you need help with the basics, or if you just wanna brush up on your scales and chords, then download our free music theory book below.

Step 1 - Long Cycle
Now, one note ain’t much to play with, right? Well, it’s plenty for The Arusha Accord. The first thing they do, is create a long cycle for their bass line. In fact, the bassist plays through forty four 1/8 notes in one cycle of the rhythm. So, step one is to choose a root note, then draw in forty four 1/8 notes on that one pitch. 

Step 2 - Assymetrical Time
The Arusha Accord’s intro bass line hints at a dotted 1/4 note pulse, as all the bars start with a couple groups of three 1/8 notes. This gives the bass line a more laid-back vibe, as there’s more distance between the accents, creating a slower pulse. So, purely to demonstrate a different feel, we went with a bass line that hints at a 1/4 note pulse. And we created this by starting each bar with a couple groups of two 1/8 notes. This gives our bass line a more urgent vibe, as there’s less distance between the accents, creating a faster pulse. So, step two is to choose between either of these hinted at pulses, then to use the remainder of each bar to add the asymmetry. To do this, create an irregular pulse by grouping your remaining 1/8 notes into a mixture of twos and threes. But, at the end of your third bar (or at the end of your fourth bar), throw your listeners a curveball to keep ‘em on their toes, by using a single 1/8 note. So, here’s the grouping we went with: In our first bar, we grouped 10/8 into 2+2+3+3. In our second bar, we grouped 12/8 into 2+2+2+3+3. In our third bar, we grouped 10/8 into 2+2+2+3+1. And in our fourth bar, we grouped 12/8 into 2+2+2+3+3. And the way you’re gonna make your grouping stand out, which in turn creates that irregular pulse, is by keeping the first note of each group as an 1/8 note, and then shortening the other notes of each group to 1/32 notes. Like this. And here’s a little bonus hack. In the original song when the drums come in, the cycle of time signatures changes yet again, that’s so Arusha Accord!

NEXT
Right, now that you’ve got one section down, how do you write more sections for it, and then, how do you transition between those sections, and turn 'em into a song? Great questions, and if this is something you need help with, then check out our cutting-edge online apprenticeship course, where you’ll literally learn every step of the music making process, and most importantly, you’ll learn how to finish your songs! You’ll also gain access to our Private Network, which is a safe online space (i.e. social media platform) exclusively for our 600+ apprentices from 50+ countries. Our Network is a super supportive place for you to ask theory questions, share your music, get feedback, meet like-minded music makers, and collaborate! If all this sounds useful to you, then head on over to our Online Apprenticeship page now.

Kate & Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony)
Music Teachers & Producers in Vancouver BC, Canada

LEARN
Level 1: Read our free book (below) & watch our YouTube videos
Level 2: Read our "Part 1" book & "Songwriting & Producing" PDF
Level 3: Learn our secret art of songwhispering & finish your music

ABOUT
Hack Music Theory is the pioneering notation-free method for making great music that stands out, so you can get discovered! Taught by award-winning music lecturer Ray Harmony, and his protégé (and wife) Kate Harmony, from their studio in Vancouver BC, Canada. Ray is the author of critically-acclaimed book series "Hack Music Theory", and has made music with Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad), Ihsahn (Emperor), Kool Keith (Ultramagnetic MCs), Madchild (Swollen Members), and many more! Kate has the highest grade distinction in Popular Music Theory from the London College of Music, and is the only person on the planet who's been trained by Ray to teach his method. On that note, the "Hack Music Theory" YouTube channel teaches relevant and instantly-usable music theory for producers, DAW users, and all other music makers (songwriters, singers, guitarists, bassists, drummers, etc.) in all genres, from EDM to R&B, pop to hip-hop, reggae to rock, electronic to metal (and yes, we djefinitely djent!).

COPYRIGHT
© 2018 Revolution Harmony
Revolution Harmony is Ray Harmony & Kate Harmony
All content (script & music) in video by Revolution Harmony
Arusha Accord art by https://www.instagram.com/tomgilmourart
Arusha Accord photo by https://www.instagram.com/scumjordmillionaire
Black Sheep (Out of Step) art by http://www.cynthiaconnolly.com

Wooohooo!!! You’re a mere 30 minutes away from being even smarter than you already are. Just head on over to your inbox now for your free download.

There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.

 

“The most brilliant, fast, easy & fun music theory book I’ve ever seen!” DEREK SIVERS, CD Baby founder

We use this field to detect spam bots. If you fill this in, you will be marked as a spammer. DOWNLOAD FREE BOOK /* Layout */ .ck_form { /* divider image */ background: #EAE9EA url(data:image/gif;base64,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) repeat-y center top; font-family: 'Montserrat'; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; font-size: 16px; border-top: none; border-top-color: #666666; border-bottom: none; border-bottom-color: #3d3d3d; -webkit-box-shadow: none; -moz-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; clear: both; margin: 0px 0px; } .ck_form, .ck_form * { -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } #ck_subscribe_form { clear: both; } /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; } .ck_form.ck_horizontal { } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: none; } .ck_form.ck_vertical { background: #fff; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; } /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form { background: #fff; } .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; } } /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 { margin: 0px 0px 0px; font-size: 0px; padding: 0px; } .ck_form_content p { font-size: 14px; } .ck_image { float: left; margin-right: 5px; } /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea { display: none; } #ck_success_msg { padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; } .ck_label { font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; } .ck_form input[type="text"] { font-size: 16px; text-align: center; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 0px; padding: 8px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="email"] { font-size: 16px; text-align: center; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 8px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="text"]:focus, .ck_form input[type="email"]:focus { outline: none; border-color: #aaa; } .ck_checkbox { padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; } .ck_checkbox input.optIn { margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt { margin-left: 4px; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p { display: inline; } .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button { width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 0px 0px 0px; padding: 8px 8px; font-size: 18px; background: #d74128; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; } .ck_form .ck_guarantee { color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by { display: block; color: #aaa; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover { display: block; color: #444; } .ck_converted_content { display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; } /* v6 */ .ck_form_v6 #ck_success_msg { padding: 0px 10px; } @media all and (max-width: 403px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 30px; } } @media all and (min-width: 404px) and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 57px; } }
Dec 17 2018
7 mins
Play

Rank #12: 2 Hacks to Instantly Improve Your Music - Finished Song (feat. "Throwing Words")

Podcast cover
Read more

Hello, we are Kate Harmony & Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony), and welcome to the Hack Music Theory show, where you are empowered with notation-free theory for making great music in DAWs.

Over the last few videos we’ve been sharing the music theory hacks we used to write our upcoming single, Throwing Words, which we made with our good chums Triple L and Jesse Junk. So in this video/podcast, we’ll finally be revealing the finished song.

And speaking of finished songs. Do you struggle to finish your music? If you do, then check out our online apprenticeship course, where you’ll learn how to effortlessly write new sections for existing sections, how to transition between them, and most importantly, how to finish your songs! For more info, just head on over to RevolutionHarmony.com/Apprenticeship. Alright, enjoy the final playthrough. But first… tea!

