EMC² - Deconstructing Major Lazer - Get Free Pt1 Musical Parts

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Artist Name: 
Ski Oakenfull
Video Date: 
March, 2013
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This is the fifth in a series of tutorials from Ski Oakenfull covering a variety of aspects of electronic music composition. Point Blank want you to get involved in this series, so if you can think of well known track for Ski to deconstruct musically in the next tutorial then hit us up on twitter with:
#emcrequest @point_blank + your suggested track title.

In this video Ski introduces the brand new EMC2 course.
He works through the musical elements of Major Lazer's huge 'Get Free'. Download the FREE synth rack from this video by clicking on this link :: http://ow.ly/jdAKL 

This track by Major Lazer aka Diplo came out in 2012 and manages to combine an authentic loose reggae feel with up the minute electronic production. I love Diplo’s use of Amber Coffman’s edgy vocals in the track which seem to weave in and out of the guitar and synth lines. The one drop rhythm with the drums also make the track beautifully restrained without sacrificing fatness.

For this video I wanted to focus on the musical elements of the track. The chord progression is quite simple, and based on three chords in the key of B minor. The four bar sequence is G - A - Bm - G. The bass line underpins these chords by playing the root notes and making use of fifths for the passing notes which is a very common technique in bass line construction.

The guitar riff is built on a descending scale pattern, and begins on bar 3 of the chord progression to provide an interesting melodic hook. Finally, the dominant synth part reinforces the vocal melody and also echoes the guitar riff in the section after the Chorus. Please try and play along with these guitar and synth lines as they are great for practising your scales!

In the next video I will examine how to recreate this synth patch in Ableton.