In this lesson you will learn how to make a good melody very easily. It will be a perfect method to make a hardstyle melody or trance melody in FL Studio.
How to make a good melody
In the video, I’ve chosen to use a basic Nexus pluck preset to create the melody. You can always use any sounds you like. But for now, let’s discover how to make a nice and serious hardstyle or trance melody.
Pick a musical scale
First, pick a musical scale. In the video, I picked the A minor scale, so I know which notes I can use.
Draw notes within your chosen scale
Then simply draw some notes, trying to make them tell a nice story. Of course, these notes follow the A minor scale. When you do this, try to fill in the next logical notes each time you draw a note. Try to really FEEL it. Use your ears and emotions. Just listen to the story it’s telling. Make sure it loops well and it FEELS right.
Continue to work with your story line and fill it up to make it more interesting. Again, listen to what sounds RIGHT. Try to FEEL it. Does it sound pleasing? Does it loop well? Does it sound logical?
Trick to make a melody more serious
Making half-note jumps (within the musical scale) often make a melody sound more serious. Good melodies usually show some logical patterns. The melody in this video is a good example of that.
There are always variations, but look at the trend that’s appearing. It’s almost like building a house or making a drawing. It should sounds right and it often looks really logical. This is a good musical loop.
Make melody variations
When the musical loop is finished and it sounds very pleasing, you can search for variations. This creates more traction, it makes it sound more dynamic.
To do that, simply ask your mind. What is your mind saying when you hear the melody? When you practice hearing the melody in your mind, you automatically search and create logical melody “emphasizes”. Play it in your head and try out different melody variations. Use your intent.
Your emotions are very powerful melody builders
Do this emotionally, not intellectually. Your mind will automatically fill in what triggers you emotionally. How “cool” can you hear it? How “dark” can you hear it? How “euphoric” can you hear it?
Imagine you’re at a big party and you hear this melody. What would really make it epic for you? That’s what you need to look for in your mind. Can you dance to it? How’s the rhythm feeling?
Imagine it, attach your feelings to it and you will get an experience how to enhance the melody you’re creating. If you take this practice really serious, you WILL hear melodies in your head and you WILL get a feel of what’s right and wrong.
Make the lower layer for your melody
When you’re happy with you melody so far, give it a lower layer. The lower layer carries the melody. The notes of the lower layer and upper layer should be part of the same chord. So in this case, at each 4-beats jump a new chord begins. You can learn more about chords and chord progressions in the How to Make Chords in FL Studio lesson.
Not only are the lower layers part of a chord at each change, but ideally, they also play an A-minor story (loop) as well. This means that when you play the lower layer independently, it also tells a nice A-minor story. You can feel it when it sounds right.
Create drive and heaviness in your melody
To create more drive and heaviness, move this lower layer down by 1 octave. Then copy the layer, paste it and put these notes in between the gaps at the octave above. This way it sounds fuller and has more drive.
Make chords for your melody
Now you can enhance the melody some more by adding a new sound that only plays the CHORDS. Again, watch my how to chords video to learn more about chords.
In this video lesson right here, I am using a different Nexus pluck preset for this. Chords always add an extra dimension and you can also play a different rhythm, making the whole sound more musically intelligent.
Give your chords a nice rhythm
Make sure to give your chords notes a rhythm that fits with your melody. In the video I decided to go with a simple offbeat rhythm.
Make the lower layer of the chords
You can just draw the notes from the melody’s lower layer. Copy, paste and lower the new layer by 1 octave to make it sound heavy. You can do it however you want though. This lower layer loop is the same A-minor “story” as the lower layer from the melody.
Make the upper layer of the chords
Now it’s time to draw the upper layer of the chords. At each 4-beats change, just use the exact same FIRST note as your melody. It’s really easy to do. The upper chords layer now tells the same “story” as the upper layer of the melody in the beginning.
Make the middle layer of the chords
A basic chord is usually 3 notes played simultaneously. The only thing we need to do is find the 3rd note of each chord. Look at the first 4 beats in the video example: I drew an E note. The E note still wasn’t used in that chord. So now we have an A, C and E note there. I do this trick for each 4 beats (each chord change). Looking for the 3rd note that belongs to that chord that isn’t used yet.
This is a very easy to apply method and I invite you to try it out. Of course, you can change the way you want a chord to sound, but as long as you find the unused chord note.
Do the chords feel right to you?
What worked for the melody also works here: does it FEEL right? Listen to it as a whole (loop it) and does it still tell a good story? Try to connect to it emotionally. If you really do that, you can sort of “feel” when something is “off”. Then just change what doesn’t feel right.
Listen to your melody as a whole
All right then. These were the chords. Now it’s time to play everything together. Simply place the melody pattern and chords pattern onto the playlist.
In the video, I start with the melody first. The chords will come in a bit later, so you can hear how the chords add something to the musical piece. More drive, more traction, more intelligent, fuller, more epic, more emotion, more movement. Everything should work together.
To learn more about making a good melody, I highly recommend you check out my How to Make a Melody in FL Studio lesson and of course, don’t forget to check out the How to Make Chords in FL Studio lesson as well.
In this lesson, the following plugins were used:
- ReFX Nexus
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