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Writing Melodies - Part 1

Lesson 12 from: Songwriting in Logic Pro X for Electronic Music Production

Tomas George

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Lesson Info

12. Writing Melodies - Part 1


Class Trailer

Writing Drums and Bass Part Introduction


Making Drums Beats with Ultrabeat


Beats with Ultrabeat and Drummer


Writing Bass Parts - Part 1


Writing Bass Parts - Part 2


Writing Drums and Bass Parts Assignment


Writing Chords Introduction


Writing Chords


Lesson Info

Writing Melodies - Part 1

Hello. In this lecture, we're going to be looking at writing instrumental melodies. So later on, we will be looking at lyrics and we will be looking at vocal melodies. But right now, we're going to be looking at instrumental melodies, whether you're writing a song with vocals, whether you're writing an instrumental song, melodies are extremely important. A lot of the time, this is what people will catch on to. This is what they will really listen to is the melodies of a track. This is what a lot of people will sing along to in the clubs or hum along to at home. So getting a nice catchy melody is very important if you want your song to become popular. So let's actually just create a new track. Let's go over to the plus button here and let's go on software instruments and lets choose es two synthesizer and then hit CRE let's open up the est by clicking on the channel strip here for now, let's just use a preset. So let's go over to synth leads and let's just play some of these just to hea...

