How to Make Your Music Bounce - Music Theory from Bring Me The Horizon “wonderful life” (Amo album)



Does your music get bodies movin’, and the party started? If not, don’t worry, you just need to add some bounce. So in this video, you’ll learn a super easy yet super effective hack to bring da bounce to your music. But first… tea!

Hello revolutionaries, I’m Kate Harmony, this is Ray Harmony, and welcome to Hack Music Theory. This channel helps you make great music that stands out, so you can get discovered! If that sounds useful to you, then subscribe and hit that bell to get notified every Saturday, when we publish our new video. Alright, it’s time to open your DAW to hack music theory.

In their new single “wonderful life” (from upcoming album "Amo") that just dropped this week, Bring Me The Horizon deliver a masterclass in how to make your music (and therefore your audience) bounce! They even manage to get “bounce” in their lyrics, with the line: “everybody knows I got bounce”. But first... what is “bounce”, and how’s it gonna get the party started? Quite simply, when a song has bounce, it makes you wanna bounce. In other words, it makes you wanna jump up and down. How? Well, there are numerous ways, but in this song, Bring Me The Horizon lock in their riff and kick drum, which both play dotted 1/8 notes that bounce over the 1/4 note pulse.

Step 1 - Bounce Notes
Set up four bars of 4/4, with your grid set to 1/16 notes, and your tempo set to 86.5 BPM. The main riff in “wonderful life” is based around a low F and the F an octave higher, so we’ll do something kinda similar. Start by playing three dotted 1/8 notes on that low F. A dotted 1/8 note is equal to three 1/16 notes. Also, if you want, you can extend that last note by a 1/16 (like it is in the original). Right, now these three notes are your bounce notes, so copy and paste them into the other bars, so every bar bounces! Next, it’s time to bring in some higher notes to add depth to your riff, so add a few 1/16 notes at the end of each bar. We chose the ♭2, 7, 4, and ♭5 as the basis for ours. And if you want, you can add a little variation to these high notes in your third bar, and maybe even extend that 1/16 note run over the bar line and into your fourth bar, like we did. Lastly, if you’re playing this on a real guitar, throw in a little bend on the bounce notes. And by the way, if you need help with the basics - like scales, chords, and spelling (which is when you use numbers for notes, like we just did) - then download our free book below.

Step 2 - Surprise Party
This step is so cool! Let me explain. Bring Me The Horizon know that this bounce will get boring if they keep repeating it, so they throw in one totally unexpected bounce, which is like a surprise party! So, in your second bar, move all (or some, we like did) of those higher notes to the left, by one 1/16 note. Then, extend the first note in your third bar to the left, by one 1/16 note. This creates the most exhilarating surprise bounce on beat 4a, which nobody will be expecting, so it keeps your party super fresh!

Right, now that you’ve got one section down, how do you write a new section for it, and then, how do you transition between those two sections? Great questions, and if this is something you need help with, then check out our cutting-edge online apprenticeship course, where you’ll literally learn every step of the music making process, and most importantly, you’ll learn how to finish your songs! You’ll also gain access to our Private Network, which is a safe social media platform exclusively for our apprentices (and we already have over 400 apprentices, from over 40 countries). Our Network is a super supportive place for you to ask theory questions, share your music, get feedback, meet like-minded music makers, collaborate, and more! So if all that sounds useful to you, then head on over to our Online Apprenticeship page now.

Kate & Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony)
Music Teachers & Producers in Vancouver BC, Canada


Level 1: Read our free book (below) & watch our YouTube videos
Level 2: Read our "Part 1" book & "Songwriting & Producing" PDF
Level 3: Learn our secret art of songwhispering & finish your music!

Hack Music Theory is the pioneering notation-free method for making great music that stands out, so you can get discovered! Taught by award-winning music lecturer Ray Harmony, and his protégé (and wife) Kate Harmony, from their studio in Vancouver BC, Canada. Ray is the author of critically-acclaimed book series "Hack Music Theory", and has made music with Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad), Ihsahn (Emperor), Kool Keith (Ultramagnetic MCs), Madchild (Swollen Members), and many more! Kate has the highest grade distinction in Popular Music Theory from the London College of Music, and is the only person on the planet who's been trained by Ray to teach his method. On that note, the "Hack Music Theory" YouTube channel teaches relevant and instantly-usable music theory for producers, DAW users, and all other music makers (songwriters, singers, guitarists, bassists, drummers, etc.) in all genres, from EDM to R&B, pop to hip-hop, reggae to rock, electronic to metal (and yes, we djefinitely djent!).

(c) 2018 Revolution Harmony
All words and music in video by Revolution Harmony
Revolution Harmony is Ray Harmony & Kate Harmony

Photo of Oli Sykes (Bring Me The Horizon) courtesy of Emma Viola Lilja