Kate & Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony)
Music Teachers & Producers in Vancouver BC, Canada

Learn how to use Hack Music Theory in 3 levels:
1: Read our free book (below) & watch our YouTube videos
2: Read our "Part 1" book & "Songwriting & Producing" PDF
3: Learn how to become a song-whisperer, and effortlessly finish music!

Wooohooo!!! You’re a mere 30 minutes away from being even smarter than you already are. Just head over to your inbox now for your free download.

There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.

 

“most brilliant, fast, easy & fun music theory book I’ve ever seen” –DEREK SIVERS, CD Baby founder

We use this field to detect spam bots. If you fill this in, you will be marked as a spammer. DOWNLOAD FREE BOOK /* Layout */ .ck_form { /* divider image */ background: #EAE9EA url(data:image/gif;base64,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) repeat-y center top; font-family: 'Assistant', light; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; font-size: 16px; border-top: none; border-top-color: #666666; border-bottom: none; border-bottom-color: #3d3d3d; -webkit-box-shadow: none; -moz-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; clear: both; margin: 0px 0px; } .ck_form, .ck_form * { -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } #ck_subscribe_form { clear: both; } /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; } .ck_form.ck_horizontal { } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: none; } .ck_form.ck_vertical { background: #fff; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; } /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form { background: #fff; } .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; } } /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 { margin: 0px 0px 0px; font-size: 0px; padding: 0px; } .ck_form_content p { font-size: 14px; } .ck_image { float: left; margin-right: 5px; } /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea { display: none; } #ck_success_msg { padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; } .ck_label { font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; } .ck_form input[type="text"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 20px; margin-top: 40px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="email"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 5px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="text"]:focus, .ck_form input[type="email"]:focus { outline: none; border-color: #aaa; } .ck_checkbox { padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; } .ck_checkbox input.optIn { margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt { margin-left: 4px; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p { display: inline; } .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button { width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 10px 0px 0px; padding: 14px 8px; font-size: 18px; background: #d74128; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; } .ck_form .ck_guarantee { color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by { display: block; color: #aaa; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover { display: block; color: #444; } .ck_converted_content { display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; } /* v6 */ .ck_form_v6 #ck_success_msg { padding: 0px 10px; } @media all and (max-width: 403px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 30px; } } @media all and (min-width: 404px) and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 57px; } }
Apr 09 2018
4 mins
Play

Rank #13: How to Write Great Songs: Bass Lines (Song 1)

Podcast cover
Read more

Follow this simple step-by-step Hack Music Theory guide for writing great bass lines!

Step 1: Start with the root note of each chord in your chord progression
If you’re working in a digital audio workstation (DAW), then copy and paste the MIDI of your chord progression into your bass track. Now delete all the notes in it, other than the root note of each chord. Be sure not to get confused with any inversions though, cos if you’ve inverted a chord, the root will not be the lowest note. You don’t need to hear the root notes, just see where they change, so mute them all now. You’ll also have to move them down an octave or two, as your chords would have been higher pitched than the bass. These muted root notes show you the harmonic rhythm, which is the template you’ll write your bass line over. If you’re doing this old-school with a pen and paper, then just write down the root note of each chord, and you’re ready to start. The root notes in our E Dorian chord progression in this video lesson are: E → B → G → A → D

Step 2: Play around with a rhythm on each chord’s root note
Listen to your chord progression, really listen, it will tell you what kind of bass line it wants to sit on. Our harmonic rhythm is rather slow in our chord progression, so we imagined a bouncy bass line underneath to contrast and enliven it. We came up with a little 5/16 over 4/4 polymeter as our rhythmic motif (i.e. a short musical idea). Remember to always be hunting for motifs, as they’re the gold that elevates a great melody to new heights! Our little polymeter motif gave the bass line a super syncopated feel from structurally accenting (not randomly accenting) off beats.

Step 3. Break up all melodic movements of a perfect 4th and perfect 5th
These are perfectly vibrating intervals that sound way too similar to each other, and are therefore very boring. We need to break up these melodic movements, by adding a note in between. The most thrilling part of doing this is actually the unpredictable and magical detours your melodies will take, which would never happen if it weren’t for these boring intervals needing to be spiced up. We had a perfect 5th (7 semitones) between our E and B, and a perfect 4th (5 semitones) between our A and D, which we fixed with an exciting detour. For more on this vital step, refer to my Melody Checklist. I spent ages pouring everything I know about writing melodies into an ultimate checklist, so if you want every melody you ever write to be a great one, use the Melody Checklist in my Hack Music Theory for Songwriting & Producing PDF.

Step 4. Move some more notes off the roots
Bass is the foundation of music, upon which everything else is built. So, a great bass line needs to provide stability by centering itself around the root note of each chord. If this is all the bass does though, it turns into a mere frequency, not an instrument adding value to the music. This is why we need to create moments of instability by moving off the roots and playing some other notes in the scale. Too much stability will make your bass line boring, but too much instability will make your musical foundation weak and unable to hold all the chords and melodies above it.

And there you have it, a great bass line in four easy steps! Over to you now, so have fun writing great bass lines, and be sure to connect and let us know how you get on with this hackwork. Until next week, happy songwriting!

Ray Harmony
Music Teacher
Victoria BC, Canada

Wooohooo!!! You're a mere 30 minutes away from being even smarter than you already are. Just head over to your inbox now for your free download.

There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.

 

“most brilliant, fast, easy & fun music theory book I’ve ever seen”  –DEREK SIVERS, CD Baby founder

  We use this field to detect spam bots. If you fill this in, you will be marked as a spammer.  DOWNLOAD FREE BOOK /* Layout */ .ck_form { /* divider image */ background: #EAE9EA url(data:image/gif;base64,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) repeat-y center top; font-family: 'Assistant', light; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; font-size: 16px; border-top: none; border-top-color: #666666; border-bottom: none; border-bottom-color: #3d3d3d; -webkit-box-shadow: none; -moz-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; clear: both; margin: 0px 0px; } .ck_form, .ck_form * { -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } #ck_subscribe_form { clear: both; } /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; } .ck_form.ck_horizontal { } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: none; } .ck_form.ck_vertical { background: #fff; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; } /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form { background: #fff; } .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; } } /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 { margin: 0px 0px 0px; font-size: 0px; padding: 0px; } .ck_form_content p { font-size: 14px; } .ck_image { float: left; margin-right: 5px; } /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea { display: none; } #ck_success_msg { padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; } .ck_label { font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; } .ck_form input[type="text"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 20px; margin-top: 40px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="email"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 5px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="text"]:focus, .ck_form input[type="email"]:focus { outline: none; border-color: #aaa; } .ck_checkbox { padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; } .ck_checkbox input.optIn { margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt { margin-left: 4px; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p { display: inline; } .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button { width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 10px 0px 0px; padding: 14px 8px; font-size: 18px; background: #d74128; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; } .ck_form .ck_guarantee { color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by { display: block; color: #aaa; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover { display: block; color: #444; } .ck_converted_content { display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; } /* v6 */ .ck_form_v6 #ck_success_msg { padding: 0px 10px; } @media all and (max-width: 403px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 30px; } } @media all and (min-width: 404px) and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 57px; } }
Feb 16 2017
55 mins
Play

Rank #14: Pitch (melody/harmony) & Rhythm

Podcast cover
Read more

It’s another super special episode today, as we’re celebrating the one-year anniversary of my first book Hack Music Theory, Part 1 being published. Yay!!! Well actually, we’ve been working so hard lately, we kinda forgot the anniversary. Oops!

Here we are though, about a month late, but ready to celebrate. And what better way to do that than with a little author reading, and what better place to start than the beginning. So, click play to hear me reading chapter one: Pitch (melody/harmony) & Rhythm. But first... tea!

By the way, if you wanna get yer hands on Hack Music Theory, Part 1, you can grab the ebook or paperback from the links below:

eBook/PDFRevolutionHarmony.com/Books
PaperbackAmazon.com/dp/1988410002

Thank you for being brave and committing to make the world a better place through better music. Until next week, happy songwriting & producing!

Ray Harmony - Victoria BC, Canada
Musician | Songwriter | Producer | Teacher

Wooohooo!!! You're a mere 30 minutes away from being even smarter than you already are. Just head over to your inbox now for your free download.

There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.

 

“most brilliant, fast, easy & fun music theory book I’ve ever seen”  –DEREK SIVERS, CD Baby founder

  We use this field to detect spam bots. If you fill this in, you will be marked as a spammer.  DOWNLOAD FREE BOOK /* Layout */ .ck_form { /* divider image */ background: #EAE9EA url(data:image/gif;base64,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) repeat-y center top; font-family: 'Assistant', light; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; font-size: 16px; border-top: none; border-top-color: #666666; border-bottom: none; border-bottom-color: #3d3d3d; -webkit-box-shadow: none; -moz-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; clear: both; margin: 0px 0px; } .ck_form, .ck_form * { -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } #ck_subscribe_form { clear: both; } /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; } .ck_form.ck_horizontal { } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: none; } .ck_form.ck_vertical { background: #fff; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; } /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form { background: #fff; } .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; } } /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 { margin: 0px 0px 0px; font-size: 0px; padding: 0px; } .ck_form_content p { font-size: 14px; } .ck_image { float: left; margin-right: 5px; } /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea { display: none; } #ck_success_msg { padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; } .ck_label { font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; } .ck_form input[type="text"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 20px; margin-top: 40px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="email"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 5px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="text"]:focus, .ck_form input[type="email"]:focus { outline: none; border-color: #aaa; } .ck_checkbox { padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; } .ck_checkbox input.optIn { margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt { margin-left: 4px; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p { display: inline; } .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button { width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 10px 0px 0px; padding: 14px 8px; font-size: 18px; background: #d74128; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; } .ck_form .ck_guarantee { color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by { display: block; color: #aaa; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover { display: block; color: #444; } .ck_converted_content { display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; } /* v6 */ .ck_form_v6 #ck_success_msg { padding: 0px 10px; } @media all and (max-width: 403px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 30px; } } @media all and (min-width: 404px) and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 57px; } }
Aug 17 2017
5 mins
Play

Rank #15: 5 Hacks to Make Better Music in 2019

Podcast cover
Read more

Happy New Year, and may this be your best year yet! On that note, did you make a New Year’s resolution to start making music, or make more music, or make better music? Well unfortunately, studies suggest that only about one in 10 people achieve their New Year’s resolutions, so this video is designed to help you become that one person. But first… tea!

Hello revolutionaries, we are Kate Harmony and Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony), and welcome to Hack Music Theory. We help you make great music that stands out, so you can enchant and enlarge your audience! If that sounds useful to you, then subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit that bell to get notified every Thursday, when we publish our new video. Alright, let’s jump in...

Hack 1: Permission to Play
There’s an abundance of scientific research proving that a lack of play in our lives leads to depression, and for people like us, play is making music. If you’ve ever stopped music for a while and noticed how everything in your life suddenly gets a lot more serious and a lot less enjoyable, then you’ve already experienced this slippery slope. So, if you truly wanna show up 100% for your family and your work, then you need to play. But remember, play is all about intrinsic value, which means the process itself is enjoyable. If someone’s making music as a means to an end (for example, with the goal of one of their songs going viral), then they’re on an even worse slippery slope. We have no control over how the world reacts to our music, so they’d be far happier by refocusing their attention onto the joy of the music making process itself.

Hack 2: Schedule Sessions
I remember when I started teaching music in 1995 (back before the internet stole our time, and instead, we spent it obsessively listening to that three-legged dog tape), my students would often turn up without having done their homework, cos they were “too busy”. And nowadays, with the internet in the palm of our hand, we’re “busier” than we’ve ever been in the whole of human history. And that is why everyone is “happy” on Instagram, but when we actually put our phones down and look around, everyone seems pretty miserable. The only way to overcome this “too busy to play” fallacy, is to schedule a weekly session. So pause this video right now, open your calendar, find one hour somewhere, and create a recurring weekly event. Then, when your session time arrives, turn off your phone, close your web browser, and open your DAW to hack music theory.

Hack 3: Use Music Theory
Nothing ruins fun like frustration! So, the process of making music will only be enjoyable if you’re competent at it. And that’s where we come in. With Hack Music Theory, you can overcome the dreaded blank screen once and for all, cos while Writer’s Block may exist in our minds, in reality, it’s a lie. I remember when I was a kid, my dad told me over and over again “Creativity is a tap that you can turn on whenever you want.” That understanding, along with learning music theory, has resulted in hundreds of songs over my 28 years of making music, with a grand total of zero accounts of writer’s block. So, to get started today, just watch our Step-By-Step Starter Guide at the end of this video, and also, download our free music theory book below.

Hack 4: Practice Makes Play
Now, in order for an activity to properly be play, it needs to pull you into the “flow” state, which is that zone you enter when you’re fully immersed in a task and totally lose track of time. This can only happen when the activity is challenging, but not too difficult. And yes, everything is difficult in the beginning, but, just like everything else, regular practice results in quick progress. Besides, music is only 12 notes. It’s easy! So, make your initial weekly sessions about practising the application of music theory. And to do this, simply follow along with the examples in our weekly videos. If you practice making music using the steps in those videos, you’ll be bustin’ out awesome tunes in no time! Remember, practice makes play. 

Hack 5: Get Support
Sitting in front of your DAW with headphones on can be an isolating experience, and as we’re a social species, it’s vital to join a like-minded music community. This will not only create new friendships, which is deeply valuable in itself, but sharing your works-in-progress and getting supportive feedback from your peers will totally turbocharge your progress, and your happiness. So, do some searching online and see if there’s a local meetup you can join. Or, if you wanna join our private network, which has hundreds of good people in it from over 50 countries, then sign up for our online apprenticeship, the link is below. Here’s how one of our top apprentices described it: “I really enjoy the interactions in the Network. Apprentices share their works-in-progress often, and have the right attitude: they’re open-minded, positive, helpful, and some are very funny too. It’s like a family, but without the drama!” –François Lalonde (Montréal, Canada)

So, write down these five hacks, stick ‘em somewhere you’ll see everyday, and you’ll become the one outta 10 people who achieve their New Year’s resolutions. We really hope you found this video helpful, and we’ll see you next week, when we get back to our regular lesson format.

