5 Ways to Start a Melody!

I’m a big fan of trying new approaches to making music, in particular melodies.

There’s so many different ways to approach composition and I’d like to outline some of my go-to’s in this email

1) So the most common and obvious one is starting with the chords and with good reason. Chords can really set the tone, and change the vibe of a melody. Try taking a chord progression, and then adding a repetative melody that stays the same of the chord changes. You’ll be able to hear how much impact just the change in harmony effects the melody!

2) Get the rhythm down first! I see this one a lot in EDM tutorials. Try getting a catchy melodic rhythm down on one note, and then changing the notes to make the melody…melodic.

3) Work inwards from the outside. This is my favourite approach at the moment. I like to get some bass notes in first, and then a top line of the melody, From there I’ll fill out the harmony based on the space in between. This can really change how you think about the melody as a whole and can reveal some much more intresting harmony than starting with the chords!

4) Just throw together a bunch of one note soundscapes! You’ve probably noticed I like to include soundscapes that play partiular notes from a scale in my kits. I’m a big fan of starting with one of these soundscapes, then using single notes on pads to accent certain parts to create a melody thats more atmosphere than melody!

5) Get the groove down first! Ah the age old debate of melody or drums first. I’m in the both work great camp myself. If you haven’t tried starting with drums before, give it a bash. I like to get a groove going, maybe add a chord progression on a pad or rhodes, and then just jam out a melody. I love this approach because it almost feels like you’re vibing out with a band or something. You’ll also find that if you struggle with over producing, starting with the drums will keep your melodies simpler, because a lot of the space (both frequency and timewise) is already filled out!

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