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#1
I know you're probably thinking "NOT HIM AGAIN", "When will this guy stop already?", or something similar. While I'm not going to answer that question, I have one of my own. How do you write a melody that's simple and catchy yet tasteful. My work is usually to chaotic (according to you guys) so I'm trying to simplify without making things stale. I'll give examples of songs that are simple yet tasteful.

"Paint It Black" by The Rolling Stones. This is a great classic song but it's pretty straightforward (lyrics aside) and easy to play.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1zBG2TEjn4

"Fly Me to The Moon". This is a great Jazz standard (one of my favorite jazz standards in fact) and was the ending theme for Neon Genesis Evangelion. It's also very simple but has an ethereal feel to it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_MKP8reWM4

"10's" by Pantera. This song is really badass but solo aside, it's rather simple yet effective. It's also known as the theme of Broly (DBZ) but is actually about heroin.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV_D1Y_YHlA

While the moods and styles are different, they all share this trait in common. How would someone like me write a simple melody that's effective, tasteful, memorable and maybe even singable.
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#2
I'm going to answer your very serious question with an equally serious question that will get you on the right track.

You say that they all share a trait in common. This trait is that they are 'simple' and 'tasteful', and even 'singable'.

This is true. I agree with you. BUT:

They all have OTHER things in common too; I can think of many.

What are they? Can you think of some?

(and yes, I'm literally asking you, Ron. Let's talk about it)


Oh, and by the way:

If you're gonna listen to Fly Me, allow me to re-direct you to the legendary Frank Sinatra and the Count Basie Orchestra.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhZ2X9znPxM
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#3
All I can think of are skilled/fitting vocalists, strings, possibly minor keys, and the harmonies don't sound that advanced either. That's a very good question. The great thing about Jazz standards is that they are highly up to interpretation.
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#4
Well, consider the underlying harmony a bit. You could have the simplest, most tasteful melody in the world. BUT if it doesn't work well with the underlying harmony, it becomes a pile of awful crap and no ones likes it.

Harmonically, how does the melody work with the actual harmony? Evaluate that, and it may give you some insight.
#5
Pretty much every good melody, simple and catchy or not, are written with reference to the key and chord structure of a song. This is because the audience will always hear the melody in the context of the song, not separate from it.

For this reason, you can quite easily write a melody, be it a vocal melody or a shredding solo by setting up chord tones that you would like to hit for each chord, and then use time inbetween the chord tones to create a path from one or the other.

So it out, the steps are:

1. Look at chords
2. Identify chord tones of chords
3. Decide chord tones that you would like to play
4. Decide when you would like to play them
5. Use the keys parent major or minor scale to link the chord tones

If you follow the above, you should have a start.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#6
^Hang on gents, we're diving too deep without helmets here.

I think we should focus on solely the melody for a bit. If I'm going down the street whistling Fly Me To The Moon, harmony has nothing to do with it.


Ron, the traits you listed all have to do with the ARRANGEMENT of the tune. Think about the actual vocal melodies. What musical qualities do they have in common?

Are they fast? Highly chromatic? Polyrhythmic? Diatonic? Do they jump around alot or are they mostly stepwise? What do you notice?
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#7
Darn it, I was going to post something and now I have to "hang on" to my thought
#8
^Sorry, but hopefully you guys see where I'm going with this.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#10
I was reading about this lately and I think I read some general rules like this:

1. having the melody include chord tones (though not necessarily exclusive, but more often on the beat.) So over the C major chord, you'd tend to play C, E, and G notes particularly on the beat, though you can play other notes in your scale, too, just try to emphasize and/or resolve to chord tones mostly.
2. moving in a mostly stepwise fashion in the scale (in C major scale, play something like C-D-D-E-F-F not C-E-D-F-C-F) to create the sense of melodic rising / falling rather than random ups & downs.
3. when you do jump to a "non-stepwise" note, immediately move back in the other direction in stepwise fashion (so in key of C major if play something stepwise like E-E-F-G-A and then you jump up to D, you next play C, but if you had actually jumped down to the lower D, I guess you'd next play E going back up the scale in stepwise fashion).

I read most "great" melodies tend to follow these rules.

