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Old 03-07-2016, 12:37 AM   #1
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Can't come up with new melodies

I cant come up with new melodies, I try to make a song/track that doesn't sound like someone elses, but then i realize it sounds like a lot of the Trance/prog house tracks i listen to a lot.

I was working on a completely new version of a progressive/trance 2.0 track i made, since i dont like the way it was originally composed, in fact i deleted it and started anew but I cant get the lead in to not sound like Capetown by Ilan Bluestone! The track is a sequel track to a track by Arty.

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Old 03-07-2016, 09:10 PM   #2
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Re: Cant come up with new melodies

Everyone has influences, but you can't let them dominate your ideas. You may be thinking too much inside the genre you producing. try thinking out of the box. I'm assuming you're having a creativity problem more than a composition problem, which is normal, sometimes we like certain songs so much that we recreate them unintentionally. but you can always "morph" a certain idea into your stuff and no one would notice
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Old 03-11-2016, 06:50 PM   #3
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Re: Cant come up with new melodies

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Originally Posted by ILikeHorses View Post
Everyone has influences, but you can't let them dominate your ideas. You may be thinking too much inside the genre you producing. try thinking out of the box. I'm assuming you're having a creativity problem more than a composition problem, which is normal, sometimes we like certain songs so much that we recreate them unintentionally. but you can always "morph" a certain idea into your stuff and no one would notice
yeah there are so many songs that I like that pop up in my head whenever i press a key. Id rather sound like Ilan bluestone, Zedd or BT (one of my main influences) than to crank out another Dr luke or Dj mustard type beat.

ive been trying to do deep house type stuff too.
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Old 03-11-2016, 07:06 PM   #4
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Re: Cant come up with new melodies

At what point in your process do you usually come up with the melody? Have you tried just noodling around on the keys? Do you think perhaps you are trying to genre too hard?--I find for myself that when I start by saying "I'm going to write a deep house track" (or whatever) it turns out bland.

I know it sounds like some zen bullshit, but I'm a much bigger fan of letting the track write itself. When I want a certain result genre wise I find it much better to just sit down and get a solid idea out melody/harmony wise with out any of the genre tropes present to force the song a certain direction. If that makes sense at all.

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Old 03-11-2016, 08:53 PM   #5
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Re: Cant come up with new melodies

There's a lot you can do to diversify your melodies. One major advice I'd give you is try to think of different rhythm patterns. A lot of melodies can be created using the same notes, the same scale, but changing either the order in which the notes are played or simply how they're arranged rhythmically. It can make a big difference.

I've recorded a few examples that are really really badly done but it's just there to illustrate my point; I've looked at the artists you mentioned and I took a melody from Ilan Bluestone's "Bonsai" which sounds a bit like this
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and check this out, by using the exact same notes, maybe only repeating some of them and playing them in a different rhythm, I can make it sound like some sort of dub version of the track (also, tempo is now 170bpm)
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and in this one I kept the same tempo but I only repeated some of the notes. I played the notes in the exact same order, I only repeated some of them and changed the rhythm a bit. You'd hardly recognize the original track
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I'd admit these alternative versions also change the feel of the melody and it probably doesn't sound like EDM anymore (eh, what'd you expect, I don't like that stuff). But I think you get the idea. The rhythmic aspect of a melody is really important, and chances are that's what makes your melodies sound similar to these other artists.

Last edited by Lug; 03-11-2016 at 09:03 PM..

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Old 03-14-2016, 11:45 PM   #6
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Re: Cant come up with new melodies

I usually start off with the melody of a track
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:35 AM   #7
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Re: Cant come up with new melodies

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Originally Posted by RaymondLeggs View Post
I usually start off with the melody of a track
I find it much easier to write a chord progression first and let that define the parameters of the melody. Not that I'm a composition genious or anything. Maybe if you tried some unusual chord progressions it might "force" you into some unusual melodies.

