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jasonsioco

My issue with melody writing

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jasonsioco    1

I want to be a very good melodist, but it is not happening. Theory is not the problem. My problem is that I listen to a lot of good quality music with strong melodies, so I expect that what comes out of me are also good quality melodies. What comes out instead is the opposite and I end up creating something not to my liking. My melodies sound too basic, at times the melody sounds corny and lame. I am bewildered, because it is very distant to what I am actually listening to. 2016 is almost coming to an end, and I am still stuck on the same rut. My new year's resolution for 2017 is that I become a very good melodist like the great ones.

I have been studying music both at college and university for years. I am now 3rd year at the university I go to and my courses hasn't help me a bit, to become who I want to be. I tried every book, website, and module, and I have no definite answer. I keep searching and searching. That's why I ended up in this forum. I am just venting out my frustration, because I don't want to end up like this forever. My dreams are much bigger than what I am going through right now. My only hope right now is hypnosis. I have saved up some funding so I can be hypnotized. The problem is that I don't want hypnosis to be my last resort. However, by the looks of it, hypnosis is the only hope for me.

The environment that I live in is also not supportive. My family doesn't care or are not aware I have this problem with melody. My parents especially my dad wants me to give up my dreams and I am only wasting money and time. My dad told me to be realistic and not to make my dream a reality. The only thing they care about right are the Presidential Elections and they don't care about my issue that I have been having since I was 15 yrs old. I am now 28. One of the biggest mistake of my life was studying music in college and university. A life lesson that I learned: Music school is not the answer. Lennon and McCartney and the great ones did not study in music school. To be a very good melodist is something that matters to me. If someone has their input of how I can deal with this nagging problem or else I will give hypnotism a try this coming Christmas 2016. Maybe the hypnotist can give me a priceless Christmas gift.

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Mike B    73

You have to keep working at it. You haven't mentioned if you also play an instrument, but just writing as much as you can - yeah, you may be unhappy with how a song turned out, but others may like it. Get feedback on songs during the development stage (here, or in-person songwriter groups).

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HoboSage    76

The melodies you don't like which "come out of" you, come out of you how? As a lead instrumentalist or as a singer? Lennon and McCartney were each both, and I don't think either relied on a hypnotic state to find melodies - unless drug-induced states count - in which case, you might try that. smile.gif

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jasonsioco    1

The melodies you don't like which "come out of" you, come out of you how? As a lead instrumentalist or as a singer? Lennon and McCartney were each both, and I don't think either relied on a hypnotic state to find melodies - unless drug-induced states count - in which case, you might try that. smile.gif

I play guitar and piano. I am part-time on the bass and sax. Sometimes the melody comes out by me humming something. Sometimes I write the lyrics first and then I add the melody. Sometimes I jam on a backing track with the guitar. Sometimes the melody comes out by noodling on the instrument. All set up for me to fail. I know Lennon and McCartney were not hypnotized, but I heard hypnosis is great for unlocking someone's creative state. I don't do drugs, drink alcohol, or smoke. I am none of that.

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Alistair S    47
I play guitar and piano. I am part-time on the bass and sax. Sometimes the melody comes out by me humming something. Sometimes I write the lyrics first and then I add the melody. Sometimes I jam on a backing track with the guitar. Sometimes the melody comes out by noodling on the instrument. All set up for me to fail. I know Lennon and McCartney were not hypnotized, but I heard hypnosis is great for unlocking someone's creative state. I don't do drugs, drink alcohol, or smoke. I am none of that.

Out of interest, how do you feel about improvisation? Would building those skills help or do you already feel comfortable with that?

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Joan    11

Jasonsioco, have you tried playing around with some of the chord progressions found in the music you like to listen to? One thing that can happen is that you'll keep coming up with a melody line that's too close to the song you took the chords from. To cure that, you can put it into a different time signature, plus take it into a key where the melody of the original song is out of your vocal range, so you're forced to sing a different tune to those chord changes. You might end up using only a fragment of what you play around with, and then take it in a different direction. Or go ahead and use a whole lot of the original progression if you like what you come up with. Some of those progressions are so elastic their own mothers wouldn't recognize them in a new song.

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jaysays    1

Jasonsioco, have you tried playing around with some of the chord progressions found in the music you like to listen to? One thing that can happen is that you'll keep coming up with a melody line that's too close to the song you took the chords from. To cure that, you can put it into a different time signature, plus take it into a key where the melody of the original song is out of your vocal range, so you're forced to sing a different tune to those chord changes. You might end up using only a fragment of what you play around with, and then take it in a different direction. Or go ahead and use a whole lot of the original progression if you like what you come up with. Some of those progressions are so elastic their own mothers wouldn't recognize them in a new song.

I sometimes do something similar to this, but instead of taking a chord progression from a song I like, I take the lyrics. I sit around and play scales, chords progressions, etc. until I find some progression I feel moves me in the direction I want to go, then I take the lyrics of a song I really like and start singing them in a melody that goes with my chord progression (sometimes clipping out words from the original lyrics). This keeps me from getting my thoughts muddled up in trying to find a chord progression, that goes with a melody, that has lyrics to match all at once.

After that, I throw out those lyrics (and subject matter of them) and continue singing whatever the melody I came up with is while writing my own lyrics for it.

A songwriter friend of mine was recently stuck in finding a melody for a really great piece of music he had started. I suggested trying this and an hour later he had most of his own melody figured out and was starting on his own lyrics. He just got hung up with lyrics and melody at the same time.

The danger of this is of course getting stuck in the lyrics you are stealing to write your melody - but worst case, you have a unique cover of a song. (grin)

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Daren Glass    4

This is something I struggle with at times myself. It can be very hard to forget the melody you hear in another song that you want to adapt to your own lyrics (forget is probably not the right word, since it's been used as a reference point).

 

However, like what you said in your last comment, I would run it by a friend who does music as well, and that kind of sharing ideas and creative energy sometimes helps.

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