Sam Gellaitry – Ever After [Chord Dissection & MIDI Download]

Like most producers, I’ve always wondered how Sam Gelliatry write his chords. Since The first release of Escapism I, Sam G has rocked the world with a new blend of trap, jazz & funk, that’s incredibly fresh & new to the electronic music scene. And, like you, I’ve been dying to find out how he puts together his melodies, chords etc.

Ever After on Escapism III is an insane show of what Sam can really do. But, despite completely influencing the entirety of electronic music today, with a quick search on google you’ll, realise that there are virtually no useful music production tutorials, or resources on how Sam G actually writes his music.

You’ll either find a request page, or some AI generated chord suggestions that totally get the timing wrong, and leave you more confused than before.

Since the last track dissection did so well: how to write chords like Sam Gellaitry [Sprinkles Breakdown], I thought I’d dive into another of my favourite Sam Gellaitry tunes – Ever After (released with Escapism III).

In this article you’ll learn the theory behind the chords, how to play them yourself, and be able to get your hands on the MIDI download at the end of it all.

Anyway, let’s dive into the theory in this Escapism III masterpiece.

What Scale Is He Using?

For this track Sam has taken a pretty simple chord progression, and made it pretty advanced. From listening to it and playing along, at first you might think it was written in F Major (at least my smoothbrain did), but it’s main key is C mixolydian because of the clever use of ‘borrowed’ chords.

Sam uses the mixolydian a lot of his songs, and it’s an extremely useful scale to use in your production sessions, if you want your music to sound more colourful, smooth, or Jazzy.

To get the mixolydian of any scale, you simply flatten the 7th note of its major counterpart. In this case, it’s C major, and the 7th is B. So, if we flatten that B, we get a Bb, & the C mixolydian mode.

Now we’ve got C mixolydian down, and understand it, you’d think it’s plain sailing from here right? Cmon bro, we’re dissecting a Sammy G tune…

If you try to play that C mixolydian mode, along with the song (on Spotify or YouTube), it’ll sound out of key. This is because he’s used micro-tuning to give it a somewhat ‘wonky’ feel under all that, feel good, chord beauty.

This took me a while to work out, because no scale actually fits the music, if you try to play along with the original, UNLESS you detune it inside your DAW. So, to follow along, you’ll need to detune the entire song by around +21 cents.

Once you’ve detuned it, you’ll be able to play C mixolydian, or F major.

F major & C mixolydian have the same notes

F major is a scale that gives a feeling of complaisance & calm, and is often used to bring religious sentiment to a piece of music (makes sense with the track name ‘Ever After’).

The Chord Breakdown

If you take a listen to the MIDI file above, you’ll be able to hear that this chord progression is simple, but has a lot of quick movement. In this section we’re gonna go over each chord used, and the music theory behind it all.

For those of you clued up on music theory, the chord progression is as follows:

  • II
  • VI
  • VII
  • borrowed VII (from C major parallel key)
  • II
  • VI
  • VII
  • borrowed VII (from C major parallel key)
  • II

If that looks confusing to you, don’t worry – I’ve explained it below with easy to follow diagrams that map everything out for you. And, if you don’t know your music theory/chord scales: use this chord chart alongside the part of this tutorial.

All the chords in C Mixolydian

Let’s learn the chords…

Chord 1

The 1st chord in this progression, is D Minor 9. This is the 2nd chord degree in the C mixolydian chord scale, and is made up of a regular D minor chord, with a 7th and a 9th on the top.

There are no inversions or anything crazy going on here, it’s just a simple, natural position Dmin9 chord.

If you were to play this on piano, you’d use this fingering:

LH: D – 1st finger

RH: F, A, C, E – 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th fingers.

Chord 2

The 2nd chord we move to, is an A Minor 7/G – or an A Minor 7 chord, with a 7th in the bass (and on the top). It’s a simple Amin7 in its natural position, with a G in the bass.

This G in the bass, is the 7th of the Amin chord. In Jazz music, 7th’s in bass sound really good, and it’s always worth experimenting with this in your own music making sessions, when building chord progressions

It’s the 6th chord in the mixolydian scale.

The fingering looks something like this

LH: G – 1st finger

RH: A, C, E, G – 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th fingers.

Chord 3

The progression then moves onto a Bbmaj7. This is the 7th degree of the mixolydian scale. All that means is that, it is the 7th chord to show up in the chord sequence, when playing the mixolydian chord scale.

If you were to play this on a piano, the fingering would look like this:

LH: Bb, Bb – an octave apart, played with pinky and thumb.

RH: Bb, D, F, A – 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th fingers.

Chord 4

The next chord in the sequence is one you won’t notice on the C mixolydian chord chart. It’s a Bmin7/A (7th in the bass). And, Sam uses this chord as what we like to call a ‘borrowed’ chord, for some glorious movement before it returns to the 2 chord again.

Since you’re in C mixolydian, you can borrow chords from your parallel key. This parallel key happens to be C major. If you don’t know what a parallel key is, don’t fret my fine broducer friend – I got you *totally gnarly fist bump*.

A parallel key is simply defined as: 2 keys that have a different set of notes, but have the same root note (which is C in our case).

Here Sam borrows the 7th chord from the C major scale: Bmin 7, to create more movement & add more colour to the progression. You can do the same when writing your progressions, and the 7th chord is usually the best to use to create this movement with.

The fingering on piano is something like this:

LH: B – 1st finger

RH: B, D, Gb, A – 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th fingers.

Chord 5

Once you’ve managed to get your head around the wizardry above, you’ll move back to your original chord 2, but with a little twist: instead of a 9th, you’ll be playing a Dmin7, with a C in the bass (a 7th in the bass).

You’ll also want to play this Dmin7, an octave above the original chord we played.

LH: C – 1st finger

RH: D, F, A, C – 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th fingers

Chord 6

Then the progression moves back to the Amin7/G, or Amin7 with a 7th in the bass. This is a beautiful chord used in a lot of Jazz inspired music, including a lot of hip hop songs.

To nudge your memory, this is the 6th chord in the C mixolydian scale.

LH: G – 1st finger

RH: A, C, E, G – 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th fingers.

Chord 7

And finally resolves on the 2 chord – Dmin7/C. You play this an octave above the first chord in the melody.

This progression repeats throughout the entire first half of the song, in the intro, and the drop. It then dissolves into a breakdown section, with a really ambient outro of lush saws, harps and vocals.

LH: C – 1st finger

RH: D, F, A, C – 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th fingers

Download Sam Gellaitry Ever After MIDI

If you didn’t want to read the above, or just want the MIDI file anyway – you can download it over here.

It’s 80BPM (like the original on Escapism III), and comes with all chords with correct timings.

You’ve Reached The Ever After

So know you know a little bit more about how Sam Gelliatry writes his chord progressions, and you can even play one for yourself! With the theory knowledge behind it, you’re 1 step closer to your dream of making better music.

Ever After is a beautifully crafted piece, and although the chords give it the particular vibe he’s going for. The chords are a certain vibe of happy, uplifting and make you feel like you’ve transcended to the next world – the “Ever After”.

However, a lot of the energy in Sam’s songs come from his incredible selection of acoustic/foley like drums, mixing and sound selection. While it’s great to work on the theory, if you don’t have the ear for sounds, then you won’t be able to make similar music.

And tbh, this is a good thing! Take your newly learned knowledge and use it to create a different style of music. Trying to be someone else in life, will get you nowhere. Everyone has their own path to carve out, make sure you carve out