Music Theory For Making Good Melodies

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by user1293435134, Aug 8, 2021.

  1. user1293435134

    user1293435134 Kapellmeister

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    Thanks to everyone who helped me on my other thread I actually managed to finish my first beat since then and it sucked. It was a progressive house track. Now I want to improve in other areas of my production. So my future songs don't suck.

    Please explain how to make those really simple catchy 4 or 8 bar melodies like Avicii and Calvin Harris (in general electro pop songs) using theory. The hook/ chorus melodies.

    Please go into depth about things like: melodic structure (e.g. AAAB [8 bar]), motifs/ themes, stable tones, call and response etc. Anything that you feel is good information for me to improve my melodies.

    Good examples are also melodies in songs produced by Dr Luke or Max Martin.
    Examples of great melody:

    4 Bar Melody/ Lead







    8 Bar Melody/ Lead

     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2021
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  3. BEAT16

    BEAT16 Audiosexual

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    Short review:
    The new sound from user1293435134, how does it sound?
    Sounds exactly like Avicii, no difference to be heard. actually he only makes a 1: 1 copy. Well, "clawing is part of the trade"!

    To avoid this criticism, you should shape your own style. You get better with more practice.

    HOW TO MAKE: EDM like AVICII - FL Studio tutorial FREE FLP!
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2021
  4. Ad Heesive

    Ad Heesive Audiosexual

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    :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:
    How hard can it be :dunno:
    Rummage around in any songwriter's trash can, or hire this talented collaborator...

    youtube.com/watch?v=vb9zMDIQuiM
     
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  5. DKDNZIA

    DKDNZIA Ultrasonic

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    [​IMG]
     
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  6. BEAT16

    BEAT16 Audiosexual

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  7. daddytang

    daddytang Producer

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    these guys are great.
     
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  8. odelay

    odelay Ultrasonic

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    Try using minor and major pentatonic scales (in their corresponding minor or major scales) to make your catchier melodies (choruses or leads).
    I'd recommend you to try a couple of virtual instruments. Scaler 2 (Plugin Boutique) - watch some YouTube videos first. Melody Sauce (Evabeat) automatically generates short sequences in a tonality. You can then export them (drag and drop) to a MIDI track in your DAW and make any changes you feel they're needed. It's a good source for ideas. These two are not expensive and they will surely be within your budget. - There are other VSTs and programmes that help you with your compositions, but they are more expensive. I'll just mention Captain Chords, Rapid Composer and Orb Composer. Captain Chords is perhaps the best one you can choose if you plan to compose modern styles. Anyway, check videos for all of these on YouTube and make your choice. Good luck!
     
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  9. Ad Heesive

    Ad Heesive Audiosexual

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    In which case see https://audiosex.pro/threads/whats-your-philosophy-regarding-music-theory.51235/page-9#post-441099
    The comment at that link describes a book called 'Music Theory for Electronic Music Producers'
    see http://janthonyallen.com/ which in turn leads to https://www.punkademic.com
    and many resources under the label 'punkademic' might be useful for the OP. (see sister site)
     
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  10. Lois Lane

    Lois Lane Audiosexual

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    1) Hum the melody in your head
    2) Figure out the notes and timing as you makes dots and dashes on the piano roll of your choice
    ...or
    Learn to play the keyboard or another instrument and record it live or by midi note.

    I don't believe that knowing theory can help anyone to actually write a melody. Passion is not to be found within the rules of music but rather melodies are born someplace outside of reason and structure although in retrospect a tune may fit snugly within those bounds.

    Play, play, play and then play some more.
     
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  11. livemouse

    livemouse Producer

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    the melody is the essence of the song. even if you try to create an atonal song, any changes in the resonant frequency of your filters or even the general frequency spectrum of each element as they are put into a chronological sequence will result in a melody, however subtle. if you start to hear a subtle melody arising from your noise track, maybe double it up with a lead sound. that sound could be any instrument or voice. disregard the music theory if you don't know any. if you want to learn the music theory, read some stuff when you're not programming tracks. and then try to implement what you learn in subsequent projects.
     
  12. Paul Pi

    Paul Pi Audiosexual

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    If you think that by reading a few books, watching a few vids and picking a few brains for top-tips is gonna make you McCartney or Mozart, boy are you going to be disappointed. As if Calvin, Avicii etc scan through their academic melody theory notes before writing a new tune...

    As @Lois Lane says, an intuitive ear for a earworm hook or great tune is something that will never be learned from a video, lecture or book. I would even go so far to say that this specifically will be where state-of-the-art future AI music computers will also reveal the sterility of acquired knowledge.

    Sorry mate, nothing but passionate perserverance and illogical self-belief can help you here.
     
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  13. droplet

    droplet Rock Star

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    get a midi pack that gives you the chords and the scales
    try this site:
    https://psrtutorial.com/music/chords.html

    you can play everything on the white keys and then transpose the melody to your liking.
     
  14. user1293435134

    user1293435134 Kapellmeister

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    Just seen this, had useful info about adding emotion, thank you kind stranger.

