Let's Write NEOCLASSICAL and RAP Music with Harmonic Minor

This video demonstrates how easy it is to write modern music when you have some theoretical guidelines in place. Writing a minimalist rap beat in harmonic minor only takes a few minutes if you have the proper software. A neoclassical section will be more complicated, but crafting the chords is easy if you understand the theory taught in the last two videos. I am all about USING MUSIC THEORY, not just LEARNING it! As is often the case though, I decided to "break the rules" and introduce chords from A Dorian into the final arpeggio section because I enjoy the sound of a IV when we are firmly in a minor or harmonic minor scale, it provides a boost of adrenaline and triumph!


Please note, this transcription was computer generated and has not been checked for errors. However, I do hope you find it helpful. Be sure to check out The Ultimate Modal Poster!

In the last two videos we learned about the harmonic minor scale and how to build the chords of harmonic minor scale in this video. We get to actually use all this stuff. That is why we've been learning at all is so we can actually put it to use and so when it comes time to write a song you don't end up just beating your head up against the wall. A wall and hoping for inspiration to strike. You can actually just go in there and start making music right away. So in this video, I'm going to show you how I made a rap beat using this technique and how I made a neoclassical section all just in a few minutes using this harmonic minor stuff. Let's start off by talking about the rap beat first rap has a tendency to stay on one chord for a long time. So I decided to do my 1 Chord my 1 Chord my 1 chord and then my last measure I decided to split between my 2 chord and my five chord so lots of one and then that two five one Cadence that we talked about.

Now I'm not doing this on a guitar. This is a wrap it so I'm going to take you over to reason so you can see how I actually arranged this. So This beat I wrote in E Flat harmonic minor and my first chord would be E flat minor. So I just arpeggiated up that chord and then I decided to go down the notes of the harmonic minor scale.

And this is a great technique going up the arpeggio and down the scale. You'll usually get something pretty nice.

I did nearly the same thing for my second measure.

And then my third measures the same as my first measure.

So I just went up the notes of my 2 chord which was F diminished 7th. And then I went down the notes of my dominant five, which is a B flat 7.

So if I put it all together, it sounds like this now this sounds nice, but it doesn't really sound like rap because I'm not using a synthesizer.

So I'm going to switch over to a synth here and play around with some presets till I find something close to what I want.

Now this is close to what I was looking for, but it rings out a little too long. So I decided to play around with the Decay and then sustain in order to get a more plucked percussive sound.

and now we're getting to that Haunted House spooky field I was looking for and that's really the heart of my rappy after that point. I just decided to put in some Kick Drum and snare and of course throw in those ridiculously fast high hats that we here.

And one thing I learned from making rap beats as you don't actually need a baseline all the time. If you've got enough base in your kick drum on its own then you can kind of use the kick drum as a baseline. So here I tuned my kick drum to kind of outline a little bit of that chord progression. We were hearing and really just to give us something that moves around in the base register.

And lastly to help introduce the beat I wrote this little snare drum pattern that descends in Pitch to help bring things in so there you go making a rap even just a few minutes. The next step is to find yourself a hype man and record your own rap.

Yeah, I'm just trying to teach you a harmonic minor.

I'm finding the scale. I'm taking the 7th. I'm making a knife and if you trying to resolve on the one hit him with a dominant by but then you call it done.

So moving on to the neoclassical section that I wrote. What I wanted to do was make something epic awesome and neoclassical sounding something that sounds like Yngwie or Symphony X.

