Wednesday, June 19, 2019

5 Tips for Writing A Better Melody

In the spirit of continuation of our series on songwriting, we need to now turn our attention to how to write better melodies. In this article I will give you five tips on how to make your melodies a little better.

1. Falling Melodies Tend To Remain Popular - When you examine the vast history of popular music from the dawn of the recording age until today, and even when you include popular classical and romantic melodies that have remained popular throughout the years, you will find that melodies that fall (in other words melodies that start high and drop low) tend to get more attention. If you seem to have melodies that are static, or do the opposite (start low and end high) then give the opposite a try and see how it works for you.

2. Mono-tonal Melodies Must DIE!!!!! - Ok, so maybe I'm a bit dramatic here, but I am so sick of rap type melodies in pop songs. They have four to eight bars to impress me, but instead they just blast off a rap style melody and then launch into the "hook." Well, I for one refuse to stick around for the hook, because I HATE mono-tonal melodies. Take the time to actually write a song, not just a catchy chorus, hint hint Taylor Swift, your early stuff was so much better than the crap you've been peddling lately. I digress. Mono-tonal melodies are all the rage these days, but they are really a waste of talent, and my thinking is that there are very few, if any, of these songs will actually stick around past the fad age where they live.

3. Learn How To Develop A Melody - So what do you do if you don't want a mono-tonal melody? You learn how to develop a melody. There are a lot of motions that you can try to make your melody more interesting. Read on and find out about a couple of them.

4. Try Ascending Motion - So if you are stuck and you want your melody to go somewhere, try writing an ascending passage. Ascending melodies rise from a lower pitch. They don't have to rise dramatically or jump up to a high note, they can take their time and gradually get there, but they rise none the less.

5. Try Descending Motion - Well, what if your melody is already up in the rafters? Try doing the opposite. You don't have to keep the melody all the way up there, bring it down and let it drop in pitch. It could also drop in volume and make some dynamic change while you're at it.

So that's it for this post. Check out the next post where we will continue this exciting topic! And if you found these tips helpful, you can find out more about songwriting tips and tricks in my new book: "Lyrics and Music: Music Theory for Aspiring Songwriters" available now at, or with several additional Appendices at Barnes and Noble..;jsessionid=6F73A94CC7BEF9C130CFFEF90E7B8008.prodny_store01-atgap06?ean=9781987082869

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