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Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 2: Minor keys and More

Electronic music theory, digital music theory, and dance music theory. Learn music theory with ableton live and more!
Jason Allen
4,717 students enrolled
By the end of this course, you will have improved your tracks by understanding how to build chords and melodies that work together.
Use the circle of fifths to generate new ideas for your own tracks
Work within minor keys to write compelling melodies and basslines
7th chords
Maj7 and minor 7th chords
Dominant 7th chords
Blues and the 7th chord
Analysis: Shame On Me (Avicii)
Minor scales
Relative keys
Minor diatonic chord progressions
Analysis: Ghosts N Stuff (Deadmau5)
Changing keys in your track
Analysis: Get Luck (Daft Punk)
9th and 13th chords
Suspended Chords
Writing melodies for chord progressions
Writing chord progressions for melodies
Bass lines
Analysis: Windowlicker (Aphex Twin)
Producing with Modes


Welcome to the MUSIC THEORY FOR ELECTRONIC MUSIC Guide – Part 2!

In this class we learn how to work with the piano roll editor in a DAW to make harmonies, melodies, and whole tracks, and then we expand on those ideas and work with harmonic patterns (harmony) that is more rich than just major and minor. 

Production Techniques Through Theory

The most important part of this class is an extensive foray into using these techniques in actual tracks. I’ll be creating 9 tracks through this class, right along with you, each using a different technique so you can see exactly how I incorporate it right into my music.

Full Sessions

After each production project, I’ll give you the whole session of what I made using the techniques for you to play with. You can download it, expand on it, re-work it, and even release it as your work.

If Your Music is Missing Something, This is Probably It.

If you are finding that you are writing track after track, and while they sound good, there is something they are missing – then this it. You are missing the sense of harmony that professional producers have. In this class, I’ll arm you with all the tools you need to produce those tracks just like you imagine them.

Who should take this course?  
Anyone interested in producing their own music. This will get you up and running and give your tracks a unique sound in no time.

This course consists of video lectures, which all contain a session in Ableton Live 9. If you are using a different program (or none at all), no worries! This isn’t a class on how to use Ableton Live, and the concepts can be applied to any DAW.

Topics include:

  • Minor Scales and Keys

  • Minor Diatonic Chord Progressions

  • Changing Keys in a track

  • 9th and 13th Chords

  • Suspended Chords

  • Writing Melodies for Chord Progressions

  • Writing Chord Progressions for Melodies

  • Writing bass lines

  • Modes

  • Producing with Modes

  • … And much more!!!

The course is a roadmap to finding the missing piece in your tracks, or just getting started making great tracks.

All the tools you need to make, produce, and start your music career are included in this course and the entire course is based on real-life experiences – not just academic theory.

Please click the “Take This Course” button so you can start making great tracks today.

** I guarantee that this course is the most thorough music theory course available ANYWHERE on the market – or your money back (30 day money back guarantee) **

Closed captions have been added to all lessons in this course.


Praise for Courses by Jason Allen:

⇢  “It seems like every little detail is being covered in an extremely simple fashion. The learning process becomes relaxed and allows the complex concepts to get obsorbed easily. My only regret is not taking this course earlier.” – M. Shah

⇢  “Great for everyone without any knowledge so far. I bought all three parts… It’s the best investment in leveling up my skills so far..” – Z. Palce

⇢  “Excellent explanations! No more or less than what is needed.” – A. Tóth

⇢  “VERY COOL. I’ve waiting for years to see a good video course, now I don’t have to wait anymore. Thank You!” – Jeffrey Koury

  “I am learning LOTS! And I really like having the worksheets!” – A. Deichsel

⇢  “The basics explained very clearly – loads of really useful tips!” – J. Pook

⇢  “Jason is really quick and great with questions, always a great resource for an online class!” M. Smith


Students who register for this course will receive ongoing exclusive content and discounts to all future classes in the series. 

Welcome & Overview


Welcome! In this first video we talk about what we will cover in this class, and how we will cover it.

Minor Scales & Keys

Minor Scales

Minor scales! What separates major scales from minor scales? What are the patterns in a minor scale?

