13 March,
Melodies – Ways of writing hooks and motifs

1. On one single power chord, write at least two melodic motifs. You are allowed to use notes 1, 2, 4, 5, b7. You are not allowed to use 3 or 6 unless those are the very last notes of the second motif. Do you notice anything about how this sounds? What do you notice about the character? What do you notice about the mood of the first motif that has no 3? Make sure your motif has a combination of notes in series and notes not right next to each other ie bigger steps apart. Don’t start the first motif on beat 1.

2. Exotic notes. Now, on a power chord, you can use 1, 2, 3, 5, b6, b7. The b6 suggests minor, the major third is major, and the effect can be dramatic and pleasing. You’re still working over one chord, and you’re still creating two motifs. From your root note, work out where the respective intervals you’re going to be using are. You can either visualise from a scale perspective or a

3. Now, you are going to have two chords for two or four bars each depending how fast the tempo of your song is. Still working with power chords, over the first chord work with the 1 2 4 5 b7 set of notes. Over the second chord, use these notes plus 3 and 6. See it how it sounds to end on the six. The chords for this are going to be a I chord and a IV chord. As the function of the notes will change when you go to the IV chord, you’ll need to figure out where those notes are for each chord.

4. Now, you are are going to make a change of your choosing to the series of notes. Maybe you are going to go for another exotic sound with a b2, 3, 5, b6, b7.
Maybe you’re going to go harmonic minor – 1,2,b3,4,5,b6,7. Whatever alteration you make, you’re going to start from an arpeggio this time and add the extra notes in around the framework of the arpeggio. Still work with power chords as this will give you flexibility as to major or minor directions. When you change the notes, see how it sounds to keep a similar motif as you had before, but now with these added notes in. Otherwise the change may seem too abrupt.