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The key to Melodee?


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Hey! It's the stuck in a progression rut person again.


I've got a couple of song ideas floating that are quite solid since then (due to different styles of writing (riff based stuff, etc).


So my band is chuggin' along. The drummer does rock. I get a little bump shaking with my lines. The guitar chugs along with chords. The lyrics seem cool.... however, I think there's a certain hummability missing.


The guitarist usually just writes lyrics to the songs and sings them however they come without much thought. SOOOO, are their any tips for melody?


I know that if melody was easy, we'd all be hit songwriters, but I figured there'd be a little something, just possibly that could help us out?


Possibly a book? Anything quite frankly would help.


Thanks for the thought-food.


In Skynyrd We Trust
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There is a book that I really like called Melody in Songwriting by Jack Perricone published by Berkely. It really drives home the important points about writing good melodies that can get lost as they get "lost" within all the other aspects of learning music. For a while I always wrote more interesting accompaniment parts than main melodies. I used to write stuff and do arrangements for midi using my notation software and a sequencer and synths for strings or woodwinds and synth sounds and I always ended up with really creative "middle voices" and bass.


I figured this was because I was used to being a side-man in bands and thought best when reacting to melody and harmony than being given a blank slate so to speak. I'm not saying I'm not happy with the stuff I wrote just that I noticed I focused in on the middle voices. Anyway, working through this book sort of gave me the focus to really think about melody in a more "organized" way.

check out some comedy I've done:


My Unitarian Jihad Name: Brother Broadsword of Enlightened Compassion.

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Well, first let's recognoze that a great melody doesn't make a hit tune...nor does a bland or simple melody keep a song from being memorable.


I think one good way to develop melodic thinking is to get away from instruments & to try whistling or scat singing freely.

People often tend to follow patterns; anything that disrupts that tendency can help, whether it's writing away from an instrument, writing on an unfamiliar instrument oreven "not writing", that is, just improvise to tape & then auditing for what seems catchy.


Another thing is studying whatever tunes you like & experimenting with the effects that draw you to them.



Personally I tend to avoid books on subjects of inspiration, though there may be excellent ones.

What attracts us to art?

Besides resonance to its content, the biggest factor is often how closely it sticks to familiarity yet offers a surprising twist.

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Originally posted by Da LadY In Tha Pink Dress:

The guitarist usually just writes lyrics to the songs and sings them however they come without much thought.

Sometimes this is the best way.


I still stand by the "tapping into the subconscious" method the best. Pay attention when you are drifting off to sleep. You'll be suprised the melodies that your mind comes up with on it's own. Check out the "songwriting during sleep" thread.


Reefer helps sometimes, too.


Now I've probably just opened up a can of worms. :D

Amateur Hack
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Well I'm writing some lyrics (that are hopefully decent) that I'm going to go "fishin" tommorow with. If I get favorable results, we'll keep this goin'.


I'm completely serious when I say the last few songs that the guitarist and me have conjured up are going to go through some "Re-melodinzing" as I feel they're weak.


The way the guitarist sings, the melodies are as I best can describe "smooth leads" over the songs. It's as if he were writing a completely "grooving" lead to play over the song. The end result is one where the vocals seem to be too atmospheric and not enough "lets sing along!"


Back to the drawing board.

In Skynyrd We Trust
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Reefer def helps, so long as it isn't a 24/7 thing, only used for creative purposes.


The sleep songwriting thread was cool.


I always used to come up with cool melodies while waiting for the bus. I'd be thinking about some other things, and looking around at the scenery(i lived in SF at the time, when I used to take the bus everyday to commute to work downtown.)

I'd hum or whistle or something to keep me occupied, and then when I thought I had something I'd grab my guitar when I got home. I played a lot of guitar when I was in SF, more than bass...


Anyhow it seems to me you come up with the best stuff when you aren't really thinking about it

"The world will still be turning when you've gone." - Black Sabbath


Band site: www.finespunmusic.com

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  • 4 weeks later...

My advice is to try just singing, with either a guitar or a piano. No electronics, just the natural wood and string of the instrument. Also, if your song tells a story about real, believable, people living life as they find it, more often than not, a melody will come from seemingly out of nowhere. The muse perhaps, I don't know. You should give this approach a try and, later,add more of of the electrical dimension to your song if it's called for. Sometimes, when you're rolling along, the song takes on it's own energy, and identity, and will begin to write itself. All you have to do then, is be receptive, and listen to your inner voice. Starting out with a single, melodic instrument, is a good way of achieving this.

I hope this helps you


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