How to Sound Like Daft Punk, Tool, or EVERY Rock Band using Minor/Aeolian 

Hey, I'm Jake lizzio. And in this video we're going to be writing and producing three different genres of music using only the aeolian mode. And that's just a fancy way of saying the minor scale there actually is kind of a difference between aeolian and minor but I really don't want to talk about that at the beginning of the video. Let's save that for the end. I'd like to start off with the fun stuff and just get right into the composing.

There is a little music theory you should know first and that's how do you build a minor scale and how do you build the chords of a minor scale? So I have gone through all of that stuff in my video. On minor you should be able to find it here or check Below in the description. But let's get started. I decided I wanted to write a really juicy Dancy Funk section something like Daft Punk or Chromeo or Jamiroquai.

I chose the key of B flat minor simply because we haven't used any flat keys yet. And I kind of expected that maybe a horn player would show up for this Jam, but I never actually recruited a horn player for Ministry.

So anyways, we're using the B flat minor scale and like before I think it's a great idea to just start off with maybe just playing around with the Go up and down it jump around and see what happens and by doing that I ended up with this very simple pattern that sounds like this you can see it really only uses five notes of the scale uses the notes of the pentatonic minor but it doesn't sound very funky doesn't get as far away from being a funk groove. And the reason for that is because the rhythm is so boring. I'm just playing straight eighth notes one and two and three and four four and one if I decide to get syncopated instead by taking some of these notes and not putting them on the beat but putting them in between the Beats. So on those 16th notes in between.

What I could get is something like this one to we clearly a more interesting Rhythm and if we speed that up to a dance Tempo, this is way fuck you. Ben what we started?

That's the exact same set of notes if the exact same sequence in the same pattern just changing the Rhythm to be more syncopated and therefore more funky by palm muting this exact same pattern. It's going to get even funkier because Funk traditionally has a staccato kind of poking nature to it.

So a lot of these guitar parts, you're going to hear me Palm mute, and that way they're a little more muted. They're not so Legato but much more staccato now, I am going to make one small little change to my wrist just to my own liking instead of this. Quarter note at the beginning one do we form and one?

I'm actually going to change it to two eighth notes one and two we want an to me just sounds a little funkier to me more to my liking so we've got this cool little guitar riff here, but we still don't have a funk section. We really need to start thinking about chords.

So let's look at the B flat minor scale and think about the chords and Flat minor and let's listen to what it would sound like if we play a B-flat minor in the background of this riff sounds pretty good.

Let's listen to what it sounds like if we play the four chord B flat minor and I think that sounds pretty good too. So that was the idea. I had let's play the Riff consistently four times.

But the first three times we're going to have a B-flat minor chord playing out and then that last time we'll have the four chord which is E flat minor. Ringing out and what that sounds like again is this flat d flat E flat now, I didn't really like the way that this riff sat over the E flat minor chord A little bit of clashing. It didn't they didn't merge together. So I decided to change the Riff a little bit that fourth time. So it helps outline my E flat minor chord for example, instead of starting here on this note B flat. I started the Riff on Annie. Flat note that instantly helps accent this new chord.

Then I keep this little hammer on the same and then I bring in this note G flat. We haven't seen a g flat at all in this Rift yet. So it's finally appearing here and then I end this little riff with the note C which is another note. We haven't seen but with that note see appearing and what that no g flat appearing we have now played all of the notes of B flat minor so we are really clearly using the B flat minor scale here. No confusion to what key. We are really in using all seven notes of B flat minor with this riff three times and then this Rift wants so we've got our progression of d flat minor d flat minor B flat minor and E for the second time. We're going to do the same thing flat minor E flat minor B flat minor but You take an E flat minor and if you just slap of his see on the base what you get is a c half-diminished.

That's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna make sure that later on you hear the keyboards and the bass guitar really accenting that low see that way. We feel a little bit of diminished flavor in there. You could think of this as an E flat minor sixth that's just being inverted.

But to me, it's really its function here. It's context is going to be a c half-diminished resolving us back to a B-flat minor next. I wanted to add. Another guitar part and I thought a line that would work very well is something very sparse very staccato that just kind of outlines the chord tones, right? So for this B flat minor chord what I've decided to do just sliding up to the minor third there.

And just keep hammering away at it with some Palm leaves and some staccato and what that's going to do is just kind of compliment that chord a little bit but not get too much in the way of the rest of the band. Once again when the E flat minor chord comes up.

