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Music Production Concepts for Beatmaking

Counting and Tempo Basics for Music Production

Okay so the next concept which is extremely important uh being a producer is knowing how to count beats okay so for us as beat makers we typically work in what is known as four four time four four time is the most common for production and all it is is one two three four one two three four and then depending on the tempo you've set that determines on how fast you count so whether it be like one two you know or will be one two three four one two three four so for example if i uh play this we got one two three four one two three four if i put this down really really slow it'd be more like one two three four one two three four okay so put it back up to 128
which is a really really common tempo for kind of uh electronic dance music house music now where counting beats uh can become fun and uh add a lot of rhythm to your music is it's not just one two three four it could be one and two and three and four or it could be one and a two and a three and a four and if you're adding in little
percussion notes on these one and a two and a three and a four on like the one you have your kick drum on the and uh you would add like a percussion and kind of like a hi-hat or something this is where your productions and your drum loops start to sound really really full and then as you're playing your piano how you can count for that would be like one two three four one two three four one two three four so i don't do this counting out all the time especially in my own head so what i'm trying to say is it's gonna be hard for me to count and play at the same time for you guys but just again remember it could be one two three four you can go one and two
and a three and a four okay you see how i threw that in there so i changed up three and four different than one and two this is where you can start being creative so for example if i were just to play a chord like this and go one and two end and on the end i play a different note so one and two and three and four and one and two and three and four so don't worry we're going to get into this i'm going to be showing you i'm just kind of giving you an idea of how to count so in our later videos i'm going to be showing you different chord progressions as well as different patterns to play the piano over top of drum loops so don't worry if you feel that we're going too fast but for example you guys could be changing your chord after every four beats which would be one bar so for example i'll play and i'll count at the same
time so play one two three four one two three four one two three four one two three four one two three four so that's a really common thing is to change your chord
after every four beats and then as you saw when i got to the fourth beat it was one and two and three and four and then i started again because if your piano loop was always just going those same four chords you know after every four beats it could become boring okay we as producers we want to keep our our listeners ears fresh we want to keep changing the chords we want to keep you know adding new things coming in but at the same time we also want the balance between having a nice rhythm for them to listen to and not be too busy okay so there's like that balance there's a balance between being too slow too boring bland but then there's a balance between way too much going on so just to go over that one more time in production you're gonna be wanting to learn four four time and you already know it i already showed you
one two three four that's it then depending on your tempo you've set this dictates you know the the kind of feel that you're going for like a slower tempo you know
is typically for like you know hip-hop and stuff like that but that's not always true uh depending on how you've set up your step sequencer this stuff is kind of going a little off topic from me teaching you piano you know i would love to teach you the whole thing you know in terms of drum loops uh mixing all that stuff but we're just going to be focusing here on piano okay so you you know you got your four beats depending on your tempo and then to be creative you can slip in that and so one and two and and then let's say for example three and four three and a four and one and two you know so try that out and that was really gonna help you as you're producing your beats.