    Thank you, you gave loads of useful info! Already got Scaler 2 but I'll do my research on all of the plugins!

    Thank you so much I'd been planning on buying that book!

    You're absolutely right, music is not just following rules it's the feeling that will create some great stuff no one has heard before.

    I agree completely, I see the truth now.

    Thank you for this resource, it is truly immense.
     
  15. phumb-reh

    phumb-reh Audiosexual

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    A couple of practical things that work for me (some mentioned earlier): hum the melody or play it, don't worry if you can't sing or play that well. Why? It leads to more natural phrasing and rhythm, I find that if I try to type in a melody in a piano roll it easily becomes static. Try this: Tap a 2 bar rhythm, just the rhythm, then go to piano roll and fix the note pitches.

    Oh and also: listen to singers and horn players. These bastards have to breathe leading to a more relaxed phrasing and interesting rhythm choices.
     
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  16. user1293435134

    user1293435134 Kapellmeister

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    Very unique suggestions! Thank you!
     
  17. jh88

    jh88 Noisemaker

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    If you have Melodyne, you can do the ultimate cheat. Sing what you want on a track, edit with Melodyne (you don't need to do anything in Melodyne), close Melodyne. Now you can drag that track onto a new track and it will give you the MIDI of what you just sang.

    Takes a little playing around, but it can help a lot if you can't figure out how to play what you hear in your head.
     
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  18. user1293435134

    user1293435134 Kapellmeister

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    Thanks for advising this, maybe it could help some beginners at music. I have been doing music for 2 years... just not focused. I only finished my first beat yesterday actually :crazy:. But one of the skills I acquired over that 2 year period is that I can already write any melody in my head with MIDI quite easily. I was looking for theory or any strategies for coming up with melodies, not writing ones in my head. If I get an idea for a melody I have zero problems.
     
  19. Ŧยχøя

    Ŧยχøя Audiosexual

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    Know your Scales, know your Harmony,
    know them 100% and by heart..

    Make a Chord Progression

    Follow your Instincts/Intuition and Will..

    And that's pretty much it!
    One could get very technical and analytical about it like, what note to start/end with (the 3rd, the 5th..),
    what type of pattern, the rhythmical subdivisions, or the inclusion of chromatic passing notes, chord approximation, etc etc..

    But what can I tell you..
    I prefer to go by instinct first, and then see where it goes/takes me,
    when the germ of the idea is outlined, then you can go more analytic about it if you want to..

    Like, adjust this/that note, this/that section of the melody,
    make a part of it derive to a more determinate pattern, or define the existing patterns more.


    I don't know, the options are Infinite,
    and that's why it can be better to rely on your knowledge and Human Instincts,
    too much possibilities to evaluate/imagine.. but you as a human can perceive when the shit is working,
    or when it's only Shit..

    In general for me, melody is something that comes from the Spirit,
    rather than from an analytical standpoint.. although analysis can help you refine it when it's done.

    Or can help you determine the overall harmonic context/style/form to begin with,
    but the rest comes from inside..

    Let your inside come out,
    if nothing ever comes, well.. you can always dedicate yourself to Crochet, or Sports..

    Or just making money like everyone else :yes:
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2021
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  20. user1293435134

    user1293435134 Kapellmeister

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    Thank you for always giving in depth answers, you're not just helping me but also other readers :wink:

    Many people and tutorials have advised me about knowing my harmony but I don't get exactly what is meant. Is it intervals? I know basic 2nds, 3rds, 4ths and 5ths. What specifically under harmony do I need to know?
     
  21. BEAT16

    BEAT16 Audiosexual

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    You think a little too static. You see too many lines and bars. Imagine a drum rhythm, it is very static, almost fixed.
    A melody flows and is not static. In other words, a melody is the opposite of a rhythm.

    If that seems too abstract for you, I have summarized further approaches on how to define a melody. E.g. a melody can ...:

    ... be a single tone to which various properties are assigned
    ... a sequence of tones that deliberately stirs up expectations in the listener
    ... a noise or word, occupied with a certain timbre or vocal color
    ... a motif that consists of several tones and keeps recurring
    ... a short or long tone sequence
    ... a baseline that shapes the entire piece
    ... a whisper or conversation - like a monologue or an inner voice

    In short: a melody is the person in a musical composition

    What is a melody course?
    The melody is the combination of several tones. It indicates whether the tone sequences are wavy, zigzag, or in other forms, or whether they persist on a single tone.

    What is the difference between melody and rhythm?
    The melody indicates the course and the height of single or multiple tones, whereas the rhythm describes the chronological sequence of the tones.

    What is a catchy tune
    A catchy melody is colloquially referred to as a sequence of notes that is easy to understand and easy to sing along with. In addition, it simply goes in the ear (keyword: catchy tune)

    https://ronaldkah.de/was-ist-eine-melodie/

    Melody vs Harmony - music theory 101


    Music Composition Tutorial - 02 Rhythm Melody Harmony
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2021
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