How Do You Come Up with a Melody for a New Song?
Melody can be created by plotting notes randomly. But it is recommended that you use a structure. However, even if you use a structure, there is a chance you may still run out of ideas. It only means that you will be faster in creating a melody when using a structure than when you do not. Use the strategies below to ensure that you are able to consistently come up with a melody for every new song you have written.
- Begin with a scale
If you begin with a scale will reduce the notes you are going to use. This will help you not to waste time plotting every note by just hitting random keys on the keyboard.
- Create the Rhythm
After you decide on the scale, then you have to come up with a rhythm for your melody. You have to understand that melody is not only a succession of notes. It comprises of rhythmic successions of notes.
Do not forget about rhythm; they are essential when you want to create a melody for that new song. To create a good rhythm, you would want to consider using a kick drum or metronome.
- Draw the contour
Since you have gotten the rhythm right, you should begin a sketch of the outline of the melody. This stage will require complete ingenuity from you. Usually, a lot of songwriters have a preference for drawing on paper, but you can have a mental picture of what you want.
- Choose your sound
It is up to you to have your melody before or after the sound is designed. However, you can give preference to creating your sound first. Having a perfect sound will help you write correctly. Some good melodies will do well with massive trance leads but not with sound from a cheap piano.
- Be more creative
This is the point to go back to the contour line you have drawn or thought of. You can also change some notes until you get something perfect for yourself. You should not feel obligated to follow precisely the contour line you have drawn. Allow a chance for some creativity. Also, if something does not look perfect, correct it.
- Add styles
After you are done creating something elemental, you can adjust to add some excitement and flair. There is nothing wrong with adding some extra notes and increasing a few note lengths.
How to Get Some Inspiration to Come Up with a Melody for Your Songs
Getting your desired melody may not work sometimes; hence you must have some tool up your sleeves that can help you rejig your inspiration.
- Make use of silence
- Change the instruments that you are using. Maybe a bold synth can come out better than that of a piano.
- Change the position on octave. Take it up or down. A deep tone will give a much melancholic feeling, but a light one will be exciting and joyful.
- Try to delete every second note and see how it sounds. Ensure you split test. Even if your melody is quite good, you never know if you can get a better sound with a different variation.
However, if you are making a melody from the chord progression, here is what you can do to tweak your melody.
- Use the rhythm of the progression; that is, if there is one.
- Ensure that the notes of the melody are within the chord. For example, if the first chord is C Major, make the first note a C, E, or G.
- Give special attention to the note just before chord changes.
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Here are a few pitfalls to avoid while creating melodies for your songs
Do not wind on and on. This is because a perfect melody will resolve and then repeat. If those who listen to your music cannot understand when your melody ends and begins, then you have lost the soft feel you need to keep them to you.
Avoid too much variation in your pitch and rhythm. Be consistent, and it will help you keep the melody simple. Too many variations can confuse your listeners.
Just like continuous rambling, a melody without repetition is a no! Repetition is like a juice. It gives your listeners an idea of what to come.
Lastly, creating a melody is usually a difficult task. But then it should not be so. If you are not stuck at a particular spot, put a stop to your project and give yourself some time to think. Do something different. Take a walk. Read a book. Spend quality time with family; doing all of these will make you unwind and prepare you to come with better creativity.