I'm just outlining a little bit of each chord as it pops up, but this kind of line works really really well with a lot of compression. You can see I panned it kind of one side of the speaker and it helps merge between the roads keyboard and the other guitar part very well.

Now up until this point we've ignored the most important thing about Funk and dance which is rhythm rhythm is really key to making people dance. So let's start talking a little bit about what we can do to make the sound like a dance track. I started off with a simple little percussion Loop that I added effects to their I sent the track. Of one and only beard stank and I knew he would give me a great drum part from then which I could craft a baseline.

I didn't want to write a Baseline and then say hey right a Groove for this Baseline. I'd rather have somebody who's a rhythm expert. Give me a really nice funky Groove and then I can help complement that Groove with my bass guitar.

So to write a bass part, I was really thinking about the same rhythms that beard stank was playing you'll notice he's got an axe on that lawn to en1 to Yen. So I'm thinking of those notes and I'm also thinking of the B flat minor scale.

I also want to bring up though that that flat 7 is in my opinion the funkiest interval we start off our rhythm with a route to a flat 7 and then up to the root and I really can't think of anything funkier than Going from a route to a flat 7 to another route and even on the low octave room flat 7 root.

It's just as funky as a guest and I mean try other intervals really. I'm not messing around here try like, you know, try A fifth or a sixth or they don't sound as funky. I think maybe the only one that comes close is the minor third that's kind of funky but like a fifth doesn't funk all on its own a major 7th certainly doesn't but that flat seven.

It's about as funky as an interval can get so when my brain is thinking Funk. One of the words that pops up in my brain is flat savin's minor 7th. They always have that funk feel so it's no surprise that my fingers kind of naturally went to Flat sevens for my Baseline now, obviously when the E flat minor chord comes around accenting that E flat minor, but remember the second time the E flat chord comes around. I want to be accenting the Cenote to kind of create that appearance and that sound of a You have two minutes to instead.

So this is starting to come together pretty well, but it's missing vocals and really if you want a Chromeo song or a Daft Punk song you need a vocal track that everybody can sing along too now. I ain't no singer, but I do have pitch correction software.

So it worked out pretty well. In this case. What I decided to do is write some lyrics and then sing them in a low register.

Then I took that same track and saying it two more times that way I had a thick triple track and that's when I started processing with melodyne. So not only were my pitch is correct. But also my timing was really cleaned up between all three performances then I did that all over again seeing in my best falsetto voice.

Putting those two together gives you a really nice thick stack of vocals, but I decided to add even more I took one of my high tracks and artificially pitched it up an entire octave and that way it was annoyingly high and really stuck out just a little bit in the mix. So you would notice it in your subconscious and then finally to more vocal tracks that were really just my vocals process through Is it hopes vocal synth to give me some robotic goodness?

I got a secret that I think I want to tell you, but there was one thing I noticed in between my vocals. I have these little pockets of space.

And pockets are something to look out for whenever you see one of those pockets that's telling you that there's like room for something. You could put a guitar lick their a drum fill their something that is just waiting to catch the listeners attention for that little tiny space.

So what I opted for was some vo coded synthesizer basically the singing the part you heard but running it through a synthesizer so it kind of sounds like a robot Sith then on the And pocket I decided to add in a little synth line that you might recognize.

Now the little melodic line that I played there is literally 100% stolen from Sonic 2 chemical plant zone like initially. I improvised a little idea on the keyboard. And then later on I'm like, oh that sounds like Sonic and then I decided why not just steal from Sonic like No One's Gonna care. I don't think you guys care. I thought it was funny. It's a funny little reference.

It's not like a ripped off the whole song, but that's a sick keyboard line and I have no shame in just borrowing it for this and lastly at the very very end. And it was just screaming for a little bit of keyboard solo. Now. We know that everything has been in B-flat minor correct, but a good lead player doesn't care about what key you're in they care about what they can possibly get away with and it was really screaming out for a little Dorian flavor on the synth keyboard.

So I decided to let the since go crazy. I clicked in this whole keyboard solo using nothing more than my mouse, but you'll notice there's a lot of chromatics. There's a lot of natural sixth a lot of things that break the minor rules, but that's what lead players are. To do they're not supposed to say. Oh these chords came from this key and therefore I have to stay within those seven notes know a good lead player sees this chord progression says, okay. Yeah, they might have written this in minor. But you know what over this B flat minor chord I could play P flat Dorian and then when the E flat minor comes up, maybe I should switch back to B flat minor. So that's the mentality. I was thinking here. I know it's not pure aeolian, but hopefully you'll let me go.

