#1
I've recently branched into writing music and I've been given the task of coming up with lyrics and vocals for our tunes.

I can't seem to come up with any form of a melody that I'm ever happy with. Advice?
"This nightmare's gonna break me.
Please, Daylight, save me..."
#3
What style of music?

Someone will inevitably disagree here, but if you have Guitar Pro or powertab, get as much of the backing track put into a file on there (skip drums if you have Powertab, it's shit on there). Then, sit down at a keyboard or guitar and just work out a melody. Put it in with your tracks, and see how it sounds. Don't worry about lyrics too much yet, but do keep them in mind. This is especially easy if you have MIDI capabilities on your keyboard.

Also it will be to your benefit to have your singer there with you. They can try scatting over the line you write while you play the guitar part under it. Computer programs are no replacement for actually playing the idea on an instrument, but they are a great way to get your ideas down and hear them before you try them in a band setting.

I'm not a singer, but I have done some writing, and I find that this is the easiest way to do it. Especially since I don't have a band, and am writing all the parts myself.
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#4
I usually have the same problem.

Solution: First, YOU come up with the words and melody. THEN the band can work out the music to support it.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#5
Quote by axemanchris
Solution: First, YOU come up with the words and melody. THEN the band can work out the music to support it.

I wouldn't recommend this since my opinion is that the backings are far more important than the melody. Anyway it isn't an option anymore for this song..

What warlockking says can be a great help, although I indeed prefer not using any midi 'cause they never give the same sound/feeling as the band itself. Though I still work that way simply because I don't have a band.
I wouldn't recommend grabbing your guitar and try out a melody either if it's for vocals. Try playing the vocals of a song you know on guitar. You'll notice how lame it (mostly) will sound on an instrument, but when singing it completely changes to a (preferable) awesome melody. In the other way it's very likely to compose a way to difficult melody to sing, if not impossible on an instrument.

My recommendation: sing yourself a melody, starting on the third of the chord is a good start. Even if you cannot sing, that means you can't hear what you are singing, so you'll only hear what you want to hear, that is the melody you have in mind
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#6
Quote by Didii
I wouldn't recommend grabbing your guitar and try out a melody either if it's for vocals. Try playing the vocals of a song you know on guitar. You'll notice how lame it (mostly) will sound on an instrument, but when singing it completely changes to a (preferable) awesome melody. In the other way it's very likely to compose a way to difficult melody to sing, if not impossible on an instrument.


I agree with this. Although, if someone writes a truly spectacular vocal melody, it will usually sound great on any instrument. Think of "Let it Be" for instance. You could play that on the guitar and it will sound great.

Quote by Didii
I wouldn't recommend this since my opinion is that the backings are far more important than the melody.


I suppose it depends on the genre. I mean, take "Ace of Spades." Great song, but plunk it out on the piano, and it would fail pretty spectacularly.

However, in general, I mostly disagree that the backings are more important than the melody. Proof: Stop your average person on the street and ask them "What's your favourite song, and how does it go?" You won't find people doing a Beavis and Butthead version of Whole Lotta Love, usually. Almost invariably, they will start singing the melody to the chorus of that song.

See, for most people, the melody and lyric are the most important parts of the song. From a legal standpoint, the lyric and melody ARE the song and the backing doesn't count for any sort of writing credit. It's accompaniment. It's the background of the painting - not the subject. When you look at a painting of the Mona Lisa or the Last Supper, what do you see?

Even with the Ace of Spades example... ask someone how it goes and they're not going to go, "dung-dugga-dugga-dugga-dugga-na-na-na", they're going to come out with something like "the only God I need is the Ace of Spades... the Ace of Spades."

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#7
The piano is a great substitute for the voice while guitar is most definitely not. This is because it's voicing is similar and can be made dynamic like the voice as well. If you are having trouble, find out where your range sits on the piano and work it out from there. Pretend the piano is your voice and try to funnel how you want the song to feel through this medium. You'll find something you like.

The idea that the backing tracks are more important than the melody is just ridiculous. In the vast majority of modern music the backing tracks hardly matter. Sure there are exceptions (where the vocals are used more as a rhythmic instrument, although in this case the guitar usually carries the melody) but the vast majority of music is almost completely melody based.
#8
Have to agree with axemanchris. The vocal is really what carries the tune in many genres. In your case it appears you're into melodic punk type stuff, in which case it's absolutely CRUCIAL.

That said everyone has their own preferences when it comes to writing music. For me personally, a melody starts from a lyric. Always. Your song is saying something and the music needs to reflect that, so my vocal melodies are almost always based off the sound of my words and the vibe i'm trying to convey with them. For example I'll have a line that might have an angry tone, and so I might decide to sing it in a very rapid fire, staccato kind of way.

Anyway it seems like you guys already have full instrumental tracks written, so what I generally do for that is listen to the song and think about what emotion it sounds like. Go from something really vague like that to imagining something more specific, e.g. somebody made a really terrible decision and regrets it (kind of lame but you get the idea).

If you already have lyrics and you're just having trouble with the melody part, then I would also suggest you start thinking about your influences. Say you're going for a Rise Against-ish vibe, ask yourself "how would Tim McIlrath sing this?" and try to copy him. Even start with one of his melodies and try adapting it to your song. This might sound dodgy but it can be a great starting point, and 9 times out of 10 what you end up being happy with won't even sound like Rise Against.

Good luck!
#9
Quote by YetAnotherMuso
If you already have lyrics and you're just having trouble with the melody part, then I would also suggest you start thinking about your influences. Say you're going for a Rise Against-ish vibe, ask yourself "how would Tim McIlrath sing this?" and try to copy him. Even start with one of his melodies and try adapting it to your song. This might sound dodgy but it can be a great starting point, and 9 times out of 10 what you end up being happy with won't even sound like Rise Against.


Dude, how did you know? Rise Against is my #1 influence. Haha. Regardless, I really think I'll have to take another crack at it. You're entire piece of advice was extremely useful. The whole Rise Against reference is enough for me to trust you. Haha. Thank you, man.
"This nightmare's gonna break me.
Please, Daylight, save me..."
#10
Quote by DaysofGrace
Dude, how did you know? Rise Against is my #1 influence. Haha. Regardless, I really think I'll have to take another crack at it. You're entire piece of advice was extremely useful. The whole Rise Against reference is enough for me to trust you. Haha. Thank you, man.


lol not a problem man. I pretty much just have amazing intuition. That and I took a quick look at your youtube channel and saw there was a Rise Against cover. Glad you found it helpful.
#11
Quote by axemanchris
However, in general, I mostly disagree that the backings are more important than the melody. Proof: Stop your average person on the street and ask them "What's your favourite song, and how does it go?" You won't find people doing a Beavis and Butthead version of Whole Lotta Love, usually. Almost invariably, they will start singing the melody to the chorus of that song.

See, for most people, the melody and lyric are the most important parts of the song. From a legal standpoint, the lyric and melody ARE the song and the backing doesn't count for any sort of writing credit. It's accompaniment. It's the background of the painting - not the subject. When you look at a painting of the Mona Lisa or the Last Supper, what do you see?

Even with the Ace of Spades example... ask someone how it goes and they're not going to go, "dung-dugga-dugga-dugga-dugga-na-na-na", they're going to come out with something like "the only God I need is the Ace of Spades... the Ace of Spades."

CT

Yeah I know what you mean. Got that exact same reaction another time when I said that. The reason someone sings the melody is because it's set in the spotlight and most people don't pay attention to the backings. If you ask a random person to sing the guitar of Ace of Spaces most wouldn't know. But it's not because it's in the spotlight and it's recognizable it's the most important. Maybe a weird comparison, but take France. The Eiffeltower is the most recognizable thing of France, but that doesn't mean it's the most important. What's more important to keep the country running are the French people and the government. I doubt too that if you'd ask a random person some french civilians they could answer.
Your example: I would see just Mona Lisa indeed. That's because I know nothing about painting as indeed most people know little about music. And for them it indeed seems that the melody is the most important, simply because they don't hear the rest as I can't see more in that painting.

Then again, what's most important of a song and what you like the most is personal. And each of us will have his own reasons to believe we are right. I'm quite stubborn btw

Anyway, glad you found a solution DaysofGrace
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