David Lingabee Songs & Songwriting

Step 7) How to Compose your Music – Part 13



Preparing for and composing your main melody
The main melody is the one that repeats at different points during the song and is obvious it IS the main melody for no other reason than it is played more times than other melodies in the song.

To keep things predictable and flowing in an orderly creative process use the lyrics you completed in Step 6) to compose your main melody, as you have already named the emotion for each verse and gotten very familiar with the inspiration or idea you composed them with, plus chosen the rhythm, speed, timing and composed the bass soundtrack for it.

Composing a main melody first is a good rule of thumb, as it builds upon the basic song foundation that you have already started in the previous exercise you just did, and to that you will add your other melodies, harmonies, and different arrangements. 

Vital composing info: every note and chord, and every note and chord progression, communicates a certain emotion through its particular sound. Becoming VERY familiar with LOTS of notes and chords, their unique progression patterns, and all the different instruments and voices (including electronically generated ones) that can be used to hear those sounds, will give you an incredible array of choices so you can accurately express the emotion you have already chosen for your song’s message.

As you do that, note down any you like so you have your own reference library for composing songs.

Free info on music basics, notes, chords, and their progressions 
Here is a very easy explanation of • music theory.  Search around for the rest of his free videos.

Here is another guy with free youtube videos on  music theory and composing. Search around for the rest of his free videos also.

Here’s a simple explanation of chords to get you composing.
Here is a list with diagrams of  most of the piano chords.
Listen to the  different chord progressions.

There are many chord apps, chord books and videos, and You Tube videos available. A thorough search online will show you that and hopefully give you one or two that meet your personal needs. 

The whole idea is for you to become familiar with enough notes, chords and their progressions, that you feel confident you now have a library of sounds you can now easily use to compose the songs you envision.

Practical Exercise Step 7) Part 13-1
Make a record of your preferred notes, chords, and their progressions, noting also the emotion they express, taken from the links and info above.

Emphasis is on making a collection of enough notes, chords, and their progressions, noting the emotion you feel each expresses, so you can compose a song for yourself. If you suddenly feel inspired during that to compose a melody or a whole song, then don’t hesitate to do that.

Note: Continuing to add more and more notes, chords and their progressions is something you will do in the future from time to time, but this exercise will get you started on that very creative journey.

End Result
You feel you have enough preferred notes, chords and their progressions to compose a song you want, or suddenly become inspired to compose a melody or song with what you have compiled.


Practical Exercise Step 7) Part 13-2
Use the lyrics you finalized in Step 6) as you are now familiar with their message, emotion and rhythm that you already worked out in the previous exercises. Decide on a note or chord progression and compose your main melody for it.  is on keeping it simple at this point.

For the purpose of this exercise, after you have composed a main melody for the song lyrics you completed in Step 6), use all the single verse lyrics you composed in the Step 7) – Part 12 exercise, and compose a main melody for each of those. Repeat doing that until you have composed at least 20 individual main melodies. This gets you very familiar with the process of composing main melodies.

End Result
You know you can repeatedly compose a main melody for lyrics you write that matches those lyric’s message, emotion and thythm, and are completely satisfied with how it sounds, plus you see how you could create the rest of your song the way you want.

Click here to go to Step 7 – Part 14

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