FL Studio - Musical Theory for Dance Music Production | Stephen Loader | Skillshare

FL Studio - Musical Theory for Dance Music Production

Stephen Loader, 10+ years producing

FL Studio - Musical Theory for Dance Music Production

Stephen Loader, 10+ years producing

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16 Lessons (1h 13m)
    • 1. Introduction

      0:38
    • 2. What is a Major Scale

      4:09
    • 3. Introducing all the Minor Scales

      5:47
    • 4. The Other Minor Scales

      4:16
    • 5. What are Chords

      3:29
    • 6. Major Chord Progressions

      5:44
    • 7. Minor Chord Progressions

      3:39
    • 8. Chord Progression Trance Example

      4:30
    • 9. Arpeggios

      5:39
    • 10. How to Import MIDI

      2:00
    • 11. Introducing the Blues Scale

      2:43
    • 12. Structuring your Track

      6:15
    • 13. How to Write Using Chords Pt 1

      13:45
    • 14. How to Write Chords Pt 2

      5:22
    • 15. Circle of Fifths

      3:46
    • 16. Conclusion & Class Project

      1:36
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About This Class

Welcome to this course on Musical Theory, specifically geared towards music production using a DAW. I will be taking you through some of the basic examples of musical theory related to dance music production.

This course is designed for people who have also done my Beginner's Guide to FL Studio course, and/or have looked at building a track themselves.

This is designed to tie in with the concepts that you will learn through both of these classes, in order to further your capabilities as a music producer. We recommend that you do both of these courses first, before looking at some of my other courses to then learn how to produce music in more detail!

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What do we go through in this course?

  • Why is musical theory important?
  • What are Major and Minor Keys?
  • The three main types of Minor Keys
  • Chord Progressions
  • Arpeggios
  • How to Import MIDI Files

And so much more!

At the start of the course, we look at some of the basic theories underlying music, from scales and keys to chord progressions. We then look at some of the most important chord progressions that are used today - including both the major and minor keys

Being able to import and export MIDI files is particularly important as it allows you to reuse melodies across projects, without having to start all over again, and without necessarily using the same instrument as before either. We look at how to do this as well!

