How to build tension in music with pedal point

In todays episode you will learn how to build tension in music!

What is music without tension and release

Not much! 

That’s why I made this new video on how to build tension and anticipation in music.
Music is much more exciting if it’s going somewhere! 

This trick you will learn is used all over the place…and in all kinds of genres. But not everyone knows how to use this trick to it’s full potential!

Learn how to build tension in your music in the video!

Pedal point

Today we will talk about pedal point, or pedal note, and how you can use this really easy (yet powerful) trick to achieve excitement, suspense and anticipation in your songs.

What is pedal point

Pedal point is when you play a note repeatedly or sustained throughout a section of a song. Sometimes the pedal point is used thoughout a whole music piece. Around (above / below) that pedal point you can have different chords happening, but you keep that pedal note running.

The pedal point creates the effect of anticipation and adds a driving force to your music.

The pedal note yearns to resolve!

Pedal point and ostinatos are VERY common composition tricks used in game music and film scores.

What is the most common pedal point?

The most common pedal point to use is the fifth in your scale. The fifth is dominant and has a really driving force to resolve to the tonic (root note). That’s why it works so great!

If you’re in the Fminor scale. Your pedal point would be a repeating (or sustained) C note.

Another common pedal note is the root note, which gives a different feel. You can also play the fifth and the root note (at the same time / rhythm) to create the pedal point effect.

You can obviously use other notes as pedal point too, but the fifth and root are the most common ones.

Mattias Holmgren

Mattias Holmgren is a creative director sailing from Sweden – business owner of Morningdew Media. Visit Mattias YouTube with videos on music, creative sound design, graphics and brand development. Check out the Resources Page if you want to know what gear i use. Join my exclusive community:

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