The power of a simple melody is that it's both learnable and memorable. Cliff Goldmacher, a professional songwriter, talks about the value of simplicity in this online songwriting video. Melodies don't have to have many notes to be powerful and stick in your listeners' minds. When in doubt, make your melodies simple.
- Rule number 11, make your melody simple. The whole goal of melody writing is to make your melody learnable and memorable. In our song example, "To Have and to Hold", I'm going to play you the intro, first verse and chorus and what I'd like you to notice is that there aren't many notes in the melody and by just altering the phrasing and the duration, we've managed to make a simple melody memorable.
♫ It's one thing to have a dream ♫ And another to watch it come true ♫ To hold out for heaven ♫ Then see it every time I look at you ♫ I don't mean to talk so obviously, but can't you see ♫ I'm naturally so in love ♫ Lo and behold, I've been a fool, but only a fool ♫ Would hang onto hope long enough to know ♫ There's no letting go ♫ To have and to hold you ♫ - And now for our Grammy Award winning song example, give a listen to the Police's "Every Breath You Take" from your Spotify playlist and see if that melody, is instantly memorable in its simplicity.
- Writing lyrics that are conversational and natural
- Making every line count
- Putting your song's hook at the end of a chorus
- Creating simple and unique melodies
- Keeping song intros short and longer verses at the beginning of a song