Relative Keys

Every minor key has a relative major key, and every major key a relative minor. In this lesson, we talk about how to find the relatives, and how to use them.

Minor Diatonic Chord Progression

Our old friend the diatonic chord progression that we learned in Music Theory for Electronic Musicians I in the major key. Now, we learn it again for the minor key.

The Case of the Melodic and Harmonic Minor Scales

The minor scale (and key) isn't as simple as the major. It has a few variations, and we look at them in this lesson.

Analysis: Ghosts N Stuff (Deadmau5)

Analysis: Ghosts N Stuff (Deadmau5)

In this lesson we examine the track Some Chords by Deadmau5, We find the chord progression, figure out why it sounds the way it does, and how it works.

The Circle of Fifths

Why? What We Know So Far

What is the circle of fifths, why is it important, and how can we use it in our tracks?

Changing Keys Within Your Track

Now that you have a command over the circle of fifths, we can use it as a creative tool to find new and different chords for our tracks.

Analysis: Get Lucky (Daft Punk)

Analysis: Get Lucky (Daft Punk)

In this lesson we examine the track Get Lucky by Daft Punk, We find the chord progression, figure out why it sounds the way it does, and how it works.

A Few More Chord Extensions

7th Chords in Minor

We looked at 7th chords in the previous class, and here there are again applied to minor keys.

9ths and 13ths

Moving beyond 7th chords, we can add more extensions - 9ths and 13ths. See how these sound and can be useful to us.

Suspended Chords

Adding the 2nd and 4th into our chords for a "suspended" sound.

Reading a Chord Chart

Why not a little Michael Jackson? Lets try reading a chord chart, you will be surprised at what you already know how to do.

Cluster and Unnamed Chords

Found a chord without a good name? Call it a cluster chord.

Analysis: Everything You Do is a Balloon (Boards of Canada)

Analysis: Everything You Do is a Balloon (Boards of Canada)

In this lesson we examine the track Everything you Do is a Balloon by Boards of Canada, We find the chord progression, figure out why it sounds the way it does, and how it works.

Melody Writing

Writing Melodies for Chord Progressions

How can we find a melody that fits with a chord progression? Some techniques and strategies for finding a melody in this lesson.

Writing Chord Progressions for Melodies

How about finding the chords to fit with a melody we have? Techniques and tricks for finding the right chords in this lesson.

Counter Melody: Arpeggiation

We now have a chord progression and a melody. In this lesson we look at adding another layer - a countermelody - to the mix.

Analysis: Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites (Skrillex)

Analysis: Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites (Skrillex)

In this lesson we examine the track Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites by Skrillex, We find the chord progression, figure out why it sounds the way it does, and how it works.

Bass Lines

Follow the Root Note

How do we find a bass line that works with a chord progression?

Bass Riffs

If we have a bass riff, how can we find chords that work together with it? A few tricks in this lesson.

Get Muddy

A word of caution for creating bass lines.

Analysis: Windowlicker (Aphex Twin)

Analysis: Windowlicker (Aphex Twin)

In this lesson we examine the track Windowlicker by Aphex Twin, We find the chord progression, figure out why it sounds the way it does, and how it works.



Getting outside of the box with your chords. Way outside of the box.

Thanks and Goodbye! (for now)

Thanks and Goodbye! (for now)

Thanks for hanging out! A few final words. Give me a good review if you enjoyed the class!

Some Extra Video Resources

I recently made some cool (animated!) theory videos for another project that you might enjoy. Here they are!

Bonus Lecture: Discount Offers & Mailing List

There is so much more to learn!

Bonus: Diatonic Chord Progressions in Minor

Here is another way to look at diatonic chord progressions in minor. This example is from my Music Theory Comprehensive class - so its using notes, but I think it will still be useful to you. Have a look.

Bonus Lecture: Analysis of Aurora by JJD

By request: Here is an analysis of Aurora by JJD.

You can view and review the lecture materials indefinitely, like an on-demand channel.
Definitely! If you have an internet connection, courses on Udemy are available on any device at any time. If you don't have an internet connection, some instructors also let their students download course lectures. That's up to the instructor though, so make sure you get on their good side!
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5 hours on-demand video
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