Step #6 of Writing Great Melodies – Introduce Some Variation
Once we have the framework of our melody set up, a question that often next comes to mind is “Where do I go from here?”. In this blog post, we’ll talk about how introducing variation can help differentiate sections. We’ll also discuss methods you could use to add variation to your song’s melody.
This article is a summarised transcript of step six of our video “How to Write Great Melodies in 7 Simple Steps’’. Click here to watch the video for more details, explanations and examples.
Why Introduce Some Variation?
After writing multiple melodic motifs and joining them together, you’ll usually end up with one long melodic phrase. So, the idea of introducing variation to the second half of your melodic phrase is to look for moments where you can break the pattern that you’ve previously established.
This allows you to introduce an element of surprise to your melodies, and give little pieces of information to your listener to latch onto.
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”:
How to Introduce Some Variation
Take a look at the image below of a sample melodic phrase:
Notice how the melodic phrase is all made up of the same motif changed slightly. The first motif starts on a downbeat, and the second motif starts on an upbeat. Then, the third motif is pitched up to start on an E. Finally, the fourth motif introduces a note that ascends instead of descends when you compare it to the second motif.
As you can see based on this example, there are multiple ways to add variation to your melodic phrases. The secret to writing great melodies is knowing how to balance the right amounts of repetition and variation.
Conclusion: Step #6 of Writing Great Melodies – Introduce Some Variation
By introducing the right amounts of variation to our song, we capture our listeners’ interest. This way, our melodic motif can become embedded into our audience’s mind without boring or tiring them.
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