Phrasing techno/tool techno/minimal techno
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  1. #1
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    Default Phrasing techno/tool techno/minimal techno

    Hi,

    Quick quistion about phrasing here.

    when watching the following video phrasing sounds ''easy''.



    But when I'm phrasing techno music (repetitive ''tool'' techno) things aren't so easy! There are no/not that obvious changes in the music... Am I overthinking this whole phrasing thing and should I be ok as long as I drop the ''one'' of track B on the ''one'' of track A?

    Also, a phrase in Trance music apparently is 4 bars, I've learned that in Techno a phrase is 8 bars. Is this correct?

    Best regards,
    Jordi

  2. #2

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    Incorrect on preset assumptions.... However if you can't audible hear the different read some musical theory books... A normal phrase is 32 changes happen on 64 big changes at 128.... Normally every 32 once song is going however you will find with some where a lead or pad will persist a full 64bars.... Bass is almost always a 16

    If you listen to a track that will say is 7minutes long and 132bpm you will have the first 32 covered in roughly 14-15 seconds and then at 64 which is 30s roughly you will hear a major change instead of subtle ... This is very standard for all electronic music I've encountered but pay attention you'll hear it and eventually it will be second nature to pick up and listen and go oh here one comes and drop the beat...... Things get complicated with say 5minute tracks where the most changes are accelerated to be on a 16/32 instead of a 32/64

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your reply! I guess I could do some more reading, any advice on which books I should read?
    Last edited by deflits980; 01-14-2015 at 03:50 PM.

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    Phrasing - Generally it's 4 groups of 4 beats. So 1-2-3-4, 2-2-3-4, 3-2-3-4, 4-2-3-4. These can be combined into a phrase group. In modern music, that generally is 4 phrases (your verse or chorus or intro or outro). (some of this terminology isn't "official" this is just how I define it)

    When figuring out "phrasing" figure out how many 4 bar phrases make up your "phrase group." Try listening to a few songs... you'll figure out your phrases and phrase groups pretty quickly. Just keep counting your groups of 4.

    Genres have different rules, most of the time. But rules are meant to be broken. Different artists break the rules in different ways. For example, Pitbull uses 2 four bar phrases on occasion to break up his songs.

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    Thanks, I was counting 1-2-3-4, 2-2-3-4, 3-2-3-4... 7-2-3-4, 8-2-3-4.

    4 Groups of 4 beats is less confusing I think.

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    Yup, way less confusing.

  7. #7
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    TBH it doesnt matter a whole lot in minimal.

    Cut 20 phrases out of different minimal tracks. Spread them across an ableton session.

    Get a non DJ to hit buttons on a launchpad when they want to.

    It still sounds completely like a cohesive minimal set lols. Dont get me wrong, I quite like minimal but phrasing isnt one of its defining features. Mostly because there isnt a lot of harmonic information in it to phrase.

    As for trance/techno? Yeah, phrasing is what sorts the hacks from the giants. And you can use it to tell a story much more than in minimal.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImNoDJ View Post
    As for trance/techno? Yeah, phrasing is what sorts the hacks from the giants. And you can use it to tell a story much more than in minimal.
    Pretty accurate

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    What's all this talk about 4 bar phrases?

    When did that become a mistake people make? I mean, yeah...the 5th measure of a phrase usually has something that signfies it, but it's not enough to call 4 bars a phrase. Every measure has an obvious downbeat, but that doesn't mean we're talking about 1-bar phrases.

    It's a feel thing...

    Almost everything in dance music is 8-bar phrases...occasionally they'll be a 1-2 bar turnaround at the end of the breakdown. Minimal is only substantially different, in my experience, because occasionally 2 or 3 phrases in a row will be identical, but if each measure in those phrases are identical, that's not minimal techno...that's boring (or occasionally "drone").

    IDK...if you can't predict when things are going to change at least a couple bars ahead of time and KNOW whether it's the first or fifth measure of a phrase, you've got more listening to do before any of this is going to make sense.

    Quick bar blues progressions change chords I to IV at measure 2 and measure 5, but it's not like you actually get lost as to which one is which. Numbers let us talk about it, but it's easier to feel it while you're playing...an that applies to DJ gear as well as guitars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mostapha View Post
    What's all this talk about 4 bar phrases?

    When did that become a mistake people make? I mean, yeah...the 5th measure of a phrase usually has something that signfies it, but it's not enough to call 4 bars a phrase. Every measure has an obvious downbeat, but that doesn't mean we're talking about 1-bar phrases.

    It's a feel thing...

    Almost everything in dance music is 8-bar phrases...occasionally they'll be a 1-2 bar turnaround at the end of the breakdown. Minimal is only substantially different, in my experience, because occasionally 2 or 3 phrases in a row will be identical, but if each measure in those phrases are identical, that's not minimal techno...that's boring (or occasionally "drone").

    IDK...if you can't predict when things are going to change at least a couple bars ahead of time and KNOW whether it's the first or fifth measure of a phrase, you've got more listening to do before any of this is going to make sense.

    Quick bar blues progressions change chords I to IV at measure 2 and measure 5, but it's not like you actually get lost as to which one is which. Numbers let us talk about it, but it's easier to feel it while you're playing...an that applies to DJ gear as well as guitars.
    I was just describing how I learned it. When I started DJing, I was confused hearing DJs talk about things in 8 after years of thinking of things in 4 when in school. For example, I learned the blues progression as 3 four bar phrases.

    Feel might work for some people, it obviously works for you. I just don't trust feel enough I guess. Maybe I haven't been doing this long enough for feel to work for me. It's probably why I was also never very good at jazz either.

    If 8 works for the OP, go with 8, if 4 does, go with 4. Apple or Oranges, we're still going to make a fruit salad.
    Last edited by Scribbl3; 01-15-2015 at 07:21 PM. Reason: grammar

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