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Meet Your Teacher

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Stephen Loader

10+ years producing

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to this course on musical theory for dance music production. In this course, we will focus specifically on how you can use musical theory to your advantage. When producing electronic dance music, we will look at scales, chords, court progressions and MIDI files. Finally, we'll also look at hell to write a melody, using these skills to further your music productions. This course is designed specifically for students with an interest in producing electronic dance music on to know very little about musical theory. Although you can apply these skills to other types of music as well, let's get started. 2. What is a Major Scale: Let's take a look at one of the most fundamental elements off musical theory scales. Now, in this particular video, we're actually going to look at the major scale. So what is the major scale? Well, a major scale is one off the main type two scales that are used, particularly Western music and popular music today. So you have two kinds of scales. You have major scales, which will cover in today's video on minor scales, which will have a look out in another video. Major scales on the whole tend to sound more happy, upbeat, more poppy. Whereas you're here, minor scales a lot more in John Ra's like drum bass Trans and intends to sound a little bit more sad. Onda emotional. Now the way that you come up with a major scale is by starting with your root note. So as you can see here, basically what I've got is I've actually already drawn out a very basic major scale, which is seen Major C. Major is the perfect scale to start off with. If you're looking at Piano keyboard because it is only the white and notes off the keyboard that are you, so you can see. Obviously that we've got here white and black notes. It's only white notes that use. And if I play this back, you can hear what the scale sounds like from one octave to the next. We're talking about starting at this note here on ending on this note. Let me just play it back for you now so you can hear that it sounds really happy. And if, for instance, I just put in these notes to go all the way back down again, you can still you can hear that you still get the same effect, but just in reverse. Let me just play that back on. What you can see actually is I've got a feature on FL Studio. They're actually in the background, highlights the notes that are being used so you can actually see Hear that parts of it, ally to in parts of it a darker. And you can see that it's only highlighted the white notes here on the nice thing about FL Studio. Is it automatically do this depending on what scare you are trying to use. So how do we come up with a major scale? Well, you start up with your root note. You then go a tone above that root note or hole a hole above that. So there's two ways of referring to it tones or semi tones. A tone is to notes different from what you started off with. A semi tone is just one note so you can see here. We've got two notes to notes on, then one note two notes to notes, another two notes on, then one more note. So basically tone, tone, semi tone, tone, tone, tone, semi tone. And this is exactly the same for what ever scale you use. Now the amazing thing about FL Studio is it lets you transpose notes really easily, using the shift key on the up or down key on your keyboard as well on your computer people , that is. So, for instance, I've just got a C major scale here. But if I hold my shift key impressed the arrow key once and then twice. You can now see that I've got a D major scale, and if I play that back, it sounds like this so you can see it still sounds really happy, really upbeat and positive, but it's now in a completely different key on. I can keep on doing this for every single note off the keyboard you can see they're just goes on and on and on. So that's the basics of the major scale. What will have a look at now is what minor scale is and how that relates to a major scale. 3. Introducing all the Minor Scales: in this video, we're going to take a look at the minor scale or, more specifically, the minor scales, because there's actually three main ones that are used, unlike the major scale, where there's only really one. So with the minor scale, as I mentioned in my previous video, the minor scale is a scale which sounds a little bit more sad and emotional, compared Teoh major equivalent. However, the exact kind of mood or melody via or feeling that you're trying to go for were very depending on what exact kind of melody or what sort of mood you're trying to evoke. So the most important thing to know is that every minor scale, first of all, is directly related to a major scale. So obviously, in the previous video we were talking about the C major scale, which starts on sea on ends on C and only uses the white notes on the keyboard. Well, there is actually a minor scale which is directly related to this, which is a minor. So what you find is that every major key has a relative minor or related minor key, which is always directly three semi tones below. So if I start on C if I go one, 23 semi tones down. I land on a and you get a minor, and this is something that's called a natural minor scale. Now you'll find in some places that the way they actually define it is that it's built by starting on the sixth note off the relative major scale. Well, the way the I always think about it is I always think about it in terms of the three semi tones below its equivalent major called up major scale. Now, the reason why this is particularly important is because you can actually create an amazing effect in music by switching between your relative major on relative minor keys without every having to use any different note or even different courts. You just use them in different ways. On this means you can immediately evoke a really quick, sharp contrast in any track that you make simply by just switching around the order in which used things. I have a track which I've made a side trans track called mushrooms, which I'm including in this particular course, which gives you a perfect example of how this happens where it starts off in Amore in its major key, where it's got a major chord progression with three called on. Then just before the drop. It then drops down into the relative minor on, then builds up towards the drop, which is basically just I think it's just the relative minor notes just sustained over and over again in typical side Tranz. For So what I wanted to do just now is I just want to play back to you what the relative minus sounds like. So I've still got my C major scale from before. I'm gonna play that and then immediately afterwards, as you can see on the piano roll you're then here it's relative minor, which is a minor. Let me just play that back for you now by pressing the space ball so you can hear how it sounds almost exactly the same. But it's just starting on. A different note on this is the main way that you'll switch between the two. The same with any major scale. As I mentioned in my previous video, we can also transpose this, so I've started on C for my major and a for my minor. But again, if I press shift on up like Ideo with FL Studio. In my previous video, I've now got a C sharp major chord or in Asia minor scale. So let's just play that back and you can sound it Sounds particularly good. You can hear it sounding particularly good when it comes towards the end, and it sounds like it's coming back to root note, and it sounds like the scale has finished, and I can do this for any scale on the keyboard. So let's go all the way up to G Major, of which it's relative. Minor is a relative. Minor scale was E minor. Let's play that back. So that's an introduction to make my major and minor scales. But what will be looking at in future videos is why this is particularly important for chord progressions. Because in court progressions, what you'll find is your use major chords combined with minor court, and you'll find that there are some particular chord progressions off which perhaps thrilled there three or four of the major ones, which are used in probably 95% of every single pop track you've heard within the last 20 or 30 years on, there's actually a couple of famous videos on New Cheap, where they show this Andi sort of quite quite a comical way by basically playing lots of different songs in sequence, using exactly the same core progression and just singing in exactly the same scale on just singing back the lyrics. You can find this on YouTube anyway. That's just a very quick intro to major minor. What will look at in the next video, the other two minor scale. So we've obviously looked at the 1st 1 which is the minor scales direct