And the first thing I thought of was triplets. I really want to do something triplet base because it gives you that that motion that movement that I really like Duck at the taka-taka-taka-taka and then the next thing I started doing was coming up with the chord progression. So just take a look at the chord progression. I've got here and I'm playing these all this power chords because I'm doing it with the Distortion so I don't have to play the full chord, but I've got my 1 chord which is a minor and then another Measure of a minor and then my 6 quart for app and my four chord for D my then. I do a minor a minor F and E is the dominant five for your takes me back to a minor a minor F and then D minor and then you expect it to happen again a minor a minor but instead of giving you the F like before I give you a be diminished and then I slide that up. So it's an inverted be diminished and then slide it up again and then slide it up again. So I've got two measures of just diminished chords there and then finally Lee resolving to that five chord. All right, so you can even see that these measures are like extended measures. This is going on too far and that's what I wanted to do. You know, I was thinking of like a DubStep breakdown or like an EDM breakdown you have a lot of sections that go past where they're supposed to and you're just like left waiting for this thing to resolve and you really want it to resolve because you were supposed to resolve like two measures ago. So if I combine that that anticipation with these diminished chords and that 2 5 1 It should give me a lot of energy to help build me into that next section.

The lead was very simple to write in the sense that it just goes up a note or the scale or the down the note of the scale to scale pattern. That's just completely stepwise with the exception of this first thing. The first thing I do is eat a lot to jump right there before but then after that it's just a scale pattern.

Then I do that again.

But this time I just decided to go up the scale and then down the E major arpeggio because at that moment in time, I've got an E power chord blaring out then I just do the exact same thing an octave higher.

All right until the point where those be diminished chords come around. I just start doing be diminished arpeggios be there's a be diminished arpeggio. Here's the same thing three Frets higher also be diminished arpeggio.

Same thing be diminished arpeggio now here we've been in triplets the whole time, but I thought it'd be fun to It'd go a little faster and bring in some 16th notes. So I did this very simple scale run here.

Which is very easy to play. There's no string skipping or anything like that. If you watch that pattern here was weird about it though is that I'm playing it as sixteenth notes. So I have to speed up in a sixteenth note postings. And where these notes fall on the beat is kind of weird. If you count 1 E and A 2 E and A 3 E and A 4 E and A 1 E and A 2 E and A 3 E and A 4 and that helped take me to my next lead, which I still thought of as just basically a harmonic minor a little bit of the a minor scale as well. Now that solo. And over these chords A minor F D Minor e and then a minor c d and e and that's mainly just a harmonic minor that I'm playing there with a little bit of borrowing from that a Dorian scale and that a minor scale as well. But then the second time that chord progression happens. All I do is just literally arpeggiate every single one of those chords. So for the a minor chord, I just swept through an A Minor arpeggio And then for the F major chord, I just swept through at F major and so on D minor.

And then he made it.

Alright, next one was a minor.

C Major D major many major I did a little bit of this using the top half of the off as you go there.

So if I put it all together, here's what the whole thing sounds like.

So there you go two kinds of music that I hear harmonic minor in a lot and writing them in just a few hours. I mean the rap thing took me less than an hour all together to make and the neoclassical thing really I spent more time just To sing the lead than anything else but it only took me 30 minutes 30 40 minutes to write the entire thing and the right that entire piece and that right? There is a piece that would have blown my mind out of its brain socket if you had shown it to me in high school and even that many years ago, that's the kind of thing that would have really freaked me out and I would have thought how do you do that? And then, you know, you learn a little Theory and you'll learn a little bit of technique and you learn how to reverse engineer somebody else's music and it becomes very easy to emulate other musicians and hopefully when you do that somehow your own It in your own unique style finds a way to creep in there. I mean, yeah, this was English, but it doesn't sound like Yngwie mostly because I'm not a good a player as Yngwie Malmsteen and the rap thing. I mean, that's a j crap right there. It's silly and it's dumb and it still sounds fun.

So, you know, I can't really say I ripped up anybody off in that in that instance. I just kind of emulated what I've been hearing on the radio.

So I hope you get a kick out of this. I hope you learned something about writing using a scale like harmonic minor and I hope you enjoyed this video. If you like videos like this, please like subscribe. Subscribe, please check out my patreon page. I could use your support there and thank you for watching.

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