The Most Valuable Music Theory Terms

Discussion in 'Production' started by DNB4DCrowd, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. DNB4DCrowd

    DNB4DCrowd Active Member

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    Im just beginning to study music, as well as EDM production (DNB), and I really want to make sure I have a good understanding of Music Theory before jumping into the production. Im starting by extensively studying MIDI while trying to sort through what I believe to be the most important Music Theory terms. Learning the terms (language of), I figure is step one, so I have a complete glossary for Music Theory, MIDI, as well as EDM production. As I look at these Music Theory terms I realize there are many terms that could potentially be a waste of time learning about. My question is - maybe a dumb one - what are the ten most iimportant Music Theory terms I should have complete knowledge about? If you, a proffessional DNB producer, could pick the ten most important terms of Music Theory, what would they be? Question number two is: on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the most important, how important is it to have an understanding of Music Theory before producing DNB music? Lets say that one is begginer and ten is Master.

    Thanks for your help and opinions on this.

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    I do notice the similar threads now that I've posted this thread. I thought I previously searched for them, but maybe not. Ill research them, they look like great threads!
     
  2. Serum

    Serum Well-Known Member

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    You don't really need to know a lot. I learned it all as I went along.

    Basic stuff like what beats and bars are and what the notes are will help but D&B is heavy on engineering so the best things to learn are things like how synthesis and sampling work and what the different effects do.

    Also, paying attention to the music you listen to helps a lot so you can understand how to structure a track and keep it interesting.

    MIDI isn't all that necessary if you're using software only which you probably will be in the beginning.
     
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  3. DNB4DCrowd

    DNB4DCrowd Active Member

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    Cool thanks man. Yeah it seems like most of what Ill need to know Ive at least heard the names before - Rhythm, Tempo, Beats, Bars, Steps, Notes, etc. This glossary I have is half Italian words and half familiar words. shouldnt be too difficult to cipher through, but its always a good idea to probe the mind of those who know.

    Thanks Serum
     
  4. gymnor

    gymnor Member

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    Scales and chord progressions. Seriously, spend some time learning how they work. A scale is basically a sequence of notes, like the C major scale. That is do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-si-do (remember Sound of Music?) It's a scale used in most kids songs and in many electronic music. Now lower the third and the sixth note, and you get a whole different sound (a harmonic minor). By using two different notes in your lead and chords, you move from a happy kids song to a more dramatic eastern-sounding tune. Or lower the seventh as well and you get a natural minor, used in many sad songs. Augmented chords give a dreamy bambi in the mist feel, diminished chords are often used for suspense and 'scary' tunes.

    Getting the link between notes, scales, chords and chord progressions right requires some devotion, but it definitely pays off in the long term.

    Unless you can't be bothered by melody. Then just forget that.
     
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  5. DNB4DCrowd

    DNB4DCrowd Active Member

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    That sounds very revealing. Thanks Gymnor
     
  6. AlienWeapon

    AlienWeapon Member

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    You don't need to know a lot of theory for edm, as its quite simple compared to genres like jazz and classical, where u need a very good hold on theory.

    However if you do understand it or at least the fundamentals of it, it will surely help your journey as a producer/musician.

    Don't get too hung up on terms, thing is it helps to put theory into practice to properly get the hang of it. So it helps if you play an instrument, if you don't already then grab a midi keyboard and look up basic theory stuff like how triads are formed(the most basic chords) and look up the minor and major scales and their intervals and learn to play them on your keyboard. That should be plenty to get you going.

    Sent from my HTC Desire S using Tapatalk 2
     
  7. smoothassilk

    smoothassilk Active Member

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    Chords are the most useful thing you'll learn. Learn about major/minor triads and that'll set you up with the basics.
    The basic major/minor scales are pretty essential too, as well as musical keys and how they relate.

    If you want to learn more, it will benefit your producing, but you don't have to if you don't want to: there are plenty of pro producers who don't.

    If you have any specific questions, post them on the forum and I'll probably try and answer them for you.
     
  8. Dugg Funnie

    Dugg Funnie Well-Known Member

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  9. DNB4DCrowd

    DNB4DCrowd Active Member

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    Cool. Yeah a MIDI keyboard and Sequencer is at the top of my list. Before jumping into that I will begin with IPad with an EDM production app to get familiar with this stuff.

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    Sounds good! Appreciate that.

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    Lol...Ill look into that.
     
  10. lostnthesound

    lostnthesound Burns Easily in the Sun

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    Spot on.

    Learning different modes and the way can alter the overall mood of a composition is absolutely critical in the neverending journey that is finding your sound that defines you. Metal bands don't write evil flavored tunes by simply following aeolian scales for every tune...
     
  11. KayAus

    KayAus New Member

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    I wouldn't get tied up in memorizing the scales or anything. I created charts in Excel for each scale (major and minor) and have the sheets handy whenever I'm making a melody that tell me what notes are in the scale and the scale progression (i, ii, iii, IV, V, vi, vii). Also an inversion chart is handy but those are pretty easy to figure out without one.
     
  12. DNB4DCrowd

    DNB4DCrowd Active Member

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    Oh ok. Got it. Theres no doubt that its the hardcore dark Drum and Bass that will define the majority of my production.

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    Thanks KayAus. Good looking out.

    Dayum, theres some cool azz people here at the Drum and Bass forum. I dont take any of your comments lighty and Ill be studying this.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  13. DjCartel

    DjCartel Well-Known Member

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    if your producing dark neuro kinda stuff, you only really need a basic theory imo. Alot of basslines can be made with 1 note, or a really simple progression, as SERUM said, its more about the sounds engineering. If your writing liquid dnb, i mean proper liquid, you will need to know a lot of theories to be able to make a nice sounding melody. It never hurts to know though, but like anything worth learning, its not easy
     
  14. DNB4DCrowd

    DNB4DCrowd Active Member

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    Correction: The majority of my production will be similar to Dieselboy's "Project Human" mix - I wont list all the artists on that mix. I plan on making extremely energetic and high BPM tracks with a phenominal rhythm you can tear the dancefloor up with.

    Through the Looking Glass - Logistics
    King Sasquatch - The Upbeats

    ...are also among my favorites.
     
  15. Yukon

    Yukon Yukon

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    This made me lol.
    You mean like GLR type liquid?
     
  16. DjCartel

    DjCartel Well-Known Member

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    why did you lol? yes goodlooking, technimatic kinda stuff too, the word liquid can mean many things these days
     
  17. DNB4DCrowd

    DNB4DCrowd Active Member

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    Right on. Sounds like liquid is got some skillz to it. Sorry about the confusion in my post about the Dark. I mean, its going to have a somewhat prevailing dark sound to most of it, but at the same time its going to be filled with rhythm and sounds that are going to bring you to another world. Then, when you get there, just to make sure your not leaning against the wall, its going to grab you around the neck and body slam your azz on the dancefloor like your never going to see the sunlight again.

    MUUAHHAAAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!
     
  18. wingz

    wingz everyones fav austrian

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  19. Yukon

    Yukon Yukon

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    Because i made it out to be that you shit on the likes of netsky hahaha
     
  20. DNB4DCrowd

    DNB4DCrowd Active Member

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    Im getting the idea that this is true:

    A high degree of rhythm and danceability requires a higher level of knowledge in Music Theory.

    Could it be that this is where many go wrong? Unless of course dancing is not part of your plan. Does that sound about right?
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014