2. Melody Exercises
I'm going to give you guys basically a few different formulas to write some melodies with and, uh we're going keep things a little bit basic at first, but we're going to wrap up from there so number one who's just pick a key aniki um for the sake of simplicity, I picked a minor so once you pick a key identify the notes in the key a minor is super easy because just a b c d e f g and pick four notes in the key that you like and write something that's it and keep it least stupidly simple at first and concert yourself to those four notes so I'll show you what I did with that first thing was identified it all right figure figure that out? Um once I had that down, I picked a few notes that I liked a c e n g why not right there you go um starting a melody this is for when you can't really think of anything and you're just trying to give yourself some basic training wheels he's a step by step process you can then start adding harmonies on top of that now with me explain what the difference bet...
ween harmonies and melodies is if you look a a melody and melodies basically you're horizontal approach to music it's accuse it moving forward it's the part that you walk away with well the harmonies air stacked vertically that's what goes on top of the melody those air cords and they consist of pitches that air played simultaneously and while melodies consists of pitches they're not place simultaneously it's uh one note it's basically a succession of notes with a certain rhythm one of the harmonies go on top of that so if you wanted to write a harmony top of this in this case major thirds just pick e and b over the sea and the g then you get this as sounding dumb still I understand but now what I would do with that basic concept is I would learn more scales and I would learn more harmony notes uh that go with those scales and just go from there and keep making new ones and basically you get to a point where in your in your inner ear not the one that keeps you from feeling dizzy but you're here that hears music you'll automatically start to know which notes or the right notes you start doing exercises like these um must get forward too but I start doing this as well on the piano roll so like safer at this since this same idea so they took the entire a minor scale one moment if anyone's got any questions I'm happy to answer them thie practices you got here basically they're wondering needle faced was wondering would imagine it worked both ways fast too slow thrash beat to a breakdown of sorts but like that how does that change when you're doing well order children tempos yet well we're going to cover that in detail later on but that's super important when you're going from one song section to the next that teo give us much distinction between the sections of you have one part in the song like adverse that's a very choppy rhythm uh rapid fire whatever you might want to contrast that with long held out notes in the next section and it's not a it's not a rule but that kind of thing yes generally does work just like thrash beats into breakdowns or blast beats into halftime beats it's the same the same exact concept if you have the same types of rhythm patterns and your vocals going from section to section or not vocals in your melody gun from section a section there's going to be no different, no differentiation between the sections and what's the point of that so uh any other questions before I could go on you may as well adrian b s s was actually mentioning that he has relative pitch and one thing that's really frustrating when you're trying to write songs and I kept feeling melodies, he says any any experience with this in your studio or how to overcome it or if that's even a bad thing relative pitch well, I'll tell I'll say this I know people with perfect pitch and they say that it's horrible because you can hear every little problem you could be trying to write music you hear that air conditioning whining and you'll hear the note of their conditioning clashing with what you're writing perfect pitch is not all it's cracked up to be a really good relative pitch is a great thing um everything I've been suggesting here will help people with relative pitch and I'll say this most people have really to pitch most people don't have perfect pitch if you have perfect pitch, you probably don't need to do this stuff and good for you you were born lucky, but the rest of us don't and developing relative pitch is super important and it's very difficult but get that ear training software and do it and learn how to play it on your instrument as well I do all the exercise is that it gives you on the piano roll with your voice and on your instrument and you'll get better with relative pitch, so I'm wondering I mean in your opinion, then being a best relative pitch type of instrumentalists vocalist vocal this probably is preferable to being a perfect pitch local for your insanity yeah, yeah, I mean, if, uh if it's going to make you insane that you can hear every single pitch that's going on around you at all times and identify it. That just seems to me like too much information. Uh, though they are a lot faster at writing things, so I will say that, but, uh, people shouldn't be discouraged from getting good at writing just because they have relative pitch. Okay, um, you should do everything that hadn't showing right now because I have relative pitch and I've got him pretty good. He did have a jump back into the chat room here, mentioned that, you know, it's it's essentially, he feels like when he's writing songs it comes down to is stealing other people's work. So for instance, I'll sit down to write a melody out, but it will come from be inspired from another song, I guess that's what he means by relative melody writing essentially is the case that's good? Yeah, that's great. Okay, that's, that's what everyone does I'm in you're always everyone's a product of their influences. And so if he finds that he's doing that, what he should make a point of is learning