The melody is what makes us remember a song. Having an interesting melody is vital to connecting with the emotions of our listeners. In this article, we share one frequent mistake when composing a melody and a great way to fix it 🙂. Best of all, you can put this into practice no matter how much experience you have in composing.

💡Reminder: Melody is made up of pitch and rhythm.

Unfortunately, many young composers will focus only on the pitch when trying to find a melody, forgetting that rhythm is just as important – if not more important – when it comes to creating an interesting, impactful melody. Indeed, rhythm is the heartbeat of music, it gives our music power and makes it memorable.

When I started composing, several times I had an idea for a melody, but I didn’t really love it. Faced with that situation, I would try to fix it by changing the pitch, which didn't lead me anywhere. I’d eventually end up erasing the whole idea. Today, I have some regret for all those melodies I discarded because I didn't have the information I'm about to share with you.

The one-note test for melodies

A surefire way to check if your melody is interesting enough is to use a single pitch. If your melody still interests you when it’s all in one pitch, that means that you are likely working on a decent melody. Applying this same principle, if you have an idea for a melody but feel that something is missing, instead of playing with the pitch, check the rhythm.

So next time you have an idea for a melody, write it down in Flat and listen closely to what you have. When you’re ready to start experimenting, select a single pitch or use an unpitched instrument (such as the triangle) to write down the melody, and listen. Resist the temptation to change the pitch for a bit, and instead focus only on the rhythm (and of course, don’t forget to keep the syncopation in mind!).

View on Flat: Melody

In a nutshell, if you find the melody boring, work on the rhythm until you have something that is truly pleasing to your ear.

See you next time,