Creating Melody With A Chord Progression
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Old 22-11-2015, 10:56 PM   #1
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Creating Melody With A Chord Progression

I have found some really amazing tutorials online on how this can be done, But I was wondering if anyone wanted to share their methods of doing this!
I have just recently been working on transposing my guitar riffs into midi and making glitchy rhythms with it, but creating the melody is a totally different ball game.

Any insight is welcome!

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Old 22-11-2015, 11:36 PM   #2
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Re: Creating Melody With A Chord Progression

Often I just hum and improvise a melody. That's the easiest for me.

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Old 22-11-2015, 11:37 PM   #3
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Re: Creating Melody With A Chord Progression

step 1: Possess sufficient musicality step 2: Write a melody

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Old 22-11-2015, 11:42 PM   #4
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Re: Creating Melody With A Chord Progression

I dont understand how theres sooo many people that compose music but can't write a melody without using a formula to pick notes meticulously from chords they have identified and constructed through spending ages learning music theory. If you cant improvise a melody along to some simple chords you have no business in composition soz

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Old 23-11-2015, 12:04 AM   #5
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Re: Creating Melody With A Chord Progression

Let me clarify... I have many methods I use for creating melodies.. I was mostly just asking what others methods because there no point in limiting yourself to a guide or outline.
Ya know?
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Old 23-11-2015, 12:13 AM   #6
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Re: Creating Melody With A Chord Progression

I like having different instruments share the melody or harmony. It makes composing a little bit like classical 4 part harmonies, but sometimes it works out well. But I'm hoping to do more composing with chords in the future. Problem is, most of my sounds don't sound good played as chords. So I have to get more or make more. And sort throught the ones already there.

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Old 23-11-2015, 12:54 AM   #7
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Re: Creating Melody With A Chord Progression

I usually just play the keys along with my initial chord progression. Not that I can really play, mind you.

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Old 23-11-2015, 01:02 AM   #8
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Re: Creating Melody With A Chord Progression

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I usually just play the keys along with my initial chord progression. Not that I can really play, mind you.
Thats what sucks about coming from a guitar background, I can play piano but when it comes to "writing" a melody... I usually resort to either singing along or playing lead licks lol

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Old 23-11-2015, 01:07 AM   #9
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Re: Creating Melody With A Chord Progression

I tend to think if you write guitar riffs you can write melodies. Sometimes I play a riff over and over until a variation suggests itself, and that starts me thinking of a melody. Humming wordlessly helps too as someone suggested earlier.

Do you record yourself soloing over the riffs? I've done that just for fun, thinking it was complete shite while I was playing. Listening back was a surprise not because I'm Steve Vai (hahaha) but because melodies tended to jump out. It's definitely another starting point. I like picking out melodies on a keyboard too, gets me out of the comfort zone and makes me think up different ideas.

Often my first idea for a melody is too complicated and I do multiple takes to cut parts out. There's a parallel to writing sentences - decide the point you want to make then delete the unnecessary stuff.

Hope that helps.
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Old 23-11-2015, 01:12 AM   #10
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Re: Creating Melody With A Chord Progression

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Originally Posted by Sacarious View Post
Thats what sucks about coming from a guitar background, I can play piano but when it comes to "writing" a melody... I usually resort to either singing along or playing lead licks lol

frig sakes
Have you looked into any of the software that translates guitar audio into midi?

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Old 23-11-2015, 01:13 AM   #11
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Re: Creating Melody With A Chord Progression

Sometimes What I end up doing is resampling guitar riffs and turning them into blips and glitches, but im still learning how. I know skrillex used to or still does but i want to sound anything BUT like him lol.

No offense to the skirllex fans out there, but "that kinda thing aint my bag baby"
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Old 23-11-2015, 01:13 AM   #12
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Re: Creating Melody With A Chord Progression

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Originally Posted by relic View Post
Have you looked into any of the software that translates guitar audio into midi?
youre a rep for these guys now?

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Old 23-11-2015, 01:22 AM   #13
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Re: Creating Melody With A Chord Progression

Midi into audio?
hrmm.. It sounds nice, but i can forsee many possible issues lol
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Old 23-11-2015, 01:39 AM   #14
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Re: Creating Melody With A Chord Progression

Yeah I sometimes press record and noodle on my controller and then cut out the good bits and make variations on those

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Old 23-11-2015, 01:41 AM   #15
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Re: Creating Melody With A Chord Progression

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Originally Posted by FunkMasterBrown View Post
I dont understand how theres sooo many people that compose music but can't write a melody without using a formula to pick notes meticulously from chords they have identified and constructed through spending ages learning music theory. If you cant improvise a melody along to some simple chords you have no business in composition soz
I agree but then this is something that comes so easily I would rather just use my ear then mess with tools...but if it is something that helps someone get out of a slump or get a new idea why not?
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Old 23-11-2015, 01:43 AM   #16
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Re: Creating Melody With A Chord Progression

