Music Theory for Beginners | Mikael Baggström | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Your Journey as a Music Composer


    • 2.

      Become a Storyteller in Music


    • 3.

      The Elements of Music


    • 4.

      The Core of Music - Rhythm


    • 5.

      The Depth of Music - Harmony


    • 6.

      The Focus of Music - Melody


    • 7.

      The Alphabet of Music - Notes


    • 8.

      The Building Blocks of Music - Intervals


    • 9.

      The Language of Music - Scales


    • 10.

      The Vocabulary of Music - Chords


    • 11.

      The Colors of Music - Chord Voicings


    • 12.

      The Storyline of Music - Chord Progressions


    • 13.

      The Structure of Music - Time Signature


    • 14.

      The Pulse of Music - BPM


    • 15.

      The Story Arc of Music - Arrangement


    • 16.

      Your Practice Activity - Record on the Go


    • 17.

      Congratulations + Your Next Actions


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About This Class

Congratulations for Choosing to go on an Amazing Adventure

You are about to learn the essentials of music composition. The elements, the rules and guidelines, the way music works. Music is a language. But not any kind language. The greatest and most powerful means of communication, mankind has ever invented. 

A language that we all can relate to. A language to share joy and happiness. A language to share grief and sorrow. A language to portrait darkness and evil. And my favorite: a language to share the noble kindness and heroic goodness of your heart.

YOU can have all this POWER

The power to make people laugh, or cry. The power to give the listeners goosebumps on their arms, and chills running through their body. The power... of emotion. Because that's what music is. A dynamic and compelling story of emotions. And you are the both the writer, and the director of this story.

Examples of things you will Learn 

  • The Elements of Music
  • The Foundations and Guidelines of Music
  • The Way to Create Your Music Story full of Emotions

Level up Your Knowledge Today

  • Enroll Now and Gain Knowledge from taking the Complete Course
  • Learn all the Concepts, Methods, Techniques and Tips etc.
  • Take Action to Advance Faster

Friendly regards,  
Mikael "Mike" Baggström  
Music Composer | Sound Designer | Artist

Meet Your Teacher

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Mikael Baggström

Music Composer | Sound Designer | Video Producer


Hey Friends and Creative People!

My name is Mike, and I am a Music Composer, Sound Designer and Artist. I Share my Story, Journey, Experience and Knowledge, to Inspire and Empower Creative People like you. =)


I believe that learning should be fun. I love to bring my personality into my teaching style. I also try to make my courses dynamic, to be more interesting to you. =)

