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Learn Music Theory For Producers

Learn Music Theory For Producers

The Pyramind method

The Pyramind Music Theory course combines a theoretical and practical application to developing the knowledge needed to being an effective producer. Infused with chord theory, harmonic structure, melody writing, ear training, and finger drumming, this class sets the foundation for understanding all music and is a must for any serious producer.

We begin by providing a ground-up introduction to Piano and Keyboard performance. The keyboard has become the Swiss army knife of instruments in our D.A.W. and Soft-Synth heavy production landscape, and facility on the instrument will dramatically improve the speed at which you can produce tracks.

Dive into the free course samples on our YouTube channel and get a taste of the transformative learning experience we offer. When you become a member of the channel you can unlock full access to our comprehensive course library of class videos. Of course, all the videos are included when you enroll in our classes or programs!

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Using Ableton Live as a teaching tool makes this course easy and fun to follow. 

Music theory for many is a complete mystery and to others, something they only know the very basics of. By practicing the techniques and applying the concepts within this course you will gradually begin to realize that you know more than you thought you could. 

The objective of this course is to force you out of your comfort zone to make you look at how you can use more sophisticated techniques in your production.

Whether you make minimal techno, future bass, psy-trance, hip-hop, pop, rock or house music, all of the concepts covered in this course will make you a better writer and producer.

Music Theory for Producers

Playing a Piano or Synth

Course Overview

Music Theory for Producers is a 12-week class designed to ensure that you leave having become a competent musician who has a fluid understanding of how to play and convey musical ideas. Below is an outline of what we cover each week of the class.

  • Introduction
  • Rhythm & The Notes of Music
  • Note ID on Piano (Find C, D, etc.)
  • Finger Drumming (Open Logic, choose drum set) Kick-snare-Kick-snare and Boots-and-cats (go as far as the class is comfortable)
  • Fingering Concepts (123, 12345 & 54321, 321 will be fingering for most scales we cover in the first weeks)
  • C Major Scale – 1 octave, each hand, proper fingering
  • Ergonomics (i.e. Don’t injure yourself with awkward wrist contortions. Move the typing keyboard out of the way.)
  • 5-Finger Patterns
  • Intervals of the Major Scale
  • Intervals of C Major
  • G Major Scale
  • Playing along with a click/metronome
  • Note Reading (Staff Notation) Intro
  • Class Jam: Jingle Bells
  • Intro to Triads/Chords
  • Chord Labeling/Notation: Lead Sheet and Roman Numerals
  • Triads of C Major
  • Chords I IV V and the Blues
  • 12 Bar Blues in C PDF: 12-bar form and chords, Blues Scale
  • Diatonic Harmonic Cadences – Chords of the Major scale
  • The 4-chord song: I – V – vi – IV
  • Building Chord Progressions and Chord Substitutions
  • Cadences: Musical punctuation
  • Blues Jam: Cycle through the 12-bars and have sections/groups/rows solo with the Blues Scale 
  • D Major Scale 
  • Triads of D Major (and G Major) 
  • A minor Scale
  • Basic Left-Hand Accompaniment
  • Triad Inversions & Voice Leading
  • A Major and E Major scales
  • I – IV – V in C Major with inverted shapes
  • Class Jam: Piano Simon Says with Random Color Generator
  • Voice leading and chord voicing
  • F and B Major Scales
  • Intro to Minor scale and altered forms: Harmonic and Melodic Minor
  • Triads of the Minor scale
  • Additional triad options with Harmonic and Melodic Minor
  • Common chord progressions in Minor
  • Scales in 2 octaves
  • Jazz progression: ii – V – I
  • Melody and Non-Chord Tones (Suspensions, Anticipations, Passing, etc…)
  • Intro to Diatonic 7th Chords
  • The 5 types of 7th chords (M, m, Dom, m7b5, dim)
  • Inversions of 7th chords
  • Chord-tone hierarchy – ie: What notes are important in a chord.  What to keep and what to delete
  • Chord Voicings with 7th chords
  • Review triads and arpeggios of all scales
  • Introduction to 7th chords – Major 7, Minor 7, Minor 7 b5 and Dominant
  • Jazz progression: ii7 – V7 – I7
  • Modulating to different keys
  • Secondary Dominants: Neo and the “Agent Smith” chord
  • Singer/Songwriter chord progressions
  • Other types of 7th chords
  • Extended harmony: 9th, 11th, 13th
  • Secondary Dominants (V/x) (“five of x”, where x is the “would-be” tonic or the chord you progress to)
  • Common use of secondary dominant: V/V and V7/V, as well as vii/V and vii(m7b5)/V.
  • Other applications of secondary dominants.
  • Using Borrowed Chords
  • Common progressions with Mode Mixture
  • Using the fully diminished 7th chord.
  • Progressions with Mode Mixture
  • Class Jam: Musical Simon Says – Class vs. Instructor
  • The flat-2 chord: Neapolitan and Tritone Substitution
  • Modal chords: Lydian chord, etc
  • Other scales: Octatonic, Whole Tone, Pentatonic, concept of modes
  • Introduction to the Final Project
  • Analysis and practice of pop and jazz tunes
  • Playing Chord Progressions – flat-2 chord
  • Review and presentation of submitted Final Projects.
  • Students expected to discuss their own work and provide feedback on classmates’ projects.
  • Additional discussion on remaining music theory topics if time permits.

Program Topics Include:

  • The Major and Minor Scales
  • Intervals 
  • Triads/Chords
  • Interval and Chord Inversion
  • Chord Progressions and Common Cadences 
  • Melody and Harmony 
  • Voice Leading and Chord Voicing
  • Circle of fifths and fourths 
  • Key signatures 
  • Seventh Chords
  • Modulation
  • Special Chords: Secondary Dominant, Neapolitan 2, Tritone Substitution
  • Mode Mixture
  • Written notation 
  • One and two-hand techniques 
  • Hand forms for Major and Minor scales 
  • Common Progressions in various keys 
  • Working with the Blues Form 
  • Learning cover Songs

24/7 access to our extensive learning management system

Neil Diamond Quote On Music Theory

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  • An in depth online learning experience designed to change your perspective on music theory
  • Unlimited access to training modules and exercizes through our online learning management system
  • INCLUDED AT NO EXTRA COST With enrollment in our Complete music producer program