#1
i want to start my own instrumential songs and i dont know how to get a great melody how do i start?
#2
just sit there, clear your head, pick a scale and play around with it. it takes practice and work, but it pays off, not too many short cuts. scales, chords, and just playing
#3
Quote by 1998metalhead1
i want to start my own instrumential songs and i dont know how to get a great melody how do i start?


Play your instrument until something inspiring hits you.
A callous exterior isn't an uncommon way of protecting ideals; it hides the idealists from the derision of fools and cowards. But it also immobilizes them, so that, in trying to preserve their ideals, they risk losing them.
#4
huh...i dont think ive ever been asked this question

you just play until something comes out
i dont think there are any short cuts or anything you just come up with them
#5
Sing the melody out loud, or in your head, over the progression to your song. If it sounds good sung, then you can replicate the melody on guitar.
#6
There are two obvious ways of writing a melody: 1) write a harmony and play something that fits over it. 2) 'hear' the melody (in your head) and transcribe it. Then write the harmony under it--if you want harmony.

When you're starting out, it's easiest to write the harmony first, then play something that fits. So, start with a chord progression: it's easiest to start simple. Let's say:

Bb - Gm - Eb - F

The typical I - vi - IV - V progression in Bb major. The most stable tones are the chord tones for each segment. For Bb, your chord tones are Bb, D, and F. Obviously, they are named so since they are the 'tones' that make up the 'chord'. Likewise, the chord tones for an A7sus4 would be A, D, E and G. Chord tones are best used on the stronger beats (1 and 3 in 4/4). When used in this way, it brings a sense of consonance and resolution to your melody. There's plenty more information on chord tone melody/soloing in this forum, just take a look around.

In between chord tones, you can use non-chord tones, which, obviously, is any note other than a chord tone for a given chord. Until you get the hang of melody writing, try more consonant notes, such as a perfect 4th and major 6th. Non-chord tones are the spice of a melody, they create differing degrees of tension which can create great interest.

Good melodies (like their harmonic counterparts) have tension and release. Build the tension with those non-chord tones and syncopation, then release it with chord tones on strong beats.

Good melodies also have wave-like pitch movement. Think of the melody as a whole and notice where the pitch is moving. Look at a picture of a sine wave: notice how it moves from the middle, up to a peak, lowers into a valley, then ends back at the middle. This is a very strong melodic structure. Ending in the middle also happens to be very good if you want to have your melody repeat, since it starts in the same range as where it ends.

Stepwise motion--moving by major/minor seconds--is very common and is good for a continuous run of notes in one direction. Skipping--any interval greater than a second--breaks up some of the monotony of a stepping melody. However, a melody that skips too much isn't easy to listen to. Composers generally resolve a skip by stepwise motion in the opposite direction. For example, if you moved from F to Bb, the most obvious move would downwards to A.

Give it a shot: pick a harmonic progression and play over it. The best way to practice is to keep writing.
#7
get a simple progression: I -IV -V

It resolves fast so you can do good simple catchy melodies.

As catchy the Progression the more you tend to do a good catchy melody....
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IF YOU READ 'H' I MEAN 'B'

GERMAN H = AMERICAN B

#9
I don't do anything.

Yup.

No theory or anything.

Hell, the most I will do is learn covers.

Just don't try, wait until something comes into your head, when it does get your instrument ASAP before you forget it.

I can go for days or weeks without having an idea for a riff/melody, as soon as I get one I try to keep it in my mind till I get to an instrument (I don't forget it once I've played it) and just build a song from there up, it seems to flow when you have a starting point.


Trying to force it usually makes it turn out as something crappy that you will end up hating and scrapping a few weeks/days later.
When I was eleven I broke the patio window and my mother sued me... She's always been a very aggressive litigator.
#10
Quote by link no1
I don't do anything.

Yup.

No theory or anything.

Hell, the most I will do is learn covers.

Just don't try, wait until something comes into your head, when it does get your instrument ASAP before you forget it.

I can go for days or weeks without having an idea for a riff/melody, as soon as I get one I try to keep it in my mind till I get to an instrument (I don't forget it once I've played it) and just build a song from there up, it seems to flow when you have a starting point.


