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Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 2: Minor Keys and More

Lesson 7 of 26

Analysis: Ghosts N Stuff

 

Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 2: Minor Keys and More

Lesson 7 of 26

Analysis: Ghosts N Stuff

 

Lesson Info

Analysis: Ghosts N Stuff

All right. Welcome, folks. Um, welcome back. If you're returning to the class or, um ah, good to see you again. If you're just continuing on through the whole class and is blasting through it, if so, good for you, um we're gonna do now is we're gonna do another little analysis. Um, So let's talk really quick about why we do these. Um, like I said before, you can't copyright a core progression. So what we're doing in these is we're figuring out the core progressions for songs that, um, work that we like. And, ah, from there, we can both learn. Ah, what makes up the songs that we can use it. And also, we kind of get down to the skeleton of the piece of music. Um, remember, the core progression is like the skeleton of the peace. So, um, we can kind of figure out what makes it tick. It's kind of like popping open the hood and seeing what's in there. Um, you'll notice in the last analysis that we did. And in this one, I'm using a piano sound. Ah, for figuring this out. And I think that's re...

ally important, actually. Um, even like in this one. It's not a piano that is in the track, but I like using a piano to figure this out because a piano tells me two things very clearly. It tells me pitches and rhythms. It tells me Ah, is that the right note in the right place? Ah, it's got a heart attack. It's got a clear pitch. It's not distorted and or anything like that. So I like using pianos to figure this out. It tells me, Is that the right? No. At the right time. That's all I care about right now. Um, now, in this one, we are going to kind of reconstruct the track a little bit, so we will kind of turn it into Ah, the sound of the track. Um, but for now, let's dive in. So in this one Ah, we're gonna be looking at a track by dead mouse is a track called Ghosts and Stuff. So let's just here, um ah, the first part of the track, and then we'll dive in. Okay, So cool track. So what we're gonna do is, um, started the beginning. We're gonna figure out this section and from this section will be able to figure out the rest of what we heard so far. So this section will happen. And then in this section it's a variation of this section. So it's based around the same chords. It's a little different, but based on the same thing. And then around here we get this section straight up again. But with the added, Ah, baseline and drums and stuff And then here we get You couldn't even tell just by looking at the way for him that it's pretty much exactly the same. So let's start by figuring out this because it's going to be kind of our Rosetta Stone to figuring out the rest of the tune. Okay, so I gotta started, just like before I figured out the baseline so you didn't have to suffer through having me sit here and go. That's right. Notice that the right note. Um, so let's have a look at that. Let's just hear it. Let's Luke, just this section. Let's hear my baseline set to a piano. Let's hear it so low first. Okay, so let me, uh, clarify what I say by baseline in this case. What? I don't really mean I don't mean literally the baseline because it really isn't a baseline here, right in this opening section, what I mean is the roots of the cords. That's what I'm hunting down with this. So I'm playing on my keyboard or, uh, dialing in notes on the MIDI grid and just trying to find a note that just sounds like that, is it That is the root of the cord. Um, and it'll just sound like you nailed it once you found it. Let's hear both at the same time, Mine. And Okay, so it sounds pretty good. Let's have a look at the notes. Now, What we can see here is we've got two things are actually one thing that repeats that these four notes and then these four notes exactly the same. And there's a little extra chord at the end or one note at the end. Um, this is actually pretty typical. We have, ah, pattern of four chords. What? It's gonna be four chords once we figure out what chords ago here. Right now, we only have one note, but once we figure out what those cords are, we've got these four chords and then the same four chords again and then one extra. And if you look at the main track, that one extra cord is what just kind of like gives us a little extra boost into the next big section, So not uncommon to have one extra cord leading us into the next section like that? It's a good trip to do. Okay, so let's analyze this. Let's figure out what we got, Okay? First thing we need to know is what Chiari in most important thing right away. So, um, looking at this first thing I want to do is analyze my half steps in my whole steps. Quickest thing to do would be to look for our half steps based on the notes we have, we have 0/2 steps, right? No half steps. So, um, that means the best thing to do would just be to start with the guests. Let's take a guess, and then we'll confirm our guests by drawing out the pattern of the scale that we think it is. So remember what I said before. A good guess is always the first chord in the core progression. Pretty logical. Um, this one, it happens twice. It happens right at the beginning, so it's nice and strong. Um, let's take a guess that its that so a sharp. So let's build a scale on a sharp Let's try a sharp major. Let's just see what happens. So I'm gonna build the scale on a short major. So remember, the pattern is whole step, whole step, half step whole step, whole step. Whole step half step There is are a sharp major. Now let's see if that works. So our first note that we have is a sharp Is there in a sharp in a sharp major? Yes, indeed there is. Next when we have his g sharp. Is there a g sharp