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Music Production => Tracking => Topic started by: usrfriendly on December 06, 2008, 11:58:49

Title: Tips on melody?
Post by: usrfriendly on December 06, 2008, 11:58:49
I've been working with music software for around 8 months, and have, I think, learned quite a bit.  My one weakness, however, is melody.  I can't seem to make a decent melody for some reason in a tracker.  Piano-roll sequencers i do slightly better in, but not much.  Could I get some suggestions?  Should I listen to other people's work.  Read up on music theory?  I'm hoping to find the best way to learn.
Title: Re: Tips on melody?
Post by: m0d on December 09, 2008, 12:32:43
Get a piano/keyboard and improvise over a backing track. It's one of the best ways to unleash yourself. You don't have to be recording, you just need to let yourself loose on something for a while.
Title: Re: Tips on melody?
Post by: usrfriendly on December 09, 2008, 23:45:38
got a keyboard!  might do the trick.
Title: Re: Tips on melody?
Post by: it_is_coming on March 18, 2009, 17:31:20
I always lay down the chord structure first, then write a melody over that. It helps to just get a basic idea going, then shape it the way you want with the melody. Music theory does help.
Title: Re: Tips on melody?
Post by: m0d on March 19, 2009, 09:11:43
I agree with it_is_coming, have done the same on many occasion.

I often jam along to a basic chord pattern running on loop in Renoise, then suddenly my melody line appears :)
Title: Re: Tips on melody?
Post by: Oliwerko on March 20, 2009, 07:05:33
Having the same pattern repeat over and over and just trying to throw something there sometimes works.
Title: Re: Tips on melody?
Post by: barryvan on March 23, 2009, 01:23:38
I agree -- however, I sometimes find that it's really good to write a melody, and then fit chords to it. This way, you can write chord progressions which are, perhaps, more novel than you would otherwise produce. (I know it's a problem I have.) A great way to write melodies is to find words to set to music, and to write the melody to reflect the words. I remember having to do these sorts of exercises at school, and whilst they were tedious, I remember them quite fondly now, and have even dabbled in them. :)
Title: Re: Tips on melody?
Post by: usrfriendly on March 29, 2009, 07:40:19
I tried your method, Barryvan, and got somewhere.  Too bad I'm bad at lyrics :D

I don't know much in the way of chords, though.  I'm learning (after a year, still).
Title: Re: Tips on melody?
Post by: Oliwerko on June 12, 2009, 21:56:58
For me the usual process I undergo is:

1. Poking around with samples and synths endlessly
2. A sound catches my attention and triggers creativity in me - this is the critical step for me, I get inspired by sounds. If that does not happen, I am stuck (similar experience anyone?)
3. I lay down a melody using the above sound, then it may go two ways (which one I don't know at this point):
4a. The melody is a lead
4b. The melody is a background melody
5. I poke around with drum and hat samples, choose fitting drums in order - Bdrums, Snares, Hats
6. I may add some pads/bass sounds, but that is rare, I don't know how to do it well yet  ;D
7. I lay down some patterns and do the core of the song, so I have a stable rhythm
8. I expand the song with various new ideas I get along the way, altering the core I get a longer and changing song
9. I further add some "solo-sections", where I let some elements quiet, for example I play only the lead for a while, or only the drums and bass sections without the lead

...and all the chords I do I do in 6th step. I just grab a synth and accomodate some chord transitions to the lead melody, or even establish a chord-only sections.

I do not really focus on actually trying to create the chords, they come across on their own somehow.  ;D
Oh man, I got carried a bit off-topic as I see now, sorry for that.

And the words-to-chords technique? I've never heard of it and I have no idea how I would start to do it  :-\
I don't have any lyrics for my music, is that a problem?
Title: Re: Tips on melody?
Post by: Saga Musix on June 12, 2009, 23:39:21
similar experience anyone?
well yeah, certain new sounds always let me create new melodies. but it also happens often that i only get one pattern of new ideas and that's another new track for /dev/null :\