Figuring Out Melody

You KNOW you can write
better melodies… but HOW?

With clear, practical instructions, you can compose incredible melodies you'll be proud of.

  • an interactive eBook 
  • demonstrates the essential skills you’ll need
  • over 300 audio examples
  • practical advice supported by musical insights

Composers are creatures of habit. Most of us tend to use the same chord progressions, rhythms, and MELODIC PATTERNS over and over and over again. Start using different figures (which you will learn in Figuring Out Melody), and you’ll add new lifeblood into your music! Plus, as you go further into melodic figuration,  you’ll discover more ways to use each of the melodic figures, opening up even more possibilities!

Do you spend too much time and energy trying to find useful material for your melodies? Working with melodic figures provides a quick way to generate intriguing melodic ideas—ideas you wouldn’t have come up with without working with figures!

Effective melodies practically play themselves. Learn figuration and you’ll know:

  • which figures sound like they’re wicked hard to play but are actually easy as pie.
  • how to make any note in your melody ultra expressive.
  • how to set up “plot twists” in your melodies.

Most people believe it’s hard to talk about music because it’s so subjective. But what if it turns out that melody is less subjective than we suppose?

Each melodic figure has predictable, less predictable, and unpredictable ways of behaving. And in FOM, we demonstrate how each option produces a distinct effect or emotion. Learn these behaviors, and you’ll be able to figure out how and why your favorite composers engineer their notes as they do. And you’ll be able to use these insights to bring new life and depth to your own music!

FOM offers clear instructions for how to:

  • Identify boring notes and replace them with more expressive ones.
  • Control the pacing at key points within your melody.
  • Dial the complexity up or down.
  • Highlight any note within your melody.
  • Use register to create dynamic effects.

Musicians learn the basic patterns of melody in the same way that human beings learn language: over time, through exposure. Yet we never think about them consciously. This limits our ability to take full advantage of all that melodic figures can do, which is A LOT!

Don’t let this happen to you.

Don’t the melodies we love the most seem to move in ways that defy systemization? So why is it that we also sense that there’s an underlying order to melody, even when we can’t quite explain it?

Every melody you know draws from a pool of 24 melodic figures. Learn them, and you notice connections between one melodic situation and another. Melody will no longer seem haphazard or impenetrable.