in here? Oh, there is not. There should be a g sharp right here. There's no g sharp, so it can't be Jewish. It can't be a sharp major because there's no g sharp in it. It doesn't work. Um, let's check the rest of these just to be fun f sharp. There is no f sharp in it, either. D sharp, there is a d sharpen it. Okay, so we're close. Ah, these two notes are not in this key. So, um, I'm not gonna leave a sharp behind because I'm still pretty convinced that that's the right key. Were in were just in the wrong kind of key. Let's try a sharp minor. So to convert this to a minor, we take the third down 1/2 step. We take the sixth down 1/2 step. We take the seventh down 1/2 step. Um, now let's try it out. G sharp. G Sharp is right there. It's in our scale of sharp. Have Sharper's right there. It's in our scale d sharp De Sharp is right there. So this does work in a sharp minor now. It's also a safe assumption because we just talked in the last couple lessons about minor ah, scale. So it's pretty logical that I'm going to give you a minor one, right? Ah, cool. So we are in a sharp major or minor. Sorry. A sharp minor. So I'm gonna take these notes. I want to leave the pattern visible. Something's gonna put it on, and I'll put it right there for a minute. Um, so now that I know what key I'm in, I need to build the cords and see if they work. So I'm just gonna do my root 3rd 5th pattern and see what emerges. So a sharp that's the route I go up there is the second. There's the third. There is the fourth. There's the fifth. I was gonna do that on all four of these. There's the G Sharp is the route that would be the second. That's the third. That's the fourth. That's the fifth f sharp. That's the second. That's the third. I'm gonna take these guys and just moving over a little bit. That's the fourth. That's the fifth. And then this D sharp all the way down here. I can't see these, but I can see these. So they'll tell me what I need. And I'm actually missing one here. So what's right under F sharp? There's an f natural in between D Sharp and F means this note right here is in key. So that's gonna be my second. And then the third is right there and in fourth and fifth. Okay, so there's my chords. I'm gonna get rid of this pattern and let's just hear it and we'll see if it works. Oh, let's hear it. At same time as the original attack, No, I take that back? Let's hear by itself first. Okay, It sounds pretty good to me. It's got the right flavor to it. But something's not quite right. It's all dark and dreary, and that's just cause it's too low. Um, so let's take these out of root position all these chords. Aaron root position if you remember from the first class not the first. Ah, lesson in this class. But the music theory for electronic musicians one I talked about inversions. Inversions just means the root note is not in the base. So let's change these. So I'm gonna move this g sharp up, inactive. I'm gonna move this f sharp up. Inactive. I'm gonna move both this D sharp and F sharp. A productive. All right, let's hear that. It's better. But let's take the whole thing and move it up. Inactive If you're using able to by the way, Ah, the shift key. And in the up arrow. Texas up inductive. Okay, so now I moved everything up, inactive all the exact same notes. Just different actives. Okay, that sounds pretty good to me. Let's hear it against the original. Okay, pretty good. Nothing jumps out at me is like, Ooh, that's a wrong note. Which means all those notes are probably there, so pretty good. Okay, let's do the second half now that over here. So this stuff is gonna be all the same. So I'm just gonna rebuild this stuff. I'll just do it again so you can see me do it again. So first, I'm gonna rebuild my minor scale. So whole step, half step. Whole step, whole step, half step, whole step. And then we get back to our octave. So there's my minor scale. Um, gonna take that scroll up to touch, Gonna shrink it down and not that much road over here. I just want to use it as reference because I want to be sure that my root 3rd 5th business is notes that are in the scale so I can see it there. There's my third. There's my fourth. There's my fifth c sharp. There's my second. There's my third. There's my fourth. There's fifth. There's my second. There's my third. There's my fourth. There's like that here. Remember, there is my second. That's not there, but its OK, there's my third is my fourth, and there's my fifth Now I have this G sharp laying out here. Let's make a court out of it. Now, the odds are that the cord is the same as this one that we built out of a g sharp. So which happens to be rude position. So let's take that and that. So I'm just making this same chord. Get rid of my reference scale here. I'm gonna do the same thing I did to the other one's gonna move that up, inactive that up inactive, gonna move both these notes up, inactive and that a productive so that this last chord matches that chord. Cool. Now I'm gonna take the whole shebang and move it up an octave so that it's the same as the previous one. All right, let's hear that. Uh, cool. Wonderful. Okay, so the next thing we got to do is figure out the names of these courts. Um, so first, Ah, let's refresh our brain a little bit on the diatonic chord progression of of a minor key. Right? So we need to know what chords naturally occur in the minor key. And they are Let me just write him was right here, right here. So our first chord is minor. Our second is diminishes what we learned in the last lesson. Our third is major. Our fourth is minor. Our fifth is minor. Our sixth is major and our seventh his major. So that's the pattern. So now we just have to connect the dots and its piece cake. So we just need the roots of our cords and figure out what number they are and that will tell us if it's major minor. So our first chord is a sharp, and that's the key. So that's the 1st 1 