Friendly regards,
Mike from Sweden
Compose | Artist | Educator

See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Your Journey as a Music Composer: Welcome to this course and congratulations for choosing to go on an amazing adventure in music. You will learn the essentials off music, composition and music theory, the elements, the rules and guidelines, the way music works. But what is music? Is it art? Is it mathematics? Is it science, or is it an extension of your soul? One thing we can agree on is that music is a language, but not any kind of language. The greatest and most powerful means off communication mankind has ever invented. Music is a language that we all can relate to. A language to share joy and happiness, language to share. Grief and sorrow. A language to portray darkness and evil and my personal favorite a language to share the noble kindness and heroic goodness of your heart. And you can have all this power, the power to make people love or cry the power to give the listeners goose bumps on their arms and shields running through their body. The power off emotion. Because there is what music is a dynamic and compelling story off emotions, and you are both the writer as well as the director off this story. My name is Mike and I have been writing stories also called Making music since 1998. And in this cause I will teach you the foundations off composing music. This is your great opportunity to learn and master the essence off music because the more you learn, the more power you will have to tell your fantastic story in the form of music. So now I wish you good luck and great fun on your adventure in music. My name is Mike and I'll see you in the next video. 2. Become a Storyteller in Music: Why do you really need to learn the essentials of how music works, the rules and guidelines and the elements and building blocks of music? I will tell you why in this video, music theory and fundamentals are super important if you are going to be able to write musical stories that you want to create. Because music is much like poetry in a poem, you dance and play with words and phrases to convey emotions, to tell a story, to describe things in ways that transcend the very language it is written in. So how do you become a good poet? Well, the answer is as simple as it is difficult. At the same time, as with anything you want to become good at, there are no shortcuts. You have to really learn and master the foundation's first, then practice as often as you can to improve your skills and craft. For poetry, this would mean things like increasing your vocabulary because the more words you know that more choices you will have to tell your story with truly understand grammar and semantics so that he can dance around with how you build your sentences and even bend or break rules creatively with the freedom, often artist learning the coolers, weight and power off different words. A dictionary on Li tells the meaning of the word not emotional color or the impact hitters . And finally, my greatest tip for becoming a better poet is how you say something has a greater impact than what you say. If you don't master all these things, you will not have the true power off language, which you need to create colorful poetry or captivating stories. Now you might ask yourself, What does this have to do with composing music? Well, this whole analogy applies to music as well. Knowledge is power, the more you learn about how music works and how everything is tied together, the more you can play and dance with every single building block of music in all kinds of ways, bending the rules, even breaking the rules but breaking them intentionally and creatively, just like a good poet and storyteller. So what if you don't know how cords, harmony and musical scales work? What if you haven't learned the fundamentals or rhythm Temple and time signatures? What happens if you never truly learn the fundamentals and the essence of music. Well, you will be limited. Restricted by the lack of knowledge. You would not have the true power of a great storyteller in the language that is music. Let me show you to practical examples to illustrate my point. - So now you know what it means to have the true power that comes from learning the essence of music. Don't think of it like learning theory or rules, because even I think the word theory sounds boring. Instead, imagine learning music fundamentals like your journey towards becoming a great music storyteller. Stories of heroes and darkness, stories of love and beauty stories that fascinate people. And you or the director. What stories will you tell with your music? My name is Mike, and I'll see you in the next video. 3. The Elements of Music: Now I'm going to teach you the truth about the fundamental elements of music when I personally go this realization I advanced a lot as a music composer. I only wish I learned this lesson much earlier because I started making music in 1998. And this realization did on Lee come to me a few years ago. So are you ready to learn what I consider to be the most important thing in music? All right, take a note on this and learn it by heart. The foundation off music, the very ingredients that you use to build your story with is made up from only three elements. Villain, harmony and melody. It doesn't matter if you create a mellow campfire song, a powerful rock track or a grand orchestral composition. This will still be true. Rhythm, harmony and melody arranged and performed by various instruments, vocals, all percussion. Let's go through them one by one rhythm. It can be your drums and percussion, but all instruments have rhythm. You can, for example, right a driving pals on strings or synthesizers. You can add rhythm with a strumming guitar or come piano. In fact, you cannot write music without ridden because all notes must have a length and a timing, you can think of rhythm as the cool off music harmony. It can be a simple as the baseline that drives the track by adding the harmonic route off the storyline off your music or the chords played by your comping instruments like piano, guitar strings or any kind of melodic instrument. It can also be a harmony line to extent, your main theme and melody. You can think of harmony as the depth off music and finally, melody. It can be your lead vocals deter strings, breasts or any instrument that will carry the main focal point of your music. This is like the lead actor off the movie, where you shine the main spotlight to guide the listeners attention throughout your composition. You can think of melody as the focus off music, so let's sum up the three elements of music rhythm, the cool off music harmony that depth off music and melody. The focus off music. When you mix and blend these three elements, you create a full composition. This is when your story gets really exciting and engaging for the listener. In the past, I used to over complicate what music? ISS. But it really east these easy. And when I got this insight, I truly felt like I have found the key to open up the secrets of composing music. That is why I really want you to take this lesson to heart. So remember the elements off music, rhythm, harmony and melody no less, no more. And now you also have the key to composing music. My friend. My name is Mike and I'll see you in the next video. 4. The Core of Music - Rhythm: that's a music composer. There are many things you need to learn and master to become a great storyteller in the language of music, but from the highest perspective. Music is based on Onley, three essential elements of rhythm, harmony and melody. So let's explore rhythm now. Now here is your most important lesson. Everything in music has rhythm because let's define rhythm. My definition is a simple as it is straightforward. Rhythm is a pattern in time and everything has a start, a duration and been end. Now what does this mean? Practically within music composition? Let me give you some examples. The most obvious example of rhythm is, of course, drums and percussion, because their sole purpose is to add rhythm to your music, another example of rhythm in music or comping instruments, like a strumming toll or a driving piano. These examples show that core progressions also rely on rhythm, and even the simplest three chord progressions have almost limitless options. If you consider how you can play them rhythmically, then we have melodies, riffs, motifs, hooks and themes. And again, rhythm is the cool here, as well as for anything in music. Let's take these four notes. See a on let's say thing go back to even if I play them in the exact same order. It is in fact rhythm that makes each of these options a unique Melo decline. Looking show you This could be one option. This could be another option tha on. This could be 1/3 option, say notes. Same sequence. Different rhythm. Theo, you see where I'm going with this right? Rhythm is at the heart off music. Every element of your music story needs some kind off rhythm. The conclusion is that rhythm is present everywhere within your music story, from the drums and percussion to the chord progressions and even your melodies. That is my learning and mastering rhythm should be every composers first priority to sum up . Remember these things. Rhythm is simply a pattern. In time, you use a time signature to count the beats off your rhythm. The temple is set in B. P M. You will find rhythm in every element off music, from the drums and percussion to the comping instruments and even the melodies and riffs and everything needs a start, a duration and an end that is rhythm. And now that you know this. Make sure to truly focus on learning, practicing and analyzing rhythm in music in all aspects, from the driving drums and percussion to the groovy bass and the beautiful melodies. Your end go as a composer is to master the essence of rhythm in music, so have fun writing patterns in time, also called rhythm in music, and I will see you in the next video. 