Music theorist Adam Neely answers several new questions in his latest video: Why does E - A/E - E - E/G# - A sound so good? WRONG chord progression. What's the "third steam?" What is the craziest chord you can play? Why no classical bass, but classical guitar? Should people take AP music theory? What's your favorite/least favorite thing about the nYC scene? Is clickbait unavoidable?

Jazz bassist and music theorist Adam Neely shared a new video of himself "sucking" at playing metal, with the help of his friend, a metalhead Rob Scallon. He makes a full song in an hour and a half, playing all the instruments, and singing - 'I love my mom". Scallon did the same thing, just in the opposite direction - he plays jazz. Watch both videos - 50 minutes of pure music joy...

In the latest edition of his How to Get Good at Music segment, music theorist Adam Neely and his guest Christian Li argue there are no rules in music, it's the context that matters. Neely and Li emphasize that music needs to be alive, rather than just a series of notes.

Beyond the lines
March 21, 2022

12tone: How sheet music lies to you

"The process of turning music into notation and then back into music is hazardous, and while it's still a very useful tool, we should really talk more about the things we lose along the way" - music theorist 12tones points out in his latest video.

Above the air
February 20, 2022

12tone: Music isn't air molecules - it's art!

"One of the things that annoys me most is what I like to call the Wiggly Air Fallacy, or the idea that music can be meaningfully reduced to just its sonic components. It's not true, it's a bad way of conceptualizing music" - 12tone writes, introducing his latest video. His point, in short, is - "all that information we gathered in the context layer shapes the emotional landscape we perceive, and that, not the vibration of air molecules, is what allows music to affect us so deeply". G

YouTube music theorist Adam Neely in his latest video explores the perceptual limits of tempo, and why decimal points in BPMs are trash. Neely uses the help of good old metronome in this one.

An interesting new episode of Adam Neely's series "How to get good at music" where he is critiquing people music, this time with the help of guitarist/composer Shubh Saran. The litemotif in this video, more or less is - add more melody (coming from a progressive jazzer, really says plenty). Neely also invents a term - "movement music".

Music theorist Adam Neely answers a few quick questions, among them the one about why the intro riff from 'Drive my Car' by The Beatles so rhythmically disorienting. Also, he looks for a way to use rubato effectively without making it seem like overkill, end explains coffee addiction among musicians.

Music theorist Adam Neely shares a few pieces of advice on melodic phrasing in the 7/16 signature. Don't start every phrase on a downbeat, Neely suggests adding also to not be afraid to play laid back.

Strange numbers
January 20, 2022

Adam Neely ranks polyrhythms

YouTube music theorist Adam Neely ranks polyrhythms people have sent him. His Sungazer bandmate, drummer Shawn Crowder plays those strange polyrhythms and then they rank them together. Very nerdy stuff, but still plenty of fun.

YouTube music theorist 12tone analyses the rhythm and emphasis in James Brown's 'I Feel Good'. It's actually a reaction to another YouTube music theorist's video, Adam Neely's video on the same song. 12tone points out how analysis gets in the way of imagination.

Yet another amazing video by the music theorist Adam Neely with answers to several questions, including the one on the Stromae's new song 'Santé'. Neely explains what Stromae did with this song's rhythm to make it special. Educational and fun, as always.

"Sometimes even when things go right, you feel drained and empty, and that's ok. I had a great show at LPR with my band, but in the week that followed I didn't feel great" - music theorist and band-leader Adam Neely announces his latest video, about the feeling of emptiness after the show.

I feel theoretic
November 24, 2021

Adam Neely: Solving James Brown's rhythmic puzzle

What is the proper scansion for James Brown's 'I Feel Good'? - it is the question that nobody asked and the one Adam Neely in answering in his latest video 'Solving James Brown's rhythmic puzzle'. Neely points out that the meaning changes depending on where in the sentence we put the emphasis on.

"Many instruments have defined many musical movements over the years, but there's one that's played a pivotal role in almost every one: The human voice" - 12tone introduces his latest video. "The way a singer uses their voice is one of the clearest ways of shaping a musical identity. Despite its clear significance, though, or perhaps because of it, the voice is notoriously hard to analyze" - the music theorist tries anyway.

Going easy on theory
October 31, 2021

Adam Neely: Is Adele's latest single microtonal?

