Music theory is often seen as a horrible topic, but it doesn’t have to be! With the right tools and support, you can become an expert in music theory in no time. In this blog post, I will discuss some of the basics of music theory that any musician should know.
Table of Contents:
1 - Scales and Chords
One of the most important elements of music theory is understanding scales and chords. A scale is a set of notes that form a pattern within an octave. Scales are used in all forms of music to create melody lines. The most common scale is the major scale, which consists of seven notes (1-2-3-4-5-6-7). Each note has a specific relationship to each other, which can be heard when playing the scale from start to finish. Btw. when you don't want to remember each scale, you can use an FL Studio build in tool that highlights the scale you want to play in.
Chords are another essential element of music theory. A chord is three or more notes played together at once. Chords help give structure to songs and provide harmonic accompaniment for melodies. Major chords are formed by playing the root note (1), third (3) and fifth (5) notes of a major scale together. Minor chords use the root note (1), flattened third (b3) and fifth (5) notes instead. Knowing how different chords interact with each other will help you create great-sounding songs in any genre! And not just that, understanding chords will help you every time you start a new song. When I first started, I always tried to not get in touch with music theory at all but as soon as I learned the basics, I noticed how easy things get when you just know how to use them.
2 - Rhythms and Time Signatures
Rhythm is also an important part of music theory because it helps keep time while playing or singing. Rhythm involves counting beats within a measure or bar using time signatures such as 4/4 or 3/4 time. These numbers tell us how many beats there are per measure so we know when to come back around to the beginning again after each cycle has been completed. Working on your rhythm skills will help you stay on time with other musicians or singers when performing together! A lot of people struggle with staying in the right rhythm but since most of you are probably electronic music producers, rhythm is basically not important at all. It just gets important when you record real instruments. But most of the time you will work with MIDI and the piano roll has a feature called "Quick Quantize" which will get your notes on the beat each time.
3 - Start
When starting out with music theory, it’s best to start with the basics which are notes and intervals. Learning all 12 notes on the chromatic scale will give you an understanding of how melodies are constructed. Intervals provide a way for you to identify relationships between any two pitches within a melody or chord progression. Once you have these down pat, then you can start exploring more complex topics such as chord progressions, key signatures, harmony & counterpoint. But to be honest, a lot of famous producers just know simple stuff like chords and scales, which you can literally learn in a couple of days. My best tip for music theory is just get started with basic knowledge and you will learn it super fast!
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