relationship to its relative major. Now let's look at the other two minor scales that you get. 4. The Other Minor Scales: in the previous video, we looked at the minor scale and its relationship. Teoh, its relative major, we're now going toe. Have a look at the other two minor scales that are infrequent use, one of which is actually just a combination of the other two. So what you've got here is you've got the in the piano roll that I've got in front of you. At the moment. I have the major scale that I played for you in the first video, the relative minor on Now I've introduced the two other scales that we're going to look at , so let's just play back the first to just remind ourselves of what those were. So I've played back the first half of the major scale in the first half of the relative minor. Now the second scale that we're looking at, which is in this bar here. There's another type off minor scale, and it's called the harmonic minor scale. So it's exactly the same as the natural minor scale, which is the minor scale that's related to its relative major scale except and there is only one difference on that Is that the seventh notes of the scale so you can see here one to 34567 are seventh A note in this scale here was G, but in this scale, it's g sharp. And what that does is it gives you this effect here so you can hear that right at the end. Just sounds a little bit different because it's now actually only one semi tone apart from the root note at the top of the scale, as opposed to to where it is here on that is the only difference. If I click and drag this on, I drag it over the previous scale, keeping it in its same Ah, the same routes notes. So a so in a minor scale and I drag it over. You can see that literally. The only note that's different on that isn't covered up is the G. So that's the only difference between the two. Finally, what we're going to have a look at is the final minor scale, which is a very interesting one because it's essentially a combination off. The 1st 2 on what it's actually cooled is a melodic minor scale, so a melodic minor scale is formed by using both of these two scales. So on the way up it's using the seventh notes at the top, and you can see also there. F The F note that was used previously here is also raised. But then, on the way back down, everything is exactly the same as what the the first minor scale is. So it's literally just the white notes on the keyboards are a G e d c b Hey, So the only difference between this on this one is that the F note is raised as well by one semi tone. So let's just take a listen to this girl, which you need to hear both ascending and descending in order to be able to hear it to its full effect So you can see that it sounds like a combination of the tune. If you play just half of it sounds a little bit old, so those are the three main minor scales that you're going to be using now, Like I say, what you'll find is your your usually find your minor scale by relating it to its relative major See picker picker note and then go three semi tones below. Like I mentioned in my previous video, you'll probably find that depending on what, exactly what exact form of music your writing will depend on which one of these minor scales you might end up using because they're tailored towards different things. So you'll find the more traditional sad music. You might just use the natural minor, which is over here. But depending on what exact type of music your writing, you might end up using either the harmonic, all the melodic minor as well. So that is a quick crash course on major and minor scales, what we're now going to be looking at our chord progressions and how those air related and why those air so important as well. 5. What are Chords: in this video, we're going to look at chords on. It's going to form a string of videos that we look out, having looked at scales will then look a chord progressions on. We'll look at why those are important for them writing a track because what you'll find out is that there are actually a select number of called progressions, which are used in about 95% of every single popular piece of music that you've heard within the last 30 years. Also. So first of all in this video, let's look at what accord is that? What is accord? While accord is made up of usually at least three or Mawr notes in a scale on depending on what kind of notes you use depends on what kind of chord you end up with on what kind of chord you end up with. Depends on what kind off mood or what kind of feeling you end up evoking from that cord. So we'll work with E c major scale because that's the one that we used when we first looked at when we were looking at scales. And it's also the easiest to work with because as you will remember. It's only made up of the white notes on the keyboard. The C major scale starts at sea uses every white note King goes all the way up to see the next stocks of above on the kind. Of course that we can use will only involve these white notes. So if we take our root note of C here, we can build a very typical called the C major court. And this is something else to know. Tim Chord progressions as well. They only tend to use very basic cause themselves. Soup, for instance. You can have really complicated corpse that a lot more complex, but generally you'll just end up using very ordinary chords. So, for instance, we can use our cord here that uses the root note. The third note. Andi, The fifth note on this forms what we would call a C major chord, and I could just play it back for you right now so you can see instantly how that's a very classic kind of called sound that you've probably heard in the 1,000,000 tracks. Now the interesting thing is, I can change this into a C minor chord simply by shifting this third note down one semi tone to make a C minor court, and you can hear instantly how different this sounds. Andi, as before, we can shift this up all down by holding the shift key and using our arrow keys and moving this across the keyboard. So, for instance, I can now have an e minor chord. And you can see also that fl studio. If you look at the top, I can't move my mouse up there because it moves depending on what notes I'm currently hovering over. You can see it says that this is an e minor called I can keep him going up F minor, F sharp, minor, G minor and safe off. So I can have, for instance, a C minor called E can go up to G minor. I could go down to maybe f minor down to D minor, and you can hear how there is a very sort of basic chord progression starting to come into play here, not in this exact order. But what we're gonna look at in the next video is now how a series of calls congratulating core progression, which you will probably recognize in the majority of your favorite pieces of music from the last 30 years or so 6. Major Chord Progressions: In the previous video, we looked at what chords are and how to for lemon and what the basic chords in Western pop music are on now. What you're about to hear is probably the single most use core progression in all of Western pop music. I'll play it back for you now thing. And as I've mentioned in previous videos, this is now used in probably 95% of all tracks from the last 30 years or so. Now the interesting thing with calls and why they're so useful is there made up usually of three notes at a time. Sometimes what you can do is you can actually make them up to four notes. So, for instance, here you could use the root note, the third note, the fifth note and then the top note again. So you could actually make this a four note chord on. The great thing about them is you can just shift notes around, and as long as you're using one of those four notes in some particular order, you can still have the same core progression but make it sound like it's moving. So I've just made this chord progression. NFL studio really quickly, but I'm just gonna copy and paste them. I'm gonna move it over here on now I'm gonna do is I'm gonna select this one note, but I'm gonna shift it down by an active I'm going to select this snow and shift it down by an octave. When I play this back, you'll hear that it sounds the same but different. And it sounds like it's moving and progressing on. This is what happens in a lot of music today, and you can hear that you've still got the same feeling that's being evoked. But suddenly it sounds like something has changed towards the end on. All we're doing is we're literally doing what's called a chord inversion. So according version is simply where you take the top note and you move it down an octave on instantly you've inverted the cord. This can be really useful because the root note of any called tends to be the note that the defines the kind of melody that you might be playing. So, for instance, if I move all of these down like I've done here, I might then want to create my