Major? Minor? whats the best for writing a really good melody? here at SKapade, we give you some of our top tips for getting people’s hands in the air. Putting together a main melody for your track can be one of the hardest parts of songwriting. While sometimes it comes naturally, other times, you’ll end up spending hours agonising over it.
The most important thing to bear in mind is how the melody works other key parts of the track that it’ll play along with, particularly the kick and bass. If you’re struggling, it can sometimes be useful to listen out for sections of your track that you particularly like and work a melody around them. For example, if there’s a few notes in your bass line that stand out to you, pick out them out with your lead and try to work out how you can expand on them.
One of the first steps when writing a melody is to work out what notes sound best in harmony with other components in the track. Playing in key is important, but if all your instruments are playing the exact same, or very similar notes, your music won’t have as many layers to it and will sound thinner and more repetitive. You can usually do more with fewer channels by playing interesting notes in the key of the track, achieving a more unique and interesting variation on the groove.
Listen to some of your favourite tracks. What is it about the melody that you like? What techniques and effects do they use to achieve this? How can you apply this to your own music?
Pay attention to space and level. Your main melody will usually be designed to cut through all of the other elements in your mix. For this reason, it’s a good idea to consider how it fits in with key elements. You should also pay attention to how it affects the pace of your track. When you’re listening to it, are there any points that feel empty, or that you stop nodding your head along to? If so, make a change. Even taking a melody you’ve written and shifting some notes to alternate the timing can make a huge difference. The same goes for pitch, if your melody sounds too simplistic, try it in different keys and octaves to see what works best. For example; alternating the octaves of some notes on a rolling trance bassline will give you a more arpeggiated sound that is often used in well-known productions. Another thing you can try if it sounds too simplistic, is adding some notes for flair. These won’t have a huge impact on the overall key of the melody and wouldn’t normally be considered main components of it, but can help to catch the listener’s ear and add new textures and grooves to your lead. That said, don’t be fooled into thinking that your melody has to overly complex musically. Some of your fav