Trying to force it usually makes it turn out as something crappy that you will end up hating and scrapping a few weeks/days later.


I must disagree with this. You should write as much as you can even though it may not be insanely good stuff to progress as a songwriter. Eventually you will start making a lot less "bad" songs and can pump out songs on a regular basis instead of just when inspiration strikes. I think every serious songwriter have heard of the clay-pot-teacher story, which indeed is very true:

So there was this teacher guy, who taught people how to make pots and stuff out of clay. One day he decided to do a little experiment; at the beginning of the course he split his class into two groups. One would be marked at the end of the course by how good they could make one pot, while the other group would get marked simply on how many pots they had made. So the first group was really careful with their pots, making sure every little detail was spot on and the others just made a hell of a lot of pots. Interestingly enough, at the end of the course the group that had made many many pots were constantly producing better and more beautiful pots than the one the first group had been working on all month!

This also applies to songwriting, practice is the key!

Edit: Also OT, try to sing the melody in your head first and then find out how to play it, this will usually lead to better melodies as you avoid "box-playing".
You'll Never Walk Alone!
Last edited by Muffinz at May 23, 2011,
#11
Quote by link no1

Trying to force it usually makes it turn out as something crappy that you will end up hating and scrapping a few weeks/days later.


I'm not sure. Sometimes you'll be in a position where you HAVE to create something, even if you're not necesserily in the mood to do so. Admittedly this is a situation that occurs on the more professional end of things, but to prepare it's best to simply just write more. The more you write, the better you get, regardless of whether you're inspired to do so. A talented songwriter can spit out a song in 10 minutes if you give him $50, and that song will be better than your first couple of efforts, regardless of whether you felt inspired to do so.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#12
Quote by Muffinz
I must disagree with this. You should write as much as you can even though it may not be insanely good stuff to progress as a songwriter. Eventually you will start making a lot less "bad" songs and can pump out songs on a regular basis instead of just when inspiration strikes. I think every serious songwriter have heard of the clay-pot-teacher story, which indeed is very true:

So there was this teacher guy, who taught people how to make pots and stuff out of clay. One day he decided to do a little experiment; at the beginning of the course he split his class into two groups. One would be marked at the end of the course by how good they could make one pot, while the other group would get marked simply on how many pots they had made. So the first group was really careful with their pots, making sure every little detail was spot on and the others just made a hell of a lot of pots. Interestingly enough, at the end of the course the group that had made many many pots were constantly producing better and more beautiful pots than the one the first group had been working on all month!

This also applies to songwriting, practice is the key!


this^ practice! practice! practice!
Quote by Dirk Gently
Some pieces are only meant to be played by people with six fingers on their fretting hand. Sorry.
#13
Quote by AlanHB
I'm not sure. Sometimes you'll be in a position where you HAVE to create something, even if you're not necesserily in the mood to do so. Admittedly this is a situation that occurs on the more professional end of things, but to prepare it's best to simply just write more. The more you write, the better you get, regardless of whether you're inspired to do so. A talented songwriter can spit out a song in 10 minutes if you give him $50, and that song will be better than your first couple of efforts, regardless of whether you felt inspired to do so.



Yea there will be times when you HAVE to create something.
I suppose it's just a matter of preference on this subject. I just tend to get most of my ideas when I am out or doing something compleatly non guitar related and i'm never as satisfied with songs I sat there and forced out. More comes down to the person than the method of doing it. Everybody is different.
When I was eleven I broke the patio window and my mother sued me... She's always been a very aggressive litigator.
#14
Quote by link no1
More comes down to the person than the method of doing it. Everybody is different.


And the situation. If a band asks you to write a riff for a song, they'd prefer it that you write it by next practice at latest, rather than waiting for inspiration to hit some 4 months later.

Edit: Admittedly I used to think along your lines, but having written parts for so many peoples songs now, I can listen to a chord structure and ideas will come to me instantly. I'll hear a song and say "hey, that could work with a fingerpicking lead" or "maybe I can follow the vocal line here to emphasise it" or "I could leave my part sparse in the first verse leading up to a riff through the second". This is just a bi-product of doing this work a lot. And getting paid to do it is handy too!
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#15
Quote by 1998metalhead1
i want to start my own instrumential songs and i dont know how to get a great melody how do i start?