Kate & Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony)
Music Teachers & Producers in Vancouver BC, Canada

LEARN
Level 1: Read our free book (below) & watch our YouTube videos
Level 2: Read our "Part 1" book & "Songwriting & Producing" PDF
Level 3: Learn our secret art of songwhispering & finish your music

ABOUT
Hack Music Theory is the pioneering notation-free method for making great music that stands out, so you can enchant and enlarge your audience! Taught by award-winning music lecturer Ray Harmony, and his protégé wife Kate Harmony, from their studio in Vancouver BC, Canada. Ray is the author of critically-acclaimed book series "Hack Music Theory", and has made music with Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad), Ihsahn (Emperor), Kool Keith (Ultramagnetic MCs), Madchild (Swollen Members), and many more! Kate has the highest grade distinction in Popular Music Theory from the London College of Music, and is the only person on the planet who's been trained by Ray to teach his method. On that note, the "Hack Music Theory" YouTube channel teaches relevant and instantly-usable music theory for producers, DAW users, and all other music makers (songwriters, singers, guitarists, bassists, drummers, etc.) in all genres, from EDM to R&B, pop to hip-hop, reggae to rock, electronic to metal (and yes, we djefinitely djent!).

COPYRIGHT
© 2019 Revolution Harmony
Revolution Harmony is Ray Harmony & Kate Harmony
All content (script & music) in video by Revolution Harmony

Wooohooo!!! You’re a mere 30 minutes away from being even smarter than you already are. Just head on over to your inbox now for your free download.

There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.

 

“The most brilliant, fast, easy & fun music theory book I’ve ever seen!” DEREK SIVERS, CD Baby founder

We use this field to detect spam bots. If you fill this in, you will be marked as a spammer. DOWNLOAD FREE BOOK /* Layout */ .ck_form { /* divider image */ background: #EAE9EA url(data:image/gif;base64,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) repeat-y center top; font-family: 'Montserrat'; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; font-size: 16px; border-top: none; border-top-color: #666666; border-bottom: none; border-bottom-color: #3d3d3d; -webkit-box-shadow: none; -moz-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; clear: both; margin: 0px 0px; } .ck_form, .ck_form * { -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } #ck_subscribe_form { clear: both; } /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; } .ck_form.ck_horizontal { } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: none; } .ck_form.ck_vertical { background: #fff; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; } /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form { background: #fff; } .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; } } /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 { margin: 0px 0px 0px; font-size: 0px; padding: 0px; } .ck_form_content p { font-size: 14px; } .ck_image { float: left; margin-right: 5px; } /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea { display: none; } #ck_success_msg { padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; } .ck_label { font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; } .ck_form input[type="text"] { font-size: 16px; text-align: center; margin-top: 20px; margin-bottom: 0px; padding: 8px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="email"] { font-size: 16px; text-align: center; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 8px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="text"]:focus, .ck_form input[type="email"]:focus { outline: none; border-color: #aaa; } .ck_checkbox { padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; } .ck_checkbox input.optIn { margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt { margin-left: 4px; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p { display: inline; } .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button { width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 0px 0px 0px; padding: 8px 8px; font-size: 18px; background: #d74128; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 30px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; } .ck_form .ck_guarantee { color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by { display: block; color: #aaa; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover { display: block; color: #444; } .ck_converted_content { display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; } /* v6 */ .ck_form_v6 #ck_success_msg { padding: 0px 10px; } @media all and (max-width: 403px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 30px; } } @media all and (min-width: 404px) and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 57px; } }
Jan 11 2019
5 mins
Play

Rank #16: 3 Hacks for EDM Bass Lines & Kick Drums

Podcast cover
Read more
Michael from Germany asked us the following question on YouTube: “As I build more interesting bass lines for my EDM track, I run into the problem that some bass notes run parallel with the kick. Sure I can just duck them with a compressor or LFOtool, but I have a feeling that’s not the best option. Or, am I just producing in a genre that has boring bass lines?” Thank you Michael, and no, no genre deserves boring bass lines! This is actually a common problem in EDM that gets very little attention, so we’re excited to shed some light on it, starting with our one-sentence answer:

Using a combination of syncopation, phrasing, and octaves, you can write melodically and rhythmically captivating EDM bass lines, which do not interfere with the kick drum.

Before we get into our MIDI example, let’s first define those terms. Syncopation is accenting an off-beat, phrasing is where the music breathes, and an octave is the same note just a higher or lower pitched version. Also, please note that the problem of bass notes and kick drums being played together is only a problem in some EDM subgenres. This is due to their massive synthesized bass and kick sounds, which need their own individual space in the mix. Most other genres, especially the ones that use live instruments, approach bass and drums in an opposite way. The bassist and drummer are referred to as the rhythm section, and the ultimate rhythm section plays so tightly together that they become one, with many bass notes landing on kicks.

The godfather of groove, James Brown, knew the importance of “the one”, i.e. the first beat of a bar. He demanded that every bar has a bass note and kick played together on the one. The rhythm section could do whatever they wanted for the rest of each bar, but on the one, they had to lock in. This balance between locking in on the one and then using syncopation for the rest of the bar, is what gives funk its groove. So, if James Brown was an EDM producer, he would definitely play the kick and bass together on the one. And, as it’s impossible to argue with James Brown’s superior ability to make people dance, we should probably borrow his technique for Electronic Dance Music, too. This means you’ll need to use LFOtool on the one, so you can play both the bass and the kick together, but then you can put your LFOtool away for the rest of the bar.

For our MIDI example, we’ve just used the most common drum pattern, the four on the floor. However, the following bass hacks will work for any drum pattern you have. Also, we wrote the funky bass line of this example in the F♯ Blues scale, so the notes of our scale are: F♯, A, B, C, C♯, E. And the scale spelling is: 1 ♭3 4 ♭5 5 ♭7. To learn our hacks for writing bass lines in the Blues scale, please download our Hack Music Theory for Songwriting & Producing PDF. Here’s our starting bass line:

Figure 1: Our original EDM bass line (in F♯ Blues scale), which is currently interfering with the kick drum

Now let’s get started. Copy and paste your kick pattern into your bass track, then mute those kick notes. This will show you what beats you need to avoid in your bass line. There are three bass hacks you can use to avoid kicks, and they often work best when used together, so don’t be shy.

Figure 2: Kick drum pattern copied into bass track and muted (dark notes on C3 in above MIDI)

Hack 1: Syncopation

Move the beginnings of all your bass notes that are currently landing on kicks. You can start these notes earlier or later, whichever sounds best for each bass note. If you start a note earlier, though, you’ll obviously need to shorten the note before it. This creates a syncopated rhythm, which adds unpredictable excitement to your groove. Here’s what we did:

Figure 3: Notes that have been shortened and lengthened to avoid kicks (highlighted in above MIDI)

Hack 2: Phrasing

For all your bass notes that start before a kick drum but then continue sounding over it, you can shorten them to stop on the kick instead. You can also do this anywhere else you feel a musical breath would enliven your bass line. This hack creates phrases, which inject life into your bass line, as the melody is now breathing.

