There’s nothing like a good melody to catch the listeners attention and set your track apart from the rest. Writing great melodies isn’t easy, so follow these 5 tips to make life easier.
1. Make it hummable!
Complex melodies are great but necessarily that memorable. If you want ti create something that sticks in peoples heads and is the definition of ‘catchy’, then it’s worth trying to make it short and easy enough to hum. This tactic works across all genres, from Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes, to Get Ur Freak On by Missy Elliott – try the hum test on your next melody!
2. Get rhythmic
If you’re stuck when creating, adding a rhythmic element like a conga loop can help take you in a different direction. Using the natural groove of the loop as a guide, you might hear certain parts that stand out and that you can write your melody to. You can then delete the loop and just retain the groove in your melody, without any trace of the original loop.
3. Converting audio to MIDI
An alternative to sampling audio (and a good way to avoid clearing samples!) is to take an audio loop of a melody you like and use your DAWs ‘Audio to MIDI’ functionality. This will vary slightly from one DAW to another, but essentially you will get a MIDI version of the audio you choose. It’s not always perfect, but it’s a good starting point to then change into a different sound and edit to take inspiration from the original.
4. Melody Sauce
Melody Sauce is a great tool for inspiration and bringing new ideas to your music. You can use it to create highly usable melodies to drop straight into your tracks or to give you a starting point to edit and maker even more unique. The controls are simple and intuitive to use, giving you the ability to take the melodies in a direction that fits the style you want. This is a lot more flexible than steps 2 and 3.
5. FX and automation
Make sure your melodies have depth and excitement by editing different parameters like velocity and note length. This will give your melody a more human feel, particularly if you drew it in MIDI rather than recording a live take. You can also give your melodies a bit more movement by using delay and filtering, automating the dry/wet and filter cut off.