So putting that all together here is what we get.

so we're done funking but what we can do is take a lot of those ideas and just repurpose them into a tool song instead and let me How you might do that? Our original riff was B flat minor right? Let's move it way down to the key of D. And let's slow it down to and you can already hear this is starting to sound more to I'm going to make a few changes. I'm just gonna get rid of some of these notes and let them ring out as open denotes instead and why I'm going to be left with is this, like I said, this really sounds like a cruise on to me already, but would sound even more like a tool song If you You had a maybe playing on a bass guitar.

This is starting to sound like an intro already. So I decided to add some creepy synthesizers and through a frequency shifter on it with the ring mod automating that down slowly gave me a pretty haunting sound.

I'm just like before I want to be thinking about chords even though this is just a riff.

It's important to think about what chords could be supporting us and if we listen to what a D Minor would sound like that's obviously the root.

It's going to sound pretty good and also the flat six for the diatonic six quarter be a B-flat major award and that's like I'm a sucker for the flats X and E minor key. I think the Flat 6 is like the coolest sport to play. So listen to what that sounds like underneath this.

So what I'm gonna do is I'm going to imply a little bit of D Minor very simply with a guitar part. That just does a d and the D and an A and then to imply that Flat 6 chord B flat major I'm going to do just two notes of the B flat major. I'm just going to do the B flat and the D.

Alright, so by playing this little Part D and a and then D D and B flat that's going to imply a shift. D minor chord, that's my one chord to my 6 chord B flat major should really, you know add interest to my simple little basement.

Now before we go any further, I got to mention that you will be hearing beard stank again on the drums here. He did a great job of really kind of amplifying this tool sound altogether through his use of poly meter and playing. So to me this is a good intro but it really needs to expand into something bigger that that thrashing riff and now we'll take the same notes, but we will play them on an electric guitar instead of the base and will play in heavily distorted will triple track it. I'm going to record it three times. So it just becomes this giant wall of starts and we can easily turn that into a verse section just by toning it down doing with Paul moves instead.

It makes a really nice bed for votes.

So you've got a verse riff we gotta write some vocals. I tried to take the same lyrics we had as before and put them into this song.

But you know, I'm not a vocalist and melodyne can only do so much. It can't make you a good performer.

So this should go to show you that, you know, even with the magic of pitch correction.

I can't sing like Maynard he's too good of a performer and there's just certain things that pitch correction cannot do and it certainly can't make me sound like the tool singer, but I tried The one thing I want you to notice that is the Rhythm that I'm singing that staccato rhythm is built on the classic 3 plus 3 plus 3 plus 3 plus 4 pattern.

I made an entire video on just that Rhythm to this day. I haven't gotten a conclusive answer on what it should be called.

So I have opted to call it the Trujillo.

Or the Trujillo Grande those both make sense. If you know what at Rocio is and they both sound delicious.

Anyways, that rhythm is being played and also accented by beard stank the drummer. So we get a little bit of poly metric goodness in the middle of our verse which is a real key feature of tools music. Now, the last thing I could do to add to this tool Vibe is to just serve the entire song up to you while playing a slowly rotating Fibonacci spiral.

For our last genres. Let's try to recreate that iconic classic rock acoustic intro that we've heard a billion times before this has been happening from the 60s up until today. It's still a very popular thing to do and we'll pick the ever-present popular key of E minor which has the chords G and it has the 3 quart. It also has an A Minor as the for and it has a see as the six and I want to be thinking about these chords to write an acoustic intro riff before I start ripping though. Let's make the chords more interesting.

I could make this E minor an E minor add 9 by adding it an F sharp and that really darkens up.

So let's do that 4G I can add in the a right here and get a little bit of a g add nine for a minor. Let's drop the Cenote all together and let's play an A suspended tube. So these notes are obviously still in the key of E minor and then last for C major.

Let's make it a C major 7 instead and and maybe sometimes make it a see at 9:00 and then maybe even sometimes make it a ci9 with an added sharp eleven, right really kind of ironic all our sharp 4 instead.

So, you know instead of just E minor G A minor C.

