#1
Like i have C major scale. That means i play all notes that are in scale and dont even alter abit? How then you make a melody just from specific set of notes ?
#2
Moved to MT, they're better at this sort of stuff
Actually called Mark!

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#3
You can use notes outside the scale, but that probably means that you have to alter the harmony (chords) as well unless they're just passing notes. You can make great melodies even if you stay strictly inside the major scale.
#4
Quote by matiss.gutans
Like i have C major scale. That means i play all notes that are in scale and dont even alter abit? How then you make a melody just from specific set of notes ?


Most songs don't deviate from the major or minor scales. Figure out how some of your favourite songs use these scales and you might learn some stuff along the way.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#5
Quote by matiss.gutans
Like i have C major scale. That means i play all notes that are in scale and dont even alter abit?


You can alter it as much as you want

Quote by matiss.gutans
How then you make a melody just from specific set of notes ?


You combine the notes with rhythm and silence.
#6
To write a melody using a scale you can play any notes from the scale in any order. You don't have to just go up and down it one note at a time.

Musicians came up with scales because they noticed that certain notes belong together in some ways (based on the harmonic series of a vibrating string), and that they sound good in combination, harmonically and melodically.

Other scales, not based on the overtone series, were later constructed.
#7
It is very simple: they don't

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#8
I find it hard to answer this question because it's not clear what you're asking (although it did remind me of Shaggy 2 Dope's rhetorical question regarding the functioning of magnets in the Insane Clown Posse song, "Miracles", so that's pretty good).
#9
Quote by Jehannum
To write a melody using a scale you can play any notes from the scale in any order. You don't have to just go up and down it one note at a time.

Musicians came up with scales because they noticed that certain notes belong together in some ways (based on the harmonic series of a vibrating string), and that they sound good in combination, harmonically and melodically.

Other scales, not based on the overtone series, were later constructed.


There'a a lot more to melody than playing scale notes in any order. A beginner could get badly mislead by that.

If you wrote down each note name from C major on a piece of paper, and threw them up in the air, and wrote down the result, and listened to it, chances are you won't have a decent melody, and its pretty likely that it won't sound like it came from C major.

Likewise, if you have a melody with big jumps in it (e.g from C to B, 11 semitones higher), the singer is going to hate you :-) (remember your audience may want to sing along).

There's a bunch or things that punters pick up on, when they're listening, and it's best to be aware of how to satisfy their wants. This is a large topic.
#10
If you have a sort of scale, that often implies a sort of tonic, which is, in this case, C. Up from there, you have the interval pattern M2, M2, m2, M2, M2, M2, m2 which is the same for any major scale. This would give you C D E F G A B C.
In tonal harmony, some scale degrees function in certain ways, like B (the 7th degree) often wants to go up to C. G can imply a V chord, which can resolve normally by going back to C, or deceptively by going up to A. F implies F major (which functions as a IV chord), and usually goes back down to E, for example. While writing a melody within a key, it's good to keep track of these types of functions to make something that sounds like it's progressing through different harmonies.
#11
Quote by jerrykramskoy
There'a a lot more to melody than playing scale notes in any order. A beginner could get badly mislead by that.

If you wrote down each note name from C major on a piece of paper, and threw them up in the air, and wrote down the result, and listened to it, chances are you won't have a decent melody, and its pretty likely that it won't sound like it came from C major.

Likewise, if you have a melody with big jumps in it (e.g from C to B, 11 semitones higher), the singer is going to hate you :-) (remember your audience may want to sing along).

There's a bunch or things that punters pick up on, when they're listening, and it's best to be aware of how to satisfy their wants. This is a large topic.


I don't care what punters want.

The composer himself would decide whether it was a "decent melody".

Nowhere did I advocate random note choices. Just because a melody doesn't proceed step-wise doesn't mean it's random.

And if your singer can't handle big jumps you need a new singer.
#12
Quote by Jehannum
I don't care what punters want.

The composer himself would decide whether it was a "decent melody".

