The Staying Power of Great Melody
Featuring Paul Baloche Posted on January 20, 2010
A melody that moves rapidly needs to have its wings tucked in. Picture a sea bird with wings outstretched, soaring in lazy circles over the water. Suddenly it tucks its wings into its sides and drops like a dart, with a splash, straight into the water, then comes up, wings ﬂapping, with a ﬁsh in its beak.
Extend your arms straight out and wave your hands up and down slowly and gracefully. It’s easy, isn’t it, even if you wave them high and low? Now wave them very widely and very quickly. Awkward, isn’t it? It jerks you all over the place. That’s what a fast, busy melody with lots of wide leap intervals feels like.
On the other hand, a slower melody could beneﬁt from wider intervals. Not all the time of course. Most of the intervals will probably be step intervals, (up or down a scale step) but a slow song that doesn’t have its share of wider leap intervals may seem earthbound. Stretch your wings a bit at slower tempos, and see if it doesn’t give your melodies more interest.
Don’t let that song out of your hands until you’re convinced it has the best melody you can give it. Rewrite some and of your lyrics, if necessary. You can say the same thing in other words if a great is melodic idea takes you in a new emotional direction. We’re not suggesting a lower standard for lyrics. But while some good melodies have caught on, in spite of lesser lyrics, we know of relatively few lyrics, no matter how great, (except for the psalms) that have lasted without good tunes. Likewise, a great chord progression without a good melody will soon be forgotten. But a good chord progression with a great melody is a winning combination.
So write a melody people can ride on, something they can hum or that sounds great as an instrumental only, and as they listen, that great lyric hook you’ve written will automatically come to mind.
melody of worship
in my heart, Lord. In the
days of rejoicing, let it
ring out like laughter,
loud and clear.
In the nighttime of
my soul, let it croon
to me there, like a mother’s
lullaby, until the light shines again.
Other Posts Featuring Paul Baloche
- How To Thrive This Christmas - Webinar with Paul Baloche
- For Unto Us A Child Is Born (Open the Eyes of My Heart) Tutorial with Paul Baloche
- How To Play "Hark The Herald" by Paul Baloche
- How To Play "Your Name (Christmas Version)" by Paul Baloche
- How To Play "What Can I Do (Christmas Version)" by Paul Baloche
- How To Play "This Is Love (with Come Thou Long Expected Jesus)" by Paul Baloche
- How To Play "Prepare Him Room" by Paul Baloche
- How To Play "O Come Emmanuel" by Paul Baloche