top melody line using these top notes because the top note will tend to be the one that kind of gets attracted to the human ear. Most now, obviously, there's a 1,000,000 ways of doing this. There's no hard and fast rule in music. Whatever works is what will work for you. So that's something that you'll hear a lot off. If it works, then keep it. However, it's always worth bearing in mind what the rules are so that you know how to bend or change them because you can't break the rules without first knowing what they are and why they exist in the first place. And that's what I've always told people. So when it comes to music, sure you can change these, for instance, maybe you want to be really interesting. And instead of using this particular court, he used a different kind of chord altogether. But it's important to know why. That, to their on the reason why this chord progression has been one of the most popular used in pop music is because it has all of the feelings of a pop song that you would want that cve got sentimentality. You've got your classic feeling of having her called that then returns to its roots on the court. Progression can be used over and over again in a loop and sound like it's seamlessly going on being played throughout the entire song without the listener being able to detect that there's been a change. But you can also then still use the same core progression and create movement just by moving the notes around, up or down and active. I could, for instance, select this whole thing copy and paste there and start playing again with the notes. And maybe I want to move this up here. But then this down there, this down there, Leave that like that and maybe do this here on this down here. Now we play this again. It's the same court progression, but we've still got movement, and you can keep on doing this as much as you want on. As a result, the track will never sound like it's getting boring. You're literally just playing different variants of the same called on. The listener will pick up on the different subconsciously without even realizing it without getting bored of you. Just playing the same note to the same order in the same succession over and over again. In later videos, we're gonna be looking at how to make a song on how this will interactive what your baseline will be on how you interact with what your top line melody will be in any vocals that you have as well. Because what you'll find is obviously, you're not going to be using these notes in that particular court progression all the time for your melody or your base, because otherwise it'll sound boring. So how do you then create notes in between these courts that then make it sound like it's moving on? That's a concept that we'll be looking at in later videos as well. That's an introduction to court progressions, and this is the most popular. We're now going to be looking at a few other core progressions in the next video for some other kinds of music that you might be making if you're working within the electronic music genre. 7. Minor Chord Progressions: we're now going to have a look at some mawr complicated chord progressions on. Not really that there any more complicated? Just that they're less commonly used. However, the one that I'm about to demonstrate to you is probably the most heard one in the minor scale. So the call progressions that we looked at in the last video are major core progressions. We're now gonna have a look at the minor chord progression on this one is probably the most heard in the minor scale. Let's just play it back seeking here it's and again we can do exactly the same thing that we were doing in the previous video where we can copy and paste this on. We can move this around, we can move notes up all down on this is probably actually how you will mawr less here in a lot of music. So, actually, what they'll tend to do is that I actually tend to play it in something a mode, something like this. So let's just play this back playing back the first half and then so you can listen to the second half. This is a court progression that you'll really want to get the hang off if you're writing things like, for instance, trance music. So a lot of trance music. A lot of it is written in the major key. However, you'll find a lot of it, particularly them or sort of emotional stuff, Shall we say is written in the minor key. And this will be a core progression that you want to use a lot. So this is a typical one. Generally. I mean, chord progressions have written in different ways so that that's something that I've included documents about as well. So in this course, you actually see that I've got a document which has listed all of the most popular chord progressions and what those look like NFL studio. And in this cause, I've also included Midi files of all the most basic chord progressions. He conditionally just drag and drop those in straight away as and when you want, you can just start using them immediately. Andi, what that will do is that will give you the instant building blocks to create the kind of song that you that you want to make So a great way of writing Elektronik music when you're first starting out is to look at the songs that you're trying to make something sound like on Go you. Obviously you don't want to copy them exactly. But often times using those as a template is a great way to learn. So what you could do is you could look at those songs and then you can go right. They have this particular court progression. I'm going to use the same chord progression, but just come up with a new track and you could maybe shifted into a key. So maybe shifted two semi tones above Mike. I just done here. I'm to play this back, and it's now the same chord progression. It's the same feeling, but in a different key on before, you know, it sounds like a completely different song seeking here into May. How it's just about doing. The small things make the biggest difference on, but this is what you want to do in music. You want to have a core idea whilst working around that and making small changes to it to create interest and make sure that the listener doesn't get bored. The whole thing that you're doing in music constantly use you're trying to create contrast without throwing the listener off completely. That's an introduction, Teoh Minor chord progressions. Let's have a look at some other core progressions as well. 8. Chord Progression Trance Example: - What I have just played back four years is a trans track that I've just been building using one of the core progressions that we were looking at in one of the previous videos. So using the minor chord progression that I gave you an example off I've actually done is I built an entire track here. We're not an entire track, but just mainly the drop section on. I thought I would just go through it in a little bit off detail for you. So basically what I've done the main called which I used. You can see here in the piano elements and the pad elements. Why did was I created simple piano sound First of all, in order to create the court progression which you can hear here, let me just play this back for you. So it's that exact same corporation. And then all I did was I just copied that over to the pants sound as well. And there you have it. I've got the court progression going now. The reason I'm recording this video is because I wanted to show to you how I end up making these calls. Work with them both the base and the lead elements as well. So the most important part of this court, as I mentioned before, is always the top note. So what, you're what you're your ear will tend to. Here is the is the is the top most notes. That's the highest frequency on. It's usually related to the root note as well. So if we have a look at this core progression, what you can see here because you can see that it's essentially this note here that changes on what I'm doing here is I'm writing in the cord or in their scale of wealthy equivalent of F Sharp major. Now what I'm doing, though, is I'm not just gonna create a baseline that just copies the root note for our, because I would be quite boring. I mean, I could do that and you could come up with another effect like that. But what's more interesting is having a baseline actually follows this top note here because it creates more interest. So what, you can see if I go into one of the base elements here. I've got several base elements because I've broken down the base line, as he often find entrance into a mid base, the sub base and then kind of the sort of other bits in the middle. I've called one of the new bass, but that's it. It's just another type of sort of other base, really on defy. Click on, for instance, the new base, because that's probably got the simplest pattern you can see here how I followed exactly the same, um, call progression. Just one note for if I just play that back for you as well, you can hear where that basic core progression is coming from. Using court is a really great idea in chance because a lot of the time you're using what are called arpeggios, which we're gonna be looking at in the next video. So in arpeggios, essentially, accord played back. One note after the next on What you can see here is that is exactly what I've done with lead line. So I've literally taken the court, have added an extra note on top, and I've just played that back and you can listen to this here. Theo Lead line was designed with the plug in Speyer. In case anyone's interested. Andi, the baselines were designed with serum so that just gives you a little bit of an idea of how that was made up. So it just gives your basic idea of how you could come up with other elements of the track based on the court progression. We'll see. Look at this in more detail and my courses related specifically to certain genres. So, for instance, to trans trap and so forth. But this at least gives you a good sort of basic idea. Well, now look at arpeggios. Onda, How those a useful as well. 9. Arpeggios: in this video, we're going to look at arpeggios, as I mentioned in the previous one. So what is an arpeggio? Whoa, on arpeggio is just accord played back individually. So rather than playing all of the notes at exactly the same time like you, word in a chord arpeggio You play back the court, but you playback each note individually. So to give you an idea off What? That sounds like I'm gonna bring up FL keys here, and I'm gonna jump into the piano roll on. I'm just going to quickly draw up here a C major chord, which sounds like this on arpeggio. Like I said is simply this played back individually. So a great way that we could do this, for instance, is just shortening all these notes on if I move like this, Technically, what you'd also have is your You would probably actually have. You know, maybe these notes actually being held whilst you play the next one just to get give it more than effects and like this. So why are arpeggios important, Particularly in electronica music? And when you're producing music in general, well, they're a great, great way to generate interest to make your song sound interesting without just using normal cords, which literally just one note that gets played. And then you've got nothing else happening until your next bar until you then play your next chord. So, like I demonstrated in that trance tracked that I played, what I actually did was those leads those lead lines. That's literally just the core progression being played in an arpeggio hated manner. So what I did was I literally described each notes on I just drew it back like this. Now there is actually a quicker way of doing this, and I will show you that now. And it's a great future off FL Studio in that it's actually got a built in arpeggio later. So what you could do is you can hold down control, hold down the left mouse button cooker, drags that we've selected that, like of showed you before on what we can do is we can go out to the Tools menu here and go down to our Peggy eight on What this does is it opens up an option, which means you can then playback and arpeggio using the notes you just put in with any kind of pattern that you want, so you can see the pattern that they've got here. Just play this back thing. For instance, if you have a piano preset, you might imagine that that would be quite good and say, you know, if it was played back a little bit slow it may be like an orchestral or soundtrack piece, but what we can do here is we can click on this little button. We can choose any one of thes on presets that they've got in there. So we've got four notes because I used see E g. And then the next see? So what would be looking at is, we really want to be looking at either the presets with three notes. All the four knows there's only one for four notes, so we're going to actually have a look and see if we can choose one of these. I'm gonna go for the 1233 on. I've currently got the range set to three. What that means is that you are Peggy eight for up to three operatives. So if I just bring that down to one, it'll only do the arpeggio hating within the current opposite where I've got the notes. Whereas if I brought up to say to, it'll go potentially up to an octave higher. So if I play that back for you or I could bring that down to one s. So, for instance, in this case here, I think what I would probably do is I had actually probably opt for the two because it just makes it sound a little bit more interesting rather than something that's just stuck on Mu Bond. Not quite is annoying now. The other options that you've got here is, well, our you've got a gate option that basically changes. How long the notice. So I could bring this all the way down like this, and you'll get a really sort of a machine gun style effect. You can hear how that's changing as I do that, the other not that you've got. Here is a time. Multiply your multiplication. So what that does is it adjusts how quickly it plays back that arpeggio within your cord. So if I bring this down, you can see it will try and squeeze in more and more arpeggios into the same space, save something that's really where you wouldn't wouldn't really use that that low. But maybe I would put it down to stay here. A bit of delay in a bit of reverb. You can imagine how that would be really grateful, like a future base intro or a progressive house in trials. Something like that. Potentially. And then you've got other switches here where you can adjust, for instance, the panning on the velocity. See your velocity is basically changing how strongly the note will get played back because they're all being played exactly the same time. This only changes the variation so you can see that nothing's actually happening. You can then also do other things like, for instance, change whether this is going to be playing normally or whether we flip it so it starts at the top and goes down instead on. You can also do the same here as well. So there's so many different options that you can use with the arpeggio later. It's a great tool to use. Feel free to play around with it, you know, create a court progression. Andi. The great thing is you can just experiment and see what works. So that's the arpeggio. Later on what arpeggios are, let's take a look at some more musical theory in the next video 10. How to Import MIDI: in previous videos, I have talked about how I have got several MIDI files available for you, ready to use that are full off court progressions, and I just wanted to show you how you would go about using those. So what you would need to do is first of all, bring them into your browser. So I've got video on the browser, which gives you a little bit more detail on on Hell to exactly pull the member. Basically, what you need to do is go to options file settings and then in file settings. You simply click on one of these little buttons here on Did you? Then creates you'll? You're where, where the your MIDI files are located. So you need to put them somewhere where you you know, where they're located, and then you just click on that button. Then it's a simple is that on? Then what you'll get is you'll get the MIDI files appear here in your browser. Now, for simplicity sake. I have gotten FL Keys instance already launched here NFL studio, so I've got a new project fell open. I've just launched fl Keys and I'm in the piano roll and then it is literally a simple is doing this. You can click and drag in and drop it in on Hey, presto, you've got your core progression I can play back through. If you don't like that one, you can delete that on drag in the next one on. You can keep on doing this a smudges you want. I mean, you don't even need to delete them. You can literally just keep on dragging and dropping them until you find one you like. That's a classic, that one, that 1645 progression. So very quick video. But it's just how to use those MIDI files. It's pretty straightforward. It's just like how you use anything else in the browse. And that's why the browser is just so great as well. NFL Studio Let's take a look at some other musical theory now 11. Introducing the Blues Scale: in this video, we're going to take a look at the blue scale. So this is just one of the videos where we're looking at some of the other scales that you can get an FL studio on again. I refer you up, Teoh the top off the toolbar here, the stamp option where you can literally click on it and get along kinds of different options for what you once you get a lot of these different scales here, major, major bebop, major pentatonic, minor alot of the different minor scales and then all the others. And you can see here you can click on other blues and you can literally click on any notes on the keyboard on it will bring in for you. So this is the This is the blues scale and what I've done is I've actually played it back one night after another seeking actually here. And you can hear instantly the classic blues sound. Let me just play that back for you Now, Obviously, in blues you would probably have some kind of swing or you would have triplets. Maybe so you know, this would probably get played back something like this instead I think one of the thing that you can do in FL Studio is you can actually create a swing, a swell that something will look at more videos regarding specifically the piano roll and so forth. But to create that instant jazz feel, that's very easy to do. So this is the This is the blue scale. It's basically made up off the first note on Ben Ugo up 123 semi tones from there on, then an additional two. And what you have here is you have basically three notes. There are only a semi tone apart right after each other. That's probably this is probably the bit that that gives it that essential swing feel on. Then you have you know what would normally be the seventh knows of ah minus scale here on, then your final note here. So in total, you've actually got 1234 five, including the upper note of the root note of the scale, not of above six notes. But it's actually there's not very many notes in the blue scale. You're only using a few select notes to give it that feels that something that's very important to remember on again as before. We can shift this into any scales up to shifted it up. T e. And if we play that back instant blues. So there you go. That's the blue scale. Let's take a look at some others now. 12. Structuring your Track: in this video as part of musical theory. One thing that we're actually going to have a look at is how you lay out a track in terms of the sections. So obviously in any kind of track or any piece of music, you always have a start beginning, beginning, middle and end. Andi, what actually happens in the middle of that depends on what kind of music you're writing, what kind of genre it is and a lot of other things. So what you can see in front of you right now is just a typical structure that I just tried to lay out in really basic in a really basic format, to just kind of give you an example of how I often lay out my tracks. So what I've done here, I mean, ignore the pattern clips really there just to kind of give you a bit more of a visual idea . There's nothing actually in them what we thought. Here's we've gone intro. You then got a drop. You've got three drops, in fact, on a deejay intro and outro. So, for instance, like one you would have in, say, a house track where you've just got mostly a drum. Be at the start in the end, and then we've also got a couple of breakdowns Here is well, so what I usually like to dio and one other thing that is worth mentioning as well is how exactly you lay this out will also depend on your BPM because whatever your BPM is will determine how fast the track is being played. So obviously, if I have a track that's being played at 100 beats per minute, this length of track will be four minutes and eight seconds. But if I increase this up to a typical house sort of tempo around 125 you can see that drops right down to three minutes 18. And if we were, for instance, going up to a trance track on about 140 you can see we barely even hit the three minute barrier here. And usually trance tracks some of their extended versions completely double with so, you know, take this all with a big pinch of salt that maybe, you know, the higher the BPM. What you'll be wanting to do here is doubling every thing that you can see so This is based on on what I would say is a 100 BPM track. Andi, it's about four minutes, eight seconds in length. And what I've done here is I've said okay, I would have my intro as being roughly 16 bars in length. So each each one of thes pattern clips. Here is a bar, so you can see 12348 12 16 is we've got a 16 bar loop with start 16 bars is a very standard amount of time for doing something like an intro. Then what I've said is okay. We would then immediately have a breakdown after the start of that interest. Or the breakdown is basically what happens when your entrails you'll tend to sort of build up to a peak. You'll have a kind of transition around this point, and then the track just completely breaks down when you have that going on for about eight bars, where you've got some elements looping over. But then some sound effects sweeping down, for instance, and explosions and Cymbal crashes and allow that sort of stuff, and then you start building up so again you don't you don't necessarily have to do is you could just jump straight into the drop or you could jump into a verse. But, you know, this is the way I like to do it. So I had then have an eight bar buildup where you've got snares and so forth building up to the drop. And then the drop lasts for just eight bars. So 11 good rule toe have is that your drops shouldn't really be any longer than your breakdowns or your versus So where your breakdown verse structure is 16 bars, your drop should be eight bars again. No hard or fast rule. But usually if you do that and then you have multiple drops throughout, then you're repeating the main idea multiple times without the listening and board constantly because they're not just hearing the same thing. So what I have is then, immediately after the first drop, another breakdown and build up, I've essentially split down what would be a verse that this is essentially one verse. But what I'm just saying here is OK in this section here would have a breakdown on, then this section. We then start building back up to the drop again. We don't necessarily have to do it this way. We could maybe have the buildup starting only four balls prior to the drop. You know, in both cases and maybe we have the breakdown in the 1st 4 But the main element in the main ideas of that verse going on for the whole of the eight bars. You know, the several several different ways that you can see this. We then have our second drop on. This is where I like to make things just a little bit more interesting. So maybe I'll introduce one more lead sound or one more top line from what I had in the previous drop on. Then what I will do is I will very quickly bridge over to the third drop. So typically here, verse one and verse two will have pretty much the same elements. But the bridge, the bridge, is what I like to think of his third verse, where maybe you have something where the called structure is inverted or you have a different court structure, big plate entirely on that kind of creates some interest whilst also quickly building up to your third drop again, which he then play here around the sort of 2 52 mark. I then have an eight bar drop on, then a refrain as well. So what I call an extended drop where again I might just have the main melody switching over to something else. I play that for another eight bars, and then I have my outrage for 16 miles with the D Jake and then mix out. So this is a really, really classic example. I'm gonna have some more examples of different types off structures that you can have for different songs as well. Included in this course is part the other project files, And I will be, as I mentioned before, including a lot of templates. So if you look in this course, you'll see that you'll have a whole bunch of template files. All of these I'm including in here as well as he have access to all these. So, for instance, if you want to make a hip hop track, you've got a template for that or house or drum and bass, whatever it is. So that gives you a basic idea about song structure. Very important for musical theory. Again, it's not something that you have to follow to the T, but at least it gives you a good idea for where to start off with. So that you you've then got the basics down so that you can then break the rules and, for instance, maybe get rid of the bridge and have just a really long drop. It's entirely up to you. 13. How to Write Using Chords Pt 1: up until now, we've only been looking at isolated examples of how musical theory can help you with your song writing. So what I'm actually going to do in this video now, it's gonna be a bit of a longer one. But what I'm actually going to show you is how I am using the's tricks if you like Teoh right music myself. So what I'm actually going to do is I'm actually gonna create a core pattern right now on we're going to come up with something literally. Whilst we're recording a video, I'm going to show you how I tire baseline into piano called and show you how you can do that to create something that sounds really interesting. So without further ado, let's get started. So one first of all, going to Dio I've got my MIDI files here on. I've already got NFL keys, instant loaded up. I've got an instance of serum thought my base because I'm gonna