Composing using relative scales!

In this topic, I’m going to show you how to compose a minimal music piece using “relative” scales. But first, let’s talk about music theory. A relative scale, is simply “a scale with the same note as main scale”, there are two kinds of relatives, relative minor and relative major. So, if we consider this as D minor :

D – E – F – G – A – A# – C – D

We need another scale with the same notes. Let’s start from 3rd note of our main scale :

F – G – A – A# – C – D – E – F

This is “F Major” scale, and it’s “relative major” of our D minor scale. As you can see, if you start from 3rd note of a minor scale, you will have its relative major, and if you start from 6th note of a major scale, you’ll have its “relative minor”.

Now, let’s make some piece! In this topic, I use Ableton Live 9 as my DAW, and DSK Overture and ZynAddSubFX as my plugins. Let’s make music!

First, I play an orchestral piece in D minor using DSK overture, with “Strings section”, “Flute”, “Violin” and “Cello”. It will be D-F-A-F-D-A-E.

Sounds good, but It needs some decorations! We can do that using F major! in F major section, I want to use ZynAddSubFX. And my notes will be F – A- C – A – F – C – G.  So, this is our relative major :

Now, we can mix them! This is the orchestral piece with its electronic relative major :

And, I repeat this piece for 4 or 5 times, then make a song (with some audio engineering ), here is our final song :

I hope you enjoy this topic and song! Remember that this “relative” technique is useful when you want to use Ostinatos, specially on piano, you can play the ostinato on right hand and its relative on left hand.