5. The Depth of Music - Harmony: Harmony is probably the most difficult concept to learn and master as a music composer, because we, as humans have rhythm in our blood and humming or singing melodies is second nature to us. But it is really important that he practice harmony as much as you can, because harmony is what makes music bigger, bolder, deeper and more powerful. Now here is your most important lesson on harmony. Harmony is the depth of music. It makes music more complex, bigger, wider, deeper and basically way more interesting. Let's compare music to a movie, which is a good analogy, because music is also a story melodies or like the lead actors in the movie rhythms, or like the dialogues. But harmony is like the surrounding set where the actors play their seen. Imagine if you removed all the props and the whole environment surrounding the action on seeing it would be like having the actors play the entire scene in a green screen room on on Lee showing the green screen or a completely white room like you might have seen in some TV commercials. Well, let's be honest. It's too simplistic and boring because we need a complete context to create an engaging and compelling story. The surroundings, the environment, the objects on set and all that happens around the main action off the lead actors. That is what completes the story, and that is the purpose off harmony in music. So what is harmony in musical terms? Well, in my opinion, Harmony has three specific roles in music. To make it bigger, bolder and more powerful. Base. The base is the harmonic root of your music. This is what guides the listener as the anchor of your music story harmonies. Harmony lines, often simply called harmonies or used to add depth to melodies, especially the kouros, will often have a harmony line to accent. The lead melody cords course is simply harmonies stacked on top of each other. The main point off the course use is to add depth and emotion to your story from happy to said from Spine. She'll intention to satisfying and pleasing. The conclusion is that harmony is both the anchor and the depth of your music story, but it is not something that comes natural to us. We can't sing or hum in harmony or cords because we can Onley do one note at a time with our vocal cords. This is why it is super important to practice harmony a lot as a music composer to develop your knowledge and instincts for harmony, to sum up. Remember these things. Harmony is the depth off music. Harmony is made from the base, the harmony lines and the cords. You used harmonies to make your music story bigger, deeper and more powerful. So harmony is the very emotional anchor off music. And now that you know this, make sure to truly focus on learning, practicing and analyzing harmony in music in all aspects from the driving base that sets the harmonic route to the harmony lines that extent and complements your melodies to the courts, you choose to lead the listener through the storyline of your music. Your end goal as a composer is to master the essence off harmony in music. So have fun adding depth to your music story, also called harmony, and I will see you in the next video 6. The Focus of Music - Melody: Now it's time to talk about melodies. Most people will say that it is the single most important element of music. It is indeed the main spotlight that guides the listeners attention and leads the action of your music story. Now here is your most important lesson, melodies or the focus of music. Without leading melodies, your music will take the back seat and be pushed into the background, which can, for example, be great for writing music for a specific scene off a movie where the music must be there on Lee to complement the emotional vibe off the picture while not drawing attention to itself. - But for the vast majority off music, especially the kind of music you listen to on its own, you really need a leading melody, Houk Reef or something to grab the listener's attention and making want to complete your story. The melodies have the potential off carrying so much more emotional power than rhythm and harmony has the expressiveness and human character of a good melody. It is truly the reason why melodies are the element of music that people remember the most . So what is Milady in musical terms? Well, in my opinion. There are two categories or melodies. Vehicle melody. The classic melody is what I would define as lyrical, meaning. It works great for singing lyrics to the melody, so I am not a vocal waste or singer. I am a composer, but I will give it a try just to show you the cease A milady you can seeing just a nick sample of what you can bring into your mule see motifs and riffs. You can also write melodies in the form's off motifs, riffs, hooks, themes or whatever you want to call them in a way that doesn't really work well for singing , too, but still works great for humming. In many cases, you can make a good motif be more memorable than a lyrical melody. The most famous example is probably be Tobin's Fifth Symphony. The conclusion is that Melody is the focus off music. It is the most powerful emotional element that will lead your story. This is why it is super important to practice melodies a lot as a music composer. But the good news is that melodic instincts comes very easy to us. I recommend that you practice by using the most expressive and natural instrument in the world. Your voice. One of my top secrets as a music composer is to always have the means to record my musical ideas. So I used a simple order. You recording app on my smartphone to quickly get my ideas for lyrical melodies, motifs and riffs saved for later use in my music compositions also called My Music Stories . I strongly recommend you to download an audio recording app like there's yourself and make sure you record something every day. It is good for practicing and improving your melodic instincts, but also to actually get usable ideas to use as starting points for new compositions. So, to sum up, remember these things. Melody is the focus of music. Melodies can be lyrical melodies or motifs and reefs. You use millet ease as the leading action of your music story. Now that you know all this, make sure to truly focus on learning, practicing and analyzing melodies in music. Your end go as a composer is to master the essence off melody in music so that you can compose music stories that engage people and rolls them into the emotions off your music story. So have fun guiding the focus and action off your music stories, and I will see you in the next video 7. The Alphabet of Music - Notes: in this video, you are going to learn the alphabet of music. The notes. Music is basically a mix off. Two things rhythm and pitch, all instruments and sounds and music have some kind of rhythm, and some of them also have pitch. So what is pitch pitch is a specific frequency off sound in music. Recall these pictures notes. The note system is based on 12 notes. However, you can clearly see that there are more than 12 notes on a piano keyboard. So what's the deal here? It is because those 12 notes or repeated in what's called octaves going from low to high. The note names go from A to G, the White Keys or therefore named one of these letters A, B, C, D, E, f or G. But wait, that's Onley seven notes. I just said that the note system consists off 12 notes. Well, that's why you can see all those black keys as well. Those are called accidental and are used depending on the scale off the song. You will learn about scales in another video, but the main point you need to learn about the note system is that those 12 notes are repeated from low to high, all notes off the same name or called octaves and or basically a multiple off the same frequency. Now, if I play a musical scale going upwards, it sounds like this. And if I play a scale going downwards, it sounds like this. Now listen to the similarity off the notes as I play two notes. A perfect octave apart again. That is because the notes or a multiple off the same fundamental