stuff that he really likes rather than just learning anything at all because what you learn ultimate, he comes out and what you write, so if he, you know, say, goes to music school doesn't like jazz and all that stuff comes out in his writing something that's maybe not a good thing so it's going to be very conscious of what you know what you're putting in because garbage in garbage out or golden gold out I guess but I think that's fine as long as he's not deliberately ripping people off weii talk about that a lot actually in the other song writing course with though some step by steps on how to incorporate your influences without plagiarizing your influences there's a big difference but he should be ashamed of of having influences come through in music all right, so back to this so this might seem basic to some of you but it's super important building harmonies so you pick a scale, then you just add different harmonies to this scale so we got a minor right here what? I'm going to do it just to make our lives less stressful and up the temple on this exercise he has will thank me later for this who wants to listen to the scales go by that slow? Okay, okay. And then what? What I would do from there just as an exercise is start add different harmony groups like start adding thirds sequence go on to force I added six I mean you could go on forever tio into any of them but the point is that you I learned the scale you're learning the intervals from the scale and you're actually putting them onto a piano role it's not just in your head it's being translated onto your hard drive that's uh that's so important putting into tape however you want to say it the important part is that you get it out of here and into reality this was six sound like now the reason I did it on the piano rolled right now knowing guitars because I want you guys tio take away from this that I'm doing it I do this kind of stuff not just on my primary instrument of doing it on the piano roll as well and I do it in ways outside of guitar so that I can I can write properly for non guitarists if all you do is write your primary instrument you're not going to be able tio you're not gonna understand so well how to arrange something for another instrument so make yourself right for other instruments this is a great way to get going with that know that said let's talk about melody's just a little more we're back to this guy it's just a simple little thing I wrote in a mire now I play the different elements I play you the different elements altogether real quick and then I'll explain what's going on how to make this into an exercise now just so you guys understand since this class is a supplement to the song writing class in the song writing class who spent maybe I'd say sick full hours talking about the philosophy behind this stuff and theories behind this stuff, and right now I'm trying to give you guys more just practical, practical things you can do step by step to just get better. So we've got three things happening got a background and I just picked a few chords and then I learned what chords they were on, what scale they were out of it. So I decided to just put a melody down out of that scale with no nothing extra. So what that's called his foreground and background you got your background information, which is the chords you get your foreground, which is the melody. The thing that the mailman will be singing to himself is the foreground. The thing that basically, uh, was say, is the wallpaper for that or the yes, the structure of the house would be the harmony I put in there the chords. But then I added a middle ground as well, which is right here, and that would be a harmony part that goes with the melody harmonized melody, you're together, okay, and all of them together. Okay, so exercise is what I would do if you're having trouble writing a melody from scratch like you don't know how to write a melody without something going on. Underneath it, a lot of people can't do that. So that's what this was meant for pick a chord progression, any court progression just make it be in the same key that's it was important here. If you're going to do in a minor pick four chords there, a name on it if you're going to do it in e flat major, pick four course that any flat major, but stick to the key and constrain yourself to that and lay down those four chords and some sort of a rhythm. Hey, just the courts something cool you can do is if you're having trouble thinking of a core progression and borrow one from another song that's, not plagiarism court, you can't copyright a chord progression, you can copyright a melody, though, so, uh, steal a chord progression, figure out its key a step too, and constrain yourself to a certain number of notes like say, I'm going to take five notes out of this key and I'm gonna read a melody with them and then at a harmony on top of it, which also comes in the same key. Now the way to get better with that is what I was showing you guys earlier with the piano rule you start sequencing in all these different intervals made your here, we'll start to know what's going on ok any questions from anyone you know really a lot of the topic of the conversation in chat is about that essentially doing this year training and listening to all this music but then not carrying it over into your song writing and your composition and so maybe we can you know really dive into that top it kind of is the basis of our q and a session unless you wanted to you know really give any more tips and tricks because giving tips and tricks throughout but I definitely want to answer people's questions about how to incorporate this into their writing one thing I will say is the more of this you do the more the right stuff will show up in your writing this is two separate things but when you're writing you should be thinking about theory you should be thinking about harmony you should be thinking about and this if you should just be writing if you do this stuff and look at it like going to the gym or