What Does It Mean To Hear Music In Your Head Songwriters – 3 Tips for Writing a Great Melody

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Songwriters – 3 Tips for Writing a Great Melody

Keeping your melody simple is an important aspect of writing a memorable melody. So what exactly does it mean to keep your tune simple? A key component of simplicity is repetition. The main thing is to repeat without being too repetitive. “But how do I know what’s too repetitive?” you might ask. Don’t worry, this is the easy part. This is where the idea of ​​the melodic motif comes from.

A motif is a piece of melody that repeats throughout your song. This will help shape the tone of your song. That’s what makes it memorable. A good motif is not a melodic line that repeats itself over and over again, but one that repeats and changes slightly. It creates a memorable melody and doesn’t sound too repetitive.

Let’s take a look at a few Beatles songs to learn more about what you can do with melodic patterns to keep your songs interesting.

1. Add to motif

Surely you’ve heard “She Loves You” before. Now go back and listen to the first three lines of the song. Listen to the melody appearing on the lines:

He loves you, yes he does

He loves you, yes he does

He loves you, yes yes, yes

In the very first line, the melodic motif is laid out in the line “He loves you, yes he does.” This is the motivation for this part of the song. How do I know? Well, it repeats on the second line. I know that the second time I listen to this tune, I have a motivation.

But what happens in the third line? Added topic. It starts with “He loves you, yes yes…” but then they add an extra note, a fourth “yes”. With this move, they managed to keep the familiarity of the first two lines and repeat the melody for the third time, but they kept it interesting but added a theme to the song for the third time.

Imagine in your head how it would sound (or out loud) if you repeated the original motif of the first line three times exactly the same way without adding a third. That would be boring, right? Adding to the third line is this.

Now, keep in mind that we’re only talking about tones here. In this case, the repetition of words is just a coincidence. The same applies to the example you’re about to read below.

2. Remove from the topic

Once you’ve developed a recurring motif and then seen the power to add to it, the next option is to create a motif and subtract from it.

As an example, let’s look at the song “Can’t Buy Me Love” by the Beatles. Again, listen to the first three lines of the song.

Can’t buy me love

In love

Can’t buy me love

Again, the melody in the first line, “Can’t buy me love,” sets the theme for this part of the song. This time, the Beatles didn’t wait to change tunes for the third time. They did it in the second line. They omitted the melody from the words “Can’t Buy Me” and only included the melody from the word “love”. By cutting out the first part of the original theme, we are hearing something familiar without having to hear the whole theme again. Then they go back to the line “Can’t buy me love” and repeat the whole motif in the third line.

Have you heard that keeping a part of the original style is an effective way to keep things familiar while still changing them enough to keep them from getting boring? Then again, imagine how boring this tune would have been if they’d repeated the Can’t buy me love tune three times instead of cutting it the second time.

It’s important to note that while the Beatles omitted the beginning of a previously established motif, you can subtract from the end of an already established motif. There are no strict rules here. The idea is simply to save a part of what we hear.

3. Change the subject ending

A third option for changing your theme is to create a motif and then change how it ends (or begins, if you prefer).

An example of this occurs in the Beatles song “Penny Lane”. Let’s check the first two lines of the melody:

Penny Lane, where a hairdresser is showing photographs

He was a pleasure to know every head

Again, our melodic motif is established in the first line of the tune with the words, “Penny Lane, the hairdresser showing photographs.”

This time, instead of shortening and adding to the melody, the second half turns out to be different when you hear it in the second line. are you listening About the same intonation in the first line, “Penny Lane, there’s a barber,” and in the second line, “She delights in every head.” These are the same notes with the same rhythm.

But the second half of the melody in the first line (the word “show photos”) is different from the second half of the melody in the second line (the word “know”). Notes change there. So we begin to hear something familiar, already established in the second line, but we end on something new. It’s a great way to create singable tunes because they’ll still be interesting by changing them, and because we’ve already heard the first part of them, they’re familiar.

It’s your turn

The key to a simple, melodic tune is a strong pattern. Once you get it, you can bend or break it and continue your song. The nostalgic melody repeats. Use the techniques here to ensure you don’t get too repetitive, and your fans will be singing along in no time.

With this information in mind, listen carefully to your favorite songs, listen to the themes they establish, and how they move away from them once they’re established. This will give you a lot of ideas to compose your song.

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