Discussion: Making a melody

I’d like to ask you about melody creation.
First of all, let me talk about my common skills.

ONE of the features I use with STUDIO ONE’s piano shutter Windows is to set notes within the scale.
For example, I’m going to edit a melody for C-Am-F-G in C major.

I’m making a melody for C, so I’m setting C major. So you can only hit the note in C major.
When making A melody for Am, I set a natural minor.
F, set to F major note.
For G, set it to the G major note.
This will give me a safe limit and help me save time. Usually, I click on it a few times and it comes out with a great melody.

Of course, there are problems.

For example, if the third F chord in this chord progression has A#, it doesn’t sound good.

Let me use G major again.
If I check G Major, then the note will show up, it will show an F#, and if I click on that, it will make the melody bad.

I mean, is there a way to make sure it’s in G major, but still in C major? Because the song itself is in C major. Anyway, STUDIO ONE is not available at the moment.

Also, I noticed that EZKEY2 is about to arrive. I saw an introductory video on youtube that said you can only show the safe notes, but I don’t know if I can get the effect I want. That’s the melody that fits not only the key of the song, but also each chord progression.

Is there any melodic help at SCALER? It seems like it’s all chords now, and there’s no way to make melodies, because SCALER never had his own piano curtain window.

There are some things I don’t understand here.

You say “Scaler is all chords ‘now’”, sort of implying there has been a change in its functions. It’s not one I’m aware of.

Much more puzzling is “there’s no way to make melodies” . What are ‘progressions’ if not melodies and fragments of melodies ? My dictionary says melodies are “a sequence of single notes that is musically satisfying”, and progressions seem to generate just that…

But now the real puzzle. You are using a I-vi-IV-V chord sequence, and in C the IV chord is F. You say the third chord in the progression has an A# . No it doesn’t, an Fmaj triad is F, A and C. The F maj scale has an A#, but you are in C maj, and not F maj.

So if you are in C maj and are playing and playing against an F chord, you can’t just hit any old note (my guitar playing would be a lot better if you could …) - you have to think of the key you are in. The answer is if A# sounds bad, don’t play it.

Then “to make sure it’s in G major, but still in C major” Surely you are in one key or the other unless you modulate; how can you be in both simultaneously?

You have a problem playing F# against a Gmaj chord. Often in such a progression the V chord might be changed to a dominant 7th.This is G, B, D, F, so no F#. The answer here might be to play the sequence C -Am - F - G7, which sounds quite normal.

Maybe the answer is to think more in modes. The A# is the raised 4th of Fmaj, If you use the notes of F lydian, the 4th is raised to B, which is in C maj., As above playing the C7 sits with the mode G Mixolydian, which has the same notes as C maj. Also, if you change the F to Fmaj7 so you have
C- Am -Fmaj7 - G7 and you can hit any note in C maj and it will fit.

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You may hav change the default number of beats for chord durations to get the benefit of using the performnces.

To create melodies using the performances which contain phrases and motifs try using the Performance Playback panel on the EDIT page (see Introduction to Using Playback Performances to Give Interesting Melodies).

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have you tried using those menus to make a melody? They are very helpful.

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I’m new to Scaler but some basic theory comes to mind. If you are setting an F major within a song written in C major, you end up modulating which is why that A# happens. The F major chord (triad) is only for the 4th chord in C major. An F major chord (F,A,C) will not have an A# but an F major scale will. Once you’re getting other chords in F major you are no longer in C major scale. Somehow you have to stay within C major without setting chords as scales unless you want to modulate. If you want to go out of the C major scale it’s probably easier to manually do that but it sounds like you’re trying to stay within C. A melody with Am will work because it have all the same notes as C major. The others will not work if using them as scales and not the specific triads within C.

Not sure if this helps as I know it’s a Scaler specific question and I’m still learning it myself but I imagine some theory knowledge helps a lot when using this software.

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Just some thoughts on A#, which is enharmonic with Bb, and F#.

One way of introducing an A# (i.e. Bb) into the melody over the F chord is to use and F sus 4 chord. This could work because the triad is F Bb C and includes two notes from the C maj scale. Another way would be to replace the F chord with a C7 which is an extended C chord (C E G Bb).

Similarly playing an F# over the G chord is a G maj 7. The rootless version of this chord (B D F#) may work better than the G (It’s jazz man).

Whether or not these substitutions work depends on your ears and the effect you are trying to produce.

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Thanks to all of your friends for your responses. I learned a lot.
Then I tried again.
I’m actually trying to get the safe note under each chord quickly and accurately. Each bar corresponds to the key of C major, and at the same time corresponds to the chord of that bar.

Look through some of the training videos both at Plug In Boutique as well as School of Synthesis. You’ll want to learn more about Keys Lock.