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> What Comes First For You?
Enucleation
post Jan 18 2009, 06:24 AM
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So, during most choruses I like for a guitar melody to be underneath the vocals, kind of Arch Enemy style. When I get there in writing though, I can normally think of a pretty good melody but, have a lot of trouble getting a chord progression for it without sounding simplistic and boring. I say choruses but really it's with any melody, so my question is...

What comes first, chords or melody?


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Zephyr
post Jan 18 2009, 07:23 AM
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Well, if you are already happy with the melody, then simply form the harmony around it. Look at each note of the melody, and see what chords it is a part of. For example, the song is in the key of C, because I'm a lazy bum. laugh.gif If the note of the melody you are looking at is A, then it could be the root of A minor, the fifth of D minor, or the third of F major. This is just a very rough example, but it's a simple way to get started.
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Emir Hot
post Jan 18 2009, 07:24 AM
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very individual. I sometimes have the lyrics first but sometimes just a solo and take the rest from there. I think there is no rule, it just depends on the moment what comes first smile.gif


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Enucleation
post Jan 18 2009, 07:49 AM
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QUOTE (Zephyr @ Jan 18 2009, 12:23 AM) *
Well, if you are already happy with the melody, then simply form the harmony around it. Look at each note of the melody, and see what chords it is a part of. For example, the song is in the key of C, because I'm a lazy bum. laugh.gif If the note of the melody you are looking at is A, then it could be the root of A minor, the fifth of D minor, or the third of F major. This is just a very rough example, but it's a simple way to get started.


Yeah, I'm still learning theory so that might be my problem... I normally can find good chords for it but, it just comes out as octaves normally. I guess I have to just work more on theory.


QUOTE (Emir Hot @ Jan 18 2009, 12:24 AM) *
very individual. I sometimes have the lyrics first but sometimes just a solo and take the rest from there. I think there is no rule, it just depends on the moment what comes first smile.gif


I know that there are no rules and it can be different for everyone but, I figure if it works best for someone else then, it might just help me out tongue.gif


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David Wallimann
post Jan 18 2009, 02:16 PM
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There's no set rules for me.. Sometimes chords, sometimes melody.
For GMC lessons it's always chords though...


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Bogdan Radovic
post Jan 18 2009, 07:13 PM
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For me usually chords come up first when composing...but depends really...


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MickeM
post Jan 18 2009, 07:23 PM
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I have a friend who writes pop songs professionally, he told me - If you want to make a hit, always start with the melody.

He said he tried different approaches over the years and the songs where he found the melody first has a lot bigger chanse of becoming a hit compared to any other approaches.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jan 18 2009, 09:10 PM
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Individual thing mate, sometimes it's a cool melody, sometimes it's a cool harmony, sometimes it's a cool riff, whatever comes first, you must be able to use it properly. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't depending on the creativity process and other people involved, but in general ideally you should make a good thing out of any good component that you have. My advise is to collect good ideas as backup project, so when you open them after a while with a fresh mind you can make drastically better projects.


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Trond Vold
post Jan 18 2009, 10:59 PM
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I will say the same as Ivan on this matter. It's very individual and varies from each song i'm working on.


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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post Jan 18 2009, 11:07 PM
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Good question.

Melody. Even if you find good chord progression, that's sounds nice, or powerful or whatever, it's actually melody, because you play it in the certain position. Chord progression(harmony) can't be original, because it's abstract concept.
Most of the songs share the same harmony(I-IV-V, II-V-I, I-VI-II-V), Even the II-V-I and I-VI-II-V which some people call advance harmonies are actually usual I-IV-V. With added II, I don't want to get in the details but...
Since all good(or popular) songs share the same harmonies, how come that you must think of good chord progression to create original song?

Melody itself, already contains rhythm(try to play Satriani's "always with me always with you" with even rhythm, da, da, da, da....It's lost), so....Harmony is abstract concept, you can't create some new harmony. Still, playing over some chord progression is a great idea, you can develop melodies, and phrases, and whole song.

If you create a melody in advance, there is a ultimate harmonic solution for that, you just have to choose position in which you'll play them, whether you'll use some substitutions...Then in which style you want to play. I mean if you created a prog-rock piece you can't play jazz chords, can you?



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Muris Varajic
post Jan 19 2009, 12:25 AM
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No rule I would say,do it as you please. smile.gif


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Pedja Simovic
post Jan 19 2009, 12:50 AM
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For GMC lessons I work on Harmony first then I come up with melody.

For my original stuff it works both ways. I actually enjoy taking melody and harmonizing it in many different ways so I have no preference really I love both smile.gif


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sigma7
post Jan 19 2009, 12:55 AM
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If you like melody, I would stick with melody. For me I use chords because I just usually pick out the definitive note in the chord to make my melody.


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