You establish the foundation first.

In other words, you need to have a solid grounding in musical theory, either through formal training or by way of experience.

Once that's in place, the rest will follow, seeming natural and unforced.

'Effortless' ability is usually the result of thousands of hours of work...

IMNSHO, you're only 'good' at something when you no longer have to concentrate on the mechanics of it to get it done.
#16
Quote by 1998metalhead1
i want to start my own instrumential songs and i dont know how to get a great melody how do i start?


Making a great melody is one of the hardest things in composing. If you're very good at it you will have a skill that most composers don't, and you'll reap the rewards. I think the very best tunesmiths have an innate 'gift'.

The rest of us must apply a bit of theory and a lot of trial and error to get a halfway decent melody.

There are great, unwritten melodies out there, waiting to be discovered. Yet the combination of rhythm and juxtaposition of intervals leading to a pleasing overall form makes them very hard to find.
#17
There are a lot of ways to do this.

One, is analyze a melody that you like, and figure out what was going on.

Another is experiment, not so much randomly, but involve a combination of steps and skips. This is what nearly all popular melodies are. Usually they are simple as well.

Three - sing a melody, and find it.

Another is wait...when something moves you, THEN write...if nothing's there don't force it. Merely wanting to, isn't enough; you have to have something to say. If you do have that, but don't have the means to know how to express it musically, expand your musical knowledge and expose yourself to things that might make you closer to being able to bring what you feel inside to the outside. Theory, more writing and playing would be good.

I will also tell you that for some it comes easier than others. Sometimes when I hear something I'll immediately come up with a song idea. For instance, a student will be playing some progression, and it hits me the right way, and I'll start working off that.

They ask me "How did you do that?"

I'll tell them, "I don't know, I just heard you playing that, and this is what I heard in my head that fit next to it, and it moved me."

I didn't set out to be that way, but I find the more I write, the more things come to me, when I'm not writing. I never force or force-create a song.

Best,

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at May 23, 2011,
#18
Quote by 1998metalhead1
i want to start my own instrumential songs and i dont know how to get a great melody how do i start?


Get experience playing your instrument
study music (via theory and listening)

+ TIME
shred is gaudy music
#19
Quote by GuitarMunky
Get experience playing your instrument
study music (via theory and listening)

+ TIME


it really is this simple.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#20
^ Agreed, it's not like masses of greatest hits quality tunes are going to hit you straight away, but by simply playing and practicing, you'll discover and create new stuff. Good things come to those who wait.
Fender Lite Ash --> TC Polytune --> Digitech Whammy V --> MXR Phase 90 --> EHX Small Clone --> Strymon Orbit --> TC Flashback X4 --> Rivera R55
#21
Quote by Muffinz
I must disagree with this. You should write as much as you can even though it may not be insanely good stuff to progress as a songwriter. Eventually you will start making a lot less "bad" songs and can pump out songs on a regular basis instead of just when inspiration strikes. I think every serious songwriter have heard of the clay-pot-teacher story, which indeed is very true:

So there was this teacher guy, who taught people how to make pots and stuff out of clay. One day he decided to do a little experiment; at the beginning of the course he split his class into two groups. One would be marked at the end of the course by how good they could make one pot, while the other group would get marked simply on how many pots they had made. So the first group was really careful with their pots, making sure every little detail was spot on and the others just made a hell of a lot of pots. Interestingly enough, at the end of the course the group that had made many many pots were constantly producing better and more beautiful pots than the one the first group had been working on all month!

This also applies to songwriting, practice is the key!

Edit: Also OT, try to sing the melody in your head first and then find out how to play it, this will usually lead to better melodies as you avoid "box-playing".


Omg this is great. I have never heard that story but now I'm going to make a hell of a lot of pots lol. Hell yea man
"Things seem pretty crummy, but if they could carry us away with them, we'd die of poetry. In a way, that wouldn't be bad." -Louis-Ferdinand Celine