Since reading this stuff a few weeks ago, I've been working on chord tone soloing, adding in other notes at times to create stepwise riffs, and almost always following the rule of moving back stepwise after any non-stepwise jump, and I like what I hear, my soloing is less random / chaotic sounding.

On the other hand, rules are made to be broken, and I still just noodle in the scale at times without worrying about the chord I'm playing over, or stepwise movement, till I find something interesting, which often defies these rules, and I use that "interesting" riff as sort of a hook surrounded by phrases that tend to follow the rules. I like that balance myself. I'm just a noob at it though, so YMMV.

Ken
Bernie Sanders for President!
#11
One observation:
If you know how to manipulate time, then you can basically write anything and it'll sound good.
Last edited by GoldenGuitar at Jul 7, 2015,
#12
^Corollary:

Chronomancy is not an end, only the means to every end.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#13
I'm more and more convinced that Ronald's mind and ear are not connected to his base level skill set. So even if he has the ability to envision awesome pieces, he can't abstract them because he doesn't have the skill yet to get them down. What he needs is training from a real teacher (not through the medium of guitar though) from the beginning. 12 chromatic pitches plus aspects of accurately feeling rhythm and being able to write them out. Only then can he start translating ideas down properly. Then we move on to melody writing.

An analogy would be being able to talk well but writing without any punctuation.
#14
Quote by krm27
I was reading about this lately and I think I read some general rules like this:

1. having the melody include chord tones (though not necessarily exclusive, but more often on the beat.) So over the C major chord, you'd tend to play C, E, and G notes particularly on the beat, though you can play other notes in your scale, too, just try to emphasize and/or resolve to chord tones mostly.
2. moving in a mostly stepwise fashion in the scale (in C major scale, play something like C-D-D-E-F-F not C-E-D-F-C-F) to create the sense of melodic rising / falling rather than random ups & downs.
3. when you do jump to a "non-stepwise" note, immediately move back in the other direction in stepwise fashion (so in key of C major if play something stepwise like E-E-F-G-A and then you jump up to D, you next play C, but if you had actually jumped down to the lower D, I guess you'd next play E going back up the scale in stepwise fashion).

I read most "great" melodies tend to follow these rules.

Since reading this stuff a few weeks ago, I've been working on chord tone soloing, adding in other notes at times to create stepwise riffs, and almost always following the rule of moving back stepwise after any non-stepwise jump, and I like what I hear, my soloing is less random / chaotic sounding.

On the other hand, rules are made to be broken, and I still just noodle in the scale at times without worrying about the chord I'm playing over, or stepwise movement, till I find something interesting, which often defies these rules, and I use that "interesting" riff as sort of a hook surrounded by phrases that tend to follow the rules. I like that balance myself. I'm just a noob at it though, so YMMV.

Ken

I think melodies naturally follow chords (unless you don't use your ears). If you try to sing over chords, it's really hard to sing something that doesn't fit the chords. Your ear naturally makes you hear something that fits the chords. Of course the more trained your ear is, the easier it is to hear something more "outside", because you are used to that sound.

When writing a melody, I think the best thing to do is to trust your ears. If you follow certain (strict) rules, your melodies may start to sound boring and predictable. Well, sometimes predictability is a good thing - when people are already familiar with it, it sounds more catchy. (For example "Fly Me to the Moon" uses a lot of sequences - it's very easy to listen to, and it feels very "natural".)

I have heard that to like a song (on the first listening), it needs to have something that you are already familiar with and also something new in it. If it has little new in it, it just sounds boring. If it has too much new in it, it may be hard to "understand". You just get nothing out of it because you are not familiar with anything in the song - it sounds too strange. Of course sometimes something completely new just clicks.

I think this is part of the reason why I usually have to listen to an album a couple of times before I can really tell which songs I really like. On the first listening I usually only like the hit songs from the album (I guess that's why they became hits), but after a couple of listenings my favorite songs from the album completely change. I guess it's also the same reason why the same songs play on the radio over and over again.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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Yamaha P115
#15
My original thought echoed Golden and Maggara the most:

The first and last songs make a riff and ride it the whole way through.

The second one is rife with sequence stuff and is actually really repetitive, and that's part of its charm. Take a look at the beginning vocal idea (a bit simplified):

Basically, the song repeats the first two measures, but down a diatonic second (G/C, then F/Bb, then Eb/A, then D/G. Descending seconds, -5/+4) and with a few rhythmic variations. The repeated melodic contour ushers in a sense of familiarity, while the rhythm gives it a bit more novelty.

Basically, you can make a simple melody and stick with it, but it's the harmony and rhythm that'll carry you a bit farther.
#16
^This is where I was going.

For the most part, they are rhythmically very simple. There's a lot of sequences and a lot of REPETITION.

They are diatonic, and contain mostly stepwise motion. There is a definitive high and low point, and it climbs and descends there; it doesn't jump around all over the place.

If I was Ron though, I wouldn't even think about the chords right now. Focus on getting a good melody that you can hum or sing, and then harmonize it.

GG's post is a pretty good diagnosis. To make a (maybe more accurate) analogy:

I can read up on and memorize the steps necessary to land a 747, but that doesn't mean I should just jump behind the cockpit. My brain "knowing" how to do something means nothing without hours upon hours of practical experience.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#17
Quote by krm27
I was reading about this lately and I think I read some general rules like this:

1. having the melody include chord tones (though not necessarily exclusive, but more often on the beat.) So over the C major chord, you'd tend to play C, E, and G notes particularly on the beat, though you can play other notes in your scale, too, just try to emphasize and/or resolve to chord tones mostly.
Yes. But melodies can exist with no chords at all. (Chords are only a few centuries old, and only in the Western tradition at that. Melody - like rhythm - is probably as old as homo sapiens.)
Quote by krm27

2. moving in a mostly stepwise fashion in the scale (in C major scale, play something like C-D-D-E-F-F not C-E-D-F-C-F) to create the sense of melodic rising / falling rather than random ups & downs.
3. when you do jump to a "non-stepwise" note, immediately move back in the other direction in stepwise fashion (so in key of C major if play something stepwise like E-E-F-G-A and then you jump up to D, you next play C, but if you had actually jumped down to the lower D, I guess you'd next play E going back up the scale in stepwise fashion).
These are more to the point.

Good melodies need to be both singable and memorable.
You can't sing chords, so no need to think about them to begin with.
"Singable" means lots of scalewise movement, but not so much as to get boring or predictable. (Actually, predictability is good up to a point; boring is not.)
It also means a fairly narrow overall range (little more than one octave, if that); phrases with pauses for breath; variation in note length/duration, but not too much. And - as you say - where the melody leaps by a large interval, up or down (for dramatic effect), it's natural to follow with a scalewise move in the opposite direction, to release the tension. (As with all these rules, they're just common practices, not hard and fast laws.)

"Memorable" means plenty of repetition, as Jet Penguin points out. There's no riff or melodic phrase that's so dull it won't sound a whole better played twice, and maybe better still played three times.
Classic melodies often contain different kinds of repetition - eg the shape and length of a melodic phrase will repeat, but at a slightly higher or (more likely) lower register ("sequencing").
Fly Me to the Moon is a good example of this, as are many other jazz standards (Autumn Leaves, Over the Rainbow, The Way You Look Tonight, etc).

Rhythm, too, is often overlooked. It can be shown that people will recognise a familiar tune if you play its rhythm alone (with no pitch, or a single pitch), but not if you play its pitches alone with the wrong rhythm. Rhythm is key to memorability.

Because almost all the music we hear is based on major or minor keys, and common chord sequences, melodies are going to feel more "natural" if they imply those kind of chord moves: perhaps outlining arpeggios, or implying circle of 5ths root movement. So even though we can imagine (sing and write) great melodies with no chords, chords will still muscle in from our subconscious. Even so, it's worth trying to exclude harmony from one's thinking when composing melody, IMO. Chords are the support act only.
#18
Quote by Jet Penguin
I think we should focus on solely the melody for a bit. If I'm going down the street whistling Fly Me To The Moon, harmony has nothing to do with it.
The harmony is implied, because the melody itself was written with harmony in mind. As such, we can deduce the key from the melody itself.
#19
^Debatable, but a good point.

