How to Make a Melody for a Song

I. Introduction

Now that you had better ideas to get your song started with drums, bass, chords and arpeggios, let’s try to make a memorable melody to get on top of it all !

Creating a melody involves combining rhythm, notes, and arpeggios to form a memorable tune. A well-crafted melody is crucial in any song, whether it’s a vocal or synth line, as it conveys emotion and captures the listener’s attention.

Here are a few tips and examples to get you started :

II. Utilizing Chord Notes in the Melody Pattern

Using notes from the chords in your melody pattern helps create a cohesive and harmonious sound. Here’s how you can do it:

1. Understand Chord Progressions :
- Identify the notes in each chord of your progression.
- Use these notes as the foundation for your melody.
- Example: If your chord is C major (C, E, G), try starting your melody with these notes.

2. Incorporate Chord Notes :
- Start by playing the notes of the current chord in different orders and rhythms.
- Experiment with note combinations to find what sounds best.
- Tip: Play around with the sequence and timing of notes to see what feels right.

3. Examples and Techniques :
- Use arpeggios to break the chord into a sequence of notes. For instance, play C-E-G one after another.
- Try different rhythmic patterns to add variety.
- Example: Instead of playing C-E-G as quarter notes, try playing C-E-G-C as eighth notes for a different feel.

This approach works well for both synth lines and vocals.

III. Layering Different Sounds and Presets

Layering different sounds can add richness and depth to your melody. Here are some tips:

1. Select Complementary Sounds :
- Choose sounds that work well together in terms of frequency and texture.
- Example: Layer a bright synth with a darker one to get more body.
- For vocals, try doubling your line or harmonizing it.

2. Experiment with Combinations :
- Mix and match different presets to see what works.
- Try layering a plucky sound with a sustained one for added complexity.

3. Balance the Layers :
- Make sure each layer is clearly audible but doesn’t overpower the others.
- Use volume, EQ (equalization), and panning to achieve a balanced mix.
- Tip: Panning one layer slightly left and another slightly right can create a wider sound.

IV. Enhancing the Melody with Effects

Effects like delay and reverb can enhance your melody and create a more immersive experience. Here’s how to use them effectively:

1. Use Effects Tastefully :
- Apply delay to add rhythmic complexity.
- Use reverb to give your melody a sense of space.
- Example: A slight delay can make a synth line feel more expansive.

2. Avoid Overuse :
- Too much delay or reverb can make your mix muddy and your lead disappear.
- Use effects sparingly and adjust settings to fit your melody.

3. Techniques :
- Apply a slight delay to one of your layers for a widening effect.
- Use reverb on vocals to make them feel more spacious.

V. Conclusion

Creating a great synthwave melody uses everything we’ve used before with other intrument, such as using chord notes, layering different sounds, and adding effects tastefully.
By experimenting and trusting your instincts, you can craft melodies that stand out and evoke strong emotions.
Whether for synths or vocals, these principles will help you make memorable melodies. Keep experimenting !

You can watch the whole video tutorial on this YouTube playlist or keep reading the next blog article to learn how to structure your song and continue your synthwave journey !

Hear the final result in my song « Rewind » here.
Find more about She Died in a Parking Lot here or on Youtube