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Bass Riffs

Lesson 22 from: Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 2: Minor Keys and More

J. Anthony Allen

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Lesson Info

22. Bass Riffs

Next Lesson: Get Muddy

Lesson Info

Bass Riffs

All right. Next. Let's talk about riffs before we do. I thought I had introduced a very special guest over the last couple weeks, as I've been recording. Ah, all the videos for this class. I've had a trusty sidekick. I want to introduce you to her. This, um I think should be able to see here. This is Monster. She's been sitting on my road case the whole time that I've been recording this. So I thought you might like to meet her because she's sort of my music theory for electronic musicians, counselor. Oh, she's so not impressed with being introduced. Okay, um, enough monster in this lesson. Um, I want to kind of talk about doing the opposite of what we just did. Um, so not all the time. Do you have a core progression and then make a baseline for it? Sometimes we make a baseline first and then want to find a core progression that goes with it. And that would be the case when we have, like, a bass riff that we like. Um, so let's do a bass riff now buy riff. I just being kind of repeating...

pattern. Let's give ourselves a little bit longer one here. So let's say we've got, like, an A that's doing a minor. So basically, I just want to come up with a riff. Um, let's try. It's gonna make a whole bunch of stuff here. Let's try this. This will make, like, kind of a cool little Actually not gonna do that. Changed my mind. Only this I'm gonna move. We note the end of every bar up 1/ step. Let's just try to get a little bit different. This is the hard part is like being like creative flythe. Now, what I have here through this down active. So now it's got this kind of kind of like a trip hop kind of thing, right? Uh, let me tell some drums in there to give us a better feel for it. So let me ah, pause and find a good drum. Just ah, drum loop for us in the mall. Throw it back in. Okay, so I threw a little drum loop in there. Just a old one that I found on my hard drive laying around. And now I've got this kind of trip hop sound going. So what chords can we do over that now are notes. Here are super simple. It's just a A and A B it doesn't it? I mean, we could just do an a minor chord for the whole thing that would work, or we could have a little fun with it. So let's take this baseline and put it into my other piano track. Let's take it up. Inactive, maybe up two octaves. Let's just see what we can do with it. So let's first just get rid of this being because I'm just gonna call that a passing tone, and I'm not gonna deal with it as a cord. It happens really fast on, and it just gives our baseline. It'll character and doesn't need to be there. Um, so now, for chords on e minor would be the most obvious. See, now that I introduced the cat, she's like, finally crawling around on my stuff. Hey, buddy, she likes Midi gear. Okay, let's assume she's not gonna get in any trouble. So I could do this and just have a minor chord go all the way through this. Ah, this will work. This will sound fine. It won't be terribly interesting, though. Okay? works. What we could do here is the thing that we found in the Skrillex track, which was let a no cord kind of thing. We don't really need Accord to be happening. Um, we could just have this a imply its own thing, but for the purposes of this Ah lesson. I do want a court here. Um, just so we can find some stuff that work works. One thing I could do here would be like a passing chord. We looked at passing notes, but when I did this, what if I took this Be I'm gonna add this f sharp here. That's not in key. But remember, we've seen this before on the two chord and minor because it's that diminished weaken. Bump that up. Ah, borrowing from the harmonic or the melodic minor to give us an F to give us a B minor. What if I did this? Oh, let's do Maybe that and then we'll take this down. So for 3/4 of a bar, we're gonna have this be minor, so it's gonna kind of bump the whole court up and then settle back down under the weight. I couldn't even I almost hear a g here, so that would be the seventh chord of the scale. It would be a minor or a major Sarriegi major. What if I did that? Okay, so that kind of works. That creates a cool vibe that works well for this kind of groove I have going. So what did I create here? Well, I could kind of ignore the baseline or when I actually tried to put names on these cords. Remember, the base is essentially in a the whole time, the pitch. So this is an a minor chord. It just is. This cord is a two chord minor. So it's a B minor chord and there's an A in the base. So we would say over a We've seen these over a businesses before, and that's what we just made. We played a B minor chord, but there's an A in the base, so that's a B minor over a Here we have an a minor chord again. Here we have a G major chord and it's over a. And here we have an a minor chord again. So I just started goofing around with passing chords here, and it created for me some of these fraction cords that we looked at before where we have cord over a different base note and these bass notes are not in the court. This a is not in this B minor chord, and this a is not in this G major chord, but that's okay. If it sounds good, it sounds good. And I like the way this sounds, so I'm into it. So experiment around when you've got a baseline, that's a riff that doesn't really imply. Ah, cord necessarily. But you confined cords just by moving around the obvious chords, like taking the a minor chord and just moving around a little bit and you will find some good results.

Ratings and Reviews


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.

Ben Küstner

Real Great Course. I learned a lot about Music Theory and now am jamming better than ever on my keyboard. Thanks Allen

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.

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