You could harmonize that melody in quite a few different keys. Or no keys. Or two keys at once.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#20
Quote by Jet Penguin
^Debatable, but a good point.

You could harmonize that melody in quite a few different keys. Or no keys. Or two keys at once.

^ +1. I don't think v was what Adele had in mind when she wrote the song.

https://youtu.be/nsqh9jHkHlM
#21
i'm going to quote my last post from your most recent thread because you need to keep seeing this message until it sinks in:
holy shit, dude. you need to stop overthinking and complicating everything, sit down, kick your brain in the nuts and just write some music. you sound exactly like me, and you know what this approach got me? four years of writing absolutely nothing because i was so insecure and worried about sounding terrible that i ended up basically refusing to write music although i wanted to. in this regard i was absolutely miserable for four years because i was keeping myself from doing the one thing i wanted to do most. even today, after having gotten myself back into it (with the steps i outlined above) and having had my music reach a fairly large audience, i've mentally ****ed myself so hard that all i can think about are things i'm doing wrong and how my music doesn't measure up to the people i look up to. i'm also a huge fan of video game music and couldn't even listen to it during these years because i'd get so angry that i wasn't writing music and/or was incapable of creating something of similar quality. every time i even sit down to start writing or scribble something down on sheet music now, i struggle to undo the damage i did by employing the same techniques you are. don't do the same thing to yourself.

you have to get past this stage where you're doing nothing but criticizing yourself after comparing things to preexisting music. having influences and goals is fine, but the important step is to just write. i guarantee you this: take 2-3 weeks without any questions on this site, write some music every single day while working toward the battle theme or song goal or whatever, and then analyze everything once you're done. you won't need to ask for so many tips at that point, because you'll have a sense of what you're looking for by then. people have already given you tons of good advice, but now is the point where you need to just buckle down and apply it. receiving help on top of other help means nothing if you limit yourself to writing one track and then asking the same questions without evaluating your own work.
#22
as with many posts-the original theme gets lost...the question was: How do you write a melody that's simple and catchy yet tasteful.

now that seems like a simple question...but for those who write songs (I do) it is not as easy as it looks...

I have my guitar at the ready when I watch TV/movies...those short commercials have compact melodic punch to enhance the product with a short but singing/memorable theme..
We all have in our memory banks many products that are recognizable with just a bar or two of a commercial theme..I try and play as many "jingles" as I watch TV..and then expand the melody .. same with "backround music" in films..take the music away from some films and the "drama" rating may drop considerably..

the film "Quigley down under" has a great recurring simple melodic theme running through it..at points the melody seems inverted ..and it still conveys the original flavor..it is played bombasticly and softly at different points..but is recognizable and encourages emotions of the viewer..melodic themes like this I try to infuse in my solos..some work some do not..

my point is your "mind set" has to be in developing a melody..you don't even have to be a musician to sing or whistle a simple melodic line..all the underlining parts of music are apart from this process..it has nothing to do with harmony or keys .. or even lyrics..

I use "scat singing" sometime to outline a melodic idea..then trim it down to key notes and build from there..there are thousands of melodies born from the same notes in a scale..and new melodic ideas are born every day..

that is how I do it...my process may not be for you..now if your question is: Is there a formula that everyone can use to write/develop simple melodic ideas...then the answer is NO..there are as many ways as the people who write/develop them .. as with many approaches in music..one size does not fit all..there are volumes of work just on how to approach the basic ii7-V7 chords..and all seem to work for the person that writes the book/lesson etc..but may not work for you..so finding your way to develop melodic lines is a process only you can create..and in time you will be thankful that is the case
play well

wolf
#23
Quote by wolflen
now that seems like a simple question...

no it doesn't. there's absolutely nobody who sees that question and thinks the answer is simple unless they have no idea what they're doing.
#25
Thanks everyone (especially Wolfen). By tasteful, I meant that it's not just scales and it isn't obnoxious. Everyone gave some good advice. Also I agree that the Pantera song is very repetitive but that doesn't make it less awesome. I mean Metallica commonly repeats their riffs and licks at least 4 times and they sound great. The key here might be making sure the riffs are good enough to repeat.

"The God That Failed"(Metallica) is another example of a song that's "simple yet tasteful".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMEaryG9Y_4
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#26
Glad we could help, now hurry up and finish that comp challenge i think you're the last one left!
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#27
Tonibet72, thanks for posting those songs by Edit. I think the melodies would be beautiful without all the effects (still are to an extent). Why don't people get that Electronic music isn't less emotional than other forms of music nor does it take less talent to produce (it only takes less talent if you half-ass it).

To JetPenguin, I sent you both my part for the challenge and a simple lead I'd like for you to judge.
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#28
Quote by RonaldPoe
Why don't people get that Electronic music isn't less emotional than other forms of music nor does it take less talent to produce (it only takes less talent if you half-ass it).

because anyone who appeals to the perceived quality of music by referencing its "emotion" is a giant doofus
#29
Quote by :-D
because anyone who appeals to the perceived quality of music by referencing its "emotion" is a giant doofus

Really? Because what the hell is the point of music if we're not creating an emotional response?...
#30
of course there's an emotional response, i'm talking about the classic discussions that pop up claiming that "blues is better than shred because it has emotion" and so forth

there's no emotion that's inherently "within" any music, yet this is a quality that people always conjur up when trying to inexplicably compare perceived musical quality across different genres
#31
I at least partly agree with :-D here^ - every time someone says that Tosin Abasi sucks because he lacks emotion I cringe. I get that a clear majority of people don't enjoy his music. Doesn't change the fact that he's an inhumanly good guitarist.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#32
Quote by :-D
of course there's an emotional response, i'm talking about the classic discussions that pop up claiming that "blues is better than shred because it has emotion" and so forth

there's no emotion that's inherently "within" any music, yet this is a quality that people always conjur up when trying to inexplicably compare perceived musical quality across different genres

Ok, cool. That stuff makes sense. I just wasn't sure where you were originally going...
#33
I agree that the blues and shred comparisons are kinda stupid. How is Paul Gilbert less emotional than Kenny Wayne Sheppard anyway (no offense to Sheppard fans and I'm knocking him as musician)? I was merely defending Electronic music. Can we get back to the topic?

How would you use arpeggios and stepwise motion in a melody and not sound like just scales? I'm trying to make my own melodies sound better.
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#34
There is no how. If there was a how, then someone would have written that software, and ocmputers would be writing great and simple melodies.

That's like asking "how do you come up with a good joke?" Or anything like that. How did you decide to think what you're thinking now? You didn't. You just thought of it, on your own, automatically. Composition is like that.

You could find a set of rules, and write music like that. Computers can do that. Computers can create melodies. But they are not great melodies. The computer doesn't experience them, so it does not factor the experience into writing them. You do. So you have to write how you feel you want it to be. It has to come from you, and you have to like it, and want it like that. It's not some logic in a book. I have never once used any logic to discover what to write next, or improvise next, or I have never consciously sought to do so I should say. The ideas come from you. Imagine a simple melody. That's what you have to do. Imagine it in your mind, just like you imagine the words you think.

You imagine words and sentences, and think of questions, and stuff like that, right? But you can't ask "how do you think of something cool?" Right? nobody knows that. Thoughts happen to us.

That's what a great musician is. An individual that has great musical thoughts happen to them, and they train on tools so that they can turn them into reality. They are not people that learned the secret logic, or recipe, or algorithm, to create great melodies or music.

If that's they were then there would be a lot more of them. An algorithm, or logic or something like that is easily shared from one person to another. But being a great songwriter is not.

That's not to say there is nothing to learn, and no way to improve. But it does mean that there is no answer to "how do I write good melodies?" It's impossible to answer that. No sweeping statement will work well. There are too many subtleties and permutations of too many aspects. The objective is not to create something that "works" it's not engineering a bridge, right? it is making something beautiful, however you want to define beautiful to be.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Jul 10, 2015,
#35
Quote by RonaldPoe
I agree that the blues and shred comparisons are kinda stupid. How is Paul Gilbert less emotional than Kenny Wayne Sheppard anyway (no offense to Sheppard fans and I'm knocking him as musician)? I was merely defending Electronic music. Can we get back to the topic?

your topic has already been addressed. how many melodies have you tried to write since it began to receive replies?
Quote by RonaldPoe
How would you use arpeggios and stepwise motion in a melody and not sound like just scales? I'm trying to make my own melodies sound better.

what are you even asking at this point? an arpeggio wouldn't ever sound like a scale, for starters. you really need to just apply everything you're hearing from people and then analyze what you made. the question should be something like "how can i use arpeggios and stepwise motion more effective in x melody i've written?" what you're asking currently really has no answer.
Last edited by :-D at Jul 10, 2015,
#36
Quote by Kevätuhri
I at least partly agree with :-D here^ - every time someone says that Tosin Abasi sucks because he lacks emotion I cringe. I get that a clear majority of people don't enjoy his music. Doesn't change the fact that he's an inhumanly good guitarist.


I'm not familiar with that artist, but I think people usually say that, when they find the musician in question has a very mechanical, and technical approach to music. They don't play with much feel.

Being a "good guitarist" To me, can mean they are simply very skilled at guitar. I personally think one could be a very good guitarist and also not play with much feel.

I mean, let's take the most difficult composition in the world for guitar, and look at the sheet music, then build a robot that plays it exactly as written. It won't sound very awesome. It won't have any feel put into it, but the robot would be very "good at guitar".

You could say the same for composition. A computer could compose something, there is a lot of theory you could program into it, but it work create emotionally interesting pieces of music. They may be technically intricate or whatever, but lacking "emotion".

To me, emotion, is the feel of music, how it moves me. It doesn't have to be sad, or happy, or emotions that way, but that moves me musically, which I can only describe as "emotionally", for lack of a better word.
#37
To D, I was asking how to use stepwise motion and not sound like scales. I also was asking if anyone has tips for using arpeggios and not having them sound like just arpeggios. I've only written 2 melodies in the past week but I'm not happy with them. I'm going to be doing a bassline tonight for a KH Field theme based on The Jungle Book (that's my current project) ...
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#38
POE -- the arpeggio question made me smile a bit..two pieces came to mind..worlds apart but stranger things in truth than fiction...the opening notes of Coltrans "Giant Steps" and "Rebel Yell" by Billy Idel both use a descending major 7th arpeggio..that do not sound like "just arpeggios" ..

you will have to just listen to many different styles of music to begin seeing how simple melodic lines are used..the standards of the 40's were very melodically rich..you might get a "real/fake" book and learn some of those melodies..in particular Cole Porter and Gerswin..there are at least hundred songs that you may be familier with some of them may give you ideas on melodic development. Also the Beatles, Paul Simon and Billy Joel have many melodic gems in their songbooks..study them
play well

wolf
#39
One approach would be to try to simply land on the chord notes on accented beats to help outline the chord progression and use the scale (and accidentals if you want) to move from one to the next. Of course, the accented beats don't have to all be notes from the chord and the chord notes don't have to be on the accented beats. Think about it like your wandering away from and then back to chord notes, and from the larger view you're wandering away from and back to the tonic. Think to yourself, "Do I want to go higher here, or lower, or stay in the same little area?" "Do I want this section to feel very safe sounding? Is this a good place to sound more tense? Should I start heading back to the tonic or chord and resolve the tension I've created?" Think about how resolved or unresolved each section sounds.

Really listen and try to hear where the melody wants to go. Think about the expectations you feel as a listener of where it sounds like it's going and decide if you should meet those expectations or surprise the listener by going somewhere else. If you do what's expected too much it can sound boring, but if you go too far outside of the expectations it can sound like a mess. This part is highly dependent on the genre and your own personal style. Most important is just really using your ears. Humming the melody and then figuring it out can be really helpful.
#40
Quote by RonaldPoe
To D, I was asking how to use stepwise motion and not sound like scales. I also was asking if anyone has tips for using arpeggios and not having them sound like just arpeggios. I've only written 2 melodies in the past week but I'm not happy with them. I'm going to be doing a bassline tonight for a KH Field theme based on The Jungle Book (that's my current project) ...

i can think of a few good examples offhand for you to illustrate some ideas

i'll be back later and i'll give you a better post at that point
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