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Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 2: Minor Keys and More

Lesson 10 of 26

Analysis: Get Lucky (Daft Punk)

J. Anthony Allen

Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 2: Minor Keys and More

J. Anthony Allen

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Lesson Info

10. Analysis: Get Lucky (Daft Punk)


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Welcome and Overview Duration:04:15
3 Minor Scales Duration:06:27
4 Relative Keys Duration:11:03
7 Analysis: Ghosts N Stuff Duration:26:08
8 The Circle of Fifths Duration:09:48
11 7th Chords in Minor Duration:16:38
12 9ths and 13ths Duration:09:08
13 Suspended Chords Duration:05:03
14 Reading a Chord Chart Duration:11:02
15 ster and Unnamed Chords Duration:03:47
22 Bass Riffs Duration:08:49
23 Get Muddy Duration:03:02
24 Analysis: Windowlicker Duration:12:44
25 Chromaticism Duration:03:43
26 Thanks and Bye! Duration:01:15

Lesson Info

Analysis: Get Lucky (Daft Punk)

All right. Welcome to the next analysis video. Um, so leading up to this in the previous few videos, we've looked at minor keys. We spent a lot of time looking at minor keys. Minor chord progressions. Ah, like good stuff. We've looked at the circle of fifths and closely related keys and borrowing cords from another key. Um, meaning if we're writing a tune and we can't find just the right chord, maybe we go to one of the neighbouring keys on the circle of fifths, and we see what chords they have to offer. So in this next tune that we're gonna look at in this lesson, we're going to see one of those borrowed chords. So we're gonna look at get lucky by daft punk right now. Um, structurally, the song is really easy with the core progression. Ah, it's pretty much four to the floor. There's, ah, one chord per bar. Nothing really fancy. All right, let's just listen to Ah, a little bit of the song and then we'll dive in no way. Okay, um, so let's figure it out. So, um, again, I gave us the adva...

ntage of the baseline. So to find the baseline. I just kind of went through and played around with the cords, Found what really worked. Um, and I just experimented a little bit, and I eventually ended up on these four notes as what I think are the roots of the cords. So let's hear these at the same time as this opening progression. I'm just gonna loop these 1st 4 bars because we're going to spend the majority of our time on this 1st 4 bars. And then we're gonna go through the whole rest of the tune and see how we can get these 1st 4 bars toe work throughout its pretty much these 1st 4 bars for almost the whole team. Um, okay, so I'm gonna turn the track down. Just a touch. So we hear my notes come out me a little bit more, and let's just hear these 1st 4 bars. Okay? So those sound really good to me. Those sound like I'm pretty sure those air the roots of the cords if they're not the roots of the cords. Ah, one of those notes is in each chord. I mean, they sound like they fit really well, and I'm just gonna tell you. They are there to the court. Um okay, so we know the process here, Right? First of all, we need to figure out what? Say it aloud. I hope you said what you were in because that's what, um, we need to figure out first. Um Okay, so let's look through these these notes. So we need to find the pattern of whole steps and half steps, and right away, I don't see any half steps, so we're gonna have to get some of the notes. I only have four notes, so that's not enough to really tell me what scale I'm in. So I just need to start with the guests and a really good guests, like we found out in one of the previous analyses would be Ah, what is the first note? Um, so the first chord is a B. So let's take a stab at it. Be and, uh, always take a stab at the major or minor. Let's try. Be minor, actually. So what is the pattern for minor? So the pattern is whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, half step, whole step and hold step gets us back to the start. Okay. Now let's see if these notes are in this pattern. So do we have a D in the scale? So we're seeing the scale here. Do we have a D? Yes, we have a deep. Do we have enough? Sharp? Yes. We have enough sharp. Do we have an E? Yes, we have any. So I think we have a winner. If it's not a winner, it's a darn good candidate. So let's stick with that for a minute. I'm gonna take my scale on. I'm gonna leave it available to us. It was going to set it just outside over here so that I can refer to it when I need to. That way I don't have to draw it every time. You don't have to do that if you don't want to you. But I find it handy sometimes. Um okay, so now we have a pretty good guess at what are key is Ah, it's probably be minor. That's what we just figured out. So next let's figure out the courts. So let's just build chords on each of these notes and, um, see how that sounds so First, 2nd 3rd fourth, fifth, 1st 2nd third 4th 5th 1st 2nd 3rd fourth this. And first, 2nd 3rd fourth and fifth. Okay. Ah, let's hear those cords just like that against the track and see how it sounds. Okay? Something strange happened there, Right? This last chord got a little funky. Something didn't sound right there. So that chord isn't totally right. But before we deal with it, let's make this whole thing sound a little more like the track. So I'm gonna move everything up, inactive a shift up. If you're in a Bolton now, I'm gonna do the voice leading thing that we looked at before. So I'm gonna take this be and just move that up. Inactive. So now I'm moving around where my roots are. So, um, that will change the flavor of it. And I just want to get these a little bit tighter. I might move both of these up. Maybe this one up, Teoh. Now leave that one down. Okay, so now I have these in in like, ah, way that they flow into each other quite well. There's a minimal amount of motion. That's what we tend to like and these kinds of court. So let's hear it now. We're also open, Octave. Remember, way went up too high. Let's go back down. Inactive. Okay, that sounds spot on to me for these 1st 3 chords. So, uh, we have to deal with that force fourth chord, which is not right. Um, but remember, the root of the cord, the root of the court we liked, Right. Um, so the root of that fourth chord is e. I still haven't root position here, so that's good. Um, that'll make it all the easier to pick apart. So let's set that aside for just a second and figure out what we can call these chords. So maybe just to simplify everything, I'll put them back in route position. Uh, this one needs to go down to Okay, so now I'm back to root position. So my original baseline is these four notes. Okay, so let's figure out what we can call these notes. It's like my screen a little bit bigger here, So this is a chord based on B, and we're in the key of B minor. So we need to remember what our pattern of major and minor chords is. Ah, for a minor key. So let's take a stab at it. Okay, so let's write down what our pattern is for the minor diatonic or progressions. Just one more time. So I'm just gonna put it up here. So our first chord is minor. Our second chord is that funky diminished chord. Our third chord is major. Look at the capital M and then we have minor minor major, major. 12345 67 Cool. OK, so that's our pattern. So this cord is built on B, it's built on the one and this is the one. The first note. So this must be a B minor court, which is also our key. Next one is is de. That's the third note of the scale. If we go to our scale, remember that there's a be down here as the root. So now we have the full scale. If we count up to D, there's the third note of the scale. So that means that this is a D. And our third scale by the pattern is major. So this is major. This was be minor D major f sharp. If we count up the f sharp up from B minor up to F sharp counting up in the scale, we will get a five court and five his minor in a minor key. So this is an f sharp minor. Now we get to our weird cord here. So in the key of B minor Ah, cord built on e which is what this one is should be a minor chord because the fourth scale degree should be should produce a minor court. Ah, which is what we have here. We have a minor chord. So we have an e minor here, OK, But that's not right. And we know it's not right because it sounds just dissonant sounds just not right When we played against the track, that is definitely not the court. So what could that court be Instead? We know that this e note is correct because when we play it without the cord, it sounds good. It sounds right. So this e is good. That note we like by itself. It's one of these other two notes that doesn't work very well for me. So these ones are all good. We're happy with those. Something strange is going on with this e chord. This this e minor chord. So Let's look at what it could be. So Ah, I'm going, Teoh, jump over and look at my circle of fifths for a minute to see if maybe, ah, when they were coming up with this core progression, they thought, and the e minor chord kind of works. But let's borrow from a different key. So let's look at the circle of fifths. Okay, so here's our circle of fifths that we know. And this is like one of those Ah ah, maps that says like you are here and we are here. This is where we are right now. We're in B minor, right? So we need to figure out, um what where the cells record came from. Now, Really, What we could do is we could just goof around with those those notes that we know that don't work and, ah, you know, move him up and down by 1/2 step and eventually we'll find the answer just by listening to it. Ah, and that's probably a good way to do it. But I'm kind of taking the long road of like going into the circle of fists and pointing all this out just so you can see, um, why it sounds good. Even though it's out of key, because this court is out of key. What they've done here is out of key. Um, but I think they borrowed from a very closely related key, which is why it still sounds good. Do I think they were sitting in the studio? Andi said, Yeah, let's like, Ah, this this be minor chord progression. Sounds great. How about we, uh, get rid of that e minor chord? Because that's boring. And someone pull out a circle of fifths so we can, like, find our other options. No, I don't think they did that. Um, but what I think they did is they used their ear and they said, Oh, this other court sounds good. What I'm doing now is trying to explain to you why it sounds good so that when you're writing, you could say, Well, let's do something different here. What will sound good And you could either plowed circle of fifths and figure out what sounds good. Or you could just use your ear. But I'm gonna tell you why you will want to hear certain things, why it will sound good, and that's The whole job of music theory is to tell you why something sounds good or not good. So, um, let's look at one of our closely related keys. Now, remember, our we have several options here we have E minor is close. It's right next door F sharp Minor is close. It's right next Door D is the absolute closest because these have all the same notes in them. These have one note different on either side. We know it's not D because there's got to be one note different. So it's not gonna be deemed major G is an option, and A is an option. I'm gonna stick with a minor key. So my best two options to look at first would be E minor and F sharp minor. Let's take a look at F sharp minor and see how that stacks out. So let me go back to able to hear. So let's take Here's our notes. I'm gonna highlight all of these. I was going to duplicate this because this is a minor key. I'm gonna push this up to F sharp. Okay, so now here is all the notes of B minor, and here's all the notes of F sharp minor. So let's find So we know this is an e chord. It's some kind of e chord. It's not an e minor chord, though. So could they have found a different kind of e chord in this? And what are kinds of chords? The main kinds? Of course. We know our major and minor, so I'm kind of looking for any major here. I know that, Um, but let's see if it's in here because that might explain everything for us. So here's the E. So if we build a cord so this is 1234567 the seventh scale degree. If we build Accord on the seventh scale degree of a minor key, we know from the pattern that that's a major chord. So the the cord built on E in the key of F sharp minor is major. So E is going to be a major chord. So this is major in the key of F sharp in the key of B minor. This is minor. This e is minor. So he is minor is a minor chord in the key of B minor, but in the key of F Sharp minor, which is a closely related cord because the circle of fifths has it right next door E is major. So could they have borrowed the E major from F Sharp Minor and used that? Because it's only one note apart. Ah, to make a chord, that sounds good. Let's find out. So let's look at what the notes would be. Oops. So I'm gonna pull this e out, and I need to figure out what the notes are of this e cord. So I'm gonna do the 1st 3rd 5th So here's Here's the second scale degree above it, and the third would be here and let me move this whole thing down. Inactive. There we go. So here's the fourth and here's the fifth. So if I'm treating this is the Route E. The second would be have sharp. 3rd 4th would be a and fit to be be. So here are all the notes of my record, and now this is an e major chord. So I have a g sharp in it, and if I look at my actual song, I have a G natural or a normal G, not a G sharp. So Let's try bumping that up to a G sharp, turning that into an e major chord Now, and let's see how that sounds against the track. Here we go. Okay, that sounds pretty good. Let me get everything back up into the right inversions. Um, or at least better inversions so that I can hear this. Okay, this is where I had it before, I think. Yeah. So let's have a listen to this now that we're better and we'll see how this thing Okay, I think we got it. I think we solved the question. So this e chord is not in our key. It is out of key by only one note. And it's a note that is right next door in the f sharp minor, um, key. So it's It's the closest possible key. Weaken be in. Um, and we didn't do a key change here. I want to be sure we're clear about that. A key changes a little bit different thing. Ah, kee. Change would be like if we went to this cord and then we stayed in that key. We did everything else in that key which we didn't do We We loop this back around, so we were firmly in B minor. But they just borrow this one chord from their neighbor. Um, and they're using it in the tune. So it's good, Scott. One note that's out of key. And it's that g sharp. And it's totally cool because it sounds good. We like it. Ah, who are we to second guess what they did? But that is why it sounds good is because it's from a closely related key. Okay, Now let's pick this tune apart a little bit more. So now that we know what our cords are, I'm gonna get rid of all this business because this is all we're gonna need for now and kind of thinking maybe I should move that note. Let's hear that I liked it better. Okay, let's leave that. They're okay. Let's see how much more of the song we can figure out. So I'm just gonna start pasting this in as we go through the song and see if I can keep up, like with what keeps the way. Okay, so so far, it's been the exact same core progression for the whole song so far. Everything works. Now we get into this part where the vocal is changing a little bit. Let's see if the court progression keeps working. Okay, here's the chorus. Let's see if they change the core progression or just keep going with it. She's like to get have you What is just you want to leave? Wear something changed The court didn't change but the cord I think the court is going away. Let me just hear this thing. It's still going. Everything thins out here, but we still have the same chord progression way. Like to get lucky were like to get lucky Mexican. Thanks, love. Kate. Mexican. I like to get get, get, get Get thanks to get Thanks again. So OK, so, um, the core progression for the songs is the same all the way through It starts. Doesn't change at all. Great. Easy for us. Ah, we just analyzed the entire song. Um, which Okay, so you might say, Well, that's weird that they didn't change core progressives for the whole song. It's actually not that weird. Um, songs without a lot. Ah, it's four chords all the way through. Sometimes it's all you need. Uh, it's more common that the core progression changes somewhat in a chorus or maybe a bridge than it would go for the whole song completely. But it's not unheard of. Um, it doesn't make it a bad song, Actually, Sometimes it's harder to keep a song energetic and lively without changing the core progression. So, um, it's in a way kind of a testament to them for having enough sound design chops and arrangement chops to keep it lively with all the extraneous stuff, while the core progression is just continuing on, like just took a train just going without stopping or changing. Okay, so that's it, Um, let's get lucky by daft punk. Um, so it's in the key B minor. It has one chord borrowed from F sharp minor. Ah, it's just an e major chord when we would expect an E minor chord in the key of B minor. There you go off to the next lesson