Ya, I agree..
I was mostly only planning on using these methods to increase the productivity and creativity.
It is pointless to limit yourself and say "right or wrong" way to do ANYTHING.
So the more ways you can do the same thing, the better
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Old 23-11-2015, 08:07 PM   #17
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Re: Creating Melody With A Chord Progression

Very often I create melodies first and make chords later. Other times I'll just mess around on the piano and use that as my basis for a song. Honestly I have no problem making a melody; it's the sound design that always gets me.
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Old 23-11-2015, 09:06 PM   #18
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Re: Creating Melody With A Chord Progression

If OP is asking how to get a melody from an existing harmony - first think of a rhythm pattern for the melody ie. a melody without pitches. Imagine you are doing a snare drum solo. Try to build up 3 or 4 pattern motives ie little fragments of rhythm that you can repeat and do different combinations with. Then write your chords under this pattern. Next for each chord decide if the melody on top is starting with a consonance (rest) or dissonance (tension) and ending with a consonance or dissonance. The way you figure out what is a consonance vs what is a dissonance is: consider the root note of the chord, then decide what is dissonant interval and what is consonant interval. Nowadays most folks will think:

minor second = dissonant
major second = consonant (edgy)
minor third = consonant (trivial)
major third = consonant (trivial)
fourth = consonant (edgy)
tritone = dissonant
major fifth = consonant (trivial)
Minor sixth = dissonant
Major sixth = consonant (edgy)
Dom 7th = consonant (edgy)
Maj 7th = consonant (edgy)


Next figure out which notes are accented - these notes fall on beats or are longer relative to the note that came before. Mark these with an "A". If you want consonance , give consonant pitches to the accented notes - if you want dissonance, give dissonant pitches to the accented notes.

It doesn't matter whether consonances or dissonances go on the unaccented notes.

You also want to make sure that your melody isn't leaping all over the place, unless that's the effect you want, in which case you should do it consistently. Otherwise counterbalance upward leaps in pitch with downward leaps in pitch and vice versa.

You also might want to use similar shapes of melody for similar shapes in rhythm.

Now consider the third of your chord. Usually people don't put the major third of the root on top of that root's minor chords, and similarly with a fourth on top of a major chord. This causes a minor second dissonance which is exacerbated if transposed up an octave to a minor 9th. So this may mean you have to change some of your note choices. Try nudging a note up or down a 1/2 step.

This whole approach is rather like putting together a puzzle, but you can get some really great results out of it if you are willing to put in the time.
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:58 PM   #19
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Re: Creating Melody With A Chord Progression

Quote:
Originally Posted by saneliv View Post
If OP is asking how to get a melody from an existing harmony - first think of a rhythm pattern for the melody ie. a melody without pitches. Imagine you are doing a snare drum solo. Try to build up 3 or 4 pattern motives ie little fragments of rhythm that you can repeat and do different combinations with. Then write your chords under this pattern. Next for each chord decide if the melody on top is starting with a consonance (rest) or dissonance (tension) and ending with a consonance or dissonance. The way you figure out what is a consonance vs what is a dissonance is: consider the root note of the chord, then decide what is dissonant interval and what is consonant interval. Nowadays most folks will think:

minor second = dissonant
major second = consonant (edgy)
minor third = consonant (trivial)
major third = consonant (trivial)
fourth = consonant (edgy)
tritone = dissonant
major fifth = consonant (trivial)
Minor sixth = dissonant
Major sixth = consonant (edgy)
Dom 7th = consonant (edgy)
Maj 7th = consonant (edgy)


Next figure out which notes are accented - these notes fall on beats or are longer relative to the note that came before. Mark these with an "A". If you want consonance , give consonant pitches to the accented notes - if you want dissonance, give dissonant pitches to the accented notes.

It doesn't matter whether consonances or dissonances go on the unaccented notes.

You also want to make sure that your melody isn't leaping all over the place, unless that's the effect you want, in which case you should do it consistently. Otherwise counterbalance upward leaps in pitch with downward leaps in pitch and vice versa.

You also might want to use similar shapes of melody for similar shapes in rhythm.

Now consider the third of your chord. Usually people don't put the major third of the root on top of that root's minor chords, and similarly with a fourth on top of a major chord. This causes a minor second dissonance which is exacerbated if transposed up an octave to a minor 9th. So this may mean you have to change some of your note choices. Try nudging a note up or down a 1/2 step.

This whole approach is rather like putting together a puzzle, but you can get some really great results out of it if you are willing to put in the time.

You have givin me much to work with here, thanks alot

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