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Old 08-19-2014, 10:35 AM   #1
RobD94
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Adding melody to a riff

Hey guys,

so I just wrote a riff for a new song to practice writing.
Now I want to add a melody, probably with synths or violins/orchestra whatever.
So I'm petty new to theory, I know some stuff but I really can't figure out what I could play over this riff. The tuning is dropped A and these are the notes which are used:

B --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
F# ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A ------------------------------------4---5----7---------------------------------
E -------------4-----------5----6-------------------------------------------------
A ---0---1---------3--------------------------------8----7----1-----4-----------

This ist not the actual riff, only the notes which are used(!)

Could you help me figuring out which scales I could play over the riff and kinda explain me how I can get there?


Thanks
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:51 AM   #2
Macabre_Turtle
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Since it doesn't stick to any particular scale or distinct chord progression, your ear is going to be your friend here.
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:59 AM   #3
Not_my_username
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You are asking too much... You need to provide us the actual riff, because we need to understand the tonal centre of the riff, or the key of your song. They are a lot of notes going in there so we need more information.
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Old 08-19-2014, 12:16 PM   #4
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Give us the actual riff and we should be able to help you, also the coding error (not sure if its only me) makes this even more annoying
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by losing battle
Give us the actual riff and we should be able to help you, also the coding error (not sure if its only me) makes this even more annoying


Looks fine for me.
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Old 08-20-2014, 06:15 AM   #6
RobD94
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Alright so here is the full riff:

B --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
F# --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A ----------------------------------------------------------------4----5---------
E --------4----------------------------------------5-------6----------------------
A ---0-1-----0----0-0-3--0-0--0-0----0-0-0-----0-0-----0----0-----------

B --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
F# --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A --7------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E --------------------5------------------------------------------------------------
A -----0-0---0-0-0----0-8--0-7--1-1-1--1--1-1-4--4-4--4-4------------------

Thanks for your help so far, tried to figuring out some useable scales but could only find a few fitting tones
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:25 AM   #7
Macabre_Turtle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobD94
Alright so here is the full riff:

B --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
F# --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A ----------------------------------------------------------------4----5---------
E --------4----------------------------------------5-------6----------------------
A ---0-1-----0----0-0-3--0-0--0-0----0-0-0-----0-0-----0----0-----------

B --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
F# --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
D ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A --7------------------------------------------------------------------------------
E --------------------5------------------------------------------------------------
A -----0-0---0-0-0----0-8--0-7--1-1-1--1--1-1-4--4-4--4-4------------------

Thanks for your help so far, tried to figuring out some useable scales but could only find a few fitting tones


So your notes here are A, Bb, C, C#, D, E, F, G#.

This really doesn't fit a particular scale, obviously. So my approach is to pick a scale that it almost fits, and treat a note or two as an accidental. In this case I would probably decide that the scale is A-Bb-C#-D-E-F-G#, with C being an accidental. So in writing other melodies around it, I would use that scale, but I would make sure that while this riff is hitting that C, the other melodies I'm writing around it aren't hitting a C# at the same time, as you would be playing the minor 3rd of the key at the same time as the major 3rd which is typically bad.

Additionally, the Bb and G# up there aren't great for harmonies (okay, maybe they are for somebody more skilled than me), so I might also decide that the scale is either A-B-C#-D-E-F-G# with the Bb being an accidental or that the scale is A-Bb-C#-D-E-F-G with G# being an accidental, taking the same precaution to make sure that the other melodies being written don't hit a B while a Bb is played in the riff, or that the don't hit a G while a G# is being played.

Some one feel free to correct me if I made any mistakes there. I just woke up and my eyes are barely open.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:46 AM   #8
RobD94
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Hey,

thanks man, that really helped alot!
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:46 AM   #9
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The first most obviously basic thing you could do is stop trying to lump every note into some perfect scale. You've got a riff that extends over I don't know how many bars. Split those notes up into blocks and identify chords/chord tones that could be used melodicaly.

First 4 notes: that could be a chord
Next 3 notes: There's another

I know nothing about the speed, rhythm, context etc. about your song, so I can't expand this any further.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:23 PM   #10
Macabre_Turtle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobD94
Hey,

thanks man, that really helped alot!


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Covers:
STS - Emersion - Dual Guitar/Bass
STS - Redwoods - Dual Guitar
BTBAM - The Backtrack - Bass/Guitar
BTBAM - Sun of Nothing - Guitar
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