Nowhere did I advocate random note choices. Just because a melody doesn't proceed step-wise doesn't mean it's random.

And if your singer can't handle big jumps you need a new singer.


Yea basically this. I hate when people act like their audience is dumb, or musicians are actually that bad that they couldnt sing a major seventh if they had a good melody of one in their ear. Condescending to your audience destroys any intention of art

OP, scales operate on something called "tendency tones." Each scale typically has two sets of tendency tones. Tendency tones will almost always be a half step apart. For instance, in C, you have the tendency tone from B to C. This particular tendency tone is also called a leading tone, because the B to C implies V-I which is the strongest motion in music.

The other tendency tone in C is E to F.

So more or less, when using scales to write melodies, you are going to find yourself "filling in" textures with the other notes of the scales, and "pivoting" on the tendency tones.

Those last two terms are not real, I just made them up
#13
The thing I'd say is that the best way to think of scales is as a collection of sounds. That is to say, every note in a scale has its own distinct, unique relationship to the tonic center.

The major scale is the tonic and the six notes with the clearest, easiest-to-hear relationships to that tonic. (Those relationships, tonic, imply a major tonic chord). The minor chord is, for most of us, a little harder to hear, but it's the same idea: a group of relatively-easy-to-hear relatoinships, which imply a minor tonic.
#14
Quote by bassalloverthe
Yea basically this. I hate when people act like their audience is dumb, or musicians are actually that bad that they couldnt sing a major seventh if they had a good melody of one in their ear. Condescending to your audience destroys any intention of art

OP, scales operate on something called "tendency tones." Each scale typically has two sets of tendency tones. Tendency tones will almost always be a half step apart. For instance, in C, you have the tendency tone from B to C. This particular tendency tone is also called a leading tone, because the B to C implies V-I which is the strongest motion in music.

The other tendency tone in C is E to F.

So more or less, when using scales to write melodies, you are going to find yourself "filling in" textures with the other notes of the scales, and "pivoting" on the tendency tones.

Those last two terms are not real, I just made them up


Tendency tones are called that because the create expectations in the listener that another tone is going to come next. Check out music psychology books that have donelots of experiments trying to understand this. Which is why its important to pay attention to them ... it's not treating the audience as dumb. So, why mention them given you first paragraph?? I would lay very large amounts of money that if you construct melodies that jump all over the place, a) any singer will hate you, and b) the audience won't remember anything of the melody.
#15
Quote by jerrykramskoy
Tendency tones are called that because the create expectations in the listener that another tone is going to come next. Check out music psychology books that have donelots of experiments trying to understand this. Which is why its important to pay attention to them ... it's not treating the audience as dumb. So, why mention them given you first paragraph?? I would lay very large amounts of money that if you construct melodies that jump all over the place, a) any singer will hate you, and b) the audience won't remember anything of the melody.


An incompetent singer isnt my issue, personally. And the audience cant sing *any melody* People cant even remember and sing Beatles songs. Whether they can recall the melody has a trivial affect on how someone appreciates a song

Tendency tones are very simple, you dont really need psychology to understand them. They are simply the points in which the scale becomes asymmetrical. Seriously, tendency tones just break up interval cycles which are symmetrical. Imagine if you only had whole tone scales and diminished scales. Thats the world with no tendency tone. You can read about the harmonic series if you want to flesh this theory out
#16
Quote by Jehannum
I don't care what punters want.

The composer himself would decide whether it was a "decent melody".

Nowhere did I advocate random note choices. Just because a melody doesn't proceed step-wise doesn't mean it's random.

And if your singer can't handle big jumps you need a new singer.


Randomness is a possible interpretation by a beginner given your sentence: "To write a melody using a scale you can play any notes from the scale in any order. You don't have to just go up and down it one note at a time."

If you don't want ambiguity in understanding, avoid it with what you write.

As for not caring about your audience, that's your perogative. I wouldn't tell them that.

Does that extend to not caring about your singer's vocal chords?
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Oct 10, 2014,
#17
Quote by bassalloverthe
An incompetent singer isnt my issue, personally. And the audience cant sing *any melody* People cant even remember and sing Beatles songs. Whether they can recall the melody has a trivial affect on how someone appreciates a song

Tendency tones are very simple, you dont really need psychology to understand them. They are simply the points in which the scale becomes asymmetrical. Seriously, tendency tones just break up interval cycles which are symmetrical. Imagine if you only had whole tone scales and diminished scales. Thats the world with no tendency tone. You can read about the harmonic series if you want to flesh this theory out


Mate, I don't need to learn about theory ... it's the poor beginner that originally posed the question. You miss the point on the tendency tones, though ... they are important precisely because of the psychological effects, and yes, the effect is set up to an extent by the asymmetry. Again, going back to the beginner, if he gets advice don't worry about these, do what you like, he's probably going to find life a lot harder. Once the initial understanding is there, then these can be delayed, ignored etc.
#18
Quote by bassalloverthe
An incompetent singer isnt my issue, personally. And the audience cant sing *any melody* People cant even remember and sing Beatles songs. Whether they can recall the melody has a trivial affect on how someone appreciates a song

Strongly disagree. Do you really think the memorability of the melody doesn't have an impact? I think that's definitely the most important thing in a song. How do you know the audience can't recall any melodies? Anyone with just a bit of brain activity is able to hum a melody.

@Jehannum: You're right that melodies don't have to move stepwise, but if you analyze any (good) melody, you'll notice it's most likely a lot of steps with a few skips in between. If it's a lot of skips, it's probably some arpeggio pattern.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Oct 10, 2014,
#19
@jerrykramskoy While I agree with you, I think you missed the point. The original point was that you don't need to play the scale up and down, not that you should play the notes in a random order. You can have the notes of the scale in any order, so that it doesn't even really sound like a scale any more. The melody doesn't need to sound like a scale. It can have jumps. I agree that a completely random melody is most likely not going to sound good, regardless of whether you use all 12 or just 7 notes.

When writing a melody, I wouldn't really think about scales. Let the melody guide you, not the scale. So I would first write a melody and then figure out which scale it fits. Otherwise your melodies may start sounding like scales. But it depends.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Oct 10, 2014,
#20
Quote by Elintasokas
Strongly disagree. Do you really think the memorability of the melody doesn't have an impact? I think that's definitely the most important thing in a song. How do you know the audience can't recall any melodies?


I agree with you, in general, that the melody is the most important part of the song (and for most non-musicians, the melody IS the song) but this is somewhat genre dependent.

eg, in a lot of funk music the rhythm and the groove are the most important part of the song. In metal, it's often the guitar part (particularly in some of the -core genres, where it's hard to tell if there is a melody buried in the screaming anywhere). In some jazz, it's the progression.
#21
Quote by HotspurJr
I agree with you, in general, that the melody is the most important part of the song (and for most non-musicians, the melody IS the song) but this is somewhat genre dependent.

eg, in a lot of funk music the rhythm and the groove are the most important part of the song. In metal, it's often the guitar part (particularly in some of the -core genres, where it's hard to tell if there is a melody buried in the screaming anywhere). In some jazz, it's the progression.

Definitely good points and I agree. You're right that it can't be generalized to every genre that the melody is everything.

And the melody isn't much without a proper arrangement (or orchestration). And at least to me, that is the hard part

I used to underestimate the power of timbre. Now that I've studied some arranging and orchestration, I've really understood how big of a deal it actually is. It can make or break a composition.

It's easy to decide "we are a rock band". You only ever need to write for 4 instruments. While that can work, I think it's beneficial to study some additional instrumentation and arranging (even if it's just virtual instruments/synths)
Last edited by Elintasokas at Oct 10, 2014,
#22
Quote by Elintasokas
Definitely good points and I agree. You're right that it can't be generalized to every genre that the melody is everything.

And the melody isn't much without a proper arrangement (or orchestration). And at least to me, that is the hard part

I used to underestimate the power of timbre. Now that I've studied some arranging and orchestration, I've really understood how big of a deal it actually is. It can make or break a composition.

It's easy to decide "we are a rock band". You only ever need to write for 4 instruments. While that can work, I think it's beneficial to study some additional instrumentation and arranging (even if it's just virtual instruments/synths)



My original point was just that, if you ask your friends to sing their favorite songs, they are going to sing wrong notes. So the audiences ability to dictate the melody has no affect on their ability to enjoy it

I agree the the broader concept of memory is important. But, if you dont think a maj seventh interval is beautiful, powerful, and memorable, youve never played a chain of 7-6 suspensions

Also, there *is* music which is built around the idea of "jumpy" melody and harmony. Yall niggas need Webern

Also, think about how powerful some of Hanz Zimmermans film scores are. I think we can all accept that the layman can appreciate a Zimmerman score, no? Well a lot of them are literally just noise music on classical instruments. No melodies at all. Sometimes, not even tuning systems
#26
Quote by Elintasokas
No, but Webern's is.


He had like a 15 year career of co.position before Schoenberg even forumulated the 12 tone technique. And I could have also said Berg I guess
#27
Quote by MaggaraMarine
@jerrykramskoy While I agree with you, I think you missed the point. The original point was that you don't need to play the scale up and down, not that you should play the notes in a random order. You can have the notes of the scale in any order, so that it doesn't even really sound like a scale any more. The melody doesn't need to sound like a scale. It can have jumps. I agree that a completely random melody is most likely not going to sound good, regardless of whether you use all 12 or just 7 notes.

When writing a melody, I wouldn't really think about scales. Let the melody guide you, not the scale. So I would first write a melody and then figure out which scale it fits. Otherwise your melodies may start sounding like scales. But it depends.


I totally agree with your comments as to a good way to progress as a non-beginner.

For a beginner trying to put a tune together, then choosing a scale is a good starting point ... it may help the melody be imagined easier.

And he/she then can benefit from guidance on what to with these bunch of scale notes to make it sound like a coherent melody. For example, start on the root, 3rd or 5th; mostly move from note to adjacent note in the scale. Add jumps (mostly less than a 4th) for making a note stand out more. Don't jump and jump again (with wide jumps). Set a melodic range (run the melody between chosen highest and lowest notes). Take care of tendency tones initially. Or end a phrase with a tendency, and end next phrase with resolution of that tendency. End the melody on a root, 3rd or 5th. None of this is hard and fast, but it helps organise as someone learns the art of melody. Also, by working from the scale notes, it's easier for the beginner to find the suitable backing chords, if a backing is wanted.

And as importantly, think about the rhythym of phrases in the melody, to add even more structure to it (memorability).

So, my main point is that, if we want to help a beginner, some guidance and framework is needed.
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Oct 11, 2014,
#29
if we consider a good melody a parallel to scales we forget that sometimes a wrong note can sound very good. if just modulating, or changing the scale a bit to suite the melody was that easy we wouldnt have the grit to go out on a limb and use our ears, example master of puppets, the harmony in the arpeggios is used in a harmonic minor context. though the song is still minor and the e flat sounds good as a D the major seven makes it more interesting.
#30
basically i agree, let the melody guide you first then build the scales and progression aroung that. often times we write rhythm parts first, although very effective, id be willing to bet that some people build off any idea that sounds great
#31
in regards to scales, they are built to effectively be played based on triads, they tell you the specific type of scale from which it is built from. example.

progression: Em, GMajor, F#m, GMajor. This can have three possible outcomes that come to mind quickly for me. Their are possibly hundreds I imagine, but just three that jump out at me.

E minor, spelled E,F#,G,A,B,C,D
G Major (Em relative Major) G,A,B,C,D,E,F#
B Phrygian B,C,D,E,F#,G,A

The chords in triads are spelled:

Em:E,G,B
GM:G,B,D
F#m:F#,A,C (for this triad to remain "diatonic" we "naturalize" the fifth degree or "flat" it.) so C# becomes a C. Still technically a 5th.

I say the three, because they are the points in the E minor triad, E root, G third, and B fifth.
Using and of the scales mentiond all have the same tonal qualities of the progression mentioned. I'd call this chords played a "backing track" in which to solo over.

Point: Usually when I am on youtube I plug my phone or ipad into my PA: Then just jam on my amp to all different keys employing this technique, (some of the videos have specific keys.) See which fits or sounds interesting to you. Try melodies, scales, other chords, and harmonics all over the fret board. If you have too, get a piece of paper out, figure out the chords and then the triads (by playing them with the track) a little ear training, and some time, you should be able to pick a scale, mode to match in different keys, (which I've listed above) and have some fun.

Reference: Try this with some songs you know that just have the backing track w/o the solos or melodies in. Experiment, I learned a hell of a lot by the way of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, simple progression, some with as little as 2 chords. These types of backing tacks give you more freedom to play with modes, if only 2 powerchords are in the backing track thats only 4 individual notes, you have 3 remaining to fill out the 7 note mode (or 8 if your playing with these modes)
#32
^ F#m is not F# A C. That's F#dim.

Also, there's nothing B phrygian in that progression. B phrygian is exactly the same notes as E minor and if played over E minor progression, it sounds like E minor.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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#33
i explain all that guy. READ it. Yes its F#Dim, and yes there is a phrygian progression in there, just look how the chords are constructed from a B Phrygian, B,C,D,E,F#,G,A

E: the 4th degree, E,G,B
G: the 6th degree, G,B,D
F#Dim:5th degree F#,A,C

With B as our root, we have a 4,6,5 or IV,VI,V

The ladder F#m I mentioned was the chord I changed to remain diatonic, showing some one the difference in each chord, and how to stick to the seven notes, and no B phrygian dos not sound the same hence the tonal points in the scale, play and listen as I state in the post.

Try again to sound like a good guitar player though. Its ok to take away from the info and criticize thats not what bothers me here. Its your attitude and lack of insight to actually say why I was wrong. And im not afraid to say I was, because your right.
#34
^ So is that progression also in F# locrian? What about A dorian or C lydian? Maybe D mixolydian?
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
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Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Oct 13, 2014,
#35
Quote by MaggaraMarine
^ So is that progression also in F# locrian? What about A dorian or C lydian? Maybe D mixolydian?


Not really sure what he's getting at (maybe he can explain more) but if I were going to argue that the progression was fridge, then I'd say that spending enough time on a Bm chord before going through the vi VI vdim could potentially be model since even in tonality, vdim is a perfectly fine substitute for V so you still have a resolution to Bm. But the C natural in the vdim would have to be integral, imo
#36
Quote by bassalloverthe
Not really sure what he's getting at (maybe he can explain more) but if I were going to argue that the progression was fridge, then I'd say that spending enough time on a Bm chord before going through the vi VI vdim could potentially be model since even in tonality, vdim is a perfectly fine substitute for V so you still have a resolution to Bm. But the C natural in the vdim would have to be integral, imo

Though the original progression contained a F#m, not a F#dim. So if you added a Bm there, it would just be in Bm.

But I'll let him answer my questions first...
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Oct 13, 2014,
#37
Quote by jerrykramskoy
Randomness is a possible interpretation by a beginner given your sentence: "To write a melody using a scale you can play any notes from the scale in any order. You don't have to just go up and down it one note at a time."

If you don't want ambiguity in understanding, avoid it with what you write.

As for not caring about your audience, that's your perogative. I wouldn't tell them that.

Does that extend to not caring about your singer's vocal chords?


What I wrote wasn't ambiguous. It's a fact that you can play any notes from the scale in any order. There is no other meaning. It doesn't say you must play them in a random order. Besides, even a beginner would know that tunes aren't always random. Only someone who willfully wanted to misinterpret what I said could read it that way, and they'd be wrong to boot.

I write tunes that I like. Not what I think an audience might want. So do all my favourite artists.

I am my singer. I can sing an octave jump easy enough, although I'm a terrible singer.
Last edited by Jehannum at Oct 21, 2014,