frequency. This'll might all sound a bit technical. But math has a tendency to do so well. As it turns out, I have the perfect analogy for you so that you will learn how octaves work in music. Imagine that the 12 notes that make up the alphabet of music or like a wheel like this. Let's say we start with the sea here on the bottom, which is the note that touches the ground. Now what happens if we spin the wheel one full circle to the right? The note that will touch the ground would still be the same. See, right. But now the wheel has traveled in direction to the right, and if we spin the wheel five full circles to the left. Again see, would be the note touching the ground, but the wheel has traveled some distance to the left. So if you play a hair, then play a an octave higher. It is the same note, but double the pitch. How do you learn the notes on the keyboard? Them Well, the easiest way is to look at the black case. You can see that there are groups off three black keys and groups off to Blackie's repeated across the keyboard. It's also good to start finding Middle C on the keyboard first because it is used as a reference point. Middle C is found in the middle of the keyboard just to the left. Off this group off two black notes. Now you can find all seize on the keyboard because the pattern off notes is the same across the keyboard. So all see notes or just to the left off a group of two black males. Here are all the names off. White case learned them by heart. They are the foundation of the node system, and you will need to know the note names in order to understand music better see de e if g a and be Now let's move on to the black case and it gets slightly more complicated here. But no worries. I know you will learn this as well. Basically, a Blackie is called an accidental because it replaces one of the white keys in the specific scale your song is in. Let's take the note. D for example, you can see that D has two Blackie's surrounding it, one to the left and one to the right. So what All those black keys called. This is the tricky part. All black keys can have one off two names, depending on which scale is being used. But the rule is this. If a note is lowered to the black key to the left, it is called a flat. And if it is raised to the key to the right, it is called a short. The sign for a flat looks like this. And the sign off a sharp looks like this. All right, so the black note just to the left of D, must be called D flat, right? Well, not necessarily. Take a look at the white key to the left of D, which, of course, is C If you raise the sea to the Blackie to the right. It is in fact, the same Blackie as in the previous example when we lowered the d note, But in this case, we raised it from a C, which makes it a C sharp. So here comes the kicker. The black note can either be called C sharp or D flat, and this is the same for all black notes. They are all named after the white key they are named from. So it is a matter of which reference note is being used to name the Blacky, and this depends on what scale is being used. But for now, you only need to know that the name for the five Blackie's or as follows this Blacky is C sharp or the flat. This is D short for E flat. This is if, sharp or G flat. This is G sharp or a flat, and this is a sharp or a B flat. Now, how do you actually memorize all the nose on your piano keyboard? There are great EPS that you can download for your smartphone that you can use to practice learning the notes. Another trick that I can really recommend you to use if you have a keyboard at home, is to take some marker, tape and tape to each key on your keyboard. Then take a marker pen and write the key name on each key. This way he will see the correct name of all keys. Every time you sit and play on your keyboard, what do you feel? You have learned to find all notes on the keyboard. You can remove the market. Take. All right, now go practice the note names and how to find them on your piano keyboard. I might signing out on you Rock, my friend. 8. The Building Blocks of Music - Intervals: I hope you're doing well and that you feel you are in the process of learning the fundamentals of music. Remember to take notes, even pause and go back when every need to. The important thing is that you learn at your own pace and that the new knowledge is rooted deeply within you. Now, in this video, I'm going to introduce you to the concepts off intervals and harmony in music and the relation to each other. So what? Or intervals in music? Well, you can think of intervals as the word causes off music. A language has different word classes like adjectives, knowns, etcetera. Music has different intervals, which are basically the distance between two notes. However, instead of simply counting Seminoles between them like we did for the scale patterns, intervals are closely related to harmony, which have another way of describing that distance. All right, so intervals and harmony or closely related terms. Basically, if you play one note, followed by another note, you have an interval, and if you play them at the same time, it's called a harmony. All intervals and harmonies have a different sound to them, so learning the character of all these intervals is a really important part of becoming a music composer, just like learning how to use all the different word classes, any language. If you're becoming an author or writer for a newspaper, for example, So intervals go from the smallest distance between the notes, which is a semi tone a port up to the biggest distance, which is a perfect octave report. Now, sometimes you can in fact even count the interval for the same note. Play twice. It's called unison, meaning there is no distance in music composition. You often use the terms constant and dissonant, and this is especially clear for the intervals and harmonies. Basically, Continent is thought of as a pleasing sound, while dissonant has a degree off attention to it. I personally tend to think about all elements and music that's having various degrees or tension, just as with a story or a movie. Sometimes you see it on your edge, washing the action, all seen, and sometimes you simply relax in your chair. That is the difference between constant and dissonant music at what creates these emotions and tension, in many cases in music is based on what intervals and Horman is you use. That is why it is super important to learn and really get an instinct for how each interval and harmony sounds, because they will become an essential port of your music composition to kid when you tell your story. Now get ready and listen closely. This is a lesson you will probably watch several times because I will go through each interval in music and play it going up as well as going down, because the emotional character is very different, depending on which direction you go. I will also play the notes in harmony. All right, let's start well, - intervals and harmony or the very building blocks of music because you used them to create melodies, form chords and basically choose how you tell your story with music. For example, here is a major third interval on. This is in minor third interval. As you have learned, if you count the notes semi notes on 234 C major third and 123 That's a minor third and if you pay attention, you can see that this court does also contain 1/3 harmony, which was made by stacking these two together, which is this a perfect fifth. So this is actually a C major chord. Then you can create more complex chords by adding new intervals on top. So let's say we add another minor third interval here. So 123 And now you have a new court, a dominant seventh. And when you create melodies, you or basically adding intervals in a sequence like this, so I went from That's a perfect faith that's a major second down. And so each interval in music has its own emotional character and some intervals or more pleasing while others or very dissonant, like this dissonant interval of a minor second, for example, as you have heard in a famous movie or in many movies, this Clichy, because it has so much tension in it, while other intervals has more Ah, policing and ah, resolving sound like this. Those are the perfect intervals. Perfect unison, Perfect fourth Perfect Fifth and Perfect Octave, which you will find or used very much in all music now take action and practice all intervals and harmonies in music. I recommend two ways of doing this. The first is to listen to all intervals one by one and come up with a song that uses the specific interval. So you have a personal association for each interval and write them all down in your own interval association song list. For example, for the Miners second Interval, I have written down Jaws theme, which is this and for the perfect fifth Interval. I have written down Star Wars theme the way That's the perfect fifth and it sounds like this and so one. Just make sure the songs you associate to each interval or ones that you know very well. The second