Page 1 of 8 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 73

Thread: 14 tricks to improve your melodies

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    20,196
    Thanks
    38
    Thanked 639 Times in 435 Posts

    14 tricks to improve your melodies

    Sign in to disable this ad
    Melodic Devices
    There are several types of melodic devices that you can use in composing melodies for all situations.

    First up I created a melody based on the following chord progression:

    C // | F // | Dm // | G // | Am // | Dm // | C/E // |
    F // | C/G // | G // | C // | G // | C // ||




    This progression is used for each subsequent variation.

    Example 1
    This melody used only the chord tones available for each chord:


    Solo

    Accompanied

    The melody uses four devices, which are basically the same idea, an arpeggio of some sort:
    1. Arpeggio of the chord
    2. Partial arpeggio of the chord downward and back
    3. Partial arpeggio of the chord upward and back
    4. Arpeggio of the chord with anticipation



    Anticipation means that notes from the next chord are heard before it is played, they can be a single offbeat note before the bar or even several notes before as in the examples here.

    Example 2
    Example 2 shows how this melody can be decorated using Non-accented Passing Tones (off-the beat)


    Solo

    Accompanied

    The melody uses one new device:
    1. Passing notes as groups of 3 or more notes


    Each off-beat note (2nd quaver/8th in a pair of quavers/8ths) is a passing note - a non chord tone joining two chord tones. The notes that are shown in duck-egg blue participate in both the downward and upward movement of scale runs, acting as turning points in the melody.

    Example 3
    Example 3 shows how this melody can be decorated using accented passing tones (on-the beat), upper and lower neighbour tones both accented and unaccented,


    Solo

    Accompanied

    The markup shows devices:
    1. Passing notes as groups of 3 or more notes
    2. Accented passing notes
    3. Appoggiatura (both notes)
    4. Lower Neighbour tone accented
    5. Lower Neighbour tone unaccented
    6. Upper Neighbour tones accented
    7. Upper Neighbour tones unaccented


    This time we can see passing notes that are on and off the beat. The notes that are shown in duck-egg blue participate in both the downward and upward movement of scale runs, acting as turning points in the melody.

    There is a special type of accented passing note known as the appoggiatura, which is a non-chord tone on the beat resolving downward by step to a chord tone.

    Neighbour tones, also known as mordents, are used to decorate a melody by adding the note immediately above or below the main note, and then returning to the original note. It is common for the first half or the second half of these mordents to use shorter note values.

    Example 4
    Example 4 shows how this melody can be further decorated using Echappee and Cambioto


    Solo

    Accompanied

    The markup shows five devices:
    1. Cambioto
    2. Echapee


    Echappee (Escape tone) is a non-chord tone entered by step and left by leap in the opposite direction.

    Cambioto is a non-harmonic tone entered by leap and left by step in the opposite direction of the leap (the reverse of Echappee).

    As well as these two new devices several of the previously identified devices are also used. It is left as an exercise for you to identify them. PM me your answers for confirmation.
    Last edited by bandcoach; 11-24-2011 at 12:48 PM.
    BC: I've been making music since Before Computers were common in music
    Abnormal thoughts and insights available here
    Tutorials and other ideas available here
    My SoundCloud

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    730
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    You missed a "c" in "can" in the first sentence.

    Other than that, nice tutorial.
    Too creative for 9 to 5

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    20,196
    Thanks
    38
    Thanked 639 Times in 435 Posts
    fixed and thank you
    BC: I've been making music since Before Computers were common in music
    Abnormal thoughts and insights available here
    Tutorials and other ideas available here
    My SoundCloud

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    106
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Very interesting tutorial, just curiousity why did you choose a 3/4 time? for the example it works well, but i am honestly curious of the difference between 3/4 and 4/4 in terms of musical feel and sound influences. (I do know the beat difference XD) But back on topic, Very good tutorial!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    33
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Nice the chords you provided in this really gave me an idea for a melody for my next song , its amazing how anything can inspire a producer to make something creative! , But I really gotta work on my music theory I am not educated about chords at all , I just follow my ear.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    130
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Nice, thank you

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    20,196
    Thanks
    38
    Thanked 639 Times in 435 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by f33dbak View Post
    Very interesting tutorial, just curiousity why did you choose a 3/4 time? for the example it works well, but i am honestly curious of the difference between 3/4 and 4/4 in terms of musical feel and sound influences. (I do know the beat difference XD) But back on topic, Very good tutorial!
    Thank you.

    3/4 was a deliberate choice to remove it from where everyone has their head when creating (4/4) - you have to stop and think about the example instead of nodding your head.

    I'll happily redo this as a 4/4 example set in a week or so (it takes time to generate all of the images as it is done with multi-layers in photoshop).
    BC: I've been making music since Before Computers were common in music
    Abnormal thoughts and insights available here
    Tutorials and other ideas available here
    My SoundCloud

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    106
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I honestly agree that we nodd our heads at 4x4 time lol, ill admit im a 4x4 user but when i hear 3x4 time it makes me really think like that was a fast chord change or wheres that last chord? ex, very good examples you choose for that imo

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    61
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Nice! Thanks for sharing that

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Kansas City Missouri
    Posts
    873
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I wish I could understand this more, I know it's great knowledge. I know basic theory. I just wish I could wrap my head around what your talking about bandcoach, what would you suggest?

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •