How to deal with harmonic changes in a song when you know no music theory?

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.
dasen
KVRist
89 posts since 15 May, 2012

Post Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:07 am

Hey,

I make electronic music. I start my songs with let's say in tone C2 and then comes a harmonic part where pads, bass and melodies need to lift the song and create harmonic changes. Let's say from intro to the bridge and then the verse. There are several key and harmonic changes during these parts.

Let's say intro starts with C2 and then comes the bridge where its time to harmonize.

But I always struggle with what notes should be changed for pads, bass and melodies. Any tricks to solve this quickly or it simple down to using ears? I use Logic Pro X.


Any way to find out what scales works together and how notes and chord can be changes while still remaining in the same key but add additional harmonies?


I have no music theory but good ears.

dasen
KVRist
89 posts since 15 May, 2012

Re: How to deal with harmonic changes in a song when you know no music theory?

Post Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:22 am

I guess a way to always stay in scale and still harmonize with all parts of the song is to use the scale quantize function in logic. let say I write chords in G Major and it is set in logic Scale Quantize setting to "G Major".

Then the rest of the bass, melodies and pads in the song can be quantized to G Major in logic Scale Quantize setting to "G Major". Then you can be able to add or draw any additional midi notes in melody parts and quantize them and everything is instantly in right scale for the G Major chord in the song.

Razzia
KVRist
225 posts since 21 May, 2016

Re: How to deal with harmonic changes in a song when you know no music theory?

Post Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:50 am

Most of the time you can pretty much tell by ear if you're in key or not. When you play a note that's not in the scale it tends to sound weird, like it doesn't suit the emotional tone of the rest of the melody/harmony. More advanced guys use augmented or diminished notes - basically playing outside the scale on purpose - because that "wrongness" creates tension.

It's worth learning some music theory IMO but not worth stressing out about. Most important thing for creating melodies is learning to play an instrument. Keys, guitar, pads (push, maschine, etc). It goes a lot smoother when you have a general idea what to expect when you hit this note or that.

there's plugins for this kind of thing too. Cthulu, Instascale and Instachord, Pluginboutique scaler, hornet songkey, captain chords, etc. etc. I use Scaler to help me come up with chord progressions sometimes so i don't have to sit and think about voicings and inversions.

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jancivil
KVRAF
18839 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: How to deal with harmonic changes in a song when you know no music theory?

Post Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:57 am

Any way to find out what scales works together and how notes and chord can be changes while still remaining in the same key but add additional harmonies?

Aye, but once you do you're doing music theory. It doesn't have to be from a book or established but you just actually defined music theory.

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jancivil
KVRAF
18839 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from No Location

Re: How to deal with harmonic changes in a song when you know no music theory?

Post Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:58 am

So it would help if you had some kind of principles to work from rather than ex nihilo.

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