exercise I recommend is to play through each interval, going up down on in harmony in your daily practice routine. It only takes a couple of minutes, and your n go is to develop a true instinct for each interval and harmony in music. Remember these all the very building blocks of music, so have fun playing intervals and harmonies. My name is Mike and I'll see you in the next video 9. The Language of Music - Scales: Now let's learn about the language of music, the skills. So there are 12 notes in the musical alphabet. Now it's time for you to learn about scales. We will not go through every scale in this video because learning them all will take a lot of time and practice. But you are going to learn the essential rules off, how scales work and why you use them. You can think of scales like languages. In my analogy. Let's issue all languages share the same Alfa. But, well, there doesn't mean you can mix words from four different languages in his sentence, right, because that would sound weird. And no one would probably understand it in music that would sound all over the place like this. Compared to using notes from within one scale, which sounds like this example. That is why you use scales to base your music from because without a framework, a harmonic pattern. It sounds like a crazy person, rambling nonsense compared to a skilled storyteller like you who writes an epic adventure. Now imagine that you can read and write in four different languages. If you want to write a letter, you will have to first choose what language to write her a letter in. That's the equivalent of choosing a scale to base your some, um, Most common scales use a group off seven notes. Those seven notes will be used throughout the song to build melodies, chords and harmonies. If you play any notes randomly on your keyboard, it will probably sound quite bad. Scales are used because the notes in them sound good together. It's like a grammar in verbal language. Without grammar, the letters and words would not make any sense. There are two types off scales that are most common major skills and minor scales in music . The terms major and minor or used a lot. The only thing you need to remember for now is that Major sounds happy and minor sounds sad . Next, you will learn about whole steps and half steps. Take a look at the keyboard and find Middle C. If you go to the next key to the right. As cools as possible, you get to the black key called C sharp. That is the shortest distance you can go from one key to another, and this distance is called 1/2 step. If you go back to Middle C again, and this time you go to keys to the right, You get to the note D. This is called a whole step, and it's basically to have steps. So why is this important? Well, it's because all scales have a mix off half steps and whole steps and the specific order off half steps and whole step or what? Besides the name of the scale, let me show you a practical example. The easiest scale to learn first is C major. This is because the C major scale is made of all white case. So start on middle C and then go up one white note at a time until you get to the next see an octave above it. Congratulations. You have just played a scale, specifically the C major scale. Now let's take a look at the older off half steps and hold steps in the C major scale. Let's start with middle C. The next Waikiki is D, and as you can see, there is a black key in between them. That means that this distance is a whole step. So between the first and second note off the C major scale. We have a whole step. Next we go from D to E and again there is a black in between those case. So the distance from the second note to the third note off the C major scale, it's another whole step. Great. But now take notice. We have arrived at E and the next note if does not have a black key in between. So this is the first half. Step off the scale. Awesome. Now you know how to count whole steps and half steps. Here is the good part. It turns out that all major scales share the same pattern for the order off whole steps and half steps, and the same goes for the minor scales. So, basically, if you just learn to patterns, you can learn all the major scales and all the minor scales. No. Let me teach you these two patterns. Let's cool a whole step by the letter w and 1/2 step by the letter h. So here is the pattern off. Whole step and half steps for all major scales. Whole step, whole strip, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step and half step. So if you want to learn all major scales to have to learn this pattern. It's all whole steps, except between the third and fourth note off the scale, which is 1/2 step. And between the seventh and eighth note, which is another half step. The eighth note is, by the way, the octave off the root note. So if you start with sea, you arrive at the C an octave above it. The second pattern you need to learn is what all minor scales have in common, and the pattern is as follows. Whole step half step, whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step. So for minor scales, it's all whole steps except from the second to the third note and the fifth to the sixth note second to third, 50 to 60. A good way to see this in practice is to play the A minor scale because, as with the C major scale, it also consists of Onley white case. But wait, Why do the C major scale and a minor scale have the exact same notes? But they are name differently and sound differently. It is because they start on a different route. Note that is what determines the name, and even though they share the same notes, the pattern off whole steps and half steps differ because off the different route notes. So find the a key just below the middle C on your keyboard and then go up on every white key until you get to the octave. You will have played the A minor scale, and you will hear that it sounds sad compared to C major scale. All minor scales sounds sad because they follow the same pattern of whole step and half steps. And it is this very pattern which we translate to a sad sound. The opposite is true for all major scales, which has a pattern off whole steps and half steps that we here as a happy sound. Congratulations. You have now learned what scales are and why you use them. Basically, they are the language you use as a framework to base a specific piece of musical. I'm on IQ and I'll see you in the next video 10. The Vocabulary of Music - Chords: one of the most important elements of UC composition. I call the vocabulary off music cords, courts or the very glue that ties music together, the chord progressions you create or the storyline off your music. So if you truly want to learn music composition and be able to compose amazing music, you need to develop an understanding off how cords work and, more importantly, sound because you do not want to be restricted to simple pope chords alone. It's like becoming a writer or a poet. You will become an infinitely more powerful storyteller if you have an extensive vocabulary to tell stories that engage people and pull them into the action. So what are records? Most teachers refer to accord as three or more notes played at the same time, but I have a much easier explanation, which I also think makes more sense of it. All courts or simply Horman is stacked on top of each other like this. The those two hormones create C major record. That's it. Super easy, right? And a three note chord or the tri accord is the most basic chord. The foundation off all cords stack another home in it on top of it, and you have a bigger and more complex scored. So let's say I stake another top off the major chord on I have a dominant seventh chord. When you think of cords as simply stacks off horribleness, it is much easier to understand how they work Now. They simply become harmonic patterns or shapes, if you will. So if you truly want to become a good music composer storyteller, music, if you will, you need to learn ALS. These shapes, at least many off them to create different types of courts so you can play them on your keyboard as you record as well as use them in your music compositions in your DW because, as I said, courts, or like the vocabulary of music and then more words, you know the better storyteller. You will become the two most common core types in music or the major chord and the minor chord. You will hear the terms major and minor a lot. The simple guideline you can remember for these terms, or that Major is upbeat and happy and minor is emotional and sad, but you should also know that it depends on the context off how the music is played. Now let's play the C major chord. It consists off the notes on and all courts get the first part off their name from the root note off the court, which isn't this case is C. Now let's count the distance between those notes to learn the formula pattern or shape, if you will, off the C major chord, starting from seeing on and then counting each step until we get to the second note off this cord. So 344 semi notes is the interval, called a major third eso we landed on E and then count again, starting from this note. 123 on three. Semin Oates is the interval, called a minor third and here we landed on G congratulations. You have now learned the pattern for the major chord because the pattern is a major third interval, with a minor third interval stacked on top. The pattern for the major chord is route plus 47 notes plus 3143 or boot major third and in minor third until the great thing is that this pattern is the same for all major chords, because every chord type in music is simply a pattern off intervals like this harmonies stacked on top of each other. That means that you have now learned how to play any major chord on your piano or keyboard . That's 12 cords because there are 12 notes in music. Let's test this pattern out on another key. Let's say you want to play an E major chord. Then you start with E. Look at the formula. Go up four semi notes, which is a major third interval. 