Now. We've got E minor add 9 she had 9 a sus 2 and then see at 9:00 very cool variation of what we started off with now instead of strumming. Chords, let's pick through them. That's arpeggiate them. What I'm going to do is I'm going to always start with the base notes. So for an E minor chord, I'm going to start with my bass playing Annie when the G comes around.

What I'll do is I'll pick through the G note, but then I'll hammer on that knife.

And now for a sus 2, I'll just play through the notes of a nice us to chord and then for C like before we'll get a little bit of C major 7 starting picking on the sea, but then I'll hammer on that night there. So what I get is this right same chords as before all diatonic to E minor but were picking through each chord. We're hammering on some of those cool little chord adjustments.

Now the second time around it's almost the same thing.

We're going to do a little scale run G F-sharp e to get back to my phone cord.

And then here I just play a regular G chord, then we're going to move up to a d chord which is the seven chord right? And then we can finally play another C.

And this is that cn9 with the sharp 11.

So here's what that sounds like if you put it all together.

Now one thing I like to do when I'm producing is to take an acoustic part and just double it with an electric guitar. I clean heavily compressed electric guitar with maybe some chorus and Reverb and a lot of the low-end taken out and this gives a nice little shimmery doubling effect, but I didn't double every single note. I kind of let some notes just wring out so I got rid of about half the notes. So I played my electric part right as most of the That we started with but it's less motion and that way some of those notes sustain just a little bit longer. It's just a nice background layer for a simple acoustic guitar.

There's still room for another soft layer here. So I decided to add some really low strings that are once again just outlining the chords playing little dyads to note chords and every single two notes are two notes that are in the underlying cord.

Now this is where things kind of got out of hand for me. I decided hey, that sounds so good as an intro. Let's make a verse section. So I took those same chords E minor and I just strum them instead G and decided to start singing over the top of this, but I decided to use the same lyrics that we had from before about falling in love with somebody on a different planet. It and the way I decided to sing it was to try to like emulate Creed and and Nickelback and it took me a really long time to get these vocals done because I kept laughing while I was trying to record it. It just seems so ridiculous. What's also ridiculous is that I made it a point to sing.

Yeah, and whoa after every single lyric just alternating between the two and putting the whole thing together creates. Just some Frankenstein's monster amalgamation of like every alternative rock band you've heard since the S I've got a secret.

Heard a think. I wanna tell you.

If you can only promise that you won't go around and tell nobody else.

Whoa so much and it from a different planet.

And I just can't get enough of what they've got to give now. If that wasn't me singing like that. And if I wasn't singing about those things, let's face it. That would probably be a pretty digestible and enjoyable and successful song from the listeners point of view. I think people would like to listen to that. And its current state not so much but there's a few things I want to bring up here. First thing is I know many of you are wondering where did you get that nice looking guitar? And I just want to shout out to my friends over at close guitars. They literally ship this for me. They didn't ask for anything in return. I really appreciate that and it's a great-looking guitar. If you want to film an acoustic guitar, this is the one I want to film so I have left a link below in the description to get to their website if you're interested in getting something like this, but also I do want to talk about what is the difference between the minor scale in the aeolian mode if I told you that I was Eating a piece in the key of E minor what I mean to you is that I am going to be using this key signature. All right, but even using that key signature, you might see notes that are out of key like a D sharp. It's very common to hear a D sharp note when you're in the key of E minor but it's out of key. It's out of the minor scale. You also might see like a c-sharp the natural six. That's a very common thing to hear when you're in the key of E minor.

So when I'm in e-ay-e-e-ah Olean, I think it kind of implies.

Eyes that were not leaving any of the other notes. We're just only using the notes of the natural minor scale. But this is a very rare thing to do. It's very rare to restrict yourself to only the seven notes of natural minor. I don't really see a reason why you should call a song aeolian unless you're trying to sound really smart and pretentious or if you really have a reason that you need to get across to the reader or the performer that like, hey, you will not see any accidentals ever in this. Hope that doesn't confuse things even further, but long story short minor is aeolian for the most part. So I hope this is an educational and entertaining lesson for you. If you did enjoy this lesson, please you are going to have to thank my incredible patreon supporters for sponsoring these lessons and keeping them going forward without them. These lessons would not be possible if you'd like to join them you can there are links Below in the description, but if you don't want to do that, please leave a like or a comment or subscribe all those things help me out. So thanks for watching and I'll see you next time.


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