A few interesting questions answered by the music theorist Adam Neely in his latest video post:

Is Adele’s Easy on me microtonal?

Who is the better bass player, Homer Simpson or Adam Neely?

How to prioritize creativity over theory?

What’s a spread triad?

The music theorist talks about working on music that explores human perception of time through irregular grooves in his latest video. Neely explains that "because they're grooves you're meant to feel them, to embody them, to move to them. With everything groove-related, when you overthink them, ever regular grooves you're kind of missing the point". It all started two decades ago with the song 'Soil' by System of a Down.

Great in school
September 29, 2021

Adam Neely: Patterns do matter!

The great music theorist is in a great mood in his latest video, where he answers several questions, including his thoughts on the phrase “music isn’t like how it used to be?”, do certain keys have “better” bass?, details on the new album by his band Sungazer, thoughts on Bach vs Mozart and similar great trivia.

Adam reethmy
September 26, 2021

Adam Neely: The psychology of extreme rhythms

YouTube music theorist talks about rhythmic thresholds in his latest video - the slowest and fastest music we're capable of processing. The slowest music we can process, Neely argues, is 33 bpm, with the fastest being at 100 milliseconds. The rhythm that feels the most natural, or "the indifference interval" is at 100 bpm. Neely also tried this borderline rhythms with the audience of his band Sungazer.

Music theory YouTuber Adam Neely and recorder player Sarah Jeffery go back centuries to explore medieval music in her latest video. They try and prove that the early classical music wasn't really that simple, dealing with "rhythmic math FUN with polyrhythms, polypulses, and medieval music!".

180 seconds of fame
September 21, 2021

Ted Gioia: Are three-minute songs bad for music?

In the latest installment in a series of unscripted videos in which Ted Gioia addresses key matters related to music and society, the music writer discusses the record industry's longstanding preference for three-minute songs, and explores the impact of this on our experiences of music.

Geeez!!! - music theorist Adam Neely goes sooo far with fixing some well-known songs with autotune, you can't even call it sarcasm, the word just isn't strong enough. So, the songs fixed are Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love', Frank Sinatra's 'Fly Me To The Moon', Aretha Franklin's 'Respect', Pink Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here', and Bill Withers' 'Ain’t No Sunshine'. The point: perfection destroys expression. A monster of a video!

The YouTube music theorist delivers yet another funny and clever educational video, this time about bass, the instrument he himself plays (and believes it to be the superior one). Neely tries to explain why you can't really play melodies on bass. He also translates "hmmm" into notes. Funny stuff!

The tone of the beast
August 03, 2021

Adam Neely: The great myth of the Medieval tritone ban

A great new video by the music theorist about the myth of the Medieval tritone being banned by the Catholic church. Adam Neely explains the tritone, how the myth was born, and why it is so damn persistent.

A great video by music theorist 12tone where he analyses a month-old video by another music theorist, Rick Beato who did a livestream called 'Why Today's Music Is So BORING. The Regression of Musical Innovation'. Beato attempted to argue that modern music was no longer doing interesting things. 12tone argues Beato's wrong. 12Tones' argument is also beautifully illustrated.

Science is golden
July 07, 2021

Adem Neely goes into beautiful chords

Music theorist Adam Neely makes music theory seem so simple and easy to understand, in general, and in his newest video as well. He talks about, and plays beautiful chords, and also talks about why deadlines are good for creativity, as well as why he thinks of himself as a musician, rather than as a YouTuber.

An elephant in a music book
July 05, 2021

Essay: How Indian notes interrelate to cries of animals

Music historian Katherine Schofield writes a short essay for the Grin, marrying her knowledge of Indian classical music and art, about how each swara or Indian note, seven in all, interrelate to cries of animals. Sur is a musical sound made up of swaras.

YouTube music theorist Rick Beato goes back into Brazilian guitarist Sérgio Mendes' 'Never Gonna Let You Go', the song he believes is "the most complex pop song of all time". Beato first tried to play it four decades ago and still doesn't know it by heart.

Music theorist Rick Beato discusses the overuse and impact of auto-tune in modern music, which he believes is being overused. He starts with famous Cher and Lenny Kravitz, to end with Maroon 5 and T-Pain. His argument is that auto-tune is making the vocalists sound like computers.

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