This class is designed for the electronic musician that wants to take their tracks to the next level.
In this class we will focus on learning how to organize pitches and rhythms to make dynamic and interesting melodies and harmonies. No experience with music theory is necessary. Playing an instrument and reading music is also not necessary. We will be focusing on how to use your DAW as your instrument to create with.
For years I’ve been teaching Ableton Live in the college classroom. As a University Professor, my classes are sought after, and, frankly, expensive. I believe Music Theory can be learned by anyone, and cost shouldn’t be a barrier.
What will I learn in this Course?
- Using the Piano Roll Editor
- Finding C and Middle C
- The Perfect 5th
- What it means to be “in key”
- Moveable Patterns
- Major and Minor Intervals
- Building Triads
- Chord Progressions
- 7th Chords
- … And much more!!!
About the Instructor
J. Anthony Allen is an Ableton Certified Trainer, and a PhD in Music Composition and master of Electronic Sounds. His music has been heard internationally in film, radio, video games, and industrial sound, as well as the concert hall and theater.
He currently is an adjunct professor of composition at the University of St. Thomas, and is the CEO and co-founder of Slam Academy in Minneapolis.
Praise for classes by J. Anthony Allen
“Without a doubt the best explanation and east of use that one can get. It leaves you enough room to go explore. The classes go by quick, so you can be on your way at being proficient. What are you wait for!”
“Amazing – Seriously Loved It! I took all his courses and have to say I’m so happy! Learnt loads! Jason is an awesome teacher!”
“I have never had any formal training in music at all. Trying to learn all the notes and how everything translated was a serious challenge. After going through this class, Dr. J has totally brought down the barriers. The content was very useful and was easy to grasp for me.”
“I like these courses because you can get up and running quickly without having to spend hours of time wading through TMI (too much information!). Jason hits the high points but shows you what you need to know. Thanks!”
“I’ve watched many other videos on scales and chords before, however, this one has been the best. I now understand minor scales and chords and even how to analyze songs. It really gave me the confidence to start producing music because I feel like I have some structure and guidelines to follow. AWESOME!”
“Clear and Informative – Jason has a clear uncluttered style (with the important dashes of humor) of presentation that is focused on the important key aspects of this course. Recommended for those starting out!”
“Dr. Allen does it again with his music theory series. This course really opened up everything I learned from the 1st section, and now I understand more about the composition side of things for music. I highly highly recommend this course to anyone!!! Really opened my eyes to many things I wasn’t aware of.”
“The Best Teacher Ever, who makes you understand the ins & outs of Music Theory by all means without giving what you don’t want to know.”
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Welcome & Overview
Let’s start with an overview of what we will cover in this class, tools we will be using, and how we will be covering this information.
Understanding Music Theory from an Electronic Music Perspective
Octaves just by themselves can be quite interesting. Let’s play around with them a little bit here.
The Black Keys (Not the Band…)
Let’s talk a little bit about how the black keys work, and what we call them.
Finding C and Middle C
We use “Middle C” as our home base when working with notes. In this video, we will talk about how to find it.
Section 1 Summary
So far so good! We are on our way to understanding Music Theory. A little review before we move on.
The Perfect Fifth
More with Keys, The Third, and the Basic Triad
The Major and Minor Third
The Third could be said to be our most important interval. It has 2 different types: Major and Minor.
Triads are the most basic (and most used in electronic music) type of chords. This is how to find them, and how to make them.
Diatonic Chord Progressions
Finding All the Chords
Another pattern to remember – this one tells us the quality (major or minor) of all the chords in a key.
In traditional music theory, we use roman numerals to label chords. We don’t care about traditional analysis, but this technique is useful to us for a few reasons.
Example Song Analysis No. 1
In this video, we will pick apart a track and see if we can find the chords, the key, and the chord quality for a section of it
Possibly the most important thing you can learn in this class is inversions. This is the thing that makes your chord progressions sound amateur or professional.
7th Chord Introduction
When we build triads, we use the root, the third, and the fifth. With seventh chords, we go one more step.
Diatonic 7th Chords
We can build our diatonic chord progression sequence using 7th chords, and see how the three types of seventh chords work together.
Dominant 7th Chords
Dominant 7th chords (the ones we just call “7th” chords) have a very important function. In this lessons I’ll show you how that works.
Blues and the 7th Chord
The Blues is a genre of music entirely built around the 7th chord. Want your track to sound a little bluesy? Use 7th chords.
The Other Intervals
The fourth isn’t used to build triads normally, but you’ve seen it before when we looked at inversions.
Song Analysis No. 2
Now that we know how to find the key and the chords, lets dive in to another song and see if we can make sense of it.