Key of Bassline, chords and vocals
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Old 16-05-2017, 08:26 AM   #1
alan.stock
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Key of Bassline, chords and vocals

Hi guys,

I'm new to the forum and hope I can get some help with music production and music theory as I progress

Today I have a music theory question that I have been wondering about and still unsure of.

When you write a track and you have you have a vocal/phrase does it have to be I. The same key as let's say your chords or bassline? If I'm not mistaken, you bassline is the same key notes as your chords bass note right?

I need to get my head around having all my elements in harmony and nothing clashing.

Cheers

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Old 16-05-2017, 11:36 AM   #2
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Re: Key of Bassline, chords and vocals

This is a basic theory question, I'm in a relevantly similar place as you. To my understanding, yes you need to have it in the same key for it to sound appealing to the ear, thus the reason of their being the purpose of a song being written in a specific key.


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Old 15-06-2017, 10:17 AM   #3
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Re: Key of Bassline, chords and vocals

I simply go by my ears: if it sounds good, I don't care what key it is. ^^

But maybe my ears are already trained on recognizing same keys as sounding good, since I've been playing instruments and making music for about 20 years. If you're unsure, I'd go with what music theory says though, just to be on the safe side.

Well, that was not really helpful I guess.

There are a ton of good videos on music theory on youtube though. To be at least a little helpful I found one that might be of use: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oqXAAoPSz4

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Old 16-06-2017, 05:01 AM   #4
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Re: Key of Bassline, chords and vocals

Vocal doesnt have to be I. Bass is best to be in a chord bass note yes, but I've seen youtube videos where some producers change that note into maybe 3rd or 5th to sound more interesting.

If you are having problems with a chords, Cubase has an amazing chord assistant. It will change the way you make music.


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Old 17-06-2017, 02:31 PM   #5
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Icon6 Re: Key of Bassline, chords and vocals

the concept of a tune being a certain key ALWAYS is a bit misleading

a tune could be exactly halfways between two keys, for example

this ain't that common though..... although it is easy to set up synths to behave like this.

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Old 25-08-2017, 12:47 PM   #6
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Re: Key of Bassline, chords and vocals

Having the vocals in the same key will help them gel with the other elements and feel like they belong with your chords and bass line. Although you can get away with them not being in the same key too, depending on the effect you're going for.

Different genre's and styles will call for different things, and it'll largely depending on the role your vocals/phrase play in the song.

Maybe as an example, Raise Your Weapon by Deadmau5, would be a song where it's important that the key of your vocals would want to match your chords and bass line.
It plays a central role, it's a main melodic element. If it wasn't in key, it'd sound off.

Sometimes the vocals can be purposely out of key on certain notes to create tension within the music and add interest. Done creatively with a degree of tact and taste it can work really well.

Your bass line will usually follow the root note of your chord. The root note is the lowest note of the chord, which the chord is also named after. As Mario D mentioned already though the bass note doesn't always have to follow the chord it could be a 3rd or 5th of the root note of the chord.
Hell, it can be any other note in the same key too!
As someone who used to play bass guitar, it was a pet peeve of mine that I was expected to just play root notes of chords. Try mix is up a little to keep your bass lines interesting!
Try different notes in the same key and see how they interact with your chords.
If you're feeling super experimental try a note outside the key for effect.
Do it sparingly though, too many notes outside of your chosen key and you'll throw the listener, and for the most part they'll feel lost and like you've just selected random notes with no relation to one another.

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