The Secrets of Film Score Composers

It turns out building the foundation of a good theme for a scene in a film is simple. All the work has already been done for you by earlier composers. You may have heard about the magical four chords that dominate much of pop music, but film composition is in many cases much simpler.

Movie themes really need only two chords. Which ones? It doesn’t matter. You can start anywhere you like. Absolutely no knowledge of music theory is required. You don’t even need to know which notes you are playing.

All you need to know is how to count:

There you go. You are now a film score composer. I was able to guess three of the examples just from the triads

I started playing these triad patterns as arpeggios on bass. Tried them on a keyboard last night and found they work. Emailed the folks from my Sunday afternoon jam group and we are going to try laying a pentatonic guitar noodle over all this to make some powerful prog-sounding jams. Don’t know what a pentatonic noodle is? Don’t worry, it’s just those late sixties to early seventies guitar solos that sound so strong and loud.

This is all going to sound so dramatic. I’ve been playing the arpeggios in either 6/8 or a 3/4 mazurka beat. It has to be a Mazurka. it’s not heavy enough on the one to be a waltz. But to get really dramatic and film score like we gotta go for 4/4 time. I’m thinking triplets. Our drummer will get me there.

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