A curious question. (I'm not looking for help :D)

smoothassilk

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#1
I just got into DnB very recently, before this I listened to rock (mostly- there were a few bits from loads of other genres like soul, jazz etc)

I'm sort of a jazz/classical pianist, and so things like chords and scales are second nature to me.

I wanted to know how much DnB producers knew about music theory? DnB harmonies tend to be very basic, for the most part. Is that deliberate, or left out in the same way a rock guitarist wouldn't think to put a wobble bass in his track?

How many people here would go 'wut' if I said something like "the chords for the intro of my new track are Em, Gmaj7, F#, B7 " ?
 

Dark Lizardro

The Lizard that has a hammer
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#5
I don't know all the musical notation myself, I can't even say what notes are on the Major, minor, or phrygian scale. BUT I know some things about chromaticism, etc, you know, the "basics". All my songs are just made by me playing around with the tools I have.
 

smoothassilk

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#7
Thanks guys. I'm getting the impression that it varies a lot.

I'm defnitely going the way of calibre. I'd really like to get away from the loop aspect of Dnb, and make long chord sequences which don't repeat at all.
 

smoothassilk

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#9
Unfortunately no, cause I learned in my GCSE music class at school, and by playing instuments.

I guess a good way to learn the basics would be to take up playing the guitar, learn a few easy pop/rock songs. There are no resources for learning music theory from a DnB proudcer background, really, but there are millions from a guitar/ piano player

Has anyone learned music theory without learning an instrument?
 
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#10
My musical theory isn't the best but

Well everything in DnB is stuck at 4/4 @ ~170bpm, with 4 4 bar loops forming 16 bar phrases (or 64 beats) for the purposes of making it possible to mix with. Chord progression is limited in this way

Say for instance in your first 16 bars you have
Cmaj
Am
Fmaj
Gmaj

then the next 48 bars are going to have to be similar. The loop aspect of DnB is integral to the sound and necessary to make it able to mix with other DnB tracks. Plus by keeping the chord sequence repetitive it allows different sounds to progress such as introducing/removing the bassline or change in the drums. Musical complexity is made in DnB by the sounds themselves and the intricate combination of each sound as opposed to the complexities of each individual 'instrument' if that makes sense?

So yeah, it is deliberate
 

smoothassilk

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#11
I guess if I made a tune with constantly changing chords then it would be impossible to mix with other tunes, and difficult to remix unless the remixer knew the chords, so you'd lose that aspect of creativity. But the purpose of making a tune isn't for it to be remixed, it's for it to sound good. You could still sample bit from it though.

It does make sense, I'd like to get both the complexity of the inidividual sounds and of the musical structure.

I don't think the loop aspect is integral to the sound. If it's 170bpm, with a phat, dirty wobble bass and a breakbeat, it's gonna sound like DnB no matter what the chords are.
 
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#12
Unfortunately no, cause I learned in my GCSE music class at school, and by playing instuments.

I guess a good way to learn the basics would be to take up playing the guitar, learn a few easy pop/rock songs. There are no resources for learning music theory from a DnB proudcer background, really, but there are millions from a guitar/ piano player

Has anyone learned music theory without learning an instrument?
I wasn't talking about music theory specific for dnb. I guess the basics can be translated or used in any genre?
I just want to learn how to make sounds sound good together. Now when I try to make tunes I notice some thing just totally don't work with each other.
 
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#13
The loop aspect is integral to most electronic music. From trance to techno to drum and bass to house etc etc. The 4/4 beat, stagnant tempos and repeating loops with progressing sounds is what makes it ordered. Where rock fans get their boners from insane riffs and solos, limited by the use of certain instruments, we get our boners from seeing how different people use the different musical frameworks put in place to go creative within it.

