How to Write a Synth Bass Line like The Prodigy "Need Some1"

In this video, you'll learn how The Prodigy use (and abuse!) the Phrygian mode to write a killer bass synth melody in their new single "Need Some1". But first... Tea!

Hello, we are Kate Harmony & Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony), and welcome to the Hack Music Theory show, where you are empowered with notation-free theory for making great music in DAWs.

So… today The Prodigy just dropped the lead single “Need Some1” from their upcoming album “No Tourists”. And, considering I’ve been a Prodigy fan since 1994, and considering they’re using a really interesting scale in the main synth line of this new single, I’ve hacked the music theory behind it and I’m gonna show you how you can use this theory in your own music.

One of the main reasons why The Prodigy stands out from most other electronic music, is their super edgy sound! This allows them to crossover and reach fans in other genres, which not many other artists can pull off. For example, they could be headlining an electronic festival one weekend, and a rock festival the next weekend. The Prodigy’s edgy sound is actually not due to the synths they’re using (yeah of course that helps), but the main thing behind their sound, is musical dissonance. And this new single “Need Some1” is the perfect example!

They’re using the Phrygian mode, which is the dark mode, and that is what’s causing the awesome dissonance (i.e. that edgy sound!). Using our white-note hack, you can get Phrygian mode when you play all the white notes from E to E. Remember, once you’ve finished writing your synth line, you can simply select all the MIDI and move it up or down to start wherever you want (The Prodigy song starts on F♯). But, The Prodigy have given Phrygian a little twist. They’re playing the major 6 instead of the minor 6. So if you’re starting from E, like we are here, then this means your notes are: E F G A B C♯ D. Click play above to get stuck into the rest of this lesson!

Lastly, do you struggle to finish your music? If you do, then check out our online apprenticeship course, where you’ll learn how to effortlessly write new sections for existing sections, how to transition between them, and most importantly, how to finish your songs! For more info, just head on over to our Apprenticeship Course. Alright, enjoy the video/podcast.

Kate & Ray Harmony (AKA Revolution Harmony)
Music Teachers & Producers in Vancouver BC, Canada


1: Read our free book (below) & watch our YouTube videos
2: Read our "Part 1" book & "Songwriting & Producing" PDF
3: Learn how to become a song-whisperer, and effortlessly finish music!

Hack Music Theory is the pioneering notation-free method for making great music. Taught by award-winning music lecturer Ray Harmony, and his protégé (and wife) Kate Harmony, from their studio in Vancouver BC, Canada. Ray is the author of critically-acclaimed book series "Hack Music Theory", and has made music with Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), Ihsahn (Emperor), Kool Keith (Ultramagnetic MCs), Madchild (Swollen Members), and many more. Kate has the highest grade distinction in Popular Music Theory from the London College of Music, and is the only person on the planet who's been trained by Ray to teach his Hack Music Theory method! While these Hack Music Theory YouTube lessons teach music theory for producers and DAW users, they are designed to accommodate all music makers (songwriters, guitarists, etc.) and all genres, from Electronic Music to R&B, Pop to Hip-Hop, Reggae to Rock, EDM/Dance to Metal (and yes, we djefinitely Djent!).