• Help writing melodies?
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Help writing melodies?
on: March 08, 2019, 06:27:07
I want to write songs but I can't come up with melodies. What's really annoying is that I'll get song ideas, but they'll manifest as cut-and-pasted sections of songs I've already heard. I've had this song idea in my head that was basically the rapping section of UNI by Ed Sheeran with the first verse of The Cave by Mumford & Sons as the chorus. It's really frustrating how I can't write my own songs. Does anyone know how to turn their inspiration into something that sounds original but stays true to the tone you have envisioned?


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Re: Help writing melodies?
Reply #1 on: March 08, 2019, 09:51:29
« Last Edit: March 08, 2019, 10:09:37 by MrBouzouki »
hi @rktho - there is a 'craft' to songwriting IMHO and one of the best ways to improve is just to get on and do it. 

For some people melodies will come naturally but others have to work at them. If it's more rapping you are doing then it's less about melodies and more to do with rhythm (meter) and delivery to be honest. The lyrics and rhyming are far more important.

Many people steal ideas form others and I wouldn't shy away from that as a learning tool . Even the great composers stole stuff. Our Western system of notes and harmonic theory, as well as our ears, will make certain patterns more obvious. For example if you are in C Major then you can almost bet on there being  the chords C, F and G major  ( I - IV - V pattern) in a song, even if it changes key or from Major to Minor later.

The important thing is to capture your ideas, record them on your phone, work at it, ask others for advice for the type of music you want to do.

A key thing you can do is get an instrument to use as an ideas generator. A uke or small keyboard, a simple beat generator can all help you to connect your brain to the music. Just recording a melody on you phone with you humming a phrase can be good. Join them up with other phrases and you can suddenly have a song.

Sometimes lyrics can suggest a melody, on other occasions a melody can suggest the words. It can work both ways.

You can do expensive courses / use Youtube etc. and it all helps but there is nothing like creating something. thinking that's rubbish, then doing another one and thinking . ummmm that's better.  But get others to listen who you trust.

But most of all ... HAVE FUN ... it isn't a job or chore but something that might take your whole life to explore.

In this day and age of short-term stuff that is no bad thing.

 ::thumb:: ::thumb:: ::thumb::

"Love and Life is all about connections"


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Re: Help writing melodies?
Reply #2 on: March 08, 2019, 16:21:07
hi @rktho - there is a 'craft' to songwriting IMHO and one of the best ways to improve is just to get on and do it. 

For some people melodies will come naturally but others have to work at them. If it's more rapping you are doing then it's less about melodies and more to do with rhythm (meter) and delivery to be honest. The lyrics and rhyming are far more important.

Many people steal ideas form others and I wouldn't shy away from that as a learning tool . Even the great composers stole stuff. Our Western system of notes and harmonic theory, as well as our ears, will make certain patterns more obvious. For example if you are in C Major then you can almost bet on there being  the chords C, F and G major  ( I - IV - V pattern) in a song, even if it changes key or from Major to Minor later.

The important thing is to capture your ideas, record them on your phone, work at it, ask others for advice for the type of music you want to do.

A key thing you can do is get an instrument to use as an ideas generator. A uke or small keyboard, a simple beat generator can all help you to connect your brain to the music. Just recording a melody on you phone with you humming a phrase can be good. Join them up with other phrases and you can suddenly have a song.

Sometimes lyrics can suggest a melody, on other occasions a melody can suggest the words. It can work both ways.

You can do expensive courses / use Youtube etc. and it all helps but there is nothing like creating something. thinking that's rubbish, then doing another one and thinking . ummmm that's better.  But get others to listen who you trust.

But most of all ... HAVE FUN ... it isn't a job or chore but something that might take your whole life to explore.

In this day and age of short-term stuff that is no bad thing.

 ::thumb:: ::thumb:: ::thumb::
Well, when I say rapping, it's more of a way of singing that's fast with several note repetitions. Melodic rap, if you will. I'm actually not too concerned about that; I figure I can tackle that just fine. But coming up with a hook is the tricky part. I want to create a riff that sounds like it's "walking," like in Let Her Go or The Cave, and from that I can develop a chorus. I don't really feel like I can put lyrics to it until I know what the hook sounds like. But the problem is, whenever I plug in one of those riffs and try to tweak it, it never retains the same tone I want.


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Re: Help writing melodies?
Reply #3 on: March 08, 2019, 16:44:53
hi @rktho welcome to the kitchen  ::thumb:: ::thumb:: ::thumb::

thanks for joining, i hope you will like it here  :) :) :)
me, myself, and Pie


Re: Help writing melodies?
Reply #4 on: March 08, 2019, 21:42:42
Hi @rktho ! Welcome to the kitchen!  :)
Thanks for starting such an interesting thread as well. I find these conversations to be fascinating.
What instrument do you play or at least which one are you best at?
Bill
Songwriter, Keyboards, Arranger, Producer & Engineer for November Sound

November Sound is based on the Mother, Father & Son musical trio of Melissa, Bill & Will. I'm the father so anything I post will have my wife singing and/or my son playing percussion.


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Re: Help writing melodies?
Reply #5 on: March 08, 2019, 21:44:03
Hi @rktho ! Welcome to the kitchen!  :)
Thanks for starting such an interesting thread as well. I find these conversations to be fascinating.
What instrument do you play or at least which one are you best at?
I play piano and Merlin (a stringed instrument tuned to D A dd.)


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Re: Help writing melodies?
Reply #6 on: March 08, 2019, 21:53:08
I've had this song idea in my head that was basically the rapping section of UNI by Ed Sheeran with the first verse of The Cave by Mumford & Sons as the chorus. It's really frustrating how I can't write my own songs.

I'd say just go ahead and write that song. Most every riff that you can imagine has already been played by someone....it's all in the new interpretation.  I'll bet that when you're done it sounds just like...your song.  ;)
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

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Re: Help writing melodies?
Reply #7 on: March 08, 2019, 22:20:07
« Last Edit: March 08, 2019, 23:28:37 by rktho »
I've had this song idea in my head that was basically the rapping section of UNI by Ed Sheeran with the first verse of The Cave by Mumford & Sons as the chorus. It's really frustrating how I can't write my own songs.

I'd say just go ahead and write that song. Most every riff that you can imagine has already been played by someone....it's all in the new interpretation.  I'll bet that when you're done it sounds just like...your song.  ;)

I'm not sure about that. The riff is pretty recognizable.


I want to make it distinct. Compare with this riff. Similar but clearly different.



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