Step #5 of Writing Great Melodies – Repeat the Phrase

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Step #5 of Writing Great Melodies – Repeat the Phrase

As most songwriters know, repetition is important when trying to write great melodies. After all, an earworm can only be formed if a melodic motif is drilled into a listener’s mind. However, we can’t just duplicate phrases note for note. We have to create variation in the phrases to help keep a song interesting.

This article is a summarised transcript of step five of our video “How to Write Great Melodies in 7 Simple Steps’’. Click here to watch the video for more details, explanations and examples.

How to Repeat a Phrase

For the purposes of explaining the concept of repetition, we’re going to call our phrase the combination of our melodic motif plus its rhythmic variation. For an example, view the picture below:

During repetition, we repeat the melodic phrase that we’ve come up with again. However, instead of copying the phrase, we have to ensure that we vary the repeat in some way. This can be done through methods such as going up the scale, moving the notes around slightly or changing the rhythm.

To help you build your melody quickly, click here to download a free PDF eBook containing all the diatonic chords written out in 6 different keys titled “Diatonic Chords in 6 Different Keys”:

Changes in Chords Due to Repetition

Throughout this process of melodic repetition and variation, you may find other chords which work well with your melody, which are different to the initial 3 or 4 you picked to begin the song with.

This is normal because the first few chords we pick are just to establish the key and keep ourselves grounded. Those chords don’t have to be the only chords we use in the entire song.

Conclusion: Step #5 of Writing Great Melodies – Repeat the Phrase

It’s important for us as songwriters to remember that repetition is what breeds familiarity with a melody for our listeners. At the same time, enough variation must be used so that there are slight differences between repeats. This way, we can avoid sounding boring or repetitive.

This is only the fifth of seven steps to writing great melodies. Check out the full article for all 7 steps or watch the video here now.

Turn your inspiration into beautiful songs with step-by-step guidance through two professional songwriting methods. By the end of this course, not only will your tool belt be stocked; you’ll have a plan and a method for finishing your songs – all of them:

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About the author

Hi! My name is Joan Smith, I’m a travel blogger from the UK and founder of Hevor. In this blog I share my adventures around the world and give you tips about hotels, restaurants, activities and destinations to visit. You can watch my videos or join my group tours that I organize to selected destinations. [Suggestion: You could use the Author Biography Block here]

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