Figure 4: Notes that have been shortened to create phrasing (highlighted in above MIDI)

Hack 3: Octaves

Lastly, there will almost certainly be some notes that you don’t want to shorten in order to avoid kicks. For these notes, move them an octave or two higher, so they’re out of the frequency range of the kick. Feel free to move any other notes an octave higher too, to even out the amount of low and high notes, resulting in a more balanced bass line. Also, if any of these high notes are long, you can split them and move the extra one an octave down. This last hack creates a huge range to your bass line, which thrills your listeners with its wildness. And with that, we’re done. James Brown is happy, and we’ve got a kick-ass EDM bass line that does not interfere with the kick!

Figure 5: Notes that have been moved an octave higher* to avoid kick frequency (highlighted in above MIDI)
*The highlighted C♯ and C that are an octave lower, were cut and moved back down from the high C♯ and C

So that’s our answer! Thanks for watching, and if you’d like more EDM music theory hacks like this, please download our Hack Music Theory for Songwriting & Producing PDF. Do you feel a little bit smarter now than you did a few minutes ago? Then “like” and subscribe so we can do it all again next week! And if you have a question you’d like us to answer here on Hack Music Theory Q&A, then please join our community at Patreon.com/RevolutionHarmony

Kate Harmony
Music Teacher
Victoria BC, Canada

Wooohooo!!! You're a mere 30 minutes away from being even smarter than you already are. Just head over to your inbox now for your free download.

There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.

 

“most brilliant, fast, easy & fun music theory book I’ve ever seen”  –DEREK SIVERS, CD Baby founder

  We use this field to detect spam bots. If you fill this in, you will be marked as a spammer.  DOWNLOAD FREE BOOK /* Layout */ .ck_form { /* divider image */ background: #EAE9EA url(data:image/gif;base64,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) repeat-y center top; font-family: 'Assistant', light; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; font-size: 16px; border-top: none; border-top-color: #666666; border-bottom: none; border-bottom-color: #3d3d3d; -webkit-box-shadow: none; -moz-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; clear: both; margin: 0px 0px; } .ck_form, .ck_form * { -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } #ck_subscribe_form { clear: both; } /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; } .ck_form.ck_horizontal { } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: none; } .ck_form.ck_vertical { background: #fff; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; } /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form { background: #fff; } .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; } } /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 { margin: 0px 0px 0px; font-size: 0px; padding: 0px; } .ck_form_content p { font-size: 14px; } .ck_image { float: left; margin-right: 5px; } /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea { display: none; } #ck_success_msg { padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; } .ck_label { font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; } .ck_form input[type="text"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 20px; margin-top: 40px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="email"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 5px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="text"]:focus, .ck_form input[type="email"]:focus { outline: none; border-color: #aaa; } .ck_checkbox { padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; } .ck_checkbox input.optIn { margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt { margin-left: 4px; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p { display: inline; } .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button { width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 10px 0px 0px; padding: 14px 8px; font-size: 18px; background: #d74128; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; } .ck_form .ck_guarantee { color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by { display: block; color: #aaa; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover { display: block; color: #444; } .ck_converted_content { display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; } /* v6 */ .ck_form_v6 #ck_success_msg { padding: 0px 10px; } @media all and (max-width: 403px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 30px; } } @media all and (min-width: 404px) and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 57px; } }
Apr 27 2017
7 mins
Play

Rank #17: How to Compose a Song - Write a Guitar Riff or Melody over a Chord Progression

Podcast cover
Read more

Whether you're an electronic music producer or a guitarist in a band, you're gonna want contagiously catchy riffs in your songs! So, today on the Hack Music Theory show, we reveal our 6 hacks to write catchy riffs for guitar and synth:

How to Compose a Song - Write a Guitar Riff or Melody over a Chord Progression (14-minute YouTube video)

Lastly, we'll be doing our first Live Q&A tomorrow on Patreon, for our Revolutionary Artists (the peeps who've signed up for our new online apprenticeship program), so if you're interested in joining, please pop on over to: Patreon.com/RevolutionHarmony.

We really hope you dig our new music theory lesson, and if you wanna get your hands on all the vital theory hacks you need to write great songs, then please download our Hack Music Theory for Songwriting & Producing PDF (click & scroll down).

Thank you for being brave and committing to make the world a better place through better music. Until next week, happy songwriting & producing!

Ray Harmony - Victoria BC, Canada
Songwriter, Producer, Teacher & Author
Follow Kate on Spotify | Follow Ray on Spotify

♫ New Single "I is Love for You" on Spotify ♫

Wooohooo!!! You're a mere 30 minutes away from being even smarter than you already are. Just head over to your inbox now for your free download.

There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.

 

“most brilliant, fast, easy & fun music theory book I’ve ever seen”  –DEREK SIVERS, CD Baby founder

  We use this field to detect spam bots. If you fill this in, you will be marked as a spammer.  DOWNLOAD FREE BOOK /* Layout */ .ck_form { /* divider image */ background: #EAE9EA url(data:image/gif;base64,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) repeat-y center top; font-family: 'Assistant', light; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; font-size: 16px; border-top: none; border-top-color: #666666; border-bottom: none; border-bottom-color: #3d3d3d; -webkit-box-shadow: none; -moz-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; clear: both; margin: 0px 0px; } .ck_form, .ck_form * { -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } #ck_subscribe_form { clear: both; } /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; } .ck_form.ck_horizontal { } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: none; } .ck_form.ck_vertical { background: #fff; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; } /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form { background: #fff; } .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; } } /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 { margin: 0px 0px 0px; font-size: 0px; padding: 0px; } .ck_form_content p { font-size: 14px; } .ck_image { float: left; margin-right: 5px; } /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea { display: none; } #ck_success_msg { padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; } .ck_label { font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; } .ck_form input[type="text"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 20px; margin-top: 40px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="email"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 5px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="text"]:focus, .ck_form input[type="email"]:focus { outline: none; border-color: #aaa; } .ck_checkbox { padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; } .ck_checkbox input.optIn { margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt { margin-left: 4px; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p { display: inline; } .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button { width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 10px 0px 0px; padding: 14px 8px; font-size: 18px; background: #d74128; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; } .ck_form .ck_guarantee { color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by { display: block; color: #aaa; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover { display: block; color: #444; } .ck_converted_content { display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; } /* v6 */ .ck_form_v6 #ck_success_msg { padding: 0px 10px; } @media all and (max-width: 403px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 30px; } } @media all and (min-width: 404px) and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 57px; } }
Oct 12 2017
14 mins
Play

Rank #18: How to Write a Hook - Chord Progression Theory for a Catchy Pop Song Chorus

Podcast cover
Read more

So you wanna write a smash hit? Well, you're gonna need a mega memorable chorus then, starting with your chords.

