• Personal approach in melody composing?
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Personal approach in melody composing?
on: December 16, 2017, 11:43:55
Well, to start it off, I believe that every songwriter has their own style of writing their melodies. I personally have my own style, but after 8-9 songs or so I start to feel like some songs do indeed sound a little similar to another, either it's a borrowed chord progression or melody.

Do the members in this community have a trademark way in writing their own melodies, or just write whatever suits them best? For me I love to use the combinatons of thr 3rd 5th and 6th note (mi, so and la) of the major scale and the 6th, 7th and 1st (la, ti and do) in almost every song I write. The last note before the chorus begins seems to always be the second note (re) on a chord V and end the chorus with a perfect cadence (V > I ). The chord progression mostly comes from the pachelbels progression, which is my favourite one. Normally I would like to modulate a semitone or two higher at the final chorus, but I limit the songs I modulate to prevent it from being to predictable. My bridge uses minor 7th chords a lot accompanird with the V chord, sometimes as preperation to modulate.

In general, I would like to discover other interesting styles so that the community and I can learn from and possibly be inspired with! ;)


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Re: Personal approach in melody composing?
Reply #1 on: December 16, 2017, 17:31:38
This is an interesting topic @Brendan7 and I will be interested to hear how other members work.

I think I straggle the line between no idea how music works and it's all feel and a good ear and the other extreme of having studied music or really understand the theory of music.
As such I tend to think in melodies, both as a songwriter and a guitarist. I think this makes many of my compositions interwoven melodies that seem to work harmonically as opposed to thinking chords.
I guess I think of a chord as multiple melodies at a certain point in time, which is true I guess, and therefore don't often tend to analyse the 'musicality' or harmony very much.
In some ways that is liberating and stops you getting formulaic, i.e. this chord follows that chord, but I wonder if I miss out on potential ideas by working this way.

I've just realised I will often sing out a phrase and then translate it to an instrument, so that supports the 'melodies out of the air' way of working ;-)

Are guitarists more like this I wonder, whilst keyboard players are more harmonic structure orientated ? It is easier to see how things work on a keyboard as opposed to a guitar neck.

I do like the fact a guitar can be retuned to get different intervals, drones etc. that a traditional piano cannot do. Altered tunings  are often an influence on my personal style.

 
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Re: Personal approach in melody composing?
Reply #2 on: December 17, 2017, 02:01:51
Well.....I honestly never compose much of anything.  :)

I never picked up much music theory in all these 50 odd years of playing so I just pick up the guitar when the mood strikes and see what comes out. I try to throw a few changes in here and there but I don't mind that my songs tend to sound similar.....I guess that's just me being...Lenny.

I love these days of DAW recording, though, because I can just play what feels right and then slide the parts around after to arrange something that makes me smile. Maybe that's composing...if so......

 8)
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

 "In a world of robotic conformity, the only originality left in music is the imperfections" Eric Craptone

"Special thanks to Steve Gleason for making me who I am today." Leonard Scaper

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Re: Personal approach in melody composing?
Reply #3 on: December 17, 2017, 13:16:03
Are guitarists more like this I wonder, whilst keyboard players are more harmonic structure orientated ?

@MrBouzouki I can agree with that. I have experimented composing with both instruments and I found that with the piano you can actually see the scale easier than on the guitar.

With a guitar I normally strum a few chords and find a melody which fits in the chords, which allows me to have a better flow of rythm compared to melody. But I still prefer to involve both when composing


Re: Personal approach in melody composing?
Reply #4 on: December 17, 2017, 23:25:53
Hello @Brendan7 ! You're in the right place, for sure!

I love music theory.  :)

I purposely try to mix things up in regard to key and chord progression and I also think about the flow of the album, soundcloud profile, playlist etc... as I create. Sometimes I'll wait to release something just to keep a nice diversity on the SC profile. But, yeah, I mean our instrumentation is basically our instrumentation. We have keys, voice and percussion so our songs will sound like our songs.

My songs come to me really quickly in creative blasts. (Often not at the best time. i.e. right before bed, middle of the work day .. :D ha,ha...) The lyrics spark the flow but melody comes almost immediately while the lyrics are still being written/remembered. As soon as I can I get to keyboard I start to harmonize the melody with the chord progression. As I'm doing this I adjust notes, chords and keys for range and to be sure it doesn't sound too much like another song.

There are so many different ways to harmonize a given melody especially if one is willing to use upper extensions of the chords. That being said, I try to keep November Sound music having some bit of pop appeal - so I always try to use progressions that are not to far removed from contemporary popular music.  ;)

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: Personal approach in melody composing?
Reply #5 on: December 17, 2017, 23:51:28
« Last Edit: March 09, 2018, 00:10:26 by oorlab »
interesting topic, @Brendan7  - my approach to making melodies is most of the time catching them when they pop-up rather than writing. On my way to work, in the morning , I sometimes unconsciously start humming some tune - that then strikes me as odd or possibly new. I grab my phone, or may be my edirol handheld recorder if I have it at hand to record a whistled or hummed version of the tune. No lyrics yet. I have a bunch of these small fragments. When some piece really strikes me as noteworthy I will actually write the rest around it.

recommending https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_Music_Works "How music works", book by David Byrne.


Re: Personal approach in melody composing?
Reply #6 on: March 04, 2018, 23:34:32
@oorlab l can really relate to how it happens for you. sudden inspiration combined with confusion tends to work best for me. getting inspiered and imediately start to record on the phone and then just continue recording without any plan at all. then trying to figure out what i just did. thats how the things i like the most come for me. i think i like them cos they sound like someone else. just like with pictures. i like pictures of me where i look like someone else :) its like inspiraton without inspiration.

and when those ideas are there for me then i need to put the hours on it unfortunately. would be so nice if whole songs got pooped out.

@Leonard Scaper thats a great point you make. to just accept who we are and how we sound. the best approach not to get stuck id say.
its our USP after all

looking into plaing the piano and writing to but im still really handicaped behind the keys..

great topic @Brendan7 !



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Re: Personal approach in melody composing?
Reply #7 on: March 05, 2018, 11:56:45
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 09:22:28 by LePlongeur »
I don't know if you're familiar with the system called: 'Writing in a stream of consciousness'?

It boils down to: try to think as little as possible and let the story write itself.
This way I write my lyrics. And I let my pen do the talking.
The trouble starts when I try to 'direct' the story too much. The more I don't mess about, the better it gets.
If the lyrics are finished in (say) 15 to max 20 minutes time? Then it's OK.

If not, it's thrown into the waste paper basket.

More or less the same for the melodies. I clip the oldest lyric off the pile to the mic's chord, push the red button of the harddisk recorder and play what comes to mind.
If it sounds familiar? So what! Probably played it because I like it.

The only thing I know beforehand is that it'll be most likely in D Maj. And that the song is written, recorded (all the voices and instruments) and mixed in 1,5 hours or so.
After 10 songs I take that series in the car on my way to (whatever) and listen to what I have been up to.
And I judge it like a photographer-friend of mine did. If there are 2 or 3 songs that I really like I'm happy.

To me, there's really nothing more to it.
Like the topic though. Nice thought.
Kind regards, Gus



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I always forget to mention the TS.
This is no exeption....
Sorry.


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Keef isn't the only one to take his recordings on the road.....


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Re: Personal approach in melody composing?
Reply #8 on: March 31, 2018, 15:36:37
This thread is old, but whatever.   ::Rachel::

I don't compose. I play around with some chord progressions, already have a concept or subject matter or metaphor in mind, then I get some kind of melody in my head that appeals to me, I then start to get words coming to mind and I get enough of the chords and melody recorded to then play them over and over and over 500 times while I let the words come. I often type frantically at the computer to keep up with the words, add and delete as I listen and sing those words again and again.

In 30 minutes the music for the song is done and I record myself singing the vocals through the whole song in one take to see how it sounds. More minor amendments to chords and/or lyrics often follow. I then record a second take all the way through, reading the lyrics from the computer screen as I haven't memorised them yet, and that's it. Done in 1-2 hours start to finish.

By that evening I can't remember how the song even goes. It's flown out of my head until the next day when I listen again, and that's when I decide whether I like it or not and can't get it out of my head for the next week.

Fun times. lol.
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Re: Personal approach in melody composing?
Reply #9 on: September 29, 2018, 01:57:01
This is an interesting topic @Brendan7 and I will be interested to hear how other members work.

I think I straggle the line between no idea how music works and it's all feel and a good ear and the other extreme of having studied music or really understand the theory of music.
As such I tend to think in melodies, both as a songwriter and a guitarist. I think this makes many of my compositions interwoven melodies that seem to work harmonically as opposed to thinking chords.
I guess I think of a chord as multiple melodies at a certain point in time, which is true I guess, and therefore don't often tend to analyse the 'musicality' or harmony very much.
In some ways that is liberating and stops you getting formulaic, i.e. this chord follows that chord, but I wonder if I miss out on potential ideas by working this way.

I've just realised I will often sing out a phrase and then translate it to an instrument, so that supports the 'melodies out of the air' way of working ;-)

Are guitarists more like this I wonder, whilst keyboard players are more harmonic structure orientated ? It is easier to see how things work on a keyboard as opposed to a guitar neck.

I do like the fact a guitar can be retuned to get different intervals, drones etc. that a traditional piano cannot do. Altered tunings  are often an influence on my personal style.

There's a new way to create vocal melodies with the backing chords at the same time but it would mean some self promotion on here in order to tell you how this works. Which I won't do, because this is my first post on here. But if the boards mods say it's ok. Then I'll post you a video to show you what can be done.


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Re: Personal approach in melody composing?
Reply #10 on: September 29, 2018, 14:45:45
Hi @Makingmelodys , welcome to the Kitchen! Thanks for joining  ::thumb:: ::thumb:: ::thumb::
and feel free to post away...

i would be interested in your system / idea to create melodies with the backing chords at the same time,

we may have some limitations if it is a commercial idea / business model  ;D ;D ;D, but if not... go ahead and place a link , as far as i am concerned  :pompom: :pompom: :pompom: :pompom:
me, myself, and Pie


Re: Personal approach in melody composing?
Reply #11 on: September 29, 2018, 16:17:28
« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 22:58:01 by Makingmelodys »
.



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