Medasin is getting pretty massive now, he makes an awesome blend of future beats/pop music that's so addictive, chill and uplifting. But, if you try to find out the music theory behind what he does, there's not a lot of specific information out there.
In this article, I'm going to break down one of his most popular tracks – Daydream. That means you'll learn the chord progressions (both of them), the music theory behind why they work and at the end of it all, you'll get a MIDI download.
If you'd like to read more of these, check out the last article I did on Sam Gellaitry's – Ever After.
Anyway, let's begin with the scales that Medasin is using in this song & progression.
What Scale Is He Using?
For this track, Medasin is actually using 2 entirely different keys for the intro and the drop. For the intro he's using a C Minor scale to build the chord progression that lies behind the vocals.
In the drop you'll notice that if you play the C Minor scale over the chords, it will sound out of key. This is because during the drop, Medasin has changed key to F Major. This is something that threw me off a little bit, because the song is fairly simple in its makeup. It utilises 2 chords for the intro and the drop section, with an occasional movement chord in-between.
At first I thought, ok he's just using relative major and minor keys. Then I tried to find the relative minor of F Major (3 semi-tones to the left of F), and it turned out to be D minor, not C Minor.
This is a very interesting key change I have not come across before, and Medasin is doing some pretty clever stuff to change the vibe of the track. I'm guessing it has something to do with the name ‘Daydream'. You're day dreaming, then you come back to reality, or some arsty sh*t like that.
The key change works so well because of something we call ‘closely related keys‘. These are well… closely related. Specifically they're related to each other through their chord scale make-up, but we'll explain this further in the ‘drop' section of this chord break down.
The Chord Breakdown
In this section we're going to discuss & dissect the chord progressions used by Medasin, and why they work. Let's start with the intro.
Like I said above, the intro is written in C Minor. That means we'll be using the C Minor chord scale to build the progressions
Starting off with the first chord, we have an Fmin9 in its original position and with a double octave ‘F' in the bass.
To make this easier for you we'll explain it like this:
It's an F in the bass, across 2 octaves, then an Abmaj7 played on top. If you don't know your theory, don't worry – we'll use some diagrams to explain it below.
As you can see above, the Fmin9 chord is a natural Fmin chord, with some extensions on top. These extensions are the 7th and 9th notes that appear in the F minor scale. Because it's a minor chord, we want the minor extensions, so we use the minor scale to find these.
So, if you count up the F minor scale, you'll find that the 7th note is D#, and the 9th note is G. That leaves us with a chord like this: F, G#, C, D#, G.
As we can see, the notes: G#, C, D# &, G are all in the Abmaj7 chord. That means instead of trying to find the 9th or the 7th by counting up the scale, we can just play the Abmaj7 chord, with an F in the bass.
If you're playing this on piano, the fingering will be like this:
- LH: F, F, double octave in bass – 1 and 5 fingers (1 is pinky, 5 is thumb)
- RH: G#, C, D#, G – 1, 2, 3 and 5 fingers (1 is thumb, 5 is pinky).
Chord 2 – Occasional Movement Chord
Next we'll go over the 2nd chord in this progression. This isn't used every single time the progression cycles around again, but comes in occasionally for movement & colour. It's a Fmin7b5.
To make this chord, all you need to do is play an F minor chord in it's natural position. Then you'll take the top note of that chord (the C), and take it down 1 semi-tone to ‘flatten' it. This makes an F diminished chord.
If you need to brush up on your basic music theory, check out our how to make chords guide, or any of our basic theory guides.
After you have the F diminished chord (or F minb5 chord), you'll need to find the 7th. For this you're going to use the F minor scale again, and count up to the 7th note in the sequence. In this case, it's that D# we mentioned above.
Now you have your Fmin7b5 chord! It should be made up of these notes: F, G#, B, D
To play it how Medasin plays it in Daydream, you'll want to take that F and put it in the bass. You'll then also want to add an F after the D.
Here's what that looks like on the piano:
- LH: F double octave – 1 and 5 fingers
- RH: G#, B, D, F – 1, 3, 4, 5 fingers
Really all this is, is an Abmin6 chord with an F in the bass. Because of that F in the bass, we call it an Fmin7b5.