r what they sound like. Let's try my ay lead now. How are we going to open up musical typing by hitting command and K OK. And the good thing to do if you're new to synthesis, if you're new to sound design is to start off with the presets and then find one that you like and then just go through and tweak some of the knobs change the filter, cut off, change the resonance, change the drive, change the shape of the waves, maybe even play around with the octaves and the tuning. And if you're really stuck, just go down to the macross down here and just move some of these, this isn't a course about sound design. But I do think sound design is extremely important when songwriting, composing and producing music. So I'm just gonna find a suitable preset. Let's put this up a few octaves. OK? This will do and then it actually changes from legato to Polly Legato creates this sound and you play two notes whilst one has been held down pool it. On the other hand, we create this sound separately, which is what we really want for melodies at the moment, we can always go back and change it to legato or even mono later on mono means we only play one note at a time. Poly allows us to play more than one notes. Polyphonic, monophonic. OK. Let's close the es two for now. No musical typing. There are many different ways you can write melodies. If you've trained your ear and you know what the chords sound like. You can literally just sing the notes in your head and then work out a melody. This is one technique a lot of singers use. They don't really know a lot of the theory. Sometimes they don't work out the notes on the piano, they just hear the notes in the head and then they vocalize this. However, if you're not a singer or if you're new to producing music or writing music, I do recommend going through the technique. I'm about to show you is where you can work out what notes you can play and then you produce the melody from looking at the chords. The easiest way obviously is just playing the melody and knowing by ear. But of course, this will take a lot of practice and this will take a lot of years of training your ear. So now let's actually get this piano part and let's drag this down, hold down alt onto this Sim Flame. It's also a good idea to name our tracks just so we can quickly look at our project so we can note what instruments is, what quickly. So let's double click on this to bring up the midi editor. And here we can see the chords so we can analyze what the chords are and then we can also work out what notes we can use for the melody. I recommend starting off with the root the third and the fifth when writing a melody just because these will work perfectly. We can of course, use the fourth, the sixth, maybe even the seventh. But a lot of the time it is a lot easier just to start with the root, the third and the fifth and then move the melody from there. So we have this c and from looking at this, we have a flattened third. So we have ac minor. Then we have uh B flats major because we have the D and the F, then we have this F minor because we have the flat and third and then we have in E flat major. So I'm actually going to mute these. I'm just going to select all command A and then make sure the mute tool is selected up here and then right click and this will mute. Now, we can just use this as a reference point. We can just use these notes to see what we need to base our melody around. Just gonna change this arrow tool to a pencil tool. And then I'm gonna start off of the third, which is the E flat and this is actually going to be repeated. Next of all, we have the cord, just a B flat major. So I'm going to go up to an F which is the fifth and then up to be flat. Let's just straighten this up a bit. It's just one technique don't have to do this and it is a good idea to do a combination of this, know the theory, know the notes and also use your ear. It's a good idea to make some patterns that go up and down and fluctuate, but don't jump too high. So people can really sing along at home if you want a catchy memorable melody. Ok. The third chord is this F minor. So I'm gonna go up to the sea and down to the G and the last code was the E flat. So I'm gonna stay on this G and try it here. Let's see what this sounds like. This could sound amazing or it could sound a little bit too robotic, but there's only one way to find out and that's listen back and adapt all those notes fit. It's just a little bit boring. It's too slow. We need to put a lot more notes in really to make it a catchy melody. So hold down alt to duplicate notes. Remember the second call was this be flat? You can put in the seventh phase of passing notes and then we have this F minor. OK? So I'm just really putting in notes based around the course, the route, the third and the fifth and a few passing notes here and there just to make it sound a little bit more interesting. And the last one was an E flat gonna start on this B flat, which is the fifth of E flat. Then we're gonna add the passing notes. Is this a flat, let's hear this back now. Hopefully, it sounds a little bit more interesting. We have a pattern that goes up and then down again. Ok, we're starting to get somewhere. You can always add a few more notes in as well. I might even add a few octaves to make it sound a little bit more exciting and get a bit more of a groove going. I'm actually gonna move some of these over to the offbeat as well. So we get a bit more of a groovy rhythm and here I'm going to add an octave that's AJ that needs to be, let's note here. G let's put it down to another note. Let's try an E flat. I quite like that pattern of the first one. So I'm gonna kind of copy this over. So we get a memorable pattern going over again. So the dun dun dun dun dun dun, that kind of stuff, move this over to the offbeat. So the fourth note, I'm gonna put up an octave 1234. So this one gonna put up an octave from here, which is the A flat. So this chord is remember B flat. So let's put this down to ad let's hear this bat now. OK, we're getting s kind of a pattern going now, a lot of the time it is about patterns. So it's quite memorable, but it changes around. So what it really does is has this rhythm on the offbeat and the fourth note it jumps up and that's kind of the pattern at the moment. Of course, it has to fit with the chords, not necessarily, but it will sound nice if it does fit. So here I'm gonna start on the offbeat. So the end of the, the first beats looking back at the previous one and this will go productive 123 and number four, remember this is an F minor this quad. So I'm gonna go up to the, this note here and then we're gonna have a little sneaky passing note here and then go back down to this one. Let's hear this now. And the last one, I'm gonna make it different. So the pattern actually changes. OK. So we're starting to get a bit of a pattern here. Now, I've actually changed some of the rhythms around. So it's not too predictable. So if we zoom in, we have some rhythms that overlap a little bit, just gonna fix these. There's one that I didn't really like, which was I think this one here. So this is a B flat. So I'm gonna change this to an F and then I'm just gonna add in some more rhythms to make it a bit more exciting. We've got the no order. Now, if you put some rhythms in it, make it a bit more rhythmical and this is quite popular. A lot of EDM music is have a lot of harsh fast rhythms in the melodies. Then I'm going to create a leading note here and again, I'm going to create another leading note. Remember this is a B flat major. Remember it was still on the Sea minor. So this d does fit, it's not the note you would really use as a strong note, but as a leading note, it's fine. OK. So we're getting more of a fast paced riff now. So this is more of a riff than a melody. I think we're starting to get somewhere. We've got the shape and now I'm adding some different parts in just to make it a little bit more exciting. A lot of EDM music, electronic dance music does have these fast paced rhythms and it's just to add to the energy. OK. So now we're on the B flat. So we're starting on this f which is the fifth fast paced leading that pair up to the D repeat this note again, which is the seventh can actually have that as a leading note. OK. So now we're getting a bit of a shape zooming out. We can see what's actually going on. Let's listen back and hear what this sounds like. OK, you can hear. Now, obviously, the first half is quite similar and then this one here, I'm actually gonna get to copy the first part just to make it more repetitive. So I'm gonna copy this first section. This first chord, then we're going to change the notes so they fit in with the cord. A lot of writing melodies is about repetition but slight differences. So for example, this third chord, I need to change this really into an F minor because this third chord is an F minor. So this is one technique is move the patterns but make sure the notes change. The first note here is an E flat. So I'm just gonna drag all this up to an F. Now, let's zoom in and see if these notes fit. So here it's a G, I don't really want a G, I'd rather have an, a flat because that's the third of F. Then we have an A natural which does not really fit. There's a passing that it could work, but I'm gonna move this up to a B flat. Then we have this E natural which does not fit. So we move this down to ad shop or an E flat. Then we have this F which fits this D, I'm gonna move this up to an ad sharp or E flat, which is the seventh of the chord of the scale. Then ac which fits and then now I'm gonna move this down to an A flat. OK, let's hear this rhythm. Now, let's hear what our melody sounds like. OK, we're getting there this time. I'm actually gonna change the last one, its last pattern and the first half I'm gonna have the same as the second one. So up to 0. and I copy the second one. Remember the second one was a B flats and this is an E flat. So let's just look at the notes. So we have this F so I'm gonna move this down to E flat. Then we have a B flat which is fine. Then we have ad, so I'm gonna move this up to ad sharp on E flat. Then you have an A flat which can work. Yeah. Right. Let's hear our melody back now. OK. The only thing I don't like now is actually the very last bit. I'm gonna copy over this pattern here. So I'm gonna copy over the pattern from the second one just to make it a bit more repetitious and just so it's more of a catchy melody. So remember the last cord is an E flat. So move this down to an E flats and this one, let's keep it as a root and let's hear what this sounds like now. And then we're going to go into the synthesizer and change some stuff around there. OK? So that is one of our melodies. Of course, you don't just have to have one melody. We do have stuff called counter melodies as well, which we will be looking at later on.

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