Watch this Hack Music Theory lesson to learn how to use modes and chords to write a mega memorable harmonic progression for your songs' choruses. This example is in the Dorian mode, but the theory can be used in any mode, for any pop song (yes, including hip-hop, rock, R&B, EDM, etc.).

Use these 5 hacks to write and produce a hook that's contagiously catchy, and you might just find your song in the charts. But first (before you compose your smash hit)... tea!

Lastly, we'll be doing our first Live Q&A next week on Patreon for our Revolutionary Artists (the peeps who've signed up for our new online apprenticeship program), so if you're interested in joining, please pop on over to: Patreon.com/RevolutionHarmony.

We really hope you dig our new lesson, and if you wanna get your hands on all the vital theory hacks you need to write great songs, then please download our Hack Music Theory for Songwriting & Producing PDF (click & scroll down).

Thank you for being brave and committing to make the world a better place through better music. Until next week, happy songwriting & producing!

Ray Harmony - Victoria BC, Canada
Songwriter | Producer | Teacher | Author
Follow Kate on Spotify | Follow Ray on Spotify

♫ New Single "I is Love for You" on Spotify ♫

Wooohooo!!! You're a mere 30 minutes away from being even smarter than you already are. Just head over to your inbox now for your free download.

There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.

 

“most brilliant, fast, easy & fun music theory book I’ve ever seen”  –DEREK SIVERS, CD Baby founder

  We use this field to detect spam bots. If you fill this in, you will be marked as a spammer.  DOWNLOAD FREE BOOK /* Layout */ .ck_form { /* divider image */ background: #EAE9EA url(data:image/gif;base64,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) repeat-y center top; font-family: 'Assistant', light; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; font-size: 16px; border-top: none; border-top-color: #666666; border-bottom: none; border-bottom-color: #3d3d3d; -webkit-box-shadow: none; -moz-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; clear: both; margin: 0px 0px; } .ck_form, .ck_form * { -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } #ck_subscribe_form { clear: both; } /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; } .ck_form.ck_horizontal { } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: none; } .ck_form.ck_vertical { background: #fff; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; } /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form { background: #fff; } .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; } } /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 { margin: 0px 0px 0px; font-size: 0px; padding: 0px; } .ck_form_content p { font-size: 14px; } .ck_image { float: left; margin-right: 5px; } /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea { display: none; } #ck_success_msg { padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; } .ck_label { font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; } .ck_form input[type="text"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 20px; margin-top: 40px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="email"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 5px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="text"]:focus, .ck_form input[type="email"]:focus { outline: none; border-color: #aaa; } .ck_checkbox { padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; } .ck_checkbox input.optIn { margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt { margin-left: 4px; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p { display: inline; } .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button { width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 10px 0px 0px; padding: 14px 8px; font-size: 18px; background: #d74128; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; } .ck_form .ck_guarantee { color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by { display: block; color: #aaa; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover { display: block; color: #444; } .ck_converted_content { display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; } /* v6 */ .ck_form_v6 #ck_success_msg { padding: 0px 10px; } @media all and (max-width: 403px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 30px; } } @media all and (min-width: 404px) and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 57px; } }
Oct 06 2017
17 mins
Play

Rank #19: How to Write Epic EDM Bass Drops in 7 Steps

Podcast cover
Read more

Today on 3-Minute Theory: How to write an epic EDM bass drop in 7 steps!

If you’re an EDM producer, there’s nothing worse than giving your audience an epic build on the snare drum, then following that with a bass drop that consist of one note. No! Your audience deserves better, so let’s do this...

But first, click the cube pic below if you want to download the PDF bundle for this lesson, which includes:

  • 7-page neatly structured step-by-step PDF guide, with MIDI screenshots
  • Multitrack MIDI file, allowing you to access all the notes in the example
  • Mixed WAV file (listen at 3:36 in Video/Podcast) to showcase the example's final version



Alright, so we’re at 90 bpm, which is a mega groovy tempo and one of my favourites. Bass drops are all about bass and drums, so we’ve got those tracks set up and ready to go. We’re gonna do a two-bar (AKA two-measure) bass drop, so it doesn’t get boring.

STEP 1: DRUMS

We’re gonna start with the drums, so let’s get the snare in on the back beats, which are beats 2 and 4 of each bar. Then we’re gonna get the kick in on beat 1 of both bars. This is James Brown’s “the one” technique, where the rhythm section (i.e. bass & drums) locks in on the 1st beat of every bar, but then they can do whatever they want for the rest of each bar. This method keeps the groove going and makes it danceable, too. Next, we put in the hi-hats on every quarter note, except in the beginning of the 2nd bar, where we spice it up by adding a hi-hat on the 1+ (pronounced “one and”), which gives the pattern some movement. On that note (excuse the pun), eighth notes are counted as: 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +.

Now, this is the important bit, we’re gonna do some syncopation on the kick. We’re gonna add in a kick drum on the 2+, which gives it a funky syncopated groove. Then in the second bar we’ll do the same thing, i.e. a kick on the 2+, but this time with an extra syncopated kick just before it, on the 2e (pronounced “two ee”, and represents the very next sixteenth note after beat 2). Also, let’s add a kick on the 3+, which will give extra momentum into the very last snare drum. By the way, sixteenth notes are counted as: 1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a. Drums are done!

Figure 1: Drum pattern for our bass drop, where C2 is the kick, E2 is the snare, and G♯2 is the hi-hat

STEP 2: SCALE

Oooh yeah, you know what time it is now? It’s bass o’clock! So let’s get to it. We’re going to use the blues scale, but you can use any scale for a bass drop. I like the blues scale because it’s super funky. To get the blues scale, just start on any note (this will be your root note), then go three semitones up, then go two semitones up, then go one semitone up, then go another one semitone up, then go three semitones up and you’re done. If you wanna learn more about writing bass lines using the blues scale, please download my Hack Music Theory for Songwriting & Producing PDF, the link is below.

RevolutionHarmony.com/Books

Figure 2: F♯ Blues scale (F♯, A, B, C, C♯, E), which we’re going to use to write our bass drop

STEP 3: KICKS

Talking about low, we’re using F♯ as our root note because it’s nice and low, good for EDM, and here’s the F♯ Blues scale: F♯, A, B, C, C♯, E (the spelling is 1 ♭3 4 ♭5 5 ♭7). So, now we just map out the kick drum pattern in our bass track, using our root note, F♯.

Figure 3: Kick drum pattern programmed in the bass track, using the root note (i.e. F♯)

This is the starting point for our bass line. After this, we just move these “kick notes” to other notes in the scale. I’m hearing the last three notes being that funky trio of notes I’m always talking about (i.e. 1, ♭3, ♭7), which is a characteristic element of funk and many other genre’s groovy bass lines. We should keep those notes on “the one” in both bars on F♯ (the root note) for extra punch. Then let’s move the other bass note in bar one (on beat 2+) up to A, i.e. the ♭3.

