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Deconstruction: Tones And I – ‘Dance Monkey’

We’re back with another deconstruction, this time with our very own Course Content Developer Risa T stepping in to break down Tones And I’s giant hit, ‘Dance Monkey’. If you’re new here and not familiar with what a deconstruction entails, it’s where we take a well-known track, break it down to its core elements and recreate it before your very eyes. If you’d like to learn more about producing, mixing, mastering and releasing tracks just like this one, check out our selection of online courses. Plus, get 25% off selected online courses before our offer ends on 18th May with code: ONLINE25.

‘Dance Monkey’ was released last year via Bad Batch Records under exclusive license to Elektra Records and went on to rule the UK Singles Chart for 11 consecutive weeks. This lengthy stint at number one saw the Australian singer break the record for a solo female act at the top spot eclipsing both Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’ and Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’. The track has since gone on to rack up an impressive 2.5 billion plays on YouTube and Spotify with no signs of slowing down. The track itself is an ode to Tones And I’s life as a busker and is packed with catchy piano melodies, basslines and vocals.

In the video, Risa shows exactly how the hit track was built from the ground up in Logic Pro X. She kicks things off by looking at the chord progression used throughout the song before recording in the track’s bass pluck and percussive finger snaps. She moves swiftly on to the 808 which she programmed in Native Instruments’ Massive as well as showing how to easily create your own sweeping sound effect which is perfect for build-ups. Last but not least, Risa works on Dance Monkey’s chorus – the part which features that big Moog-style bassline. This deconstruction is great for anyone looking for tips on how to structure their tracks and proves that you can create a hit with just a few key elements.

These deconstructions are a tool we use frequently to teach elements of composition and arrangement but to get the full picture we recommend you study with us. The most comprehensive study we offer is our flagship degree programme, the BA (Hons) in Music Production and Sound Engineering which is also available onlineGet in touch to find out more.

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