I'm self learning to compose something using a daw. I'm a self tough on theory and quite poor so please but hope the question make some sense. I followed a tutorial that suggest the possibility to spice up a chord progression by anticipating the chord change 1/8 note before the staring of the beat. ( the tutorial is here

and these channel contains a lot of interesting material IMO ) So I played with the idea, and come out with something that, when the melody is added sounds a little weird, but well since I don't dislike, I just want to know if it makes musically some sense. Problem is that, since the off beat of the chord progression change, melody seems to be out of time, but if I "correct" these behaviour I loose any effect of having the off beat chord change. A sample is here: https://clyp.it/fhf0oufr ( sorry for low db: not yet mastered nor equalyzed ). Is this piece technically wrong?

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    Nothing is "technically wrong" or "right" in music composition. I think it was Duke Ellington who said, If it sounds good, it is good. Hack away at it until it sounds good to you. – Todd Wilcox Jan 12 '18 at 22:41

Your anticipated chord changes work fine; it is the melody that needs work. There's a very useful principle that goes like this: put important notes (pitches) on important beats of the bar. Important notes are notes from the chord and important beats are 1 and 3 or the first note in a pair of quavers (eighth notes).

'Unimportant' notes include notes from the scale that aren't in the chord (non chord tones) and notes that aren't in the scale (non scale tones). Maybe you're not thinking scales when you're making up your melody. Maybe you're using trial and error or going with random notes. That's fine, but you still need to deal with important notes and important beats. The 'unimportant' notes (non chord tones and non scale tones) are very useful. Their job is to connect the 'important notes' and add spice to the melody, but you never cook with more spice than the meat and vegetables can handle.

When you anticipate the chord change, you are in effect making the 'and' (the final quaver of the bar) an important beat. The melody note (pitch) you put on that beat needs to be an important note, or your melody may sound illogical/lame. You will need to test the melody notes that fall on that anticipated chord beat to hear if they clash, and adjust them as necessary.

If you are in love with every melody note and don't want to lose a single one, you will need to apply the 'get out of town' principle. This means you get off the problematic note as quickly as possible and move to a 'safer' one. Using some semiquavers (sixteenth notes) can help you 'get out of town' more quickly.

As a rough guide, if you can hum, sing or whistle your melody it is likely to be more workable than one with wider, harder to sing, jumps between notes.

Is this piece technically wrong? In terms of functional harmony, yes. In subjective terms of some notes not landing sweetly on the ear, yes. The good news is that your chords work and you have successfully assimilated the concept of anticipation.


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