The Value of Perfect Melody...

Is there such a thing as "Perfect Melody?" ...Maybe not "one single melody" that is perfect for every person on Earth, but we can work at creating melody lines that flow well, are exceptionally well balanced and that have a sense of resolution. And, there's one style of music that does this exceptionally well - Classical...

Back in the 18th century a German physicist named "Ernest Chladni" (who is by the way, sometimes also labeled as the father of acoustics), studied how sound affected matter. And, he did this in a very interesting way.

Chladni spread a light coat of sand on steel disks and he noticed that when a violin played certain notes it caused the discs to vibrate and form geometrical shapes. This was also studied by other researchers and they discovered the same thing using; liquids, metals and powders.

For musicians, it's interesting because it teaches us that the more balance we can learn to add to our study of both melody and sound, the better geometry that we can ultimately produce with the sound-waves of our music.

In this episode of the Guitar Blog Insider, I'm going to discuss ways to practice music, that focus on the creation of, "Balanced Melody."


When it comes down to working on ways that will train us to maintain more balance across a melody, one of the important principles we need to focus on is learning to compose passages that flow with very connected melodic impressions. 

And, one of the music styles that achieves this very well is Classical music. Melodies in Classical style can often be more anticipated (than say perhaps Jazz). And, Classical melody can be judged by a listener as to where where the flow of its lines will turn or resolve. Classical listeners will often be able to predict where the melody will travel next.

By spending time working and studying at composing "classical sounding" melody, a music student start to learn how to tap into this "directional impression" of melodic flow. Here's an example of doing some work like this...

Example Melody #1).

In the melodic example above, there is a strong connection to how one melodic idea flows smoothly into the next. In fact, the musical flow is so well connected, that the music listener, can start anticipating what the next musical statement will be. 

At this point, the listener experiences a satisfaction for comprehending where and when the musical line ends up arriving in that general direction they anticipated.

That result of satisfying the listeners' impression is valuable to learn. The other thing that happens is at the end of the phrase, the melodic contour moves through a resolution which helps the listener connect strongly with an ending.

These ideas are excellent to study on your instrument. And, when you learn to produce them, all of your other melodic ideas start to become stronger and much more connected. Especially when you're improvising. Let's study another melody line, and try expanding on these principles.

Example Melody #2).

Melodic example two, once again opens up with a very connected and impressionable recurring melodic theme. However, the latter half of the melody shifted to the use of ascending and descending arpeggios.

This 'arpeggio sound' of example melody two occurred within the key center and it used a collection of tones that were all diatonic to the key. When this approach is applied, the listener once again is made to feel like they will be able to anticipate what the upcoming notes will be. The end result is one of making the listener feel more tuned into the piece as the passage unfolds.

Let's study one more melodic passage. This time with a change to the time signature, having the melody function as a triple meter idea in 3/8 time.

Example Melody #3).

In the 3/8 time example shown above, the melodic flow is very impressionable. The way that each statement is applied makes it relatively easy for the listener to anticipate how the next upcoming melodic part will arrive in the piece.

The main difference with melody three however, is how the rhythmic push occurs. In this (last example), the feel is in 3/8 time. Pushing the phrases with their accents differently. The meter of 3/8 time is creating a different impression of where the "rhythmic balance" of the melody flows from.

The concept of timing is another area that musicians in training will often overlook. But, when students of music can focus on rhythmic elements, their level of skill with composing music will start to reach new plateaus of ability. Something that is really fantastic happens during this part of the learning curve for both composing and for improvising.

When students of music study how to get better at the; application of melody, at scales, and at using arpeggios, a musicians recognition and control over what they perceive as sound patterns starts hitting some pretty significant breakthrough levels.

The trