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Help with Melody and Lyrics


musicman2006

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I can write great music but when it comes time to add the lyrics I have an extremely difficult time finding the right melody for them. This happens to me for almost every song.

 

I think my problem is the fact that I cannot sing. I just don't have the range or ability in my voice.

 

I can often here the melody in my head but I have a difficult time trying to sing along and produce what I am hearing in my mind. Because of this I often second guess the melody which in turn gives me a bit of writers block on the lyrics.

 

See, I cannot write the lyrics until I know the melody ... since I cannot sing the melody properly, I have a difficult time nailing it down. Since I cannot nail down the melody to satisfaction I cannot write the lyrics.

 

Its like a catch 22 for me and it happens to me with just about every song I write. I truely believe that this is mostly due to the fact that I cannot sing well:confused:

 

I have considered taking some singing lessons but I am skeptical about that. I think that you must have some ability in the first place and I am unsure if I do. As I stated, my range appears to be extremely limited. I cannot hit any hi notes at all ... like my voice just doesn't do it. It hurts if I even try and sounds like a 13 year old going through puberty.

 

I have several connections to people that do have great voices. So when I ever get something ready to polish off, one of them will ultimately sing the tracks for me. The problem is getting to that point.

 

 

So, long story short ... I am looking for suggestions to help me out with finding the write melody. I know theres likely no right answer here ... just fishing for suggestions that might help me out.

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I understand your concern since you work in the same order I do: structure, then melody, then lyrics.

 

Can you whistle? Personally I don't do much singing during the "melody" portion of my songwriting process. Once I have the riff/chord pattern/whatever I whistle or hum to try and establish a vocal melody. It's only once I start writing lyrics that I actually sing to see how the words will flow together. You might want to enlist your singer friend to help with that part.

 

Another possibility is composing the vocal melody on the same instrument you're writing music on (I'm assuming probably a keyboard or guitar). If possible, make a quick scratch recording of the song structure on your computer, then play around with melody ideas on your instrument as you play the backing music. Once you have the melody you can set words to it.

 

Finally, you mention about having little upper range - if you are at all comfortable with your lower range, just compose the melodies down there and let the singer transpose everything up an octave if you like.

 

Good luck!

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Damn... I found learning to whistle a recognizable tune about 50 times harder than learning to sing one. :D

 

 

Look, there are a natural range of aptitudes -- some folks seem almost to be natural singers [although I've heard virtually no three or four year olds who can hit pitches painlessly, so maybe not] -- but for others, singing is like pulling teeth. Or maybe hearing their own fingernails scraping on the proverbial blackboard. [Ouch. Just writing that hurts.]

 

Anyhow, the thing is that if you have a more or less normal voicebox, you can almost certainly learn to sing more or less in pitch and on time. Certainly close enough to service your songwriting needs.

 

It will require practice and discipline, just like learning any musical instrument.

 

Heaven knows, I was pretty convinced at one point that I'd never be able to sing well enough to perform in front of my fellow humans. But with time and effort I managed to train myself. Don't get me wrong, I'm no Placido Domingo. I'm still often troubled by aspects of my voice. But I can get the job done. I'm certainly no worse at this point than a whole lot of folks I've heard on the radio. (Of course, I realize that ain't saying Jack. Or Jill.)

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Unfortunately, I'm not good at whistleing so that does not work for me. I started burning CD's and tried to hum along or even belt out some verses of a made up language while driving in my car but still having a difficult time finding the melody.

 

My range is limited both Hi and Low ... it really sucks! If I could change one thing about me I would want to be able to sing just a little.

 

Your suggestion of using the keyboard or guitar helped me out allot! After reading your post, I realized that I already did this with both piano and guitar tracks. I always have several tracks of guitar and piano in te mix somewhere that are sort of little pieces of melody lines or harmonies. But I m pretty good at them so I always end up with extra that don't make the cut.

 

I never really realized that these could be my vocal melody! So now I have a few ideas for a melody for both my verses and chorus. I could also use this for my singers to get them started in the right direction when I'm ready to burn the vocal tracks.

 

So, thanks for your suggestion ... the melodies where right under my nose the whole time!

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