1234 and you land on these black key here. Then you go up another 37 notes 123 and you landed on the be here and now you have the E major chord major third harmony within minor Third Harmony on Top E. Major again, a major third harmony within minor Third Harmony stacked on top creates theme major chord. Next, let's learn the pattern for the minor chords. It is very similar to major courts. In fact, you just switch the first and sick and interval in the pattern instead of one plus four plus three, which is the major chord formula, you go like this one plus three plus who Let's try it out by playing a D minor chord. First play the D, then go up 123 on, then count again, but to four this time 1234 three d minor chord. It is, in fact, that simple. You just switch the pattern off the stacks of harmonies. The major chord is a major third with a minor third on talk, and the minor chord is a minor third harmony, with a major third harmony on top. Awesome. You have now learned the patterns for all major courts and all minor chords, which means you can play them all 24 courts in total because there are 12 major courts and 12 minor chords in music, one for each note. So again, let's take a look at the patterns for the major chord and then minor chord. Now take action and practice playing these chords on your piano or keyboard so you get familiar with them. You want to train both your muscle memory in your hands and fingers so you conform these patterns without counting the keys or in the end without even looking down on your keyboard . But also train your mind to instantly recognize the sowed character off the major chord and the mind record because these two court types or the very backbone off harmony in music. So have fun playing the 12 major course and the 12 mind records on your piano or keyboard, and I will see you in the next video. 11. The Colors of Music - Chord Voicings: Now you're going to learn about chord voicings, also called chord inversions. But I call it the color off cords. Let me start by giving you analogy to explain the concept off chord voicings. Let's compare cords with words. There are often many words that mean the same thing but have a slightly different emotional tone. It is the same with chords in music, because you can play all chords in different voicings or colors, if you will. In music you have 12 notes, which means you have 12 cords for each court type. Let's take a simple C major chord. It consists off three notes C, E and G, and the standard way of playing it is the root first, then the third and then the fifth of the chord like this. It's like a straight line. But remember, all nodes in music are repeated in octaves over the keyboard. This means that you can actually move the highest note in the court, one octave down like this. So again, this is to see major port in route position, but you can move the top note this G no tear an octave down to G here as still played the 1st 2 notes. But instead of these Gino to appear you played down here, let's compare the sound character off the C major chord root position with the G note. An octave down same called but different voicing. These is called the first inversion off the cord. Now you can also move the next note on octave down like this. So we started with C major chord in a good position. If you move the fifth down an octave, you end up with what's cool. The first inversion. The C major court moved the third, which is the keynote down an octave, and you have the second inversion of the C major chord root position. First inversion. Second diversion for all three note chords. You have three Coulters to play them root position, which is the standard straight way off playing accord first inversion, where the top note is moved down an octave and the second inversion were both the top note and the middle Haute has been moved down an octave. All of them are still the C major chord. Just the order off the notes has changed to remember how court voicing works. I have a simple exercise for you. Imagine a triangle where each point represents One note off the cord and you read the cord from left to right. This is how the triangle would look like in the standard route position for the C major chord. C is the point in the bottom left. The top point of the triangle is the E note, and the bottom right is the G note. If you read this cold from left to right, you get See E G, which again is the standard route position for C Major. Now, if you turn these triangle, cook wise, so it stands on the next side. You can read the court again from left to right, but now it is G C E same notes as the first time, but in a different order, turn the triangle a second time and you will have e g C. That is the second inversion off the C major chord, and this analogy will work for all of three note chords. Super cool right now. Take action and practice, playing all three positions off major courts, as well as minor chords on your piano or keyboard. If you practice playing inversions daily you will improve your musical instincts and learn how to get the sound you want out of your core progressions in your music compositions. Congratulations because you have now learned how to play and use 72 different colors off courts in your music. 12 major chords times three types of voicings, plus 12 minor chords. Times three types of voicings, so have fun playing chords in different colors, and I will see you in the next video. 12. The Storyline of Music - Chord Progressions: chords and chord progressions or the glue that ties music together. In fact, the court progressions or the very storyline of your music. What court E. Use how you call her them, using techniques like inversions and especially how you put them all together to form chord progressions, is the harmonic foundation off your music. It is very much like the storyline off a good story in a book or movie. So how do you create your core progressions? Well, a good way to start is to learn the diatonic chords for both the major skills on the minor scales, the diatonic cores or the courts that Onley use notes from within the scale. You have based your song, and you can number the courts from the root note off the cord in comparison to the scale. Note. In the C major scale, See is the first note of the scale and likewise, see, Major is the first dia Tony cord off that scale. So for all scales, you have seven notes and likewise seven diatonic chords. Now here is the most important lesson you need to learn about the courts and their connection with the scale of your piece of music. Each note off the scale is called a scale degree, so it has a number from 1 to 7, is written in Roman numerals. The first scale degree is called the tonic Off the Scale. Basically, it is the harmonic route or home even which your music will want to resolve to. The strong cords are always the 1st 4th and fifth court of the scale. You will find that these three chords or by for the most common in all, music for major scales the 1st 4th and fifth or all major chords while the 2nd 3rd and sixth chord or minor chords. So let's say you want to make a song in a major key because you want an upbeat and happy sound. Well, then you know that the 1st 4th and fifth chord off the scale will be major chords. So let's take the C major scale, for example, which is this a white keys? So it serves as a good example because it's easier to practice with. So the first court is on the first scale degree, the tonic or home, which is see a So you have chosen to see may your scale So then we know that it will be a major court. So you have the C major chord as the harmonic root of your song. When you count sees the first, then we have d as the second b s the third, and you end up with if which is the fourth. And remember 1st 4th and fifth or the strong chords in all scales. You know, it's a major. So we have a major chord here. Then things must afford. Then we get to five again a strong court, and this will be a major court again thing. And for the minor scale, it is the