Once upon a time, I was a guy who always started the tracks with the beat and the bassline, which makes sense because when you start a new song in this way, you already have the feeling of rhythm and dance from the beginning. Is this beat aggressive? Or does it have a chill vibe?
As a Melodark producer (subgenre of melodic minimal techno), for years I used this method but as I learned more about music, improving my technique and making my music more and more complex, my workflow changed.
I felt that I could set the mood of the track if I started with the melody. It makes sense right? If you’re under the mood you are more likely to compose a sad or melancholic melody. And based on the melody you created, you will be able to choose the instruments that you want to associate with that mood more easily. A track is a story and for me it’s in the melody that all the emotion of that story resides. The beat and the drums are what makes the “story” danceable.
For this reason, the melody is the natural place to start your track. In most of the songs you know and love, the melody is what keeps the song playing over and over in your head.
But Doc, can you be more specific when you talk about “melody”?
Well, melody can be the bassline, synths, pads, even vocals. It’s the part that you sing to a friend when you want to know the name of a song that you don’t know.
SO WHICH COMES FIRST: DRUMS OR THE MELODY?
I can only speak from my experience and opinion as a producer of Melodark (melodic minimal techno), and for me it’s better to start with the melody because that way you can set the tone when you start to develop the track. I don’t mean that this is the correct way. In fact, I believe that in music (and art in general) there are no right and wrong ways to create.
There are even those who start with vocals, if it’s the case. If you want to start with FX’s and noises, be my guest. Just keep in mind your mood and the story you want to tell in your music.
Many artists who start producing neglect the knowledge of music theory: notes, scales and shit. I don’t say that this is essential if you want to become a great artist but when it comes to creativity, you can bet that it opens many doors for you. Knowledge is everything!
Btw, stay tuned about my upcoming single Full Measures that comes out on December 25th. A melodark Christmas gift for you guys! Check the preview here:
Subscribe, join our community and never miss a new post again!
Share this post: