Oct 27

Ghostbuster: The Genius of Ray Parker Jr.

by in Drums, Gear, Guided Listening, Instruments, Keys, Pads, Product Updates & Releases

The Ghostbusters theme is at its core an exercise in Rhythm & Blues comping — but it’s been dressed up in the…. costume of 80s synth pop 👻

The iconic theme from Ghostbusters defined a point in Ray Parker Jr’s career. For those less familiar, it seemed he came out of nowhere as an artist. But for those in the know, it’s far from a one hit wonder. Rather, it is a culmination of all his talents as a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, studio engineer, composer and producer.

Given 2 days by a (somewhat desperate) Columbia Pictures to produce a title track, Ray Parker Jr was ready for the job.

But how is Ghostbusters Rhythm & Blues?

Ghostbuster’s chord harmony is ultimate Rhythm & Blues, but it’s not immediately obvious because it leans heavily on the lush synthesizer sounds of the decade, instead of using more familiar, analog instrumentation of the genre, like keys or guitars.

But the Rhythm & Blues influence makes sense, given Ray Parker Jr’s background as a session guitarist for Motown records before starting his own studio, Ameraycan.

Starting when he was only 15 years old, Parker’s musical career spans decades — having played guitar, bass, synth and lent vocals to some of the greats such as Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and Bobby Womack, as well as prolific engineering credits, and composer for Barrie White, Earl Sweatshirt and Cheryl Lynn to name a few.

Learn to play Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr on synth, drums or finger drumming

It was one of those days when everything came together — bang, bang, bang — and it didn’t seem like I could do anything wrong. The bass part sounded great, the drums were big. Everything sounded fat.
The main synth was a Korg Poly 61 — and a cheap Jupiter 6 on the bass line! Nothing is doubled — it’s just single lines that really fit together well.
— Ray Parker Jr, on making the ‘Ghostbusters’ Theme.

Learn to play the Ghostbusters theme song

Play it. Learn it.

If you ain’t afraid of no ghost, then today is your day to shine: Melodics has released Ghostbusters as the latest song to play and learn for premium subscribers.

That main Korg synth line, the Roland Jupiter 6 bassline, and Linn Drums are exactly the sounds you’ll be playing in Melodics’ lesson for the Ghostbusters theme.

Ghostbusters is available to play for premium subscribers on Keys, Drums or Pads, just in time for an extra spooky musical Halloween.


Get the skills you need to succeed first.

If you don’t have a premium Melodics subscription, or you want to build up your abilities before playing Ghostbusters on keys, pads or drums — we’ve got you sorted, with this handpicked selection of skill-building courses for each instrument.


Level up your left hand technique with this course, featuring a series of lo-fi synthy bassline lessonsLeft-hand synth basslines that use techniques like walking, octave stretches and complex rhythms.

Level up your left hand technique with the Cassette Basslines course, featuring a series of lo-fi synthy bassline lessons designed to target strength, coordination and agility in the left hand. Then take it to funk town with Mark de Clive-Lowe’s Bassline Bootcamp. Here you’ll come to grips with left-handed basslines and exercises across different styles, and use techniques like walking, octave stretches and complex rhythms. You’ll walk away understanding how bassline melodies can be built with pentatonic scales, intervals and syncopated patterns.


Learn fills to help transitions, break up patterns and draw listeners' attention to changes in the music.play basic linear beats, added toms and 1/16 variations, and incorporated fills -- incorporating section and groove changes

Ba-da-da-da-Ba-da-da-da-Pssh! Let’s learn fills in this course to help transitions, break up patterns and draw listeners’ attention to changes in the music — you’ll need this for some of the iconic Linn Drum fills in Ghostbusters! Then, take it to the next level with Linear Drumming, play basic linear beats, added toms and 1/16 variations, and incorporated fills over section and groove changes.


play 1/8 & 1/16 note syncopated drum grooves. You have improved your coordination skills by playing hand independent rhythms over bouncy hip hop grooves for finger drumming on padsperform a fundamental funk drum groove in the style of Clyde Stubblefield.

To get ready for Ghostbusters, you need to go back to the future! Explore these two courses get those skills up. First, in Kicks, Claps, Snares you’ll play 1/8 & 1/16 note syncopated drum grooves and work on your coordination skills by playing hand independent rhythms over bouncy hip hop drum grooves.