Figure 4: “Kick notes” moved to other notes in the blues scale (i.e. the funky trio of notes: 1, ♭3, ♭7)

STEP 4: MOTIFS

Now we literally just fill in the gaps, so let’s start from the beginning. We can go up from the root to the ♭5, then up to the 5, down to the 4, back up to the ♭5 again, and end this little run on the ♭3. This is a great little motif that makes the most of the blues scale, and its “blue note” (i.e. the ♭5). When writing for bass, before we get to the fancy synth sounds, we want to be totally focused on writing a great melody, and part of this is hunting for great motifs to repeat. Reusing a great motif will create both familiarity and structure to your melody, while also making it catchy. So, let’s repeat that exact motif (♭5→5→4→♭5→♭3), starting on beat 3+ this time. But, you see those last three notes of that motif that are now over beat 4, let’s do some magic on ‘em!

STEP 5: TRIPLETS

Change the MIDI grid to eighth notes triplets, because every good bass drop needs some “wub wub wub” triplets, right? So, we’re gonna adjust their timing to fit the triplet grid, and now we have that same 4→♭5→♭3 (i.e. B→C→A) motif repeated, but in triplets the second time around, which gives the illusion of the bass line slowing down. Wub wub wub!!!

Figure 5: The 4→♭5→♭3 motif repeated as triplets the second time around (please note, this grid is in triplets)

STEP 6: VARIATION

Put the MIDI grid back to ‘sixteenth’ and ‘straight’, and we’re ready for the second half of our bass drop. From the root on “the one” of our second bar, let’s go up to the ♭5 again, like we did in the beginning, but a sixteenth note later this time, for variation (too much repetition gets boring real quick, so use your second bar to write a melody that flows from the first bar, but is completely fresh and alive with variation). Also, this gives us a really cool descending line ♭5→♭3→1, then we can do a little sequence of that starting on the ♭3, so we get ♭3→1→♭7. We’re now at the lowest part of the melody (i.e. E), so let’s climb our way up again, by reversing the ♭5→♭3→1 motif, which gives us 1→♭3→♭5. Finally, I’m just going to return to the first bar, and add a ♭3 in between those two repeated motifs for variation and extra flow, and we’re done!

Figure 6: Final bass line, before separating it out onto different tracks with different synths

STEP 7: SPREAD

Now that we have a great melody, it’s time to add some sonic sugar in the way of tasty synths. So have some fun chopping this bass line up into segments, and spreading ‘em out over a bunch of different tracks with a bunch of different synth sounds, and you get this (listen at 3:36 in Video/Podcast):

Figure 7: Final bass line chopped up and separated out over five different synth, to add sonic texture

NEED MORE HELP? If you need more help writing bass lines, read the Melody Checklist in my Hack Music Theory for Songwriting & Producing PDF, it’s the ultimate hack for writing great melodies.

Ray Harmony
Music Teacher
Victoria BC, Canada

Wooohooo!!! You're a mere 30 minutes away from being even smarter than you already are. Just head over to your inbox now for your free download.

There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.

 

“most brilliant, fast, easy & fun music theory book I’ve ever seen”  –DEREK SIVERS, CD Baby founder

  We use this field to detect spam bots. If you fill this in, you will be marked as a spammer.  DOWNLOAD FREE BOOK /* Layout */ .ck_form { /* divider image */ background: #EAE9EA url(data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQADAIABAMzMzP///yH/C1hNUCBEYXRhWE1QPD94cGFja2V0IGJlZ2luPSLvu78iIGlkPSJXNU0wTXBDZWhpSHpyZVN6TlRjemtjOWQiPz4gPHg6eG1wbWV0YSB4bWxuczp4PSJhZG9iZTpuczptZXRhLyIgeDp4bXB0az0iQWRvYmUgWE1QIENvcmUgNS41LWMwMTQgNzkuMTUxNDgxLCAyMDEzLzAzLzEzLTEyOjA5OjE1ICAgICAgICAiPiA8cmRmOlJERiB4bWxuczpyZGY9Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cudzMub3JnLzE5OTkvMDIvMjItcmRmLXN5bnRheC1ucyMiPiA8cmRmOkRlc2NyaXB0aW9uIHJkZjphYm91dD0iIiB4bWxuczp4bXA9Imh0dHA6Ly9ucy5hZG9iZS5jb20veGFwLzEuMC8iIHhtbG5zOnhtcE1NPSJodHRwOi8vbnMuYWRvYmUuY29tL3hhcC8xLjAvbW0vIiB4bWxuczpzdFJlZj0iaHR0cDovL25zLmFkb2JlLmNvbS94YXAvMS4wL3NUeXBlL1Jlc291cmNlUmVmIyIgeG1wOkNyZWF0b3JUb29sPSJBZG9iZSBQaG90b3Nob3AgQ0MgKE1hY2ludG9zaCkiIHhtcE1NOkluc3RhbmNlSUQ9InhtcC5paWQ6MUQ5NjM5RjgxQUVEMTFFNEJBQTdGNTQwMjc5MTZDOTciIHhtcE1NOkRvY3VtZW50SUQ9InhtcC5kaWQ6MUQ5NjM5RjkxQUVEMTFFNEJBQTdGNTQwMjc5MTZDOTciPiA8eG1wTU06RGVyaXZlZEZyb20gc3RSZWY6aW5zdGFuY2VJRD0ieG1wLmlpZDoxRDk2MzlGNjFBRUQxMUU0QkFBN0Y1NDAyNzkxNkM5NyIgc3RSZWY6ZG9jdW1lbnRJRD0ieG1wLmRpZDoxRDk2MzlGNzFBRUQxMUU0QkFBN0Y1NDAyNzkxNkM5NyIvPiA8L3JkZjpEZXNjcmlwdGlvbj4gPC9yZGY6UkRGPiA8L3g6eG1wbWV0YT4gPD94cGFja2V0IGVuZD0iciI/PgH//v38+/r5+Pf29fTz8vHw7+7t7Ovq6ejn5uXk4+Lh4N/e3dzb2tnY19bV1NPS0dDPzs3My8rJyMfGxcTDwsHAv769vLu6ubi3trW0s7KxsK+urayrqqmop6alpKOioaCfnp2cm5qZmJeWlZSTkpGQj46NjIuKiYiHhoWEg4KBgH9+fXx7enl4d3Z1dHNycXBvbm1sa2ppaGdmZWRjYmFgX15dXFtaWVhXVlVUU1JRUE9OTUxLSklIR0ZFRENCQUA/Pj08Ozo5ODc2NTQzMjEwLy4tLCsqKSgnJiUkIyIhIB8eHRwbGhkYFxYVFBMSERAPDg0MCwoJCAcGBQQDAgEAACH5BAEAAAEALAAAAAABAAMAAAICRFIAOw==) repeat-y center top; font-family: 'Assistant', light; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; font-size: 16px; border-top: none; border-top-color: #666666; border-bottom: none; border-bottom-color: #3d3d3d; -webkit-box-shadow: none; -moz-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; clear: both; margin: 0px 0px; } .ck_form, .ck_form * { -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } #ck_subscribe_form { clear: both; } /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; } .ck_form.ck_horizontal { } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: none; } .ck_form.ck_vertical { background: #fff; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; } /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form { background: #fff; } .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; } } /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 { margin: 0px 0px 0px; font-size: 0px; padding: 0px; } .ck_form_content p { font-size: 14px; } .ck_image { float: left; margin-right: 5px; } /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea { display: none; } #ck_success_msg { padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; } .ck_label { font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; } .ck_form input[type="text"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 20px; margin-top: 40px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="email"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 5px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="text"]:focus, .ck_form input[type="email"]:focus { outline: none; border-color: #aaa; } .ck_checkbox { padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; } .ck_checkbox input.optIn { margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt { margin-left: 4px; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p { display: inline; } .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button { width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 10px 0px 0px; padding: 14px 8px; font-size: 18px; background: #d74128; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; } .ck_form .ck_guarantee { color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by { display: block; color: #aaa; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover { display: block; color: #444; } .ck_converted_content { display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; } /* v6 */ .ck_form_v6 #ck_success_msg { padding: 0px 10px; } @media all and (max-width: 403px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 30px; } } @media all and (min-width: 404px) and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 57px; } }
May 04 2017
3 mins
Play

