Everyday there are endless amounts of people all differing in ages, installing a DAW, or Digital Audio Workstation, that they either stumbled upon while searching for music producing software, or by researching their favorite producer and grabbing that producer’s DAW of choice.
Most of the time, people believe that they can become a high-skilled producer in a matter of hours, and will just start creating drums and posting on all social media outlets, “Yo, I’m a producer with a big dream of sharing my music to the world, check out my Fire Beat!!!!!”. Sure, they may have created a nice drum sequence, however you can only do so much with drums.
Songs require a story and the melody provide that.
Think Melody as the MOST IMPORTANT element to your song!
Make the Melody SUPER MEMORABLE, SIMPLE, & CATCHY!
In a story, there will be details such as “The Knight Entered The Skeleton and Witch Infested Dungeon, Climbed a Tightrope 50feet to Enter The Dragon’s Lair, Slayed the Beast and Saved The Princess”.
If someone asks you what happened in the story, you’d be able to tell them those most memorable moments.
Categorize those memorable moments in to what we will call the “Hook”.
The Hook is the part of the song that catches the listeners attention, without a good hook, you won’t have a good story.
To better understand the concept, listen to any of your favorite songs that chart (gain recognition) well; you’ll find yourself whistling the hook, which in most cases is the Melody.
So Once Again Melody is: Top Line, what 99% of people will remember from your song and have stuck in their head while working in the office waiting to go to the club on Friday night, hear that Melody, and immediately chug their drink and start dancing along.
Think Chords as the Straight FootPath that you have dedicated for your story via Chord Progression.
Chord Progressions provide the emotional feeling to the song.
A happy song would typically use a more Pop Influenced chord progression [Major Key for this example] (I - IV - V) (I - vi - IV - V);
Major Chords are Capitalized Roman Numerals, Minor Chords are lowercase Roman Numerals. Where as a more emotionally driven sad song could use a progression [Minor Key for this example] (i - VI - III - VII).
The Chord Progression you use will determine the overall feeling and tone you want to convey.
I tend to have a desired emotion already in mind when I’m starting to write music. However, if you’re not sure of your desired imagery, just try to really imagine a video to your song; what story would the video be portraying to the viewer?
Use this imagery to provide your emotion, and pave your Chord Progression.
There’s also a really good website (hooktheory.com) which houses the Chord Progression, and Melody to many songs.
I personally will use this tool to find the Chords being used in some of my favorite songs of different emotions, and use them as my own while adjusting the chords to my chosen key.
I hope you start thinking of your music in these ways, and structure them accordingly. There’s millions of ways to come up with good chord progressions, and catchy melodies; in the end you will improve with practice!
Songwriter | Producer | DJ | Artist @ Atmeus