1. Beat This! Competition

What about beatmakers that dont know basic music theory

  1. odbarq

    odbarq

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    Like for instance, keys
    I hear people say things like, that bassline is in the wrong key
    Or the flutes are in the wrong key...
    Wtf is that? if they said that to me,I would not know where to start, prolly just mute that part...
    i mean, excuse my ignorance, I make bangers.
    But if you start talking keys and chords and legatos and pizzicatos, I'll just like start looking off in the distance, and start playin with my phone...
    NOTHING TO ADD TO THAT CONVO
    How much does it matter that as a beatmaker/emcee, I wouldnt know the right key unless it was labeled?
     
  2. Step Soprano

    Step Soprano

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    I know theory, but I can't play for shit outside of C Major... so I transpose everything(in logic) so that I can play any scale in C Major. Also, I bought an ipad a few weeks back, I play out chord progressions via the touch screen, and import to logic. Fun way to get a start on a beat.
     
  3. Some Guy

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    As far as scales, just because you dont KNOW the scale, doesnt mean you're not playing in scale. A lot of people do it by ear. If it sounds right its right. If it sounds off its off. It takes like 1 minute to figure it out.

    I dont make Tchaicovsky remakes I dont need to talk about advanced theory with anybody. But if you're self conscious about it then read up on it, or take some classes. The information is out there. Its just a waste of time for the type of music I like to make.
     
  4. dacalion

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    Keys and scales don't usually come into play until you either start composing or mixing samples from different songs. Most of us here take 1 song, chop it up, add drums, a few effects and we're pretty much done...The great thing about that is knowing the key is not very important because most songs stay in the keys relevant to the song. In other words even if the key of a song changes...most of the time it will change between keys that work together.

    But understand...it's good to know notes, keys, scales and chords. That knowledge can take your production to the next level. But no, it's not a necessity.
     
  5. Iron Keys

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    Some things though... I've learnt, from jazz/blues influence, which hip-hop has a lot of... use chords that change keys. So sometimes things may be played in a 'chromatic' scale... which kinda involves(as far as I got told), when you land on a chord that is in a different key as well as the one you're in, you can 'hop' over to that key.

    I remember accidentally figuring out a scott storch melody, and one of the notes don't fit into the typical scale that the rest did.


    In terms of how important is it as a beatmaker to know music theory? Erm, as some say you can play by ear... which is what I've done for years... but knowing theory will expand your ability and make it incredibly easier to make 'bangers' and other dope music.

    It helps too when working with vocals and other things. Really niggly things such as *tuning your drums* (sounds extreme huh?) but they can really make the difference between how good something sounds.

    Drum kits, are meant to be in tune... and when using samples from tonnes of different places, it's easy to be using out of key drums.

    This is just stuff I been picking up from pros so. I just aspire to make the best music I can so need to knowledge/skill myself up in as many areas that will benefit me and my music.

    Makes sense if you're serious about music. Makes the difference between a producer and someone who 'makes beats, fam'.
     
  6. lion-ucs

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    Whole heartedly agree here.
    No offense but I find it quite ignorant for anyone seriously pursuing any form of music production but looks at music theory and go 'I 'ont need to know that shit, I makez hard beatz nuccka!' If you're not going to improve your skills then why are you in it in the first place? Just seems so utterly ridiculous to purposely shun good info that will help you in the long run that you can easily obtain for free or cheap.

    edit: Actually it's not ignorance. Ignorance is having no knowledge of something at all, meaning you don't know that you don't know. But when you know of it but think you don't need to learn it, thats arrogance.
     
  7. UNORTHODOX

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    As a beat maker, it makes you more dangerous. You're able to take deeper control of how your drums sound with the instruments/samples and push the whole production further. It also makes you valuable in other studios/sessions. Most people shun it, but if you make dope beats, and know theory, your valuable in alot of genres and can be a true producer in alot of situations = $$$$. You can also teach music, who doesnt need a extra 500$ a month?

    As a rapper, you can take control of your tone, vocal inflections, and hook writing because you'll know what works best. Your hav ebetter writing arrangments and you'll also be able to truly execute the writing for singers on your own hooks or for others (More $$$). Being in the music biz, and knowing theory is HUGE on your "Musical resume".

    Yup

    Good post!

    Good post but the quoted made me lol
     
  8. H.Quality

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    I find it hard getting the bassline in the right key as the sample. With Vsts theory isn't too much of a problem because I know the basics and can play some chords on the keyboard.
    One of the reasons I took the bass off the Isaac Newton track I showed you was because it sounded wrong with the sample and I knew it wasn't in key.

    This definitely helped me a lot with theory
    http://www.pianobychords.com/index.html
     
  9. Iron Keys

    Iron Keys

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    Thing is... with samples... they often have several things going on in them at once... so harmonics from several instruments, they may be playing a certain chord, etc... if you've got chords, harmonies etc going on, it can be mad.

    I've tried sampling before, n found at times that 'no' bass note seemed to gel with the sample. Samples can sometimes need fine tuning...

    But as far as samples... I dunno how serious you looking to get with music, but sampling can be a huge downfall.

    I think most if not all record contracts you sign will make you warrant that every piece of music and recording you use is original material. Cause they dont wanna have to deal with that copyright shit.

    I'm not too clear on US copyright, but I imagine it ain't too far off UK rules.
     
  10. Greg Savage

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    To be honest with you it doesn't matter. when someone says a note is out of key it means out of tune with the rest of the track.

    I don't know music theory, I've gotten by with Chord books/Fake books. When I did my internship I found out that a lot of hit producers don't know music theory they use chord books. I'm not saying you shouldn't learn it I'm just saying it isn't needed.

    I've always gone with if it sounds good it is good and I have a good ear. I've been in sessions where people have asked me to use a specific key (me not knowing what it was) i'd say give me a song in that key and from there I'd know where to go musically
     
  11. Jimmy Conway

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    With music theory, you can play pretty much any song, plus it makes life easier. You get a lot less beat blocks that way too.
     
  12. Iron Keys

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    No disrespect to anyone, but it is kinda parallel to this...

    It's like when someone buys a half-decent camera and calls themselves a photographer.

    Owning a good camera doesn't make you a photographer. The image quality may be good, and you may get lucky and take a few good shots 'cause you have an 'eye' for it. But if you actually *knew* the theory and essential compositional techniques, you'd have an almost 'sure shot' way of taking GOOD photographs.

    If you're serious about something, why would you not bother honing your craft?
     
  13. Iron Keys

    Iron Keys

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    This is also why I tend to avoid saying 'I make beats', or 'listen to my beats', it sounds like every other wannabe with a crack version of FruityLoops.

    Take yourself more seriously, if you want to be taken more seriously.
     
  14. UNORTHODOX

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    Good analogy
     
  15. dacalion

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    This is a great topic....There's no question that music theory will make you better at your craft but we can't forget that most manufacturers make their gear to take away the need to understand the technicalities. A lot of us can sit down at our workstations and create a hot joint in very little time but put us in a room full of disconnected gear that does the same thing and we wouldn't even know how to hook/route it up, much less make a beat with it. So it's really the same thing with theory, you could be a master at theory but that doesn't mean that every beat you create will be a blockbuster hit. Music Theory is a valuable tool in your toolbox BUT you won't be able to rebuild an engine using that one tool alone.
     
  16. lion-ucs

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    I dont think it's taken as music theory is the only tool you need. It's just an important one that is highly overlooked in the hip-hop community for some reason.

    You are right most wouldn't even know how to hook up completely disconnected hardware and get 'em all working in a cohesive chain.

    Hell, knowing theory wont mean you'll be able to pick up a violin and play it either. It's simply a foundation, one that the only musician that isn't expected to know anything about is rappers. Even that, I think, should change.

    All should know at least enough to communicate with other musicians instead of having to translate personal descriptions into technical terms -- ughhh it reminds me of the Beat Thang. WTF is Freak, Bang and Blang???
     
  17. Iron Keys

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    The funny thing is... the amount of 'guitarists' and such who have no idea about music theory.

    This is the problem, people just download sheet music, learn to copy, and think that makes them a musician.

    Some people are just posers.
     
  18. Iron Keys

    Iron Keys

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    This is the thing though...

    How many of you(or people in general) have been in studios with top engineers? I mean, people who have worked with really well known and successful commercial artists/labels/tracks.

    With the amount of people who can just 'make music from their bedroom', there's a lot of sh!t out there. So you become accustomed to hearing less than mediocre crap... badly recorded, badly produced.

    A lot of things that sound good to you, or like 'bangers', take that to a pro, and they could pick that shit apart like woah.

    When you start experiencing top level stuff, you often realise that there's small subtleties that you may not have noticed, but these guys spot like a girl spots a pimple on her face.

    It's only then you realise how there's a whole massive level above where you're at. It's these small things, even such as tuning your drums to the key of the track, that can make a record/track sound 'complete'. You may not hear/notice it so obviously yet, but it does make a difference.

    Of course with the ease of being able to whack a track together in an hour on FruityLoops and then upload it to iTunes the same day... there's a lot of subtandard sh!t saturating the place (and our ears).

    PimpPimp
     
  19. dacalion

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    I agree with you all...you're first response had me in tears...the key is where each individual producer decides to go with it. The amount of importance depends a lot on that factor alone. Good ish! lol
     
  20. Greg Savage

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    I work with them on a weekly basis. A lot of these hit producers do not know theory and most the hit producers before them didn't know theory. When I walked into RR,DefJam etc I was amazed by how many of the staff producers were simply sifting through chord books..

    Tuning drums to the key of the song is a click away. Theory is great (im not knocking it) but if you don't have the skill to make music theory is not going to help you. I've been in studios with great pianist that are session players for top producers and a lot of them can't put shit together on their own. They have theory mastered but they can compose good material. Now they can interpolate/mimic other peoples work very well but so can anyone with a chord book and skill