Class Description

In the first part of Music Theory for Electronic Musicians, we learned how to work with the piano roll editor in a DAW to make harmonies, melodies, and whole tracks. In this second part, we'll expand on those ideas. We'll work with minor keys, focus some time on melody and bassline writing, and we'll talk about how different tracks work. 

Extensive Analysis 

In this class, we feature an extensive track analysis segment by Daft Punk, Avicii, Skrillex, and many more. In each of these segments, we'll look at their tracks on the piano roll editor. We'll talk about why they sound the way they do, and how you can use similar techniques in your own music. Each of these segments picks apart multiple elements of the song and dissects it in an easily digestiable manner. 

Who should take this course? 

Anyone interested in producing their own tracks. This will get you up and running and give your tracks a unique sound in no time.


This course consists of video lectures, which all contain a session in Ableton Live 9. If you are using a different program (or none at all), no worries! This isn't a class on how to use Ableton Live, and the concepts can be applied to any DAW.  



Well, I slobbered all over you after your first class and this one is as good or better. I realize people don't go to college for 12 years and learn what you shared in a few hours and you didn't earn your doctorate with just this stuff. I mean Julliard must offer a lot more, but you have advanced my knowledge by miles and I've got to say thank you. Make some more of these simple, common talk courses - I'll buy them all.

Nick van Lochem

This course its so good he makes it al sound so easy. that ists easy to remember and use in your creations.

Scott Vincent

Very cool class - learned a lot from this class as well as from the Part 1 class. Highly recommend both classes!