How To Create Quick Lead Runs In FL Studio

How To Create Quick Lead Runs In FL Studio

Sometimes you need a lead part to use as a transition or as maybe a “solo” type part.  An easy way to do this is by using the chords or bass-line your song structure already incorporates, and turning it into a run to help spice things up.

In my example I used a basic C major chord triad, and added a few octaves (4 total) by copying and pasting.  The more octaves you add the greater distance in pitch between the top and the bottom note.

how to make runs 2

After you have the chords set the way you like the next step is to use the Cut Tool, and start at the top left, and drag down diagonally.  This is probably the “hardest” part of this tutorial.  You have to draw a diagonal, but you can draw any angle you want, the degree of the angle you draw determines the length of the notes.  The length of the line you draw determines how many notes are cute.

Here I drew a line from top to bottom across the length of one quarter note.


After you cut everything exactly the way you want it there is a tool you can use called Legato/Articulate. I’m not going to go into all the little switches and knobs in the Articulate tool (you’ll just have to experiment!), as I mainly use the Quick Legato option as its does exactly what you need here on the fly.


As you will see the Quick Legato tool shortens the length of all the notes (or only the ones selected) so everything doesn’t run together when its played.


If you look in the picture above you should notice I have selected the original chord structure except for the first note. You generally want to delete and notes that play at the same time, especially more that two or three notes that play at once.  So scan through and delete any notes you don’t want.


The last step is to use the Quantize tool.  What this tool does is aligns the notes to the cells so that everything sounds on time (it can do more than this but this is the basic premise, and what we will use it for).  After this you can fine tune any notes manually to get the desired sound you want, and you then you should be good.

One thing to note is that you generally want to use a lead/key type sound.  You probably wouldn’t want to use a pad with this riff.  I hope this tutorial was helpful, and please leave comments or feedback below.



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TheSpanningTree (aka Mountain Lion), has been producing/experimenting/performing music for the past 12 years. Please check out for the author's music.


  1. Max Golovanov on

    Many THX, TheSpanningTree!

    I’ve just done this tutorial & it appears to be very helpful!

    Quick & fast way to make leads more interesting, indeed!

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