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In this first tutorial, we'll see the notes that sound well together between the melody and bass. This are just some indications and not some rules : it is possible that the music sounds in another way.

Before beginning, I mention that when I talk about of the melody, it is the keyboard of the top with the treble clef :
Music Tutorial Playing the right notes

and when I talk about the bass, it is the keyboard of the bottom with the bass clef :
Music Tutorial Playing the right notes

The octave

First, you can play the same note at the bass and at the melody. For example, if I play an A on the bass, I play also an A on the melody :
Music Tutorial Playing the right notes

In fact, these are not exactly the same notes, they are octaves because the bass is lower than the melody. In the following excerpt, the melody is always in the octave of the bass. In other words, when I change notes I made at the same time on bass and melody: A-A, C-C, D-D, F-F, A-A.

The third

The third is the note that is 2 notches above the bass. For example : C is third of A, E is the third of C... So if we play an A on bass, we'll make a C on the melody :

Normally, it sounds good. I replay the same excerpt, except that I'm going to play all at the third. A-A, C-E, D-F, F-A, A-C (1st note = bass, 2nd = melody)

The fifth

The fifth is the note that is 4 notches above the bass. For example : E is fifth of A, G is the fifth of C... On the Tony-b Machine is quite handy because the keys are close together when the melody is the fifth of the bass.
Music Tutorial Playing the right notes

We can easily create a melody in parallel fifths :

The arpeggio

If one summarizes, on a given bass note, you can play 3 melody note. For example, on an A on bass, we can play an A (octave), a C (the third) and an E (the fifth). These 3 notes A, C and E are the so-called A arpeggio.
Music Tutorial Playing the right notes
The E arpeggio is E-G-B.
The F arpeggio is F-A-C.

This is a small example where, while keeping the note A on the bass, I will successively play the notes of the A arpeggio in the melody.

We could do the same with any other arpeggio.

The intermediate notes

We can already do many things with the notes of the arpeggio. However this is not always easy to create a melody with just these notes. That's why we can add notes in between. For example: instead of playing A, C, E to the melody, I'll add the note passing between the C and E, which goes to A, C, D, E :

Imagine all the possible combinations


You can also switch to play a note of the arpeggio notes with just on the left or just on the right. For example, always with the A on bass, you can turn around the C or around the E :

Here it is, in the hope that it will inspire you beautiful compositions.

The author

Anthony Bouchereau (Tony-b) created the Tony-b Machine and the site tony-b.org in 2007. He continues to develop the site and three new machines over the years. Today web developer and musician in Umanis in the Quatuor Megamix he still devotes part of his time to develop the site.

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Tony-b Machine 1.0 (november 2006)
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contact [at] tony-b.org


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