have an organ bass. But what we're gonna do is when you start off of FL keys, I'm open up a new piano on. I'm actually gonna rename my pattern clip here just so that I don't get confused. Rename that piano on. What I'm going to do is just start dragging some of thes midi files in and see what works. So let's start having a play around here and see what we can find on what my thinking is here with this particular track is I'm going to create more of a house track. Eso I might actually good for something minor, Andi. In fact, I think what I'm gonna do is I'm going to stick with this one now. One other thing that happens when you draw these midi files in or when you draw cords in, particularly from FL Studio. Sometimes you'll find that things get grouped together, which isn't the case in in here anyway. But if they do so, if I had gone up to here and I created a major chord, you'll find, actually, all of these notes linked together. So the way that you could do that, you can go over them and use the command. G, which is also the same, is going in here during down to group and then kicking on one group. Just seeing knows you can then move notes around individually. So I've got my basic piano pattern. You can see that too. Literally five seconds. What I'm now going to start doing is actually drawing in the cords. And for that I'm going to start using each individual notes. I'm actually going to start doing this, start creating an interesting house sort of piano chord structure here, which I'm going to do by doing this. Let's just play that back so well, that sounds like now what I've decided is I'm actually going to invert this particular court because there's a very good reason for that reason being. But I don't want the notes of the piano to be clashing with my baseline. And if I keep to the original called Structure, I wanted to be within this operative because that's where the piano is strongest. But I don't want it to be coming down too low here because my baseline is going to reside. Along came I don't really want the frequencies to clash, so you hear a lot of people talking about this when you get to the mix downstage. But actually you can avoid ah, lot of the problems that you face with mixing and e curing simply by avoiding having them in the first place, keeping each element of your track to Rive in its own frequency range that the base of the bottom, the piano in the middle, and then a lead line at the top. So just play that back. Listen to see what that sounds like. I think I'm gonna make things really interesting now because I'm actually going to this court bring this up because I think that's quite interesting on you'll hear it done this way a lot because I'm not gonna convert this on. This has done a lot on the reason for this is you can create a called structure that moves around quite law within the space of literally anoc tive so you can have the cords completely moving around and between G and G. I've got everything happening here, and I've got space up here to do stuff in space down here to do stuff. Let's just play that back. I've arrived at what I think my called structure is gonna be. So I'm just gonna go back to the playlist and I'm gonna drag this in here, and I'm going to have this loop on. I'm gonna go up to the channel rack. And what I'm gonna do is I'm actually gonna put in a kick drum for every single beat. So I'm going to do that. And that's actually really quick. Easy way to do this as well. In the channel wreck, I can right click on. I can click on Fill each Eight steps because this is like I don't wanna do I want to do that. You know, I want to do that for eight steps. I can then click on that and you can see that what that's done is that that's filled in a drumbeat, literally. What is actually only done it for every other. Be I'm gonna actually fill it in for every single one here as well. And what you can see is I've now got a drum be on every every beat of every starting beat. So if I play this back s so what, you can actually hear what it's done is it's actually extended this beyond here. So what we're gonna do is click and drag on this and you can see this is where my piano loop finishes. That I'm just going to draw these in here is well, and there we go. We've now got the basics down. Usually what I would do is I would actually put this into a separate pattern. So it actually deletes alot of this. I'd create a new pattern. I'd call it kick. And what I do is I right. Click on this and click on Fill each full steps On That way I can then click on my pain Tal . Then I can draw the scent like that. It's just play that back. There you go. We've got a simple house beat going. What I'm now going to do is just add in the clap as well, because we always have clap on the second and fourth notes of every bar. So let's just drop that in right now. Then we dio on. I'm gonna pace that in Azaz. Well, so what I did was I created a new pattern clip called Clap. I then just drew in the two notes for the clap. I'm just using default fl studio samples that come, Let's play that back on. I think what I'll do now is are put in the hats, the high hat, so I'm just creating a new pattern clip hitting Enter typing in, hats on and the high hat goes on The third note the off beat of every bar Seve obviously got like a the kick drum on this starting note the first note off so that the beat essentially and then you have the high hat essentially opposite of life. So let's play that back. Never. Guy, Now comes the interesting bit. So I'm actually creating a new pattern clip here called Base and I'm going to drop this in and what I'm going to do now, This is the really interesting thing is I'm going to copy this. I'm going to click and drag and copy and paste all of my piano notes into my base here. Now, the reason I'm doing this is not because I'm actually planning on playing it back like this , but just so that I know what notes I'm working with. Now I know from my previous videos and from experience that the note that kind of drives the baseline tends to be that top note of the call, which in this case, is E f e and then D. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna delete all of these notes, and we're now just gonna create a pattern that works with this baseline drop the standard e. I could keep it like this and I could keep it where it's playing. The bass note on every piano called. That's not very interesting. So what I'm actually going to do is I'm actually going to delete all of the notes around the bar apart from the 1st 1 And the reason why I'm doing this is to remind myself what note I need to be using within that bar. But I can then click on, decide what pattern I'm going tohave. So maybe I'm gonna have one vote, and this is just a matter of experimentation. - I'm quite liking how this is turning out. Sometimes what I might do is I might also use notes that within the cord that aren't necessarily that brood notes. So, for instance, I'm using a here which, if I go back to my playlist in into my piano, you can see here that notes that being used FC and A so I might want to much use to do that in my baseline as well. I might choose to make this a C. For instance. I think I like this is that this is a useful tool as well. That's worth mentioning if you hold shift and you've got two notes that touching each other . So where one starts when the other finishes. If you hold shift, you can then change exactly where one starts and one finish is much more quickly. Rather than doing this, you can see obviously, that it would have been quicker just to do this. So that's something else that's worth noting and you can just achieve that is by holding down the shift key. I'm going to change this about a little bit. I think I think so. This is actually following what the house piano is doing. Something else that I'm going to do now is I'm just going to draw these notes together, and I can do that by selecting all of the notes that I want to do that, too, and I compress control. L What that does is join up any notes, make sure there aren't any gaps in the music way, and I'm gonna copy and paste this into here is actually quite like how it was working. I'm liking this on what I'm. What actually going to do is I'm gonna copy and paste this here. I'm just gonna move it down to do. Simple is that way. We've got a baseline. I can just draw that in here. And now if we listen to this back completely Wait. What we're going to look at in the next video is how to maybe add pads and then also on arpeggio in the background to just fill out the track a little bit more. 14. How to Write Chords Pt 2: In the previous video, we were looking at how to work in your baseline with the cords that we had going on with our house piano. And now what we're going to do is look at doing the same thing. But for arpeggios in the background, all as there often