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Haunting Dark Music Theory

Please, can someone give me some advice on how to write scary, dark, horror music, the stuff that creates a really anxious tense feeling. I’ve read the books and I’m watching youtube but I’m still having trouble creating dark melodies and chord progressions. Surely someone has covered this extensively for beginners somewhere.

Tutorials, sites, advice anything is most welcome and appreciated :slight_smile:

Thank you

Well ‘dark’ can mean a lot of things, do you want sad, spooky, evil, angry etc

Hey bro thanks for reaching out, sorry I wasn’t as descriptive as I could be I’m a newbie.

Horror, scary, anxious, frightening, moody, tense, eerie,

Well an easy way to make a song horrifying is to use the Locrian mode, if you use it right it should sound pretty scary. You should definitely use that b5 though in order to get the tonality. Also the root chord in Locrian is diminished, don’t care about how dissonant that will be it will sound good

Some examples:


https://www.hooktheory.com/theorytab/view/john-kirkpatrick/dust-to-dust (this doesn’t really have chords)


You can ask me about the Locrian mode if you want

Vaz thank you so much for the help. I tried a track in Locrian but it didn’t sound scary at all I just made some chords with the notes and was jumbling them around. I don’t know how to use a scale properly to get it’s characteristics.

Could you tell me what chords you are using because if you use the II, iv or VI chords you shouldn’t use them for too long otherwise it will sound like it’s in the relative major (this is because they contain the 6th degree in the Locrian scale, which is the 5th degree in the relative major. You also shouldn’t use the 6th degree in the melody a lot either)

And another tip is not to use the 5th as a place for the song to relax otherwise it will actually sound kind of funny, for instance listen to the bridge of this theorytab: