Happy New Year, and may this be your best year yet! On that note, did you make a New Year’s resolution to start making music, or make more music, or make better music? Well unfortunately, studies suggest that only about one in 10 people achieve their New Year’s resolutions, so this video is designed to help you become that one person. But first… tea!
Hello revolutionaries, we are Kate Harmony and Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony), and welcome to Hack Music Theory. We help you make great music that stands out, so you can enchant and enlarge your audience! If that sounds useful to you, then subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit that bell to get notified every Thursday, when we publish our new video. Alright, let’s jump in...
Hack 1: Permission to Play
There’s an abundance of scientific research proving that a lack of play in our lives leads to depression, and for people like us, play is making music. If you’ve ever stopped music for a while and noticed how everything in your life suddenly gets a lot more serious and a lot less enjoyable, then you’ve already experienced this slippery slope. So, if you truly wanna show up 100% for your family and your work, then you need to play. But remember, play is all about intrinsic value, which means the process itself is enjoyable. If someone’s making music as a means to an end (for example, with the goal of one of their songs going viral), then they’re on an even worse slippery slope. We have no control over how the world reacts to our music, so they’d be far happier by refocusing their attention onto the joy of the music making process itself.
Hack 2: Schedule Sessions
I remember when I started teaching music in 1995 (back before the internet stole our time, and instead, we spent it obsessively listening to that three-legged dog tape), my students would often turn up without having done their homework, cos they were “too busy”. And nowadays, with the internet in the palm of our hand, we’re “busier” than we’ve ever been in the whole of human history. And that is why everyone is “happy” on Instagram, but when we actually put our phones down and look around, everyone seems pretty miserable. The only way to overcome this “too busy to play” fallacy, is to schedule a weekly session. So pause this video right now, open your calendar, find one hour somewhere, and create a recurring weekly event. Then, when your session time arrives, turn off your phone, close your web browser, and open your DAW to hack music theory.
Hack 3: Use Music Theory
Nothing ruins fun like frustration! So, the process of making music will only be enjoyable if you’re competent at it. And that’s where we come in. With Hack Music Theory, you can overcome the dreaded blank screen once and for all, cos while Writer’s Block may exist in our minds, in reality, it’s a lie. I remember when I was a kid, my dad told me over and over again “Creativity is a tap that you can turn on whenever you want.” That understanding, along with learning music theory, has resulted in hundreds of songs over my 28 years of making music, with a grand total of zero accounts of writer’s block. So, to get started today, just watch our Step-By-Step Starter Guide at the end of this video, and also, download our free music theory book below.
Hack 4: Practice Makes Play
Now, in order for an activity to properly be play, it needs to pull you into the “flow” state, which is that zone you enter when you’re fully immersed in a task and totally lose track of time. This can only happen when the activity is challenging, but not too difficult. And yes, everything is difficult in the beginning, but, just like everything else, regular practice results in quick progress. Besides, music is only 12 notes. It’s easy! So, make your initial weekly sessions about practising the application of music theory. And to do this, simply follow along with the examples in our weekly videos. If you practice making music using the steps in those videos, you’ll be bustin’ out awesome tunes in no time! Remember, practice makes play.
Hack 5: Get Support
Sitting in front of your DAW with headphones on can be an isolating experience, and as we’re a social species, it’s vital to join a like-minded music community. This will not only create new friendships, which is deeply valuable in itself, but sharing your works-in-progress and getting supportive feedback from your peers will totally turbocharge your progress, and your happiness. So, do some searching online and see if there’s a local meetup you can join. Or, if you wanna join our private network, which has hundreds of good people in it from over 50 countries, then sign up for our online apprenticeship, the link is below. Here’s how one of our top apprentices described it: “I really enjoy the interactions in the Network. Apprentices share their works-in-progress often, and have the right attitude: they’re open-minded, positive, helpful, and some are very funny too. It’s like a family, but without the drama!” –François Lalonde (Montréal, Canada)
So, write down these five hacks, stick ‘em somewhere you’ll see everyday, and you’ll become the one outta 10 people who achieve their New Year’s resolutions. We really hope you found this video helpful, and we’ll see you next week, when we get back to our regular lesson format.
Kate & Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony)
Music Teachers & Producers in Vancouver BC, Canada
Level 1: Read our free book (below) & watch our YouTube videos
Level 2: Read our "Part 1" book & "Songwriting & Producing" PDF
Level 3: Learn our secret art of songwhispering & finish your music
Hack Music Theory is the pioneering notation-free method for making great music that stands out, so you can enchant and enlarge your audience! Taught by award-winning music lecturer Ray Harmony, and his protégé wife Kate Harmony, from their studio in Vancouver BC, Canada. Ray is the author of critically-acclaimed book series "Hack Music Theory", and has made music with Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad), Ihsahn (Emperor), Kool Keith (Ultramagnetic MCs), Madchild (Swollen Members), and many more! Kate has the highest grade distinction in Popular Music Theory from the London College of Music, and is the only person on the planet who's been trained by Ray to teach his method. On that note, the "Hack Music Theory" YouTube channel teaches relevant and instantly-usable music theory for producers, DAW users, and all other music makers (songwriters, singers, guitarists, bassists, drummers, etc.) in all genres, from EDM to R&B, pop to hip-hop, reggae to rock, electronic to metal (and yes, we djefinitely djent!).
© 2019 Revolution Harmony
Revolution Harmony is Ray Harmony & Kate Harmony
All content (script & music) in video by Revolution Harmony
Wooohooo!!! You’re a mere 30 minutes away from being even smarter than you already are. Just head on over to your inbox now for your free download.