Linda Creed - Thom Bell

When Melodies Leap Upward

There’s no denying that the shape of a melody has a lot to do with the mood of music. However, melodic shape is a tricky one to calculate. It’s not based on a rule as much as it’s based on psychology. On a psychological level, we know, for example, that: melodies that are static, sitting […]

Genesis - Wind & Wuthering

Downward-Moving Verse Melodies, and When They’re a Good Idea

When you look at a typical verse melody, it’s probably most common that you’ll notice that the typical direction is upward, particularly if you compare the first few notes to the final few before the chorus hits. It’s time well spent to look deeper, though, at how good verse melodies move, because where the voice […]

Carole King

Making Vocal Line Rhythm Work For You

Rhythm is a crucial part of the energy of music. When music is more rhythmically active, you feel an intensity that generates excitement, and that can be an important part of breathing life into a song. Trying to get a handle on writing song lyrics? Discover the benefits of making a lyrics-first method your new […]

Singer songwriter

Humming to Fix a Melody

The quality of a song’s melody rates pretty high when it comes to listing elements of a song that are most easily recognizable by people. It’s what we hum, so it’s important. How hummable are your song melodies? Here’s something you should try with any song for which you’ve spent any time at all working […]

Shawn Mendes

The Same Melody From Different Angles

This is something that doesn’t necessarily occur to casual listeners to pop music: the number of times we hear a melody that’s really just the same short 4- or 5-note cell that gets repeated over and over with different chords underneath. Like starting the songwriting process by working out the chords first? There are benefits […]

Guitar - chords - songwriter

Fitting Melodies to Chords, and Vice Versa

Melody notes only sound right if the chords underneath them fit properly. If you’re a chords-first songwriter, you need to say it the other way — chords only sound right if the melody you eventually write fits them. But in any case, good songs are a partnership between melodies and chords, and then they need to […]