Recently started studying the part of music theory called counterpoint.br
What I have learned so far has changed EVERYTHING. I cannot stress how important a basic understanding of this is to produce decent sounding tracks.br
So If you have a basic understanding of scales and intervals start seeking info on counterpoint in dance music. br
Honestly, tracks that have been sitting at bassline and drums for months are practically writing themselves now.br
Basically I feel like this was the final piece of the puzzle for me to make great music.br
So if you have got your basic music theory and synthesis nailed down start thinking about counterpoint it will take you to a new level.br
Maybe the lads at SA could throw together a basic tutorial on this subject?br
Why not explain what you’ve learnt yourself briefly in this thread, that has changed everything for you?br
It’s good if everyone here helps each other to make better music!
Counterpoint is the interplay between 2 or more melodic movements in a piece.br
so say you have a chord progression and a melody the harmonies created between the 2 creates counterpoint.br
or it could be 2 separate melodies.br
It tends happens naturally but if you are aware of it you can help it along.br
I wish could mate but honestly it needs to be studied and wrote down. Its very complex even at the basic level. It’s a set of rules to be followed and only broken when you know why your breaking them. br
Basically once you have a bassline or a lead you can follow the rules to harmonically write the other parts to your track.br
At the minute I need to do a fair bit of scribbling down notes and scales then adding interval numbers to keep myself right so the chances of me explaining it clearly are slim.br
Best I can do at the minute is say that this is need to know stuff.br
Up until now I have been fluking counterpoint through painful trail and error. Now I know a bit about it writing has become so much easier. Its changed everything because I know what notes I can work with when writing the next part of my tracks. I’m not just talking about staying in scale there are all sorts of other things to consider such as motion, contour, perfect notes, imperfect notes, dissonant notes, etc but once you nail down the basics writing flows much easier and parts seem to take over and write themselves…
I imagine it might flow naturally if you play an instrument Phil but for me there was nothing natural about it lolbr
Maybe its just me and it was an area of music I struggled with. Either way I reckon it would seriously improve anyones music who is not aware of the way notes should/can harmonically interact.br
Yeah true… i have been a musician for over 25 years so i sometimes forget how hard it can be coming up with melody and harmony.br
Not that its easy for me… still takes me ages coming up with good stuff… but im pretty comfortable with a few scales and the chords and melodies that work well with them just through messing about over the years.br
So Phil do you end up favoring the scales you know best? and would you say that the more you use a scale the quicker you identify which notes work best for counterpoint?br
As it’s new to me I have to do a fair bit of scribbling notes to get stuff sounding tight.br
at the minute I’m marking down the perfect 1th 5th 8th, imperfect 3rd 6th and the dissonant 4th 7th for the notes I’m working in and then referencing them on 1 to 1 counterpoint rules. Seems to be working a treat. Going to be looking into the other counterpoint species over the next few nights.br
Also at the minute I’m hammering A minor scale as it just sounds right for deep house.
Personally i think this is mostly all down to years of experience.br
For example, for my latest track, i needed to create a new part that played about 3 or 4 different chords in quick succession for a breakdown lead line part.br
I literally knew exactly what chords i needed to play before i even started, how this happened was i ‘heard’ the chord progression in my head, and i knew exactly what each of these chords was - so then i just played them in first time!br
But i can only do this now after 7 years of making my own music.br
Even a couple of years ago, i wouldn’t have known which chords i had to play to create the exact progression i was hearing in my head.br
I would imagine exactly the same is true for what you are talking about -Counterpoint?br
You just can’t beat experience. Once you get to the point where you have played in the same chords thousands and thousands of times over and over again, you start to just instinctively know what chords or notes make each specific sound or progression etc!
I still just Use a lot of trial and error… i tend to work in Cmin for some reason when writing… although i will transpose stuff after to get the lowest note in the bass hitting the sweet spot… (Normally one of E,F,G) Mostly F im working in Cmin.br
for melody it is just lots of playing… i can come up with melodies pretty easy but its finding something that is both simple pleasing and original is a challenge.
Yeah i think one of the best pieces of advice i would give anyone on this as well, is to practice playing the keyboard a little.br
I just love that irregular timing that you can get from trying to play in melodies rather than problem them, and the extra feeling and emotion you can inject into chord progressions and melodies when you play them in.br
Not to mention the fact that all your velocities will vary, so when you play a synth patch that has velocity mapped to things like filter cutoff and volume, what you play can really start to take on a whole new life.br
I really feel like things like my chord progressions and melodies started to improve big time once i started playing them in, rather than only drawing notes onto the midi editor.br
Yeah playing in will ultimately give you a better sense of things. i sometimes just slow things right down to like 80bpm and toggle overdub record and just keep trying different things as im not the best keyboard player in the world.
Whatd you find SoundKnight?? Links, books? I’m always down for a good read
[quote]jamesXarnold (26/09/2013)[hr]Whatd you find SoundKnight?? Links, books? I’m always down for a good read[/quote]br
Fux Joseph - study counterpoint
Guy called Rick Snoman does loads in depth stuff. I’ve watched over 50 hours of video tutorials from this guy he’s a genius.br
He seems to have an ability to explain complex theories and techniques in layman terms.
+1 to previous comments. A formal counterpoint course will either study 16th century counterpoint (i.e. Fux), which is also called “modal” counterpoint, or 18th century counterpoint (i.e. Bach), which is also called “tonal” counterpoint. The diff: 16th century counterpoint was before the inclusion of the dominant 7th chord and the leading tone (7th note of the scale) which melodically along with the 4th scale note in 2 part counterpoint creates the dom 7 harmony. Thus I would do 16th century first if I were going to do a full counterpoint course.br
But heres a huge shortcut: Get the Bach English Suites 1 and 2, as well as the French Suites. Learn them, play them, analyze them for harmony, especially the ones written in only 2 voices. Seriously you can learn the elements of “correct” melody writing from them exclusively. Was there more of a master than Bach? Nope. Better than the 2 3 part Inventions or the Preludes and Fugues. Those have too much repetition and sequence. The English and French suites are a full course in musical composition in my opinion. And those melodic “laws,” just as they were applied by Mozart and Beethoven, can just as well be applied to creating melodic elements of EDM.