So it's minor. So our first chord is a sharp. My our second chord here is Remember what the root is. The route is not see. I flipped the route up here, so the route is G sharp. So where is G sharp on our scale? It's actually if you counted up the scale. If you went back and drew out all the notes of the scale, G sharp would be the seventh, so that would be here. Or if you want to take a quick little shortcut, you can go from the one down and, like cycle backwards, cycle backwards, and that will get you to the seventh. So either way, it's the seventh. So that means it must be major because their seventh is major. So the second cord is G sharp, Major, Our third chord. What is the root here? The roof is f sharp. Where I flipped that one up to. So f sharp is gonna be the sixth. So that is right before the seventh. Obviously because of six comes before seven. Ah, and that's major. So that means our third court is F sharp major, and then our fourth chord here, the route is D sharp. So where is D sharpen our scale? If we counted up d sharp, that would actually get us to the four. It's the fourth scale degree in the key of a sharp minor. So 1234 So that makes that minor because for his minor. So this cord is d sharp minor. So our core progression for this passage is a sharp minor G sharp, major, F sharp major and G sharp minor. Okay, now that we know what our core progression is and we know that this works, let's put it into action and see where else we can use it. So let's go back to our track here. Okay? So this works. Let's just refresh our memory a little bit, okay? Cool. Let's make it sound like the track. At least a little bit. I'm gonna throw this organ sound on here and get rid of my piano. Now that I know all my note, I have all the right notes in all the right spot. Let's just throw a piano on it and see our organ on it and see what happens. So, um, here I have a really dirty organ sound, so let's just hear it. Okay, This one's a little dirtier than the one he's using, but I kind of like it. It's kind of a cool sound just in Oregon. Preset enable Tonight described lets him at same time. Okay, um, now let's see if we can figure out this next chunk. So let's just hear it first. Okay, So focus your ear in on that organ sound. That's what I'm going after right now. So I can hear the first chord is happening here. In fact, let's just take this as is this opening thing and paste it in right there on. Let's just hear what happens when we play them on top of each other. It's a good starting point because we know that this core progression is in the right key. Ah, and it's very likely that whatever he's doing here is using a lot of the same material. Let's just playing at the same time. And then we'll figure out when it goes off of this core progression. Okay, right away we can hear this cord was right. The first chord of this section is the first court of that section. Cool. This was not Let's get rid of that and we'll see if that all record comes in here. Let me zoom in a little bit more. Okay, cool. Down. Stops there. Try it again. Okay. There's a cord right here. That's not the cord. So let's take a guess. I my guess, is that it is one of these chords. Is it this one? Let's try. I gotta zoom in a little bit more to get right on that. Try putting that one there. I think that was right. Give him more. Yeah, I think that was it. Chopped that off. Here. Get, um, I need another chord here. it sounded like it was just underneath that one. Let's take a guess. Let's try this cord. So let's see what we got. Okay, once again, one of those ones, this all sounds correct. Okay, That's not right. So let's take that back and see. Okay. There's that first court again. Let's go back and take it from here. So all he's really doing is just really playing around with this core progression. Just chopping it up here. I hear maybe maybe this court again. It's definitely one of the chords we've got. We know that. Um Okay, let's try. That one wasn't right. So let's try this cord. That was It Goes there, I think. Yeah. Great. Okay, so all we did here was take this, that we figured out, and then we put it here. We chopped it up. This is probably exactly what he did. He was making the track. Ah, he may be converted this to audio first and then chopped it up. It's a little easier to do. Um, but now we have two sections of the song. Let's go on to this next chunk and see what happens. Okay, That's the same thing. Let's go on to the next chunk hoops. All right, this is straight up. Exactly the same. So let's grab this exact thing. Put it there, and it should work. Exactly. Okay, great. I'm gonna do two more sections. I think this is the same as the previous. Okay, so that's the same as this chunk of stuff here and then here. Cool. So we just got about halfway through that track just by figuring out this opening chord progression, chopping it up a little bit. This is a repeat of that. This is the exact opening. This is a repeat of this again, and this is the exact opening. So we found a lot of that track just by doing that opening thing. And now we can kind of really see what he's doing. Um, we know what he likes to do. He likes to take a core progression. He likes to use it a lot. He likes to chop it up, play around with it, add some bass lines at some other stuff. We're gonna look at baselines in the near future. Um, I don't want to dig real deep into every little detail of what he's doing here. because I'm really just looking for the skeleton of the song, remember? That's what we're getting here. Cool. Okay, so we we've thoroughly dissected this track and we know what the skeleton of it looks like. Um, let's move on to some new material. See you in 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.


Structure 

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.  

Reviews

MikeD
 

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!