something like that or practice routine for your instrument like when you're a drummer you practice rudiments your guitar player practice scales when your writer you should practice things like these different writing elements and actually being able to hear them and know what's going on and then it will naturally work its way into your writing it's not a matter of doing this and then writing something with this actual exercise yeah this is just pure exercise right like this yeah that makes perfect sense because what you're doing here in this process of your training is expanding your vocabulary of music and then total making it and utilizing all those pieces and the more you do it the bigger your vocabulary get is that essentially and the faster you get yeah good point that's on and the faster you get it I don't have to think about this stuff I don't sit here and and sequence out scales and harmonies that go for the scales anymore um my ear just tells me where to go uh I think that if people actually start doing writing exercises the writing will improve quite a bit as opposed teo as opposed to save its just on ly one inspired for instance or on ly from exercises that's not going to be a good either so I think set aside a time whether it's thirty minutes or an hour fifteen minutes to just get get better with this stuff and uh here's an example of if you don't know where to go it's still a chord progression now sometimes melody could be something really really simple sometimes all you need is a court progression and the cord itself the corporation itself will give you the melody so take this for instance and what I want us to listen for with this is where do you think the melody is it it's to me it's really obvious and I went ahead and learned it on guitar. Now play it afterwards but listen through this example and try to find the melody notes I played that one the whole way through is really long melody but it's not immediately obvious because everything is playing in unison. But just listen to the top notes of the cords that's where your melody is so I went ahead and I learned it on guitar and I will play it for you guys and again, this is just me identifying war than note lives within the harmony I know what I think is interesting to note here is that played on guitar by itself it's not cool at all it sounds almost like nothing but when you put everything together it sounds pretty epic and that's another thing that people should keep in mind about mellie's sometimes simple is better than the listen to the peace again and try to imagine what this would be like if there is a complicated melody going on or something that went between the cores or whatever it wasn't just sticking to what is most simple and best it would ruin in my opinion, is check it out again cool, so play the melody again and again, it's just the highest note in the courts basically is where I'm picking that out from that's not something you just play on guitar it sounds really done but it's a good thing to know we would move forward and actually try to write stuff over cool core progression maybe that's all you need to do so be wary of over complicating things in my opinion move forward onto the next will exercise if it was going any questions I'm open to them right now or not has right now chat room they're still doing pretty good man it seems like in that last example that you know so much of the melody was wrapped up into the whole method of the song s so you have one approach to that that song when the chords and the harmony is kind of, you know, build into it so really it's never melody on its own is it? Well, it totally depends because in some cases you can have the melody on its own but lots of instrumentalists like guitar players uh aren't really that good at writing melodies because guitar isn't isn't a good instrument for melodies usually eso guitar players will often try to play too many notes because the notes don't sustain like, say the way that a vocal can sustain forever so you can just take one note and ride it as long as it needs to go or with a wind instrument or it was a violent that's got a boat whose go forever on a note guitar, you hit the note and dies. Yeah, so there's. Certain types of melodies that just don't work. And if all you do is play guitar and learn guitar music, you're not going to be able to get those types of more simple melodies. Where things just seem to bet held out. That doesn't. That doesn't generally come. Two guitar players learning non guitar music is super helpful, and then the more that you do, the better you get at writing melodies that can stand alone, or at least knowing when a simple melody that doesn't sound good and guitar. Wilson good arranged for another instrument.
Ratings and Reviews
a Creativelive Student
Eyal and company deserve a pat on the shoulder or a huge hug for this one! The class was great and action packed. I love Ryan and the Creative Live team's input as well. The class was very focused and helpful, with great exercises and immediate take aways. I love his active listening part and watching that become applied to different scenarios. One that I valued greatly was the song review - I'd love to see more stuff like that too. I submitted a song and received feedback that I personally felt was valuable. I was able to guess at a few items but picked up new stuff as well. Anything with Eyal at the helm is golden. The CreativeLive site is gold and is a great setup as well. Your team rocks!
Another amazing job by a man that is becoming a personal inspiration of mine. Thanks so much for these great courses and I hope to see many more Metal courses in the future here on CreativeLive. Can we please get the Keynote.pdf like we've received in the other products? If it's a hassle then no big deal, but having that available is very helpful. Thanks again and keep up the great work. Randy R. Portland, OR
a Creativelive Student
Please give us the keynote pdf file as mentioned! This course is amazing and so inspiring! Thanks a lot!