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Basic Music Theory for the Aspiring Composer

If music is a language, it helps to understand the basic fundamentals. This is a great article from Audio Mentor on the basics. Worth a read!

- DF

Ultimate Guide: Basic Music Theory for Aspiring Music Producer

One of the nice aspects of making beats on your own computer is that you are in your own world of creativity and production. You don’t have to answer to any teachers or bosses on the quality of the music you make.

But that’s no excuse to be lazy and not put the effort into your music production. While focusing on audio engineering skills is important, knowing how music work is essential for anyone who calls themselves a music composer or producer.

In this post, we’re going to introduce you to music theory.

Getting started with basic music theory as a music producer.

Luckily western music theory isn’t difficult to grasp.

Whether you produce K-Pop, Drum and Bass, House, EDM, or Pop music, the rules are the same. In fact, the theory you will learn is the same as a country musician in Nashville would.

The key to understanding music theory is to relate it to practical, so it’s advised to be sitting in front of a MIDI controller or piano as you learn.

A MIDI controller keyboard is fine as long as it has at least four octaves (49-key). As we discuss the concepts below, try to follow along, play, listen to the notes, and their relationships.

Understanding Music Notes

In western music, the language of our alphabet is the 12 tones equal temperament system, which means we have 12 notes we are working with. If you are into producing microtonal music on your modular synthesizer; that is awesome. But first, know your 12 notes!

When we put them in order we get the 12 tone scale, or more commonly called the chromatic scale.

C | C#/Db | D#/Eb | E | F | F#/Gb | G | G#/Ab | A | A#/Bb | B

The notes that have a slash are enharmonic to each other. This also means that C# and Db is exactly the same note.


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