shortened to Arps on, then also pads as well. So we'll start with a pad because that's very simple. So what we can do is we can just like this up. This is just on instance of serum that I've got going on and I'm going to click here and I'm going to make a new pattern. I'm gonna call it pad. You can see that appears here as well as in the corner here on. I'm going to go into the piano roll now. What I'm going to do is I'm actually going to go over to my piano on I'm going to select the 1st 3 notes of every single bar by holding down control shift and then clicking and dragging a Waltham heading control C and going back into my playlist, picking on my pad and then clicking on the piano. Roll on and I'm going to go up here and I'm gonna paste it in. And what I'm gonna do is just simply hit control l on What that does is that lengthens all of the notes other than these last ones which are just lengthen manually into be called structure that I had for the piano on. Then what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna put that into the track and then just play that back just to listen and see. I've got a very basic pad just by doing that, So let's just have a listen to that. It's not mixed very well. What I'm actually gonna do is I'm just gonna quickly drag alot of these on, link them to the mixer psych and just quickly do a little bit of basic mixing because I actually want that house piano to stand out bit more on the pad is kind of overwhelming things right now. It's always a good idea. Now, obviously, when you're when you're making a track, you know, a lot of people will say leave the mixing until later. I tend to mix as I go, but I only do that so that I can made the track sounds something like what I'm going to do near the end. But then what I'll do is once I've done the basics of that, are then produce the rest of the track on. Then when it comes down to the mix downstage, I'll actually mix it properly. So this is just to make it sound like how I imagine it would. So what? I'm just trying to have happened here is just have the piano pop out a little bit from the rest of the mix. So I think that sounds pretty much where I wanted to bay on. Now I'm going to do is I'm going to copy and paste these chords into on up. So I'm going to click on here. I'm going to type in, up on. I'm going to paste them in here on. I'm gonna go into the piano roll, paste the men, and I'm gonna bring them up or not. If someone by doing that, what I want them to have to sit on top of the piano. I don't want them to clash with the frequencies of the piano that I was using before on. Then I'm going to automatically turn this into an arpeggio hated pattern. We've obviously seen this option before already. But all we have to do is click on here and go down to our Peggy eight, and it brings up a pattern immediately. And what I'm gonna do is I'm actually just gonna play this back on, play around with some of the patterns and see what I like. One thing that I am going to do that before doing that is bring them and paste them into the AARP rather than the kick, because that would probably help. So let's just play it back and see what it sounds like. Way have here now is actually start to sound something like a bit of a trance pattern, if anything. So I've got that linked the already. But I'm actually gonna bring that down a bit because we because it's a house track, we want the piano really to be standing at the forefront of the mix way on. There we have it. So that's the That's the basics of it. We've now got a very basic beads going with piano elements with drum elements with base elements pad in AARP elements. Those are the basic building blocks of your track, and you can now see how we would then build upon this, too, then flesh it out and create a fully fledged track. So that's the basics off using musical theory in order to build a track on what will look out in later videos in other causes, as well as then. How to make this into the full thing intro breakdown and so forth looking of the song structures that form the basis of music theory as well. But that now at least gives you a good idea as to how music musical theory can help you with writing music. Let's have a look now with some other elements as well. 15. Circle of Fifths: one very important feature of musical theory, which will be especially useful for you if you D J as well as produce music is a diagram called The Circle of Fits. What is this and what does it mean? Well, the circle of fifths is the circular diagram that you see on screen right now, which displays all of the major and minor keys in relation to each other. Let's take a look at the outer circle first. The outer circle shows you every single major key on the keyboard for every black and white note as you go around in a clockwise circle. The difference between the proceeding key on the next in line is five notes on the keyboard , so you can see here that we start with C. We go up five notes to G on. We continue going up five notes with each successive note. After that, this form something called a perfect fifth, which gives a feeling of progression when played one after the other. Let's listen to a demonstration of this. The same thing happens when you look at the inner circle as well. The inner circle shows you all of the minor keys on the keyboard again. As you go around in a clockwise circle, you increase by five notes. Here we start with a minor before increasing by five notes each time as we go around the circle. So, for instance, we start with a minor go up to E minor, go up five notes to be minor on again so forth clockwise all the way around the circle. The inner and outer circles also relate to each other specifically. For instance, let's take C Major C major relates directly to a minor, As you can see here as it is, three semi tones different. This is represented by being right next to each other. Within the circle, every single major key relates to it's in a minor key. So for the next note in the circle, which is G, it's relative. Minor is e minor. This again continues all the way around the circle in both major and minor keys. There is also another way that the circle of fifths is sometimes displayed, particularly in the context of deejaying. This is sometimes called the Camelot wheel and the different keys on the keyboard or expressed his numbers. B is for major wall pays for minor by changing it numerically, it means that DJs can quickly see whether a song will harmonically mix into the next song in sequence simply by counting up. As you can see, an increase of one in this system means an increase of five notes on the keyboard. You can keep going round and round forever. The great thing about this wheel is that you can progress along each song with the increase in number, also meaning that it sounds like the mix is getting mawr energetic. The direct link to relative major and minor also means that a D. J can make straight from a one a track to a to be track, and it will sound. Justus Harmonic is going from 18 to to A In this example, we can go from to a to three B and then back to Foray and still retain the same ramping up of energy because both three A and three b are the same relative major and minor keys. Hopefully, this has given you a basic understanding of the circle of Fifths. But as always, feel free to ask any questions you may have 16. Conclusion & Class Project: So here we are at the end of the course. Thank you for sticking with me through it. I just wanted to offer a few concluding remarks and also explain how the class project works. So what you'll get is a template file, which is what you see in front of you, Ryan. Now which I've uploaded to the skill share class, you can use any of thes chord progressions which have come a coded as well. So these green blue ones are major court progressions that blue and purple ones are the minor chord progressions on. You can use any of thes to create a melody on top of it, using some of the ideas that you got in this course eso a couple different ways. You can do that. You can either just click on one of thumb, Andi, Then click and drag here on, then literally just double click it and changing draw over it on, then just export that out so you can literally destroy melody. You know what? Whatever it is you're planning on doing like that, or you can make it unique, delete everything else, you know, Just keep this one. So you know I'm just gonna be a bit brutal here, right? Clicking, delete on everything on. Just draw that in and draw over the top completely up to you doesn't really matter on then all you got to do is just save PFLP on upload it to the class info section said that everyone else can download it and have a listen as well. That's it. If you've got any questions at all, just post them inthe e class discussion section. Otherwise I'll see you in my next course.