Rank #20: How to Write Great Songs: Vocal Melody (Song 1)

Podcast cover
Read more

As with most things in life, writing a great vocal melody is all about balance: Balancing harmonic and non-harmonic notes, balancing small and large melodic intervals, balancing short and long note values, and so on. It’s also about great motifs (i.e. short musical ideas); allowing them to “randomly” happen (often by fixing perfect 4ths & 5ths), and then recognising them when they do appear, so you can use them again. A great motif will make your melody memorable, but only if you don’t overuse it. This is my rule of “too much chocolate!” (AKA too much of a good thing). Even if you have the most delicious and expensive organic vegan chocolate, if you have too much, you’re gonna get sick of it. Just enough chocolate in your melodies will keep your listeners coming back for more! Please check out the Hack Music Theory for Songwriting & Producing PDF for my full Melody Checklist, which also gives you the “why” and “how” for each element of writing a great melody.

Below is the exact chord progression (including inversions and sus chords) that we’re writing a vocal melody over. It’s in the key of E Dorian:

Spelling

Chords

I

Em

V

Bm/D

♭III

Gmaj/D

IV

Asus2/E → Amaj/E → Amaj

♭VII

Dsus2/A → Dmaj/A →Dmaj/F♯ → Dsus2/E

And here is our vocal melody:

Chord progression

(root note of each chord is muted and dark in MIDI above)

Vocal melody (first half), with spelling

(spelling is heard and written in relation to each chord's root note)

Em

F♯ (2) → G (♭3) → F♯ (2) → D (♭7) holds over to next chord...

Bm

…becoming a D (♭3) → C♯ (2) → D (♭3) → F♯ (5)

Gmaj

A (2)

Amaj

C♯ (3) → D (4) → C♯ (3) → A (1) → F♯ (6) → G (♭7) briefly holds over to next chord...

Dmaj

…becoming a G (4) → F♯ (3)

Chord Progression loops...

Vocal melody (second half, i.e. the variation)

Em

F♯ (2) → G (♭3) → F♯ (2) → F♯ (2) holds over to next chord...

Bm

…becoming a F♯ (5) → D (♭3) → C♯ (2) → A (♭7)

Gmaj

A (2)

Amaj

C♯ (3) → D (4) → B (2) → A (1) → F♯ (6) → G (♭7) briefly holds over to next chord...

Dmaj

…becoming a G (4) → A (5)

Lastly, always keep my Melody Checklist on hand when writing melodies, as you literally can’t go wrong with that next to you. My Melody Checklist is in the Hack Music Theory for Songwriting & Producing PDF. Until next time, thanks for reading and happy songwriting!

Ray Harmony
Music Teacher
Victoria BC, Canada

Wooohooo!!! You're a mere 30 minutes away from being even smarter than you already are. Just head over to your inbox now for your free download.

There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again.

 

“most brilliant, fast, easy & fun music theory book I’ve ever seen”  –DEREK SIVERS, CD Baby founder

  We use this field to detect spam bots. If you fill this in, you will be marked as a spammer.  DOWNLOAD FREE BOOK /* Layout */ .ck_form { /* divider image */ background: #EAE9EA url(data:image/gif;base64,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) repeat-y center top; font-family: 'Assistant', light; line-height: 1.5em; overflow: hidden; color: #000000; font-size: 16px; border-top: none; border-top-color: #666666; border-bottom: none; border-bottom-color: #3d3d3d; -webkit-box-shadow: none; -moz-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; clear: both; margin: 0px 0px; } .ck_form, .ck_form * { -webkit-box-sizing: border-box; -moz-box-sizing: border-box; box-sizing: border-box; } #ck_subscribe_form { clear: both; } /* Element Queries — uses JS */ .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { width: 50%; float: left; padding: 5%; } .ck_form.ck_horizontal { } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: none; } .ck_form.ck_vertical { background: #fff; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content, .ck_vertical .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_vertical .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; overflow: hidden; } /* Trigger the vertical layout with media queries as well */ @media all and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form { background: #fff; } .ck_form_content, .ck_form_fields { padding: 10%; width: 100%; float: none; } .ck_form_content { border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa; } } /* Content */ .ck_form_content h3 { margin: 0px 0px 0px; font-size: 0px; padding: 0px; } .ck_form_content p { font-size: 14px; } .ck_image { float: left; margin-right: 5px; } /* Form fields */ .ck_errorArea { display: none; } #ck_success_msg { padding: 10px 10px 0px; border: solid 1px #ddd; background: #eee; } .ck_label { font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; } .ck_form input[type="text"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 20px; margin-top: 40px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="email"] { font-size: 16px; padding: 14px 8px; width: 100%; border: 1px solid #d6d6d6; /* stroke */ -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ background-color: #fff; /* layer fill content */ margin-bottom: 5px; height: auto; } .ck_form input[type="text"]:focus, .ck_form input[type="email"]:focus { outline: none; border-color: #aaa; } .ck_checkbox { padding: 10px 0px 10px 20px; display: block; clear: both; } .ck_checkbox input.optIn { margin-left: -20px; margin-top: 0; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt { margin-left: 4px; } .ck_form .ck_opt_in_prompt p { display: inline; } .ck_form .ck_subscribe_button { width: 100%; color: #fff; margin: 10px 0px 0px; padding: 14px 8px; font-size: 18px; background: #d74128; -moz-border-radius: 4px; -webkit-border-radius: 4px; border-radius: 4px; /* border radius */ cursor: pointer; border: none; text-shadow: none; } .ck_form .ck_guarantee { color: #626262; font-size: 12px; text-align: center; padding: 5px 0px; display: block; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by { display: block; color: #aaa; } .ck_form .ck_powered_by:hover { display: block; color: #444; } .ck_converted_content { display: none; padding: 5%; background: #fff; } /* v6 */ .ck_form_v6 #ck_success_msg { padding: 0px 10px; } @media all and (max-width: 403px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 30px; } } @media all and (min-width: 404px) and (max-width: 499px) { .ck_form_v6.ck_modal .ck_close_link { top: 57px; } }
Mar 30 2017
56 mins
Play

Similar Podcasts