In the third installment of our ongoing Music Foundations video tutorial series, Dubspot instructor Max Wild demonstrates how to reharmonize an A capella using Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” as example. If you missed the previous tutorials in this series, check out part one and part two.
This is the third video in my three-part tutorial of remixing techniques. In the first tutorial I explained my technique in transcribing an A cappella melody, and in the second tutorial I explain how to transcribe chords to a song. This third tutorial will focus on reharmonizing an A cappella or other melody.
To those of you unfamiliar with the term reharmonization: Reharmonization means changing the harmony (or chord sequence) to a song, by replacing the existing chord sequence with chords of your own, to give the song a different sound, and personal touch. For instance you could change a song from minor to major or vice versa by reharmonizing it. This is a very useful tool in remixing.
The first thing I do when finding a new harmonic sequence to a song is figure out all the chords available to me. In this tutorial I will be exploring all the diatonic triads available to me. Diatonic triads are triads within the key of the song, in this case G# minor. There are seven diatonic triads available to me, and they are: G#min, A#dim, Bmaj, C#min, D#min, Emaj, and F#maj. Next, I find the triads that work best with the main melody note in each measure.
In my chord sequence I am using a different triad for every measure, however, how frequently you want to change chords is up to your personal taste. When figuring out my chord sequences I try to include a mixture of major and minor triads for variety. Once I have decided on a sequence I like, I am ready to record it. I can now flesh out my remix by adding my other instruments, such as bass, pads, and arpeggios, which will all follow this sequence and give the A cappella a new harmonic feel. I hope you enjoy using this tool as much as I do! – Max Wild
The best producers, DJs, and musicians in the world strive to be well-rounded. So should you. In Dubspot’s Music Foundations Program, you’ll explore three major aspects of music: rhythmic theory, melodic theory, and critical listening.
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