Intro to the melody of dubstep songs like eh!de, etc

So the 30 seconds intro melodies are usually the hardest spots for me when producing dubstep. Does anyone have any recommendations on what steps to take to get something started.

Second part of the question, Did you guys have to memorize chords to get something started because I do not know the major and minor chords by heart I usually have to look them up.

Just do something else then.

If this is how you make music, you need to reevaluate your entire approach.


I’ll preface this by saying I’m NOT an experienced, long-time producer, and I’m pretty sketchy with theory, in general, as I’ve never been formally trained… Anyway, honestly, when you’re first learning music theory, and it’s for the purposes of creating electronic music, focus on the minor scale first, until you’re comfortable enough with that. I’d say that if you’re writing Dubstep, chances are you’re going to be writing pretty much EVERYTHING in the minor scale (I’m sure I’ll get reamed for making that claim haha).

A good (meaning “easy” place to start would be A minor. Your basic Amin scale is just all of the white keys (Keys in the scale of your root shouldn’t feel out of place- or wrong- typically (again, I’m sure a theory guru will be here to destroy me any minute now lol). For chords in minor, find whatever key you want the track to be in (say F#…). Right, so locate a F# key on your keyboard- next, starting on the NEXT key after your root note (G in this case), count UP 3 half-steps- (so F# = root, UP 3 half-steps would go “G”, “G#”, “A”- so A is your next note to remember. Then, from A, where you left off, continue counting UP to the 7th half-step from the root note-- so “A” was the third…“A#”, “B”, “C”, and “C#” will get you to the 7th half-step. S

So, for your root note F#, your most basic minor chord will be F# - A - C# (in other words, basic minor chord = 1, 3, 7 – 1 is your root note, 3 half-steps up for the second note, and 7 total half-steps up for the third note, to get a basic 3-note chord). There are much more complex versions of just the F#m chord when you get into melodic minor, harmonic minor, pentatonic minor, etc.

Apologies if this is no help, or too confusing the way I typed it, I’m half asleep, and already don’t know what the hell I’m talking about to begin with :smirk:

random site with music theory/scales & chords info

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LULZ at “theory guru”

Step one. Study chord shapes.

Same, I think you’re just approaching it wrong. I think we’re lucky in that we never learned because most people I know who learned say they’re straight jacketed by all the rules and guidelines.
You should go more by feeling than what’s technically correct. It’s like you’re supposed to be drawing your own picture and then colouring it in, right now you’re tracing and colouring. Stop tracing.


Haha… it just felt right.

You know, you’re right, and that’s a good way to look at it. Definitely makes perfect sense.

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I’ve never understood the “music theory stiffles creativity” view point, it is a language to think about music in and to communicate with other musicians. At the end of the day doing what sounds best is always the best policy–but theory makes your mind quicker at finding solutions instead of wandering a keyboard hoping you stumble over something that sounds good.

You don’t need much. Just learning some rudementary things about chords opened up a whole new world for me. A friend of mine who taught piano suggested to me that in her experience adults who are starting from scratch have a better time by starting with chords. I found it much easier than keys and scales, personally. I also find writing chord progressions kind of dictates a “scale” of sorts ot worth within.

Hell sometimes I even write a chord progression and never end up using any proper chords.

I would recommend learning some basic theory. Learn the formula for a major scale and learn how to build triads (root, 3rd, 5th) would be a major triad, (root, flat3rd, 5th) would be minor triad. Once you know these things it will be simple to figure out what chords belong to any given major or minor scale. A chord can be build from each degree (note) of the scale.

I agree that learning at least how chords are actually played on piano helps, BUT still i personally have made most of my stuff by merely trying to hit several keys at once on MIDI or even just by clicking with mouse to piano roll and then testing it out, and if they do not fit as in sounds really off the key, trying changing them until it sounds about right. So there is a fine line between knowing all about theory and truly just trying out stuff and listening what would sound good and what kind of an chord/note you are playing in your head for the current or the next note(s) that would fit when composing and then just keep on making with that principle.

As far as what fragments wrote, in my point of view, maybe the lack of knowledge on some stuff may cause some extra amount of time consumption on compositions because of all the testing but it may also affect/decrease the over-thinking on it. As in if the musician thinks about the music he wants to make and makes it… compared to thinking of the music theory on how it should be done or something like that… there are no limits in music my opinion all and all even though there are. But still some music theory can also be helpful. I’m not quite sure about this matter still

It helps to know the rules so you can break them.

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I’m not really trying to argue as we’ll never come to a proper conclusion, but I simply don’t see music theory as a deterrent to writing music. If a person looks at theory as a rigid set of rules that is their perception of music holding them back, not Western theory.

Theory isn’t a limit.

In my experience the people who claim learning theory will stiffle creativity or any of the negative myths about it either don’t know any or very little. I suspect that in trying to learn they became frustrated so would rather condemn music theory than admit their own short comings. I’ll never write complex melody and harmony. But as I learn little bits here and there everything kind of falls together more so for me and I spend far less time guess what might sound good.

Electronic music is interesting in that you can make a choice to be melodically and harmonically complex or make the timbre of your sounds complex (or neither, or both, which is perfectly acceptable too). The great part about a synthesizer is that it isn’t a piano one note can be much more than a one note on a piano.

Mostly for dance music there is nothing melodically or harmonically complex going on. Much of house music was made programming one chord shape into a synthesizer then playing single keys up and down the keyboard.

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