Composing Instrumental Beats — Killer Melodies

What do all the greatest songs and instrumental beats — in any genre of music —  all have in common?  They are all driven by a great melody. A melody is a set of single notes in succession that form a musical line. The hook to your favorite song, a guitar phrase, and succession of single piano notes in an instrumental beat are all examples of a melody.

Melodies don’t have to be «catchy» to be effective. A melody that displays a deep, powerful emotion can be a great piece of music without being «catchy» or «poppy.» For example, if you are producing a deep instrumental beat about a death or lost love, it can be driven by dark, emotional melodies that don’t necessarily «stick in your head,» but rather portray the emotion of the song successfully through effective melodies.

So what can you do as a producer to become better ar producing great melodies in their instrumental beats?

Well I do believe that some of us just naturally have more of a knack for this sort of thing than others. The best songwriters who have written countless great melodies are creatively gifted people who can do this a lot easier than some of us. HOWEVER, I do believe that everyone has the ability to learn how to become better at creating melodies. So I’d like to share with you two very powerful tips that will help you to create better melodies for your instrumental beats:

Listen to Different Kinds of Music: If you always listen to the same type of music, your minds ability to expand into new creative melodic ideas will be severely limited. Do not be afraid to venture out and listen to lots of different styles of music. Hate pop? Listen to it anyway. Can’t stand classical music? Que up that Chopin piece. In fact, I credit a great portion of my melody-making abilities and musical sense to a band that fits into the genre of «Progressive Metal.» Through my years of listening, my ears have consciously and subconsciously picked up ways of combining note sequences to make melodies for my instrumentals and beats that I never would have been able to make had I not been a student of their music.

And perhaps the most important way to become better at creating melodies:

LEARN MUSIC SCALES: OK normally someone would just advise you to learn «music theory.» But I find that people can get intimidated when it comes to tackling the entire subject of music theory. The aspect that can really help you when seeking to become better at writing melodies is musical note scales. Do some research online or buy a book about the different scales used in music. Apply these concepts to an instrument (piano, guitar, etc) and you will really begin to get the feel of how notes are associated with one another, which notes combine optimally together, and which moods are brought out by each scale. Learn the major, minor, blues, pentatonic, harmonic minor scales….and so on. As soon as I learned this aspect of music for guitar, I became a much better musician, composer, producer, and, well, melody maker!

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