As you can see from the diagram above, they contain the same notes. And, if you're playing it on your keys, you'll notice you are playing an Abmin6 in your right hand. With the left hand, you are playing an F. By adding this F, you end up with an Fm7b5.
The last chord in this chord progression is, Ebmaj9. This is another 9th chord, and is the resolve of the entire intro's chord progression.
Like the 9th chord you worked out above, this chord will also have a 7th and a 9th in it. To find the 7th and 9th note in this chord, you will need to use the Eb major scale. Seeing as this is an Eb major chord, we want the 7th and 9th to both be the major versions.
So, use the Eb major scale and count up to the 7th note, then the 9th note. After doing this, you should have these notes: D (7th), F (9th). Then you just need to play a natural position Eb major chord, with these notes on top.
Medasin plays this chord a little differently, playing a G dominant 7 in the right hand, and Eb bass in the left hand. The Eb in the bass is what makes it an Ebmaj9.
The fingering on the piano looks like this:
- LH: Eb octave in bass – 1 and 5 fingers
- RH: G, Bb, D, F – 1, 2, 3, and 5 fingers
If you take a look at the above diagram, you'll notice that the notes you are playing in the right hand, makes a G minor 7. This has all the same notes as the Ebmaj9, apart from the Eb. The Eb in the left hand, is what makes it an Ebmaj9 chord.
On the drop the entire track changes key to F Major, so we'll be using the F Major scale to build the chord progression here.
This key change works because of something we call closely related keys. If you take a look at the F Major and C Minor chord scales, you'll notice there's a lot of similarity in the chords within the scale.
For instance you'll se that, we have 3 chords that are the same:
- Bb major
- C minor
- G minor
This makes F major and C minor a closely related key, and means we can switch keys while still making it work musically.
The first of the chords in this progression is Gmin9. This is another 9th chord, and like mentioned above, you'll need to use the G minor scale to find the 7th and 9th. Using the scale, you should end up with these notes: F (7th), A (9th).
Then all you need to do is play a natural Gmin underneath that. If you do that, you should get something like this: G, Bb, D, F, A.
You'll then want to play the G as a double octave in the left hand, and play a Bmaj7 in the right hand.
- LH: G double octave – 1 and 5 fingers
- RH: Bb, D, F, A
As you can see we're playing a Bbmaj7 in the right hand, and a G in the left hand. Putting this together makes a Gmin9, and the G in the bass is what makes it a Gmin9.
The second chord in this song is another use of a colourful movement chord. It's a Gb9. Gb9 is a dominant 9th chord and can be used to create movement before resolving to the final chord.
This isn't done on every cycle of the chord progression, but can be used to spice things up a little between changes.
The fingering for this chord is as follows:
- LH: Gb double octave – 1 and 5 fingers.
- RH: Bb, Db, E, Ab – 1, 2, 3, and 5 fingers.
This is the resolve of the chord progression, and is an Fmaj9. Like all the other 9th chords in this write-up, you're going to find it in the exact same way. So grab your F major scale, count to the 7th and 9th notes in the sequence. These will be your 7th and 9th extension notes. You should have: E and G.
Then you play a natural Fmaj chord underneath and you have your Fmaj9. But this isn't how Medasin plays it in this song.
He's inverted this chord (swapped the notes around), to change the feel and vibe of it. Instead of playing the Fmaj9 shown above, you want to play the 2nd inversion of Fmaj, move the F an octave down, and add the 7th and 9th in-between
- LH: F double octave – 1 and 5 fingers.
- RH: C, E(7th), G(9th), A
Download The MIDI & Serum Presets
Here you can download the MIDI for Medasin – Daydream. This includes the intro pad, the build pluck chords, the drop chords & lead melody. I've also created some Serum presets that will be included in the pack.
How Do You Make Medasin Style Synth Chords? (Sound Design)
The chords are one of the most important elements to actually sounding like Medasin. The patches are pretty simple to re-create, and are beautifully warm and chill.
We did all the sound design in Serum, so if you have a copy, you can follow along easily.
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