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Old 03-15-2016, 05:06 AM   #8
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Re: Cant come up with new melodies

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I find it much easier to write a chord progression first and let that define the parameters of the melody. Not that I'm a composition genious or anything. Maybe if you tried some unusual chord progressions it might "force" you into some unusual melodies.
Good one. Also what Lug said is gold, try that too.

A Trick that might be worth sharing, when you find the progression that you might use as the main idea in the track, make a BUNCH of versions of it. just for the sake of it, you don't really need to use those you don't like, don't limit yourself to a 4 bar progression, try writing 16 bars in the piano roll, then chop it up in the playlist, make new combinations of chords...it can easily "expand" the idea and take it a bit away from your first idea which may sound very similar to your favorite artists.

Another thing is, don't let composition scare you, don't think to much, but don't forget to "think" (Lol). whistle the ideas, keep your mind in the process of writing a melody, put yourself in "the zone". Turn the metronome on, start jamming. sometimes we think we GOTTA do the best melody in our first try, don't worry, just add a bunch of notes that come up first and start changing it whenever you feel like. do not think much when it comes to laying down the ideas, even if it sounds similar, write it down and from there start arranging, you have to force yourself through and ENJOY it, otherwise you'll stress that you're hating the melody even though is not as bad as you think.

I found harder to write songs when i was starting out because i thought i wasn't able to come up with big pieces of melodic stuff, after i said "f***k it, i can do this" it became easier. Intent counts, trust your mind.
I might be saying some controversial stuff, but is like, DON'T give up on the idea, but at the same time don't let your mind distract from it, that's when mixing our influences come. when your run out of ideas, the first thing you'll remember is Avicii's Levels (jk ). Hope you understand what i mean, is more on the "psychological" side of things. (not that i am a pyschologist or anything like that)
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Old 03-25-2016, 12:46 AM   #9
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Re: Cant come up with new melodies

Copy a melody you like and change it around so it doesn't really sound like the original. Do whatever, change notes around, transpose it in a different scale, invert, mirror, stretch, compress, just so that it is something different.

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Old 03-27-2016, 01:49 AM   #10
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Re: Cant come up with new melodies

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Originally Posted by RaymondLeggs View Post
I usually start off with the melody of a track
start with a meter. then think of a shape. then make that shape using notes. change the shape until it "works". change how you think about your shape. change how you count and from when. keep trying until you have your figure.

then your figure needs ground to relate to. a bass line, or a bunch of chords. a scale decision. a context. find that. if it changes your shape, go with the change.

keep throwing away stuff until you're happy with something, even if it only lasts 5 seconds. tell no one.

repeat.

edit: often you can make the above in reverse, by starting from ground

after a while you might start to connect the shapes and alter the ground/context - modulation, key changes, the things that make a melody break out of the confines of the scale. get things into motion.

Last edited by eesn; 03-27-2016 at 03:06 PM..

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Old 07-26-2016, 01:49 PM   #11
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Re: Cant come up with new melodies

Hey man, it's really not as hard as you'd think. If you have no inspiration coming from your head to work off , then start simple. For example you could start with an A as a bass note and an E or C as the first note of the melody. Add in some colour notes such as an F or a D (Since the bass note A has some relationship to F or D since A is the third in F MAJ and A is the fifth in D). No after the colour note you could move the melody note to B or G and the bass note to E . Since B or G make up E Min and E is the tonic note. Add variation to ryhtym and BAM! That usually kick starts some inspiration. Hope this helps ! Keep on trying
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Old 07-28-2016, 12:19 AM   #12
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Re: Can't come up with new melodies

a really cool thing you can do for this, because I see you have fl studio, is just use the riff machine tool in the piano roll, back when I started making music, I used fl studio and all of my progressions where made by the riff machine.

also, just try doing four notes with a pad instrument, that always sounds good.

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Old 07-28-2016, 01:20 AM   #13
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Re: Can't come up with new melodies

so I just uploaded one of my old tracks, this track was composed entirely with the riff machine

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there is no mastering here, no effects, no eq, just a volume automation on the tracks.
also, it's private so you have to go to the link, I can't embed private tracks.

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Old 10-04-2016, 02:54 AM   #14
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Re: Can't come up with new melodies

It's always tough being original cause we gather pieces from here and there
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Old 10-09-2016, 03:44 AM   #15
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Re: Can't come up with new melodies

I used to take one shots and use the chord stamper to pound out melodies. I literally would pick the chord I felt would sound weirdest and went to town.

Then, I would edit things down. Sometimes.
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Old 10-09-2016, 04:15 PM   #16
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Re: Can't come up with new melodies

I find that playing around with chords can be quite inspiring. There are a few apps that do lend themselves for that, such as:
Cheeky Fingers - Piano Chord Dictionary, Progressions and Suggestions by Nic Mulvaney Ltd
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Old 10-11-2016, 02:04 AM   #17
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Re: Can't come up with new melodies

Well. Busyworkbeats said that its just energy going up and down. (Or movement im not sure)

Helped me a bit. Kinda made me realise that usually melody progress up and down. As in for notes and scales, its gonna come by time and taste really. Unless you born musician or you know. For us who are learning little "late". We have internet,forums and awesome people.

Thank you!
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Old 10-17-2016, 12:54 PM   #18
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Re: Can't come up with new melodies

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Originally Posted by RaymondLeggs View Post
I cant come up with new melodies, I try to make a song/track that doesn't sound like someone elses, but then i realize it sounds like a lot of the Trance/prog house tracks i listen to a lot.
Here in bold is one of the sources of your problem. Listen to more diverse music, there is a LOT of excellent music out there, in all genres, listening to different genres will open your mind to new ideas, new progressions, new patterns, new music.

You posted after, you usually begin with melodies. What I do, is I begin from the simpler element I can find: a waveform.

from the waveform, you then create a sound, then the sound will inspire you either a melody or a chord, or a rhytmic progression.

The trick is that you need to let the sound play the music, fiddle with your synths until you end up with something good coming from your fingers to your synth. This is your body telling you that it likes what it's hearing, the wave, frequencies, harmonics.

Then you get into some sort of zone and everything should come naturally, eventually, you'll end up with a complete track, or not, the process has to work for the whole length, sometimes you can be in the zone for days or weeks, sometimes it only lasts a few hours.


don't "think" your music while you're making it, try and feel it, and the feel comes from the very primal vibrations, i.e. your base sound.

But do think your music beforehand, try and avoid doing the same things, try new tempi, newer sounds, new tools, time signatures, synths etc... challenge yourself every time.

And listen to as diverse music as you can. open your mind to other stuff, classical, jazz, hip hop, rock, abstract, pop, whatever and everything of quality you can put your ears on.


And finally, inspiration can come and go in waves, if you don't do anything good at the moment, it's still an opportunity to work on collabs (that can reignite a creative spark), remixes, new techniques, or your musical culture, of course.
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Old 10-25-2016, 04:43 PM   #19
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Re: Can't come up with new melodies

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Originally Posted by RaymondLeggs View Post
I cant come up with new melodies, I try to make a song/track that doesn't sound like someone elses, but then i realize it sounds like a lot of the Trance/prog house tracks i listen to a lot.

I was working on a completely new version of a progressive/trance 2.0 track i made, since i dont like the way it was originally composed, in fact i deleted it and started anew but I cant get the lead in to not sound like Capetown by Ilan Bluestone! The track is a sequel track to a track by Arty.
One thing which doesn't exactly help with making interesting melodies is too intense, distinct sound of synth. There are synths which can be used for only simple 1-3 notes melodies. You can brake the rule and make them going through many different notes like Squarepusher did in his last album, but that intensity of music isn't accptable for everyone.
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Old 11-01-2016, 06:59 AM   #20
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Re: Can't come up with new melodies

Yesterday wrote a super duper bassline using TS404. Suitable for a genre like Acid/Techno/Detroit techno/Chicago techno

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