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Melodies

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(@blaine)
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Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 52
Topic starter  

It seems like whenever I try to make up a melody to a little riff i've made up, i end up just singing the same note im playing... what can help me break out of that... its annoying but i cant help it for some reason... lol... any help would be appreciated...

thanks

Blaine Adams


   
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(@cmaracz)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 155
 

I have never really written a melody or a song but I can relate some stuff from the little article on songwriting in the latest GWA. The guy from the Goo Goo Dolls says that he thinks it's usually to wait until have a full musicial concept down before you do your lyrics and melody, if you don't have one yet, as the music spurs on the writing of the vocal melody and lyrics.

Althoguh with the actual act of you singing the riff when trying to come up with a melody, I don't think i can help you :(


   
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(@jacqui1627)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 47
 

Blaine, usually there are at least three notes that can sound quite nicely with a particular chord. Simply work out what chord your playing, and take the first, third and fifth notes of that key. For example, with the Amaj chord the notes would be A, C# and E. Give it a shot, you'll hear the harmony of the notes to the chord you are playing.

There are only so many notes that sound okay with a particular chord, but there are some also you can experiment with and they can include the 4th sixth and 7th of your key (or rather, the scale of the key) depending on the atmosphere of sound you want to create. For example, try humming a G# whilst playing the Amajor chord, ACE. This will give a sense of immediately wanting to lead to the A. You could then add to your melody by next singing the E three notes nelow the A then change the chord to the first inversion of Emajor, G# B E, which is the dominant of A major. Then, experiment. Have fun. maybe repeat again the same melody in the vocals except landing on a D with the D chord.

In your case, writing a melody to a riff, uses the same idea. If your playing the note E in your riff for example, try singing notes G# (or G, depending on if your in major or minor) or B. The 6th note, C, always sounds good with the E, creating not so much of a harmonic sound but more a sound with texture. Try this. Deconstruct your riffs and work out what chords they are creating (the key) and sing the tonic note of the key (which is the first note, eg, if you have the notes E. G and B in your riff, sing E with it) then experiment with the 3rd and 5th. As long as you have some kind of connection with the note you are singing and the notes in your riff you'll be fine. But as a general rule, think 1,3,5.

The important rule to remember with melody writing is 1,3,5 of the scale of your standard chord always sound best, closely followed by 4,6 and 7/ It is not to say you cannot use 2, but it generally sounds harsh and dissonant and I'd stay away from it unless you intend to create that kind of sound.

Hope this helps, rules of harmony are complicated, but once you know them thats when the fun bit begins... but just remember, there are never rules with music. There are, but you'll find that in music the rules are made to be broken, it's all about what you want to write and what feels right for you.

Happy writing!

J :)

"Iam a question to the world... not an answer to be heard."


   
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(@blaine)
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Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 52
Topic starter  

thanks alot for the info and advice.... it definitely helps...:)

Blaine Adams


   
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