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 […]

Joni Mitchell

Writing Song Melodies That Can Build a Fanbase

Do you get stuck at the melody-writing stage of songwriting? Do you find chords easy, but melody hard? What can you do to come up with melodies that are enticing and attractive to an audience? Melodies and lyrics are the trickiest parts of songwriting for most songwriters, because those are likely the parts of songs […]

Jack Garratt

What the Direction of Your Melodies Does For the Meaning of Your Songs

I’m a fan of any songwriting process that requires concentrating on the melody first. The main reason I like melody-first writing is that you’re concentrating on the part of a song that’s the most hummable, and the easiest for someone to remember. If there is one criticism I have of melody first processes, it’s that […]

John Legend

Using Opposite Approaches For Your Verse and Chorus

As listeners of music, we like to hear contrasting ideas as a song progresses, even if we’re not consciously aware of it. In songwriting, a contrasting idea might mean something like this: one part of a melody that’s harmonized mainly with minor chords, followed by a section harmonized with mostly major ones. Contrast in a […]