There’s a good reason why repetition factors into most good songs: it ensures that a song is easy to remember, which means that people are more inclined to sing them.
But there are other qualities that make melodies easy to sing. And as a songwriter, you should consider the singability of your melodies to be an important part of a successful song. A listener’s ability to sing along helps to make that all-important connection, and make your music a personal experience for your audience.
Here are some other factors involved in making a song melody that’s easy to sing:
- Keep the range from getting too large. Songs that span an octave-and-a-half or more start to get difficult for typical audiences to sing along to.
- Use a good mix of stepwise motion and leaps. Stepwise motion means that the melody moves from one note to the letter name above or below it. A melodic leap means jumping several letter names. The mixture of steps and leaps is often easier than a melody that’s all steps or all leaps. A great example of a melody that mixes the two is Freddie Mercury’s “Love Of My Life,” which became a very popular sing-along for Queen at their concerts.
- A complex melody isn’t a mistake, but it’s good to have at least the hook as being something easy to sing. Verse and bridge melodies can tend to wander and be a bit trickier than choruses to sing. As long as your song has a chorus for which the structure is basic and easy for an amateur to sing along to, your song should be fine.
- Make sure that the strong beats of melodies fit with the chord of the moment. Melodies, particularly stepwise ones, will often use notes that don’t fit the chord that’s being played, and that’s usually fine. But strong beats (beats 1 and 3 in 4/4 time) usually need to fit the chord. Use your instincts on this one; you’ll know if the note isn’t matching.
- Make sure rhythm of the melody supports the rhythm and natural pulse of the lyric. In this regard, who the lyric sounds is almost more important than how the melody sounds. It’s vital to have you melody sound as though it’s making the words come naturally and easily out of your mouth.
If melodies have always mystified you, that’s what Chapter 5 of “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting”, 3rd Edition, is meant to help you with. Get the full 10-eBook Bundle for only #37 USD. And get a free copy of “Creative Chord Progressions” today. Read more..