Chords Inversions in Beatmaking

Okay the next important thing to learn about when playing chords is there's something called inversions okay what that means is remember within with an octave you have
keys that are down low but then you have the same c but it's just a higher octave so for example a low c a higher c so since you have all these notes all over your keyboard which are the same notes just higher octaves higher or lower octaves when you're playing a chord well who says that you have to be playing this c for example like what if you want to play this e and this g but what about this c up here okay so for example if this is you know just your root position for your chord well what if we played the c up higher that's called an inversion and then what if we wanted to play it even up higher so now we have the g c and e up here and this relates to every single chord so for example if i just play like a c down here and then play like the chord but in versions of it you'll see that it's like it sounds like i'm playing a different chord but i'm just playing a different inversion of it therefore i could be getting away with a different sound in my beat even though i'm playing the same chord so here we go okay sounds kind of basic but where an inversion comes into play and where it's really really handy for us as beat makers is sometimes you're playing your piano piece but sometimes a chord is almost too low down it feels like so therefore you could be getting away by playing an inversion of a chord which kind of brings you back up a little bit because remember right down here is the c major and if i play the c up higher it's like well i've now moved my chord up higher even though i'm playing the same notes but the c is higher because as a producer it's all about your sound selection so once it comes time to mixing if you're always selecting sounds and playing notes in like the mid frequencies it's going to be harder to mix so a lot of times what you want to do is you want to try and pick sounds that are someone like in the high end some in the middle and then some in the low end this makes it a lot easier come mix time and it allows for a lot more clarity in your beat now with the left hand i wouldn't really recommend doing your inversions and the reason for that is because whatever is your root note on your left hand that is typically what your baseline is okay because once it comes to the lower frequencies this gets into more the science behind audio so your frequencies as you play higher are faster okay when you play your lower notes your frequencies are slower therefore if a sound is clashing uh when it comes to like phase cancellation and stuff like that you can notice it a lot more in your low end and instead of that bass sounding nice and clean and tight it can sound really really uh wobbly weak sounding and it really destroys your beat so for example like let's say you inverted the chord with the g at the root note right let's say you brought the g up so now you're playing uh an inverted g so again we're just in root position so g is here we're going to bring the g up to here okay so do this now the root note is actually b and now you'd have to be making sure that your baseline is playing like a b again because like i'm saying otherwise there could be clashing between playing uh a g bass line and then your piano chord is playing a b here okay so what i'm trying to saythere is on your left hand i wouldn't really recommend the inversions this is just for myself as i produce i found that it's giving me the best results the left hand i i would i would keep it playing uh whatever note is the bass line as the root and then on the right hand that's where you can start playing your inversions and stuff like that so that's a general overview of inversions
and that's just to introduce you that you could be moving around your chords yet playing the same chord but in terms of mixing and in terms of sound you could be selecting a higher or lower uh inversion of that chord so you have your root position you have your first inversion you have your second inversion and then you get back to root but just an octave higher okay so that's inversions let's move on.

Arpeggiators for Music Production

Okay so now i'm going to introduce you to arpeggios so like i've been telling you all along arpeggios add tons and tons of fullness to your music okay so what is an arpeggio okay so we're first going to start with what is a block chord a block chord is just when you play all three notes at the same time an arpeggio is when you play all three notes one after another so for example i'm doing an arpeggio right now so if i were to play now inside that chord like you don't have to be playing
these notes over and over again very very boring and you don't have to be playing them in the same pattern so for example it could be and this is where it really really really helps in your music program uh because you can simply click things in whereas you don't have to uh be in perfect timing and stuff like that this is the difference between a beat maker and a classical piano player the classical piano player they would be learning that arpeggio for hours and hours and hours trying to
get the timing perfect and their speed would be very very fast you know like for example they'd be up and down the piano kind of like this and as you can see i was playing the same chord but over two octaves so that was c d sharp g c d sharp g so right now i'm playing in c minor so if we're going to be playing that in c major
and how i'm doing that is c e g and your thumb comes under and this is where you got to be fast it's like kind of rotating under and your thumb would hit the next c and then e and g and then uh on your way back your middle finger goes over to g and you play like that so c e g thumb goes under c and then your index finger comes over hit e g and then if you work your way back so g e c and then your middle finger comes over hits g e and c before we end this video i want to introduce you guys to how to use the arpeggio in fl studio because this is for beat makers and i typically teach with fl studio so up here you hit the gear you're gonna come here to the wrench okay you're gonna see a section card called the arpeggiator so right now if i play a chord this is the sound now watch this if we just turn it on with the up arrow let's just say i'll play that same chord it's like whoa right so now uh you have different settings in here so you have like the range so again just like i
showed you when i went so i'm going to turn this off first just like when i went over two octaves for my arpeggio that's doing the same thing over two ranges so if i play this it'll sound very similar so if i turn that off it was more like this but in compared to the music program it's like i'm super super slow at doing that
um so if we do it like this so now if we play that same chord progression from before okay so i'll turn it off and this is what i played remember i've been playing
this all along with you guys okay turn on the arpeggiator and this is what it sounds like and this is the difference between like uh you know someone just starting up
production and someone who understands all these tools so they can take advantage of them and add fullness because what you really could do is you could clone this okay so now i have two pianos and on one of them you can play the block chords so we come here take off the arpeggiator okay and now let's say on piano one i play
you know just like the normal chords and then on piano two i would then enable the arpeggiator and i would play those exact same chords and therefore you get best of both worlds you get the actual block chords and then you get the arpeggiated i guess chords so that's arpeggios try them out they're very very cool again here in fl studio you have other settings rather than just up you have down you have up down and then um yeah you also have like a gate here so with it right now so it kind of makes it more like a plucked sound and then you can also uh change the timing of it okay.