Then, expand on a basic Funk beat with a series of variations in the style of the legendary Clyde Stubblefield in Ain’t it Funky. Here, you’ll perform a fundamental funk drum groove, create variations of a drum groove by shifting beats on the kick, snare and open hi-hat, and learn how to perform a swung hi-hat rhythm.

Away from your instrument? Get in the Ray-zone.

If you’re not by your instrument, then get in the halloween spirit and feast your ears on the genius of Ray Parker Jr with this playlist.

Far from a 1-hit-wonder, this playlist showcases a trophy cabinet of his musical credits, from the ’70s right up to present day; spanning genres like Motown, Rhythm & Blues, Disco, 80s Synth, Electronica, and Hip Hop.


Oct 25

The underworld of minor scales: How to play and use harmonic and melodic minor scales.

by in Fundamentals, Guided Listening, Keys, Music Theory


What do you call a zombie who writes music? … A decomposer!

Ok ok, but what about a zombie who is just trying to write a satisfying chord progression while playing in a minor key? (Because zombies don’t play in Major keys).

For maximum satisfaction, this zombie might consider reaching for something called the “harmonic minor scale.”

Dominant cadence - V-I resolution in key of C Major
V-I dominant cadence in the key of C Major means the V chord is a G Major, and the I chord is the C Major.

When you think of the most satisfying chord progressions in a major key, they often end with something called a 5-1 cadence (also known as “dominant” or “perfect” cadence).

This is where you play the 5 chord (the dominant or V chord) which sets you up for a strong resolution on the 1 chord (or “tonic” or I chord). In the key of C Major, a 5-1 cadence is G Major to C Major. Listen to an example of that sweet dominant cadence in this ii-V-I chord progression.

We’re going to show you how to give your music maximum thrill-factor by getting all the benefits of a major-sounding “dominant” V-I cadence, whilst still keeping things spooky by playing in a minor key scale.

C Major Scale

The c major scale and diatonic chords on piano

Here’s how the pattern of chords on each scale degree in a Major key goes:

1. Major 2. minor 3. minor 4. Major 5. Major 6. minor 7. diminished

C Natural Minor Scale

C minor natural minor scale and diatonic chords on piano

But when you’re in a minor key, the chords are going to be a little different.

In natural minor this pattern is:

1. minor 2. diminished 3. Major 4. minor 5. minor 6. Major 7. Major

As you can see the 5 chord in the minor scale is a minor chord, so the satisfying 5-1 cadence is not so satisfying anymore. There is not the same tension and release, and it can feel a little lack-lustre. For more oompf, the 5 chord needs to be Major.

C Harmonic Minor Scale

C minor harmonic minor scale and diatonic chords on piano

The way we can get around this is with the harmonic minor scale.

The harmonic minor scale is almost identical to the natural minor scale — there’s only one note different, but it makes a big difference in how the scale sounds.

To change a natural minor to a harmonic minor scale, you raise the 7th degree by a half step. So in C minor, the Bb is changed to a B. This is the same in any other key — just remember that the only difference between the natural and harmonic minor scale is that the 7th degree is raised one half-step (to the next closest note).

Now instead of the 5 chord being G minor (as you find with the natural minor scale), with the harmonic minor scale it’s G Major which brings the life back to the 5-1 party. You could say it’s re-animated 😱

In most popular songs, this is how the harmonic minor scale gets used. While the song is basically written normally in the minor key, to make the chord progression work “better” the minor 5 chord gets changed to Major. A simple trick!

That’s cool for chords and the undead. But what about the melodies to play over them?

The raised 7th degree in the harmonic minor scale is pretty cool (that’s the difference between the minor and major third when you’re playing the G major 5 chord). Instead of a whole-step between the 6th and the 7th, it’s now 3 half-steps (also known as an augmented 2nd — or minor 3rd). Having such a wide interval between these two notes is unusual in western music, which is what gives the harmonic minor a pretty exotic sound (some might say Spanish or Arabic) which can also sound mysterious or spooky to some ears. Give it a try!

C Melodic Minor Scale

C minor melodic minor scale and diatonic chords on piano

This is great if we want to use that creatively, but if we’re wanting something smoother without all the baggage and expectations which can come with something sounding exotic, we can turn to the equally-evil minor twin: the melodic minor scale.

This scale is similar to the harmonic minor, but gets rid of that minor third sound. To achieve this, we also raise the 6th degree of the scale by a half-step. Now the interval between the 6th and the 7th is a whole step again so it sounds much smoother. In fact, when you compare a melodic minor to the major scale side by – the only difference now is the minor 3rd note.

Reviewing all the scales

Comparing scales: C major vs C natural minor vs C harmonic minor vs C melodic minor

Here’s the weird bit. Given how close the scale is to the major, you play the melodic minor scale differently going up vs going down, but we won’t go into that here…

The best way to learn it is by doing –  hear how odd an melodic minor sounds if you play it descending (too close for comfort to a major scale really…)

But this is the best thing about the minor key! With all three of these minor scales at your disposal, you can blend or combine elements from each at any time you like to lend what you’re playing different flavours.

Learn to play all the minor scales

Learn to play the harmonic and melodic minors on piano or keys

So here’s something to learn for Halloween! The Harmonic & Melodic Minors course is in Melodics to teach you:

  • To perform melodies using both scales, and recognize their structure and sound.
  • The difference between the ascending and descending forms of the melodic minor scale and how it’s used.
  • To become proficient at playing in minor keys by mixing tonalities and recognising their distinct qualities.


If you’re not at your instrument right now, here’s a playlist of music to start prepping your brains ears to the sounds of the minor scale family. Remember to keep your ears peeled for whether or not a dominant V-i cadence is being used instead of the natural v-i minor cadence.

Oct 20

What do Muse, Silk Sonic, Lenny Kravitz, and Marvin Gaye have in common?

by in Keys, Keys, Uncategorized

So what do Muse – StarlightSilk Sonic – Leave the Door OpenLenny Kravitz – Are you Gonna Go My Way, and Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough have in common? (Well, besides the fact that they are all available to learn in Melodics?)

The answer is that they all feature the ‘Straight Four Snare Rhythm’, a drum beat characterized by having a snare hit on EACH quarter note of a 4/4 bar.

Comparing ‘Straight 4′, ‘4 to the floor’, and ‘half time’ rhythms


Comparing a "Straight 4", "4 to the floor", and a "Half time" beat on a basic kick, snare, hi-hat set-up
The number of snare hits in each bar is a good way of gauging how much “energy” a drum rhythm might have.

The snare’s sharp, attacking sound (aka “staccato”) along with the punch of the kick drum, are often one of the core defining features of a given rhythm. Snare hits can be considered rhythmic anchors that a groove can be built around.

A typical 4/4 drum beat, such as your classic rock beat, or a disco style ‘4 to the floor’ will typically feature two snare hits — usually on the 2 and 4. ‘Half time‘ rhythms will often contain only a single snare on the 3. The snare’s prominent role within the rhythm means that with only half as many snare hits within the bar, it feels as if it’s playing in half time, even if the tempo is technically the same.

The ‘straight four‘ snare rhythm, on the other hand, mimics what the kick drum does in a disco ‘four to the floor beat’, and emphasizes every single down beat of the bar, with snare hits occuring on 1, 2, 3, AND 4.

How to give your music more (or less) energy when you need it.

Now, given this, what is the purpose of having a snare hit on every beat? In what ways does this rhythm feel different from the more typical rhythms you find in modern 4/4 music?

In the same way that decreasing the amount of snare hits in a bar makes a groove feel ‘slower’ and more relaxed with half time beats — increasing the amount of snare hits using straight 4’s increases the energy of the rhythm, giving it a driving momentum that adds tension and excitement to the music.

Straight 4 Snare rhythms are often used as a way to add tension and energy in the moments before a section change in a piece of music. Alternatively, the rhythm might be used to add a sense of contrast, creating a difference between the sections that occur before or after it — listen to our straight 4’s playlist to hear it in action and train your ears.

The straight 4 snare rhythm’s presence as a rhythm played on a drum kit has been around for ages, but in the way that we are talking about today as a musical device in modern songwriting is now closely associated with soul and motown music.

Take ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough‘, for example. At about 1:22 in, the Straight Four rhythm makes an appearance for four bars just before a change of section. It’s a lovely moment that adds a little bit of tension immediately before launching into the next verse

This tendency for the rhythm to appear in soul and motown music isn’t just relegated to music from the 60s – more modern interpretations of the style retain the usage of this rhythm as well – as can be seen in Silk Sonic’s ‘Leave the Door Open.’

This time the rhythm appears in the final iteration of the chorus of the song, occurring about 2:40. Up until this point of the song, the chorus has a more typical rhythm accompanying it, with a snare on the 2 and 4, but for the final chorus, the straight four snare rhythm is played instead, which provides a vitality and energy that wasn’t present before – elevating it to a fitting climax near the conclusion of the song.

