Electronic Music Composition Pt1

Learn music theory through electronic music
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  • Lectures 26
  • Length 2 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 2/2016 English

Course Description

When producing a track, we've all experienced that point when you can't get any further and need some extra inspiration. Electronic Music Composition Pt1 (EMC1) will help you overcome this obstacle by introducing basic music theory in an easy to understand way without getting bogged down in scales and theory. This will help you develop the musical aspects of your tracks.

We analyze and demonstrate how classic and cutting edge tunes are put together musically to clearly show you the techniques they use so you can implement them in your own tracks. You'll find EMC both engaging and inspiring, just what making music should be. It's developed by virtuoso keyboardist Ski Oakenfull (solo artist signed to Sony and remixer/producer/writer/player for artists including Incognito, Joey Negro and The Bays.

The course contains new presentation techniques that enable you to see exactly what's being played on the keys and what's happening in the software/DAW. You will be able to use these ideas and techniques in your own productions to get that musical buzz you're missing.

Let's get started!

What are the requirements?

  • This course requires no previous music theory knowledge or keyboard skills. All the techniques are demonstrated using Logic Pro and Ableton Live software, but can be applied to any DAW. A keyboard is highly recommended to fully benefit from this course.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Work out the key of a track, play major & minor scales on a keyboard, work out and play triad chords and use arpeggios in your tracks.

Who is the target audience?

  • This EMC1 course is designed for electronic producers who may have some programming skills, but feel that they could improve their tracks by learning some basic music theory.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction
Welcome to EMC
Section 2: Basics

In this video Ski looks at the track by Redlight called 'Get Out My Head ' to illustrate the terms we have covered on the previous page.. Don't worry too much about the notes he's playing, as we'll be going into more detail as the course progresses. We hope this will give you a feel for the format of the videos and help explain the terms more clearly.

In this video Ski takes a look around the keyboard identifying the names of the white and black notes, as well as their relationship with each other. Please try to learn these notes for yourself by practising as much as possible.
7 questions

Let's check to see if you can remember the notes and intervals we talked about on the last page.

Section 3: Key Signature
In this video Ski shows you how you can play the same piece of music in lots of different keys. He uses the track 'Insomnia' by Faithless as an example.

In this video Ski goes through some tracks in his iTunes library and searches for the Tonic (Tonal Centre) in each one using either a Piano or String sound.

These are the tracks:

  • Daft Punk - Revolution 909
  • Lana Del Ray - Video Games (Joy Orbison Remix)
  • Prommer and Barck feat. Lois Longerling - Lovin' (Andre Lodemann Remix)
  • JVC Force - Strong Island
  • Chemical Brothers - Hey Boy Hey Girl

Download the Ableton & Logic projects here

5 questions

Let's see if you got found the correct key signatures

Section 4: Scales
To help you see what notes make up the major and minor scales on the keyboard, please download these charts which you can print out if necessary.
You'll find the Ableton & Logic projects below. Both the Major & Minor projects are bundled in one file, so please Download and Unzip.

In this video Ski uses a track by Mark E entitled 'Call Me (Dixon Edit)' to demonstrate the scale of C Major


In this video Ski uses the classic track 'Knights Of The Jaguar' by DJ Rolando to demonstrate the scale of D Minor


Please download and unzip the Logic and Ableton scale practice projects below

Note for the Ableton Version:
Inside the project folder you will see 2 versions of the .als file, one for Live 8 and one for Live 9. The Live 9 version uses the Grand Piano patch from the Core Library. For Live 8 version, we have included the Piano samples in case you don't have them. You can drag these into the Samples folder in your library if necessary.

Attention PC users!
Please make sure you have Quicktime installed in order to play the mov file associated with this project. You can download it here:


Check out how the D minor Pentatonic scale works over both a

  • Major I - IV - V Chord Progression, and a
  • Minor i - iv - v Chord Progression.

This is the sound of the blues and can give your tracks a real jazzy flavour. It's also a great starting point for soloing and riffing.

Section 5: Chords
In this video Ski uses the same track by Mark E entitled 'Call Me (Dixon Edit)' to demonstrate a Major Triad. He also touches on the Minor Chord in the sequence.

In this video Ski uses the same track 'Knights Of The Jaguar' by DJ Rolando to demonstrate a Minor Triad. He also introduces the concept of Inversions which we will look at in more detail later in the course.


Please download and unzip the Logic & Ableton projects featured in the following videos


In this video Ski shows you how to slow down Deadmau5's 'Some Chords' track in Ableton using Warping to make it easier to work out the chords. Most of the content of this video can be applied to any DAW, so please watch it even if you are using Logic. We will show you how to slow down the same track in Logic using Flextime in the following video.


Following on from the previous video, Ski shows you how to use Logic's Flextime to slow down the audio, making it easier to hear the chords.


For those of you on Logic Pro X, here is a video from Point Blank's Logic 1 Production course showing you how to use FlexTime.

Section 6: Arpeggios

Below you will find the Ableton & Logic projects featured in the following videos. Please download and unzip.

Underneath these are links to the arpeggio track examples.


In this video Ski shows you how to use the Arpeggiator device in Ableton to play notes of a held chord in a rhythmic sequence. He uses the classic track by Donna Summer entitled 'I Feel Love' to demonstrate how the technique can be applied to a track.


In this video Ski shows you how to use the Arpeggiator device in Logic to play notes of a held chord in a rhythmic sequence. The classic track by Donna Summer entitled 'I Feel Love' is used to demonstrate how the technique can be applied to a track. Please see the previous Ableton video for a more detailed look at the chords.


The Logic X update introduced a dedicated Arpeggiator midi device, and the following video provides a brief introduction. This is covered in more detail in the Point Blank Logic 1 module.


Below you will find links to the track examples mentioned on this page


Drawing on the knowledge of Scales & Chords, Ski demonstrates how to play an Arpeggiated riff over a backing track he has written.

Section 7: Quiz & Exercise
5 questions

We've covered a lot of the basic theory... can you remember any of it?


Please download and unzip the Logic & Ableton projects required for this exercise below.


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Instructor Biography

Point Blank Music School, Voted 'Best Electronic Music School’ - DJ Mag

Originating in London, Point Blank was established during the dance music revolution that exploded out of the UK in the 1990's. Point Blank's goal has always been to harness and demonstrate the creative process of making music at the highest level.

We bring in the best talent the music industry has to offer and provide the latest state-of-the-art equipment to create the perfect learning environment. Our practical, hands-on courses are accredited with internationally recognized academic qualifications.

Since we started sharing the music industry's secrets, over 50,000 students worldwide have chosen Point Blank as the best place to study music production, sound engineering, music business, singing, radio production and DJ skills. You can now study music production with us in London, Los Angeles, or entirely online.

Many of our graduates have gone on to great success themselves. Our students include Claude VonStroke, Goldie, AlunaGeorge, Gemma Cairney, Dave Rene and other successful industry figures. However, most of our students start out as beginners.

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