You could add in chord progressions that vary massively but it'd come at a sacrifice of something else. We like our patterns

- - - Updated - - -


This is a pretty good example
 
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encounter

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#14
My musical theory isn't the best but

Well everything in DnB is stuck at 4/4 @ ~170bpm, with 4 4 bar loops forming 16 bar phrases (or 64 beats) for the purposes of making it possible to mix with. Chord progression is limited in this way

Say for instance in your first 16 bars you have
Cmaj
Am
Fmaj
Gmaj

then the next 48 bars are going to have to be similar. The loop aspect of DnB is integral to the sound and necessary to make it able to mix with other DnB tracks. Plus by keeping the chord sequence repetitive it allows different sounds to progress such as introducing/removing the bassline or change in the drums. Musical complexity is made in DnB by the sounds themselves and the intricate combination of each sound as opposed to the complexities of each individual 'instrument' if that makes sense?

So yeah, it is deliberate
Am I correct in saying this is only a limit because of possible key clashes within the mix?
 
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#15
Am I correct in saying this is only a limited because of possible key clashes within the mix?
It's more to do with the structure that they must follow. For example, a typical DnB structure consists of say

64 beats intro
64 beats where say drums kick in basically the same shit again
64 beats buildup
64 beats drop where bassline gets involved
repeat for 64 beats

etc
etc
then you have the breakdown or whatever, which is usually similar to intro

It's a very distinct pattern, people inherently love patterns. There is already progressions with additional sounds/sounds being removed that making complex chord progressions isn't necessary and would seem strange and disordered to your ears
 

LTJ

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#16
Id say good 'musical' DJ's can make any mix work no matter what the key of the tune is, ive started to look at that side of things more when mixing a 'musical' -in key- mix, however i still cant get my head round it or have any other musical knowledge, i guess this comes maybe from playing instruments and knowing what key you are playing? - if you are getting into the Calibre side of things, meaning you are swaying towards the musical / liquid side of D&B then id recommend also listening to a bit of Technimatic also, their latest Mixmag mix is beautiful http://www.bassblog.pro/2013/08/technimatic-mixmag-mix-31072013.html:) - as for making tunes, ( and i may stir up some ill feeling here ) it seems to me Jumpup is all in one key? maybe im wrong - like i say i dont even know what the key is im listening too and couldnt tell you even if i guessed, however i know when a mix is mixed 'in key' - yeah what the fuck am i on about right? i dunno, is it home time yet?
 

smoothassilk

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#17
Am I correct in saying this is only a limit because of possible key clashes within the mix?
A single track on it's own, it ought to be possible to put chords in it easily and have no clashes, if you know what you're doing. You have to change the notes of everything which is pitched at the same time, but that's not too hard.

That track is a good example of the kinda thing I'm looking at, but maybe without that kind of vocals, cause I can't sing to save my life, and anyway, it's too hard to record properly without a proper studio.
 

smoothassilk

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#18
All of it translates across to different genres really, the theory is the same everywhere.
When I said about learning from a DnB background, I meant that there aren't any videos which begin with 'fire up your daw and open the piano roll'. They'd all be 'grab your guitar and play these chords'
 

Harry3

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#19
My musical theory isn't the best but

Well everything in DnB is stuck at 4/4 @ ~170bpm, with 4 4 bar loops forming 16 bar phrases (or 64 beats) for the purposes of making it possible to mix with. Chord progression is limited in this way

Say for instance in your first 16 bars you have
Cmaj
Am
Fmaj
Gmaj

then the next 48 bars are going to have to be similar. The loop aspect of DnB is integral to the sound and necessary to make it able to mix with other DnB tracks. Plus by keeping the chord sequence repetitive it allows different sounds to progress such as introducing/removing the bassline or change in the drums. Musical complexity is made in DnB by the sounds themselves and the intricate combination of each sound as opposed to the complexities of each individual 'instrument' if that makes sense?

So yeah, it is deliberate
fuck that

one of the reasons i prefer oldskool is that there isnt this structure bollocks to make it dj friendly. Fuck DJs, go crazy
 
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