But MoTown and soul are not by any means the only places where this rhythm finds a home either – Muse’s ‘Starlight‘ is a great example of the Straight Four rhythm being incorporated into a modern rock context. In Starlight, the rhythm appears during the pre-chorus where it helps creates an evocative build-up towards the Chorus itself. The chorus features a more stripped back instrumentation, with no drums at all, so having a high intensity snare rhythm leading into this section creates an effective contrast, adding to the drama of the piece.

Lenny Kravitz’s ‘Are You Gonna My Way’ is another hit that uses this rhythmic device. This time, a variation of the rhythm that features flams instead of singular snare hits is a key component of the intro of the song. It’s a boisterous and attention grabbing technique that draws focus right out of the gate. It’s a bold and in-your-face moment that provides a perfect jumping off point for a high-energy rock hit.

Learn to play Straight 4 in popular music

Learn to play these popular songs -- all containing an iconic straight 4 drum rhythm

The straight four rhythm is a flexible drum technique that can be used over many genres and in many different contexts.

If you want to get a handle on how to actually play these drum rhythms – all of these songs are available to learn in Melodics as a premium subscriber:

Or keen to explore the fundamental beat? Try Melodics’ essential ‘Motown Rhythms’ course for drums, which covers the must-know Motown grooves from the 60s, 70s & 80s — of course including the iconic straight 4.

learn iconic Motown drum grooves from the 60s, 70s, and 80s with melodics essential drum course

Oct 17

Climbing chords – “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush.

by in Guided Listening, Keys

Do you have a certain mood or theme you are wanting to establish in your song? Just like the sounds of the instruments themselves or the lyrics, the chord progression plays a large role in defining the overall feeling of a piece of music.

The chord progression is the series of chords that form the overall harmonic structure of the song. Within each key, there’s a series of different chords that all work within that key – you can choose the order that you play them in and which chords you choose.

There’s plenty of chord progressions to choose from when you’re writing a tune, and plenty to learn about but let’s take a closer look at one in particular, the VI, VII, i progression in the context of ‘Running Up That Hill‘ by Kate Bush.

Learn to play a VI VII i progression (as seen in "Running Up That Hill" by Kate Bush). The 7 modal chords of the c minor key on piano
Running Up That Hill plays 3 of the 7 chords in Cm key. It’s a well-known example of a VI – VII – i progression.

This chord progression is in the key of C minor. As well as defining the movement and tone of a song, the chord progression also helps to really cement the song within its key.

This progression begins all the way up on the key’s VI (6th) chord (aka. Ab Major). By not starting the progression on the root chord (i), starting on the VI gives it a sense that it’s already been rising — as one of the last chords available in the 7 note chord scale, the VI chord has a strong upwards direction to it as if the progression is already nearly finished.

This is because it naturally wants to resolve up to the “tonic” or the home base of the key (the i chord). If you this chord progression to climbing Mt Everest, we’re starting our climb already in the death zone and the only way from here is to the summit.

The VII chord (Bb Major) which is the second chord played in the progression, reinforces the fact we’re still climbing. At this point, we can see the summit — but we’ve still got one last push to get there. No going back now.

Finally, the progression resolves at the top with the i chord or the “tonic” (C minor). Time to plant the flag and take in the views, before doing it all over again.

This progression is in a minor key which gives it a darker melancholy edge, but at the same time because it moves so strongly upwards from the beginning, it gives it a sense of optimism as we head towards something brighter and more hopeful.

You can see why it fits so perfectly with a song named ‘Running Up That Hill’ — and how the rising tension and sense of optimism worked so well during one of the most climactic scenes of Stranger Things season 4.

The progression through VI VII i occurs in parts of many songs, such as ‘Lean On‘ by Major Lazer. But it’s also just as common to vary the order of the 3 chords in this progression — such as the close-cousins i VII VI VII, or VII VI i i, or i VI VII progressions

It’s also popular as a bridge, pre-chorus or chorus such as you can hear in the chorus in the theme song to ‘Duck Tales‘, ‘Big Love‘ by Fleetwood Mac, Jimi Hendrix’s version of ‘All Along the Watchtower‘, the outro to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven“, the pre-chorus to Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall‘ and ‘Rolling In The Deep‘ by Adele.

