• Personal approach in melody composing?
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  • CGHound
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  • Karma Hunter

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Re: Personal approach in melody composing?
Reply #15 on: May 13, 2020, 09:22:51
Diminished 7th chord?  :o    Yikes!  :bonk: 

My personal approach is to never use diminished 7th chords … now half diminished 7th that's another story.

The idea that the first words one writes end up at the end of the song , well, that is rather fascinating. I feel like I should try that.  :-\

When I wrote music for someone else's lyrics I had It ended up like no other song I ever wrote. There was a sneaky unplanned key change. I learned a lot doing it.

When I wrote lyrics for chord changes sent to me the guy said to write something up lifting.  I'm not a Pollyanna sort of person and I thought it was corny at first but I've played it at open mic nights and people really liked it.  It was another learning experience.

Phil Ochs put Edgar Alan Poe's  poem The Bells to music quite successfully.

A Dim7 between or before  verse - chorus - bridge  into and outtro  could be worth trying.


Re: Personal approach in melody composing?
Reply #16 on: May 13, 2020, 14:53:41
It's so cool that you're into music theory @CGHound ! I'm glad to have more people around here like this.  :)  Music theory is my jam.   :thumbsup:

So dim7 chords had their most common use in American music pre-WWII , thus they sound old fashioned. They also were used often in 1800's classical music …. I guess technically romantic not classical at that time.

Because they are less used in modern music they can make a nice "surprise" I suppose. It would be cool to hear how you use it in a song.  :)

Instead of actually having the dim7 chord written as part of the progression today it is more commonly used for melodic purposes (within context of jazz normally. )
i.e. four way close or drop two piano ( I think guitar too) voicings pass from one to the other by way of dim7, soloing over a G7 chord allows use of Gdim7 and G#dim7 and/or whole half scale vs. half whole scale .....   I love it!  I mean, there's only 3 of them and you can use two per dominant 7th chord. How cool is that?

Half diminished 7 ... now that's something completely different. Many songwriters and musicians could benefit from its proper use I believe.



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.


  • MotterPaul
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  • Man o' World

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Re: Personal approach in melody composing?
Reply #17 on: June 27, 2020, 20:04:11
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! ;)

My songs often end up being very similar chord changes; I start with I, V, vi a lot.

One thing I often do, especially in bridges and sometimes in a verse is I will transition the Maj7 cords mixed with min7th and work out a section that ends on bVI-major in place of the V7. I have this song "Flying" that has been in the top 3 of SoundClicks Pop charts for 10 days now that starts in D-Major but goes to Em for a segue, and ends on BbMaj7 (bVI) but is then followed by Bbsus4. It really gives it a lift back to D-major.  It is at 2:37 in "flying" https://www.soundclick.com/music/songInfo.cfm?songID=14064261

I tend to mix Maj7 and min7s a lot because they are so versatile. You can use them diatonically or modulate very easily. They are full of common tones to the original key. For example, the bVI chord contains the root note of the key as its own 3rd.
I work on Protools, was a pro recording engineer for 10 years in analog. I play compose, perform record and mix everything in my recordings.


Re: Personal approach in melody composing?
Reply #18 on: June 29, 2020, 03:04:20
The I IV iv progression is good stuff @MotterPaul !!!! :thumbsup:   
Strangely we've been having discussions about this particular chord progression here in the November Sound household this weekend.  ;)
Music nerds. Oh well.  :) 


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  • Songs in the Key of Life

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Re: Personal approach in melody composing?
Reply #19 on: July 12, 2020, 02:46:36
It's like writing a mini novel, you need a very strong topic sentence . . . get right to the point right away, you've only got about three minutes, and witty rhymes are essential. I always rough the music first, then find a melody in the overtones . . . singing against a musical demo track while driving my vehicle works best for me . . . come up with some lyrical and melodic ideas, then fit the puzzle together. The best songs seem to come from an easy quick flow, rather than endless sculpting.