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Melody Styles               Melody by Section

“Melody is the thread that ties a song together.  If done poorly, every seam will be apparent and it will not hold
   together for long.”
    -David Pomeranz

Melody is a pleasent sequence of single tones.  
It carries the lyric.  
It’s the tune the main instrument plays.

Melodies “come into your head”
Guitar players also say this.

The secret is to be in the zone.   
See Meditation or Athletics.

Write simple melodies.  
Learn what makes them work,
, and listen to music.

Eventually, you'll hear melodies all day long.

Improvise on an instrument.
Melodies are simple.  
They're easier than chords, riffs, licks or solos.

Play and sing a scale.  
Make the scale notes into a simple melody.

Make simple things sound good.

Write random notes on sheet music.  Play them. 
This develops sight reading and singing.
Change notes that don't sound right.
Give it a rhythm.

Good melodies are often simple. 
They have to be hummable.

Melody writing is technical and inspirational.

    Technical:      Change the chords, try note combinations, rhythm variations.
     Inspirational:      Improvise variations.  

Analyze and develop the best variations.

If you know what you want, find the notes.
If you don't know, experiment.  

If you don't find a melody you like, don’t try to force it. 
Wait, and let your brain process it a few days.

Keep the Range managable.  
2 octaves is difficult for anyone to sing.

A hit can always be sung by the average person.
A masterpiece can use many octaves.

Record it all.
First takes are often the best.  

If you don't record them, you're missing out.

Any insignificant melody can inspire something later.

Buy sheet music for your favorite songs.  
Sing the melody over the chords.
Study how the melody interacts with the chords.

The intervals between melody notes.
The range of the notes.   (high and low).
How the melody changes between sections.  
How does major or minor emphasize the mood?

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Develop a sense of melody.

Listen to music.
Sing along with the singer.

Create melodys.
Record a chord progression.  Play it over and over.
Take it on a walk and sing over it.
Record if good.

Melodies can come to you at any moment.. 

Melodies are all around you.
Listen for them.  
Let the sounds of the world inspire you. 

Singing puts melodies in your head
Sing and use the Ear Training exercises

Remember melodies.                    
Buy a portable recorder.
Call home and use your answering machine.
Write sheet music.

Sing it until it's stuck in your head.
Believe that you'll remember it.

Make melodies into songs.
Start simple.  It can get more advanced later.
Apply any principle.
Choose.  Options will hold you back if you can't decide on one.

Melody is measured against the root note of the key.
Play a single chord, with a rhythm.
Sing a melody over it.  Record it.
Substitute chords.
Change the melody to fit the new chords. 
Change the chords if it doesn't work.

One person can record song structures with chords.  

The melody writer records variations over top of it.

In the car 
Make a CD of chord progression variations.
Play it, and sing melodies.  Record with a separate recorder.

Or, have one tape player playing and another recording. 

Tune in to the universe
Every instant someone is being born, dying, making love, getting crippled, killing themselves, etc.
A world is being eaten by a passing black hole, right now.

Tune into the positive or negative energy
Feel what they feel.
See what they see.

Move beyond your standard cliches.
Tune in and become one.
The universe is making music right now.

People are rocking out right now.
Listen close and you will hear it.

Meditate     See Meditation 
Remove the distractions of the world.
To hear the quiet music inside you, you have to be quiet.

Songwriters can change the mood of the listener.
The listener experiences the songwriters mood.

If the listener feels something it’s good. 
If they get goose bumps on their skin, it’s great.

Use a complex melody if the chord progression is simple.
Use a simple melody if the chord progression is complex.

The best melodies focus on music.

Don't try to be memorable.  Try to be good.



Melodies are often simple and Mono-tonal (one or two notes). 

To avoid monotony, change: 
Inflection (tone)  
The chords behind the melody.  This gives each melody note a different effect. 

Rock can have strong melodies, it depends on the band and singer.                    

Some Rock songs use aggressive rap-like verse lyrics and melodic chorus lyrics.


Listen to the Beatles.  They are pop.
Work on your vocal tone.
Find a sexy singer to sing your songs.
Listen to the top 50 hit songs. 


Melodies are very rare in rap songs. 
Any melody exists in short interlude segments.  

Rap is very attitude based.
It flows with word rhythms, instead of vocal tones.

Melody can be used effectively in the chorus.


Listen to hit country songs and sing along.
The patterns will get stuck in your head.  Many country songs are very similar.

It will be in a Major key.



Verse melody sets up the chorus melody.  

If it sucks, the listener will stop listening.

Keep it simple, but never boring.
Don't distract from the lyrics.  

Don’t steal attention from the chorus.
The chorus melody has to be better than the verse.

Use less melody and more images and poetic devices

Use intervals that reinforce the mood.

Use spaces between phrases 
This lets the listener think, and allows the singer breathing time



The pre-chorus sets up the chorus. 

The pre-chorus often starts on different chords.  (vi minor or IV Major)   

The notes are often higher than the verse, lower than the chorus.  

It often has a new word rhythm.

Pre-choruses give a song more build.
They anticipate the chorus.

 If the the pre-chorus sounds like a chorus, make the chorus sound even better.


It has the highest notes, and the widest intervals between notes.  
You can try the opposite.

Make the chorus melody different from the verse.
Use acceleration or deceleration (speed control).
Key changes.
Major to minor changes.
Parallel mode changes.
Drum acceleration, instrument changes.

If your verse is stronger than your chorus, switch them.



A bridge provides contrast
The bridge melody depends on the rest of the song.

Change the:
Rhythm                 Chords 
Accelerate           Decelerate     
Key                       Mode 
Tone                     Point of view

Re-use any chords from the verse or chorus,  
Use different chords, or chord substitutions. 

An instrumental bridge. 
It uses an instrument to restate the melody musically.  

It’s your last chance to say something lyrically, chordally or melodically.
If you have nothing left to say, you don’t need a bridge.  

This section is truly optional. 
If it works, the listener waits for it.
If it doesn’t, it’s extra baggage.

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