Can you think of any other songs which have this optimistic and uplifting chord progression? If you’re not at your instrument right now, start training your ears and listen out for examples in our Climbing Chords playlist.

Climb upwards through popular chord progressions for keys

Learn Common Chord Progressions in popular music on keys or piano

If you’re interested in getting to know the basics of chord progressions, try out Melodics’ course on common chord progressions. Learn to read chord progressions written as Roman numerals, practice moving between chords and shift hand positions and practice playing chords as melodies and harmonies in the style of New Wave music.

And for premium subscribers, you can learn to play ‘Running Up That Hill‘ just like Kate Bush to get a first hand experience of how this progression works so you can add this to your creative repertoire.

Running Up That Hill - MelodyRunning Up That Hill - ChordsRunning Up That Hill - Melody & Chords
Oct 17

Everybody wants to… learn 12/8 time!

by in Drums, Fundamentals, Guided Listening, Keys, Pads

Having an appreciation for time signatures is useful for playing every instrument (both melodic and rhythmic) — but how do you decide what kind of rhythm/time signature you’ll use? You could ask this question another way… How do you decide which shirt to wear in the morning?

It all depends on the mood you’re going for and in some cases, the style or tradition of music you’re playing or making.

Let’s take a look at the 12/8 time signature in the context of ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’ by Tears For Fears, available to play in Melodics this week for premium subscribers.

The rhythm of the song gives it a shuffling feel, like you’re tumbling through it. It’s got a feel somewhere in-between the steady pulse of a four to the floor beat, and the triplet feel of 6/8.

Have you heard that shuffle rhythm before elsewhere?

It can also be known as the “Purdie Shuffle” (exemplified by Bernard Purdie in Steely Dan’s ‘Home At Last‘, or John Bonham in Led Zeppelin’s ‘Fool in the Rain‘) in drum circles, but you’ve likely heard it frequently in all sorts of contemporary songs.

How about ‘Hold The Line’ by Toto, ‘Higher Ground’ by Stevie Wonder, ‘Lost in Yesterday’ by Tame Impala, ‘Sweet Escape‘ by Gwen Stefani, or ‘bury a friend‘ by Billie Eilish?  What’s important is they all have this same shuffling “triplet feel” or sound, which you can get a natural feel for by listening to this playlist.

That sound can be a creative choice to evoke a certain mood, but often it’s related to making music in a particular style. As well as pop music, this rhythm is also used heavily in doo-wop, blues and jazz – so it can be used in some cases to reference or imitate those styles as well.

Now you know what it sounds like, what actually is 12/8?

As a more uncommon time signature, 12/8 might look and sound intimidating — but don’t worry there’s nothing weird, “irregular” or “odd” about it! You can easily think of 12/8 time as basically using triplets within the context of a regular 4/4 rhythm. Here’s how:

How to count 12/8 time as triplets in 4/4
You can count 12/8 as just 4 triplets!

12/8 means there are 12 1/8th note beats in each bar. 

But what you can’t immediately see from reading the time signature is that those 12 beats are organized into four groups of three 1/8th notes. The four groupings is what gives it the familiar pulse of 4/4 but with the “triplet” feel of 6/8. It’s like a buy one get one free deal for time signatures.

With 12 beats to choose from, there’s a world of opportunity when it comes to deciding which beats the chord changes occur on. With the intro of ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ the first synth chord (A/D) is on the “1” beat — and the second chord (G/D) jumps in a little early on the “2-and-a” beat, imparting a slightly urgent feel to the intro groove.

If you’d like more context around the sound and feel of triplets (outside of 12/8) — you can often hear triplets in the syncopated, staccato vocals of Bone Thugs n Harmony, Three 6 Mafia, and Migos, which really helps to give them their distinctive flows.

The best way to learn is to play — so look out for ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’ by Tears For Fears launching on 20th October in Melodics for premium subscribers.

For standard subscribers, make your goal this week to understand time signatures and how to play songs in 2/4, ¾, 4/4 and 6/8.

Melodics’ ‘Time Signatures’ course (for Keys and Drums) is a great starting point to structure your practice around, and if you’re a drummer you’ll be super prepared to dive into ‘Shuffle Grooves’ just in time for when ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ drops this week.

Time Signatures -- Shuffle Grooves -- Two Melodics Courses

Oct 11

Lorde’s “Green Light” – Bigger sound, bigger chords.

by in Guided Listening, Keys

Do your chords disappear or lose their punch when mixed with the rest of your tracks? How do you make your chords stand out within a powerful pop arrangement?

