Today’s material is copied below, but bear in mind that unless you have two or three days to exclusively devote to this you won’t manage it all. The priority is to get into working with the rhythm ideas if you are short on time. Even creating two further motifs and posting them in your journals using the rhythm material will be good.

Melodic Motif Ultimate Training

No-one is too experienced to get into some motif training-the more you know, the more options you have to play with and the more elements you can bring into training activities.
I once wrote a four bar loop as part of an exercise at college that I would never have written otherwise-it became something I recorded and had radio play with. You never know what you’ll come up when you start! The reason this is worth your time even if you throw away everything you do is that it creates new habits of thinking about multiple different variables when you’re looking for ideas. You need never be bereft of inspiration again if you remember even a quarter of the approaches here.

Here’s what you’re going to do:

1. Write out two bars of rhythm. Ideally you’re going to use standard notation, but if you aren’t sure how to write that way, you can simply write 1 + 2 + etc and underline where you plan to have notes. Try the following variations (each one is a separate version, not all in one).
– including a syncopation (e.g. eighth note quarter note eighth note)
– not starting on beat 1
– leaving a rest at the start of beat 2
– having one note that lasts for three beats, and at least four eighth notes

To really get the effect of this, use quite similar notes across your variations, and play them over a single chord.

2. Now try some variations in notes:
– rising notes, starting with steps and having a jump in the middle.
– rising notes, starting with a jump and having steps or a sequence in the middle
– rising with a jump and then falling notes. The falling notes can move stepped, with a sequence, or with a jump.
– falling notes stepped then jump.
– falling notes jump then stepped.
Combine with:
3. – not starting on a chord tone
– finishing on a 2nd
-finishing on a 6
-starting on a 6
-finishing on a 5
-starting on a 2
If you know scales and arpeggios, you can try these ideas with those, but they will work just as well with pentatonics.

Now put the above two ideas together, use them over the same chord first, then over the following progressions:
I – V
I – Vm
Vim – V
I – bIII
If you need a hand working out what those chords would be, or what notes to use over the top of them, ask.