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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I, IV, V Progression & Song Writing

Songwriting is an important part of music production...obviously but before you learn how to form certain chords you must first learn about scales. 

A scale is a series of notes that go in an ascending and descending manner. For every scale that is minor or major there are 7 notes, for example in the key of C the notes are C - D - E - F - G - A - B. and the 8th note (in this example will be C) goes back to the root note but an octave higher. (the 12th fret on a guitar).

Each note of a scale has a corresponding number from 1 to 7. So for the key of C it will be as follows:

C = 1
D = 2
E = 3
F = 4
G = 5
A = 6
B = 7

In order to make a major triad you will play the 1st + 3rd + 5th notes of a major scale.

In our example it is C - E - G, that's the C major chord.

Let's have another example this time using the C minor scale:

C = 1
D = 2
Eb = 3
F = 4
G = 5
Ab = 6
Bb = 7

In order to make a minor triad you will play the 1st + 3rd + 5th notes of a minor scale.
In our example it is C - Eb - G, that's the C minor chord.

Roman Numerals

Sometimes instead of numbers Roman Numerals are used. We go back to our example and use a Roman Numeral for each note in the key of C:

C = I
D = ii
E = iii
F = IV
G = V
A = vi

Roman numeral I refers to the chord built on the first note of the C major scale. Roman numeral II refers to the chord built on the second note of the C major scale, and so on. If you notice, some of the Roman numerals are capitalized while others are not. Uppercase Roman numerals pertain to a major chord, while lowercase Roman numerals pertain to a minor chord. Uppercase Roman numerals with a (+) symbol refer to an augmented chord. Lowercase Roman numerals with a (o) symbol refer to a diminished chord.

The I, IV and V Chord Pattern

For each key there are 3 chords that are played more than others known as "primary chords." The I - IV - V chords are built from the 1st, 4th and 5th note of a scale.

Let's take the key of C again as an example, looking at the illustration above, you will notice that note I on the key of C is C, note IV is F and note V is G.

Therefor the I - IV - V chord pattern for the key of C is:
C (note I) = C - E- G (1st + 3rd + 5th note of the C scale)
F (note IV) = F - A - C (1st + 3rd + 5th note of the F scale)
G (note V) = G - B - D (1st + 3rd + 5th note of the G scale)

There are many songs that have been written using the I - IV - V chord pattern, just about every Beatles song, Elvis tune, greenday & most blues tunes.

Practice playing the I - IV - V chord pattern for every major key and listen to how it sounds as this might inspire you to come up with a great melody for your song.

Here's a handy table to guide you. Now get writing. I haven't heard anything awesome in about an hour.

I - IV - V Chord Pattern

Major Key - Chord Pattern
Key of CC - F - G
Key of DD - G - A
Key of EE - A - B
Key of FF - Bb - C
Key of GG - C - D
Key of AA - D - E
Key of BB - E - F#
Key of DbDb - Gb - Ab
Key of EbEb - Ab - Bb
Key of GbGb - Cb - Db
Key of AbAb - Db - Eb
Key of BbBb - Eb - F

Monday, May 30, 2011

Music mash ups and craziness

I have recently got in to the habit of listening to semi commercial mash ups of popular "artists".
Though some of them are complete shit and just hacked at certain spots there are a few decent ones out there.

Some of the Depeche Mode ones are alright, but why does David Guetta have to get in on EVERY mashup?
The  producer is awful. His music is the lowest common denominator.
Do your home work folks. Or you may just end up like him.

I wouldn't mid his cash though to be honest.
Though you would have to work with Fergie and the god awful Black eyed peas.
I hear she is quite prone to pissing herself on stage too.

Keep a wide birth folks.

Anyways, here is a great website with over 3000 mashups to listen to and download if you wish.
If you find any decent ones stick em in the comments box!



Festival Surival Kit: Recommended Equipment for the wreck head

Festival season is now starting up.
Is it your first festival this year? Maybe it will be your last.
Heres some info for the first time festival go-er.
If you want to party your face off and not end up with shit in your pants and a lost wallet.
Heres some items to bring.

A tent (easy dome tent advisable, not an expensive one).
Some kind of flag or bright paint to fuck up the side of it so you can find your tent when fucked.
A torch or headlamp (well handy)
Sleeping bag or a big blanket
TOILET PAPER (important)
Spare ciggeretes or rolling tobacco. It can be a pain in the arse when you run out day 2.
Your own "funky stuff" of choice (best bought at home and well stashed).
Spare cash.
Swiss army knife (handy for everything)
A pillow if you have a girl with you or you are a girl.
Wellies (especially if you are going to Glastonbury).
Black bag (acts as a rain jacket and you can throw your crap in it).
Spare lighter (important).
Loads of socks
Any form of stupid hat (your head can get baked.. even in Ireland & England)
Vodka & lots of it.
Speakers to jack into your mp3 player.
Spare batteries or them cool wind up chargers (you can find em in Vodafone shops for a tenner).
Your sanity.
Box of condoms (In case you decide to explore your "other" sexuality.

Oh and tickets or a ladder / shovel.

Enjoy your weekend!

Forbidden Fruit Festival. 4th & 5th June 2011. Dublin

Possibly the best priced festival I have seen in a very longtime. The line up is perfect and the price matches the pocket of a recession.
I'll be there dropping acid up the front. 
See you at Aphex!

Day Tickets: E49.50 / Weekend Tickets: EU90

Heres the line up:


Kid Karate
Bipolar Empire
Land lovers


Cast Of Cheers
Not Squares
Tera Melos

Native Instruments Razor Synth Review

Native Instruments have done it again with the creation of a kick ass simple to use FM synth.
This beast can really wail and its very simple to construct your own synths. I find it even more simple than NI's Massive and it has started taking over as my main choice of synth.
As some NI synths can be it can be a bit RAM heavy, so make sure you are well juiced up if you want to run more than 1 at a time in your chosen DAW.
For $80 its not a bad price either. Unless you use "other" avenues for it.
A free Reaktor player is needed to run the synth, so you will have to be running that also.
Here's a video review.

Native Instruments Razor Bass Tutorial

Found this online looks pretty decent.
If you try sticking the Ohmforce Predatohm over the top of it with a low shelf compression & EQ you can get some real nasty bass.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gateway Festival launch party Dublin

25 acts. 4 venues.
Sweeney's Bar, Shebeen Chic, The Globe, RíRá.
More festival fun than you can shake a big festival stick at!

Admission Free!

/// The Globe

Wyvern Lingo
The 9 Bars Blues Band
History of Harry

/// Ri Ra

Lunar Disco
Sindig DJs
Plug Artists

/// Shebeen Chic

Bob Glynn + Brain
Jack in the Band
Mute Fish
The Whiparound

/// Shebeen Chic Basement

Noise Machine
Hassle Merchants
100 Flower Campaign
More Tiny Giants

/// Sweeneys Bar Upstairs

Preston Reed
The Lonely Schizophrenic
Creamy Goodness
Odd Socks Revival
Sleep Thives
Attention Bébé

/// Sweeneys Basement

Surge DJs
Lunar Disco DJs

/// Sweeny's Ground Floor

DJ Chanty Lace
Gramophone Disco