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Music Theory with the Ableton Push

Applying the concepts of music theory with the Ableton Push as our instrument.
4.1 (32 ratings)
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2,054 students enrolled
Created by Jason Allen
Last updated 1/2017
$19 $20 5% off
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 4 Articles
  • 1 Supplemental Resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What Will I Learn?
Learn the layout of the push in "in key" mode.
Learn the layout of the push in "chromatic" mode.
Write chord progressions and melodies using the Ableton Push
View Curriculum
  • Ableton Live
  • Ableton Push controller
  • Recommended: Taking the other Music Theory for Electronic Musician classes listed in the course summary.

Traditionally, music theory is taught with a piano as the main tool to learn the concepts. In this class, we take music theory concepts and apply them to the the Ableton Push controller. Using the Push, we can find the patterns for chords, harmony, and intervals that will get you producing, songwriting, or composing with the Ableton Push.

For the best success in this course, it is recommended students have already taken the other Music Theory for Electronic Musician classes. They are:

Music Theory for Electronic Musicians I


Music Theory for Electronic Musicians II: Minor Keys and More

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone with an Ableton Push, or looking at getting an Ableton Push controller.
  • Anyone who has taken the other Music Theory for Electronic Musicians I & II class, that wants more.
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 16 Lectures Collapse All 16 Lectures 01:00:18
The Push Layout
2 Lectures 10:00

What this class is all about.

Preview 03:45

There are two main modes for looking at notes: "In Key" and Chromatic. Lets have a look at the differences between the two, and talk about how to deal with both modes.

Preview 06:15
Interval Patterns
5 Lectures 24:29

The Ableton Push is shows us our Octaves with a nice blue light. It also shows us repeated notes in blue. Lets look at how those blue lights can be used as a guide for finding the rest of our intervals.

Preview 04:09

Using the Push to locate our major seconds and minor seconds, in both "In Key" mode and Chromatic mode.

Preview 06:10

Locate our major and minor thirds on the Push. This can be tricking if we are in the "In Key" mode and want to go our of key.

Major and Minor Thirds

Finding our perfect intervals on the Push, again, in both modes.

4ths and 5ths

Last set of intervals! Finding our 6ths and 7ths, major and minor, in "In Key" and Chromatic.

6ths and 7ths
Chords and Triads
3 Lectures 19:13

Remember - follow the patterns. In this lesson we find two triad patterns, and we see that in the "In Key" mode, we don't need to think about major and minor, as long as we stick to the patterns.

Triads in "In Key" Mode

The patterns get a lot more blurry in chromatic mode. But we can still find some, and learn how to play outside of the key by using the chromatic mode.

Triads in Chromatic Mode

We already know the pattern to find a 7th on the Push, and we know the pattern for a triad. Lets put them together to build 7th chords on the Push.

7th Chords
Wrapping Up
6 Lectures 06:38

So far we have only looked at Major and Minor keys and scales. But there are others - lots of others. A handful of the others are built in to the Push, so lets have a look at them.

Other Keys and Modes

Thats it! I hope you got what you were looking for from this class. If you need more theory help, be sure to check out our other Theory classes!

Thanks and Bye!

A Reminder!

A few bonus videos from some friends of mine putting out some awesome Push videos.

Preview 00:33

Another perspective of how this all works.

Bonus Video: Push Theory from another perspective...

There is so much more to learn!

Bonus Lecture: Discount Offers & Mailing List
About the Instructor
4.5 Average rating
3,634 Reviews
26,501 Students
53 Courses
Ph.D / Ableton Certified Trainer

J. Anthony Allen has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multi-media artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen is a versatile creator whose diverse project experience ranges from works written for the Minnesota Orchestra to pieces developed for film, TV, and radio. An innovator in the field of electronic performance, Allen performs on a set of “glove” controllers, which he has designed, built, and programmed by himself. When he’s not working as a solo artist, Allen is a serial collaborator. His primary collaborative vehicle is the group Ballet Mech, for which Allen is one of three producers.

J. Anthony Allen teaches at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN., and is an Ableton Live Certified Trainer. He is a co-founder and owner of Slam Academy, a multimedia educational space in downtown Minneapolis. Recently, Allen founded Hackademica – an innovative net-label for new music.

J. has a PhD in music composition, 2 Master’s degrees in music composition and electronic music, and a bachelors degree in guitar performance. Through his academic travels, Dr. Allen has received numerous awards along the way.

If you run into him on the street, he prefers to be addressed as J. (as in, Jay.)

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