More Expressive Music Theory for Ableton & Electronic Music

Write daring, bold electronic music, enhance your music theory knowledge and craft expressive performances in Ableton

* 2019 Comprehensive Update! *

What you’ll learn

  • Experience more creative freedom with intermediate music theory.
  • Understand beat patterns for Dubstep, Trance, Jungle, Drum and Bass and Techno.
  • Make Ableton expressive with an informed live performance strategy.
  • Get people dancing… learn to use syncopation, polyrhythms and side-chain compression.

Course Content

  • Introduction –> 1 lecture • 1min.
  • Harmonic Concepts on Keyboard and Push 2 –> 11 lectures • 28min.
  • Intermediate Rhythmic Principles –> 10 lectures • 25min.
  • Principles for Better Compositions –> 7 lectures • 17min.
  • Expressive Tracks and FX –> 8 lectures • 18min.
  • Conclusion –> 4 lectures • 6min.

More Expressive Music Theory for Ableton & Electronic Music


* 2019 Comprehensive Update! *

This course has been completely overhauled to improve video and audio quality.

Electronic music can be daring and bold.  Music theory makes it easier to make great tracks.  Ableton Live and Ableton Push 2 provide AMAZING tools for electronic musicians.  Plus, Ableton Push 2 makes live electronic music performance and improvisation easier than ever before.  Are you a beginner at electronic music production who wants to inject your tracks with compelling textures and professional composition techniques?  Enroll now and discover compositional power tools for writing, recording and performing expressive electronic music using music theory in Ableton Live!

5-Stars – “Clear and concise way of explaining the various theory concepts, and how it can be applied to Ableton and the push 2” – Jason (Udemy Student)

  • Learn Inversions – the key to smoother, more emotional chord progressions
  • Unlock Asynchronous Polyrhythms – compelling, evolving beats on autopilot
  • Use the 12 Bar Blues “Sandbox” – the ideal “sandbox” for any musical experimentation
  • Express Yourself with Macros and Aftertouch – Ableton’s technical tools for expressive, realtime performances
  • Understand Side-chaining and much more…

Transform and Elevate

Music theory has the power to transform and elevate any electronic music production.  This course will introduce students to specific concepts in harmony, melody and rhythm that you won’t find on your own.  Each short video either introduces at topic or demonstrates its use in the real world (on real instruments).  Plus, every demonstration was filmed, hands-on, in crystal-clear HD quality, so you can learn faster and see what’s going on.

Ableton Live (with Ableton Push 2) has several features that are only useful to electronic musicians who understand music theory.  Using scales, swing and polyrhythms are examples of features that many beginners never use (correctly).  These powerful features will benefit you even more once you understand the age-old musical language that all great music relies upon – music theory.  Each lesson is likely to inspire a new direction – either in performance or composition.

This course moves beyond very basic music theory (I cover that in another course) and gets on with the good stuff! We’ll focus on intermediate music theory and rhythm theory concepts.  The topics presented here will make a measurable difference in your tracks and will directly build on your understanding of music theory basics (triads, scales, etc.)

Concise and To-The-Point

Every lesson is concise and to the point.  Explanations are complete and the collection of topics will undoubtedly open new frontiers for beginners.  Let music theory inspire you!  For example, you’d be amazed how a polyrhythm (alone) can elevate a seemingly uninteresting track.  Once you get to know the 12 bar blues, you’ll hear it EVERYWHERE – from classic R&B to disco, rock, jazz and pop.  Students may experience one side effect: you’re ears will begin to “understand” what they’re hearing!

Beginners will discover new musical textures that they can use on day 1.  You’ll understand chord inversions, syncopation, color tones and much, much more!  Bite-sized video lectures make it easy to learn about everything from augmented chords to developing a better synth lead patch. Plus, see it all done live on the Push 2.

  • Use MIDI for expression
  • Discover expressive sound design principles
  • Get hands-on with sampling the “Amen” break

Content and Overview

Begin expanding your knowledge of harmony with the introductory series of hands-on video lessons.  You’ll learn about how to properly play chords and practice inversions using the Ableton piano roll, traditional keyboards and Ableton Push 2.  Chords and chord progressions (a.k.a. harmony) will provide the significant boost to your tracks.  Harmony defines an emotion, guides the listener’s experience and defines what your melodies can (or can’t) do.

5-Stars – “Do yourself a favor and take this course!” – Matthew (Udemy Student)

Next in the curriculum, maximize your beat-making flexibility with a series of 10 video lessons discussing rhythm-related topics.  You’ll learn about syncopation, swing and beat-making patterns AND get clear guidance for practicing these aspects for yourself.  I’ll walk you through creating a pattern on Push 2 for these genres:

  • Dubstep
  • Trance
  • Jungle
  • Drum and Bass
  • Techno

Once your harmony and rhythm skills are up to scratch, You’ll learn to redefine your EDM melodies with melody theory lessons in Section 4.  Learn to discern different tone types – especially “color” tones and use them intentionally to deepen the emotional impact of your melodies.  Skim through familiar chord progressions (that everyone’s been using since the dawn of time) and learn how to make catchy, irresistible melodies to go over the top.  This course presents many insights related to the relationship between catchy melodies and harmonic choices.

I’ve always felt that the performance is where its really at.  So, my goal is to help you get ready to rock a stage.   We’ll start by setting up an arsenal of expressive MIDI controls using Push 2.  Watch hands-on lessons about configuring macros, aftertouch and other expressive performance tools.  Plus, gain insights on how and when to ACTUALLY use these expressive tools to make each performance fun, authentic and totally original.

Plus, the course includes in-depth lessons on compression, limiting and sound design techniques.  EDM is known for pumping side-chain compression and I’ll show you how its done.  For beginners, the lessons on compression and limiting will undoubtedly raise the stakes for your finished tracks – in the studio and on stage.

Finally, this course provides practice tips for beat-making as well as developing your live improvisation skills.  This course was filmed in 4K and streams in crystal-clear 1080p HD (where available).  Throughout this course topics are demonstrated in hands-on video lessons on Novation LaunchKey 49, Push 2 and Ableton Live 9 Suite. It is not necessary for each student to have this equipment, but be warned – you’ll want to get hands-on to have the most fun with this course!  Each video demonstration has crisp image quality so that you can see exactly what is happening, learn faster and use the lessons in your own music.

Enroll now and begin making more expressive electronic music on day 1.  As your instructor, I’m always engaged and available.  I look forward to keeping in touch and helping you develop your electronic music!

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