Writing Melodies (3 of 3)
© 2000, Tyler Tullock. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission. In "Memorable Melodies Part 1 & 2" I walked you though the basics of how to write a solid melody line. This time I am going to show you how to create 4 melodic lines that work together to create a section of a song (a verse or chorus for example). First, I would like to again go over the purpose of this article in case you missed it in parts 1 & 2… To teach you how to write melody form the ground up, step by step from a completely mechanical point of view. This will help you to learn to write melody by taking the "artistic risk" out of the process. Please read parts 1 & 2 before this part 3 so you get the entire picture. How 4 melody lines create a Verse, Chorus, Bridge, etc. Most sections (Verse, Chorus, Bridge, etc.) in pop music have 4 lines of lyrics. Each line of lyrics is sung to a melody that is written over 2 or 4 bars (measures) of chords. Are you with me so far? To demonstrate in a purely mechanical way how to write 4 lines that work together I wrote a melody line (bars 1 through 4) and then copied it 3 more times to create 4 identical melodic lines each 4 bars in length. Next, I modified the melody a little in lines 2 & 4 (yellow parts in the diagram below). Notice that the yellow parts are the same. I then modified the last bar of lines 2 & 4 but this time they are different from one another with the last bar of line 4 rising in pitch to lead you towards the next section of the song (verse, chorus, etc.). Symmetry It is all about a lot of symmetry and a few variations. What I mean by this can be demonstrated by the following examples: You might write a melody where…
- Lines 1 & 3 are similar and lines 2 & 4 are similar yet different than lines 1 & 3. You would want slight variations in lines 2 & 4 or 1 & 3 so that they are not identical.
- Lines 1 & 2 are similar and lines 3 & 4 are similar yet different than lines 1 & 2. You would want slight variations in lines 1 & 2 or 3 & 4 so that they are not identical.
- Lines 1, 2, & 3 are similar but line 4 is unique. In this case you might have a slight variation in 1 or more of lines 1, 2, or 3. It's all up to you!