complete opposite. The 1st 4th and fifth chord, the strong courts or all minor. So let's take the A minor scale, which is also on Lee White case, but starts with the note A goes like this. The first chord is a minor 1234 D minor is 24 and five e minor. So when you start creating your own chord progressions, I recommend that he focused on the 1st 4th and fifth courts off the scale. You choose to base your song on, then add in the 2nd 3rd and sixth cold here and there to spice things up. Let me show you a practical example on piano. So let's say you want to compose a song in a major scale because he want an upbeat and happy sound. Well, then you will know that the 1st 4th and fifth chord will be all major. So let's choose the key of C. So then C major scale, which is on Lee White Keys, starting with C going through all the white case up to the oak. Stay here. So the first chord will be C major. The fourth will be if Major and the fifth will be G major eso When you practice making your own core progressions, start with Onley those three strong cords the first, the fourth and the fifth and then switch in between them and even cooler them with different inversions when you have learned how to. So let me show you how you can do this, starting with C this Now let's do the same for them. Minor scale. So let's choose the key off A. Which is the minor equivalent off the C major scale. So on Lee White Key starting on a so you will know that the first court is a minor thes. Fourth is D minor. And if if is e minor, so let's make a core progression with only those three chords starting on a fourth and won't again, I recommend that you practice playing the 1st 4th and fifth looked for both the major scale on the minor scale. And then once you have mastered or at least practice enough making core progressions from those three strong cores, you can start to spies. Your core progressions up by adding other courts from within the scale. So for the C major scale, for example, the 1st 4th and fifth courts well, let's make something else, adding, Let's say, the six Court, which is an A minor for the C major scale and perhaps the let's say, the D Minor, which is the second court off the C major scale. So let's start with C again. Go to six second. So let's apply the same principle for the a minor scale 1st 4th 5th and spice it up by adding, for example, the seventh, which is a G major court and the third, which is a C major court. Let's try it out. First force seventh G major and third C major. Six if major and third again seventh and back to home. The tonic. I also recommend starting to practice on the C major scale and the A minor scale. Since both of these scales Onley uses wide keys, which makes it more convenient for you as you learn good luck and have fun creating your own chord progressions, and I'll see you in the next video. 13. The Structure of Music - Time Signature: Now let's talk about the rhythmic structure or music, which is called Time Signature, and it's similar to meter for poetry. Rhythm in Music is based on something called Time Signature on Before you panic from this music you return, let me explain. Time Signature is just an indicator to describe how you count each mission of a piece of music you make a measure, also called a boar, is simply the segments music is divided into. There are many different time signatures a song can have, but I can tell you that you don't need to worry. But because there is one time signature that is used in the vast majority off all music ever created and it is called 44 it simply means that the underlying count for your music is four beats per measure. In practical terms, this means that you simply count to four in a straight fashion like this. 12341234 And so on. The 44 Times Singer is actually so much used that it is often called common time. Another fairly common time signature in music is 34 which sounds like this 123123123 And so great. Now you know about time, signatures and measures in music to get a better feeling for this, I want you to use a metro No, to listen to different time signatures and temples, and also to practice making everything and staying on beat. Hey, Metro no is simply a peacekeeping device. It can be used to practice piano, guitar or any other instrument on. It is also often used in recording situations to help in making the poor performance tighter. You don't need a physical metre norm devised these days. It comes with all music making software. Let me show you these in practice in logic, which is my G A W, also called music production software. So it is called a click track. But as you can see from this little icon here, it is, in fact, a metronome. So you first set the time signature. Let's go with 44 and then you set the BPM, which is the temple. Let's leave it at 120. Make sure the click is activated, and let's listen to how the click track or Metrodome sounds. 12341234 As you can see, this helps you with the timing, especially if you're going to record something with, for example, your media keyboard, guitar or any other instrument. So if I play now, I can keep the timing as I hear the click track, and you can even download an app for your smartphone, which I suggest you do right now. Now take action and download a Mitchell, um, app for your smartphone. There are plenty or free ones to choose from. I just downloaded this simple metal map where you can choose the time, signature and tempo. So your goal is to develop an instinct for how various rhythmic patterns which or time, signatures and temples sound so practice daily by using the Metro map Jews a time signature and temple. And as you listen to it, make sure to count with it and mark the accent off the first beat. 123412341234 I recommend that you start by learning the time signature is called 44 and 34 because those are the most commonly used for all music when you have developed a sense for these time signatures. You should also start practicing on your piano or keyboard to improve. Your performance is so you can get your recordings tighter when you compose music in your D . W. So you simply selected time center and a temple. Listen to it and then start playing. You can also tap your foot like this. I don't know if you can hear that and then play something on your piano and keyboard trying to keep the timing off the Metrodome like this. You want to start by making it really simple. Use a slow temple on Do something simple, like just mark every beat on your keyboard or something like that. It will be especially hard in the court. Changes Askew learned this, but if you practice daily, you will improve fast. And I can guarantee you that this makes a lot off difference for saving time when you compose music on your computer. Because if you need to make only three takes instead of 15 takes Ah, that will save a little time. Try out other time signatures if you want, but remember that 44 and 34 or by for the most used time signatures in music. So think about that before you try to go super crazy in creating your rhythms and beats. But if you want to go wild, no one is stopping you. All right, have fun practicing with the Metrodome and improving your timing as a music composer and your performance skills on your piano or keyboard. My name is Mike, and I will see you in the next video. 14. The Pulse of Music - BPM: Now let's talk about the powers off music, BPM or temple. You can think about the tempo as the pulse off music, almost like the pals off your heart rate. When you're cool and relaxed, you have a lower pulse, and when you exercise or dance, you have a higher pulse. It is the same with rhythm. In music, a high tempo feels more energetic and a slow tempo feels relaxing. The temple in music is measured in something called B P M, which stands for beats per minute, compared this to your heart rate, which also is measured in beats per minute. So here we have, quite literally, a connection between our heart and music. Perhaps that's why people often say that we have rhythm in our blood. All right, so how do you said the temple of your music? Well, that totally depends on what kind of song you want to make on the energy level. You like it to have but to give you a starting point. Most music seem to have a temple off somewhere in between 60 bpm on 180 BPM. 60 bpm might be a really slow ballot on 180 bpm might be a driving E g M song or fast paced punk rock song. So 60 to 180 bpm. Do you notice something here? Well, this range is actually almost the same as the range off our whole trait. The average hold rate at complete rest is around 60 bpm. And the peak, or trade for most people is around 180 bpm or so. So, again, music seems to be an extension off our very existence. I find these super fascinating, don't you now take action and practice listening to different BPM values so that you will develop a sense for tempo in music? You can do this in your d w in an empty project by first choosing a BPM, then turning the click track on and then start playing. So if you have an empty project like this, you can simply select a BPM and time singer. Turn on the click track or better gnome, and just listen to how this temple sounds and make you feel so this is 120 in 44 We can turn this up in real time to 140 and you re clear difference. There go down to, let's say 80 and so one or what I prefer is to use a simple drum rhythm that plays in sync with your BPM Temple. So what I recommend you to do is what I have done here is to load up a drum track and a drum loop in your D W and then Tuesday Temple and listen to how it sounds to get a sense for the rhythmic pals off the music with drums or grateful. So let's start with 80 bpm and let's listen to this. Okay, so you can listen to that for a while and then go to, let's say, 120 which is a common temple for pop music, and then go to the very fast tempos. And this will feel really fast pace and driving like a fast paced punk rock song or something. And of course, it also makes sense to try out various drum kits and drum loops, because that makes a huge difference as well. So go ahead and try out various bps, and I will see you in the next video 15. The Story Arc of Music - Arrangement: Now it's time to talk about arrangement or what I like to call it. The story arc off music. Let's compare the arrangement with the chord progressions because they are related. While the core progressions are similar to this story line with all the details in action, the arrangement is more like the big story ork of a book or movie. A story is divided into sections like, for example, the introduction where the main characters are introduced. Then perhaps some problem or tension rises. The protagonist or hero goes on a journey to try to solve this problem. He meets obstacles on his journey, finds his true opponent, also called antagonised, He might have to face evil and even make standing realizations about his post. Or perhaps who his father is. Does it ring a bell? Well, the arrangement of music also follows the structure off specific sections that add to this story. But in music, we often call these things like in true verse, Cores, Bridge and so one. Here are some of the more common sections in an arrangement the intro often used to introduce the general vibe of the song and perhaps T's, the main theme the verse versus or used as the main carrier off the musical story but lack the main action off the chorus. The pre chorus, sometimes used to attention and build excitement author a verse just before the main course hits the bridge bridges or used as it sounds as a bridging section between two other main sections. The chorus. This is the main spotlight in music, the section that the listener waits for in most music. Everything builds around the chorus to make it shine even more. The Outro mainly used to bring down the action and excitement and let the music resource at the end. It truly helps to think of your music as a story. The arrangement is the big building books of your story, and the chord progressions is the actual storyline, an action on scene that creates emotion Now. Another good guideline to start from is that most music has the arrangement sections in multiples off eight. What do I mean? Well, simply that for most music you will find that each section is eight bars long or a multiple of eight bores, meaning 16 bores, 24 bores, 32 bars and someone off course you can break this guideline, but it usually works great for popular styles of music. Compared to let's say, feel music where you have less structure and therefore can be more free in how you arrange your building blocks. You should now practice making this story arc of your music by marking your sections with how many Boris he used for each. For example, an eight board intro, 16 bore verse eight bar Chorus, eight bore bridge, 16 bar cores and someone. So how will your story flow? Of course, if you have an intrasection, it will come first, and an outro section will come lost. You don't have to use either of those sections and for all other sections of your story. Orc. You can switch them around however you like, and make them as short or long as you prefer. There are no rules, just creative choices. For example, you can start with the coolers right away, but that's like starting a movie with the main fight right at the store. People expect a build up in the story first. That's why versus and pre choruses are great. For example, the important thing is that each part of your soul contributes as a piece of your whole story. So go ahead and practice making your music stories with the building blocks. That is arrangement and I will see you in the next video. 16. Your Practice Activity - Record on the Go: Now it's time for you to take action. I have a practice activity for you that will make you advance faster as a music composer and as a bonus, get you started on a lot off. More new tracks is really interesting that we composers seem to get our best ideas for themes, melodies, rhythms and riffs. When we are not in our studio, I often get them when I do chores in my home, like the dishes or folding the laundry. I get great musical inspiration when I cook dinner as well, or when I go for a walk. When do you feel those amazing musical ideas flowing into your creative mind? Well, my special trick is to always have a means to recall those ideas quickly and easily. I use an app called music Memos on my iPhone, but you can use whatever voice, dictation, app or audio recording eb you want. The best thing about this specific app, in my opinion, is that it sinks to my iCloud drive so I can access it directly on my computer and even dragged the file right into logic to use as a creative inspiration. Kickstarter. Let me show you how easy this technique is. So as soon as you get a new musical idea, whenever that is or whatever that is, you simply bring up your phone and ah, then start your audio recording F off choice. In my case, it's music memos, so it's simply a big record button in the middle. So when I press this, I simply hum in sing in all, whatever the musical idea you have like this the thunder Don't, er, uh, done. And, uh, I pressed Stop now and I can see the way form here. But I will also show you the best thing with this specific app, which is that I can now use it on my computer. All right, so I am in logic Pro X now on. As you can see, this is an empty project with only an audio track here. So I will bring in my finder window, and here you will find your iCloud right. And if you have chosen to sink music memos up to your iCloud, it should be if all the right here and all your ideas as individual files And since I haven't named them, probably I have to remember what the idea number waas. And in this case, it was my idea. Six. Of course, I should name these files probably inside the EP, But in a way, then you simply lift quick and drag this file right onto these older track in logic, and it will ask. Teoh said, these sample rate and such for your project, So convert file and it includes temple information. Let's import that as well. And there it is. So now I can simply play this idea back right in logic. So now you can use this idea as your creative Kickstarter for a new track. Let him play it. Uh uh uh uh, and and, uh Right. So that's how you use the record on the go method. The main thing is to always have a way to record your musical ideas when you get them. And where ever you get them? Well, not everywhere, but almost so have fun practicing recording your ideas for new melodies, riffs, rhythms, lyrics or whatever flows into your creative mind. And I will see you in the next video 17. Congratulations + Your Next Actions: congratulations for completing this entire course. It means you are indeed an action taker. You are now advancing on your journey in music. Now, I would like to kindly ask of you to leave your review on this course. It's a great hope for future students. And I would personally be very grateful for it because I get so much motivation from reading your reviews. Basically, you give me the energy to create new courses for you. So please remember to leave your review. Thank you so much. Now what should you do next? Here is what I recommend. First, I have a special bonus as a gift for you for completing this course. It is attached as a resource in the final bonus lecture. Second, make a list off specific actions you are going to take now, for example, new practice routines. You will start doing daily or at least weekly specific fields. You will dive deeper into by taking more courses, Reading books or any other resource is third. If you want to get more motivation, inspiration and my tips, tricks and secrets. As a professional music composer, please subscribe to my YouTube channel where I share my journey, tips and tricks behind the scenes content and much more. You will find all links and resource is in the final bones lecture. It has been a pleasure making these course for you. My name is Mike, and I wish you good luck and great success on your journey in music.