Port Noir “Young Bloods” Music Theory 

Learn how to write a drum beat, using a music theory hack from Port Noir “Young Bloods” (off their new album “The New Routine”). Subtitles/CC available.

Hello revolutionary music makers, we are Kate Harmony and Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony), and welcome to Hack Music Theory. We help you make great music that stands out, so you can move and grow your audience! If that sounds useful to you, then subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit that bell to get notified every Thursday, when we publish our new video. Also, if you’re new to our channel, be sure to download our free book “12 Music Theory Hacks to Learn Scales & Chords” below. Alright, it’s time to open your DAW to hack music theory. But first… tea!

Swedish band Port Noir recently released their new album “The New Routine”, which is one of the most underrated albums of the year, as this band has created a sound that’s totally up-to-date but also totally unique. They arrived at this super fresh sound by blending the melodies of pop, the synths of electronic, the guitars of rock, and the grooves of hip-hop. And as everything is built on this flawless foundation of epic grooves, that’s what we’ll be hacking in this lesson. So what makes this drummer so good? Well, he actually plays relatively simple grooves, but they’re so tasty that it’s physically impossible not to move to them. And the way he gets our bodies moving, is by offsetting his syncopated kicks with a solid backbeat snare, and then spicing everything up with incredibly creative cymbal patterns.

Alright, now you’re gonna learn how to use this theory to make your own version. So, start by setting up four bars of 4/4, with your grid set to 1/32 notes, and your tempo set to 72 BPM. And in this lesson we’ll be hacking the chorus groove of their song Young Bloods.

First things first, throw in the backbeat snare in every bar, which is on beat 2 and beat 4. This will give your groove momentum, and get those heads bobbing and feet tapping. Next, throw in the kick on beat 1 in every bar. This will provide a reference point for all your off-beat kicks, which you’re gonna get to next. Right, now it’s time to inject the syncopation (which is an accented off-beat), and that is what’s gonna get people seriously moving to your drums. And be sure to use a combination of off-beat 1/8 notes and off-beat 1/16 notes. This will add depth to your groove, and prevent your drums from getting boring. Also, change up a couple bars with a little variation on the kick. In this example, bars two and three have the same kick pattern, but bars one and four are different.

And by the way, if you wanna get your hands on our best drum hacks, then download our two Drum PDFs (click & scroll down) - the downloads include step-by-step PDF guides and multitrack MIDI files.

Right, now that you’ve got a solid groove in place, it’s time to spice it up with hi-hats, and this is where things get really interesting. So start by deciding what syncopated kicks you wanna accent, and then add an open hat on those hits. And if you wanna add an open hat where there is no kick, that’s cool too. Now you’re gonna create a 1/16 note closed hat pattern around those open hats, which will lead into and out of them nice and smoothly. Next, you’re gonna add even more spice, by throwing in a few 1/32 notes on the closed hats. So between two 1/16 hits, add a 1/32 hit. This creates a little roll on the hats, and if you do them in a few different places, it’ll keep your groove totally fresh. Lastly, change your grid to 1/32 note triplets, and before one of your open hats, add a 1/32 note triplet roll that leads into that open hat. This is next level spice, and while your average listener won’t even notice it, your super fans will love it!

Okay, so now that you’ve got one section down, how do you write the other sections? How do you transition between them (especially when they’re in different keys)? And, how do you structure and arrange your song? These are issues that many songwriters and producers struggle with, and that’s exactly why we made our online course Apprenticeship #1. So, if you wanna overcome these obstacles once and for all, then sign up 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 - Practice making music using our lessons (PDF+MIDI+WAV)
Level 4 - Learn our secret art of song-whispering & finish your music

Hack Music Theory is a pioneering DAW method for making great music that stands out, so you can move and grow your audience! Taught by award-winning music lecturer Ray Harmony, and his protégé 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!). 

© 2019 Revolution Harmony
Revolution Harmony is Ray Harmony & Kate Harmony
All content (script & music) in video by Revolution Harmony
Thumbnail photo of AW Wiberg courtesy of instagram.com/by_aw