Posts Tagged ‘Theory’

The Euclidean Algorithm Generates Traditional Musical Rhythms

April 12, 2013

What do African rhythms, spallation neutron source (SNS) accelerators in nuclear physics, string theory (stringology) in computer science, and an ancient algorithm described by Euclid have in common? The short answer is: patterns distributed as evenly as possible. For the long answer please read on…

Interactive Frequency Chart

March 27, 2012

Interactive Frequency Chart – Independent Recording Network.

Very handy EQ reference.

Chord Formulas and ‘Feel’

February 23, 2012

Where R=root note and the ascending numbers are semitone intervals. 7th note extensions in parenthesis.

Chord Formula  ‘Feel’
Semitone Root+1 Suspenseful, threatening
5th R+7 Solid, ‘power chord’
Major R+4+3(+3) complacent, satisfied, optimistic
Minor R+3+4(+3) Sad (but not always)
7th  R+4+3+4 Tough, bluesey jazzy rocky
Major 7th  R+4+3+4 Happy, almost jazzy
Minor 7th R+3+4+3 Airy, melancholy, ‘Not quite’ sad
Min/Maj 7th R+3+4+4 Softer still
Augmented R+4+4*(+3) Blues, country, jazz
Diminished R+3+3*(+3) Classical, jazz, gospel
Sus2 R+2+5 ‘Open’ sound , hanging there
Sus4 R+5+2 As above
Major 9th R+3+3+3+4 Open, soaring, airy
9th (dom 9th) R+4+3+3+4 Open, soaring, airy
m9th R+3+7+10+14 Tragic, hopeless
6th R+4+3+2 Jazzy-bossa playfulness
m6 R+3+7+9 Suspenseful, mysterious

To find the desired chord on the keyboard: Place a finger on the root note, count-up the semitones to the next position, place your finger and count-up again for the next position, etc. Example: A Maj7th = R+4-3-4 = A – Csharp – E – Gsharp.

To find the first inversion of any chord, take your finger off the root and place it on the note one octave above (in our example, still an A, just an octave higher).

To find the second inversion, move your lowest finger up to the next available note in the chord.

This way you can cycle up and down the keyboard, in the process using the same notes – = A – Csharp – E – Gsharp in different order.

July 20, 2011


The Role of the Bass Line

March 7, 2011

In almost all musical forms, the bass has two important functions to fulfill. First, the bass defines the chords being played and guides the movement of the music from one chord to another. This role is usually shared with a guitar or a piano. Second, the bass provides the rhythm of the music being played. This role is usually shared with the drums. Because it links the two functions of rhythm and harmony, the bass is often the instrument around which the rest of the music is organized.

via Bass Lesson. Part 2 – The Role of the Bass Line | Lessons @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com

Pitch versus Frequency

March 5, 2011

One key distinction between these terms is that pitch is relative (a matter of common agreement among musicians), while frequency is absolute (a precise, unambiguous measurement).

via Pitch versus Frequency – Learn the difference between pitch and frequency.

Emotion in musical keys

February 28, 2011

In a general way of course, but dig the flowery language.


Mixolydian scales

February 27, 2011

The mixolydian scale contains all four notes of the seventh chord (1-3-5-b7). The additional tones are scale degree two, scale-degree four, and scale-degree six. Scale-degree [b]seven is the most characteristic tone of the mixolydian scale, and uniquely identifies mixolydian. The basic quality of mixolydian is major.

Mixolydian scales.

How To Play Funk Bass (beginners)

February 27, 2011

Bass Lessons: How To Play Funk (for Beginners)


I’ve been bashing away on the Pulse this morning.  Hooked-up to the X-station I have full hands-on control of most parameters, making for a great playing experience.

I just need to practice playing-in those minimal-but-interesting bass grooves.

Using Thesys also to sequence the Pulse, with some interesting results (but only after a lot of experimentation).

programming dance beats that push? –

February 13, 2011

programming dance beats that push? –

The Musician and the Metronome

January 27, 2011

…came across this useful online book.

Effective Drum Programming

January 26, 2011

Effective Drum Programming parts 1-4

from Soundonsound.

Blackdown: offbeat eighths and all that jazz

January 21, 2011

Decent tips on hi-hat drum programming and swing here:

Blackdown: offbeat eighths and all that jazz

Common swings settings for drum programming in different styles

January 21, 2011

Hip-hop: MPC 55 to 59-percent shuffle
R&B: MPC 61-percent shuffle
Break beat: MPC 57- to 62-percent shuffle
Two-step: MPC 65 to 69-percent shuffle
Drum and bass: Kick and snare 55- to 61-percent shuffle; hi-hat 60- to 63-percent shuffle
Florida breaks: 55-percent shuffle

Gleaned from: emusician