There’s a simple trick that’s used to “voice” simple chords in a way that makes the sound full, but not muddy when you’re in competition with big vocals, big drums and other powerful song elements.

Triads in right hand, Root note and 5ths in the left hand.

Because you’ve got multiple octaves at your disposal on a keyboard, a simple chord like C Major (C, D, E) can be played in a huge number of ways and there’s no rules that say you can’t double up notes, or spread them out across the keys. This technique of playing the same notes in the chord but across different keys on the keyboard is called “voicing”.

Take a regular C major triad (1, 3 & 5) and spread it wide over different octaves!
See standard C Major triad at the top. And “voiced” apart on the keyboard. Both are the same notes and the same chord, just arranged in different ways.

C Major Chord 2 Octave Voicing -- Give your triads some breadth by spreading the notes over different octaves

In “Green Light” by Lorde, the chords are voiced in a particular way that adds weight to cut through and highlight the piano part as a core song element. This is done by playing the plain old triad in the right hand, and then playing just the first (the root) and last note (the 5th) of the chord in the left hand.

The reason this works so well is that playing the root and 5th note an octave below adds some more bass, but the middle note (the third) is omitted here, so it just adds fullness without sacrificing clarity.

Playing an F#m chord voicing over two octaves

Looking at another example with a full F# minor triad with the right hand (yellow), and just the root and the 5th note played an octave below in the left hand (blue).

Learning how to use pop progressions

If you’re not at your instrument right now, you can still start training your ears by listening to how the chords are expressed in these pop bangers.

If you’re interested in working with pop chords, try out Melodics’ course on pop chord progressions.

Learn about pop chord progressions with a mixture of root positions, inversions and open chord voicings, as well as build your skills in performing them with syncopated rhythms, arpeggios and melodies.

For premium subscribers, dive inside Lorde’s Green Light and learn how a hit song is made and played.


Learn pop progressions with MIDI keys or pianoLearn to Play Green Light by Lorde
Oct 05

Chamber of Reflection – Watch Out For the Grace Note!

by in Keys, Music Production

What is it in this song by Mac Demarco that makes the lead melody sound uniquely Mac?

The personal touch in your music can be a tricky thing to define. When it comes down to describing exactly what it is that makes you sound like you, most are left scratching their heads.

One side of the equation is the instruments or effects you use. On the other side is the melody and how the main musical voice of your music is expressed.

Melodies have a unique way of carrying across personal style. Amongst one of the most popular and timeless tools for songwriters, composers, producers, and performers alike, is the use of ornamentation.

Ornamentation in music can refer to the way in which a melodic line is expressed. When used with care, ornaments can add levels of depth and emotion. It also adds a human element to your productions if you work mostly on the computer. Where one melodic phrase may sound a little flat, ornamentation brings volume and life.

How exactly can ornaments be used in your music you might ask? Well, let’s take a look at an example from a song you can learn in Melodics, Chamber of Reflection by Mac Demarco.


While the lead melody seems like a simple stroll down two octaves from G to B with a few moves in between, the short F (grace note) played immediately before F# adds a decorative flourish that gives it character, as well as a slight tension as the F natural is not part of the E minor scale. This dissonant note, paired with the wavy slow vibrato of the synthesizer speaks the language of Mac Demarco and really adds to his lazy slightly “off” sound.

E minor scale on keys
The melody uses notes from an E minor scale. The F natural is not part of this scale — but “Chamber of Reflection” includes it to slide into the F# and add flavor.


This grace note is an excellent example of ornamentation. Back in the 17th century, when ornamentation cemented itself as a key component of western music, ornaments themselves were not always included in the written music. It was often left open to the performer to make the music their own through their personal use of ornaments.

Learn how to perform these embellishments or musical flourishes that can help you add detail and expression to your melodics structures.

If you’re interested in working with ornaments for added inspiration and creativity in your melodic songwriting, try out Melodics’ course on Ornamentation.

You’ll have the opportunity to play through some exciting examples ranging from minimalism to trap so that you can improve your keyboard skills and add a definitive personal touch to your future productions.

For Melodics premium subscribers – get inside the Chamber of Reflection and learn how to play and write melodies with your own special herbs and spices.

If you’re not at your instrument right now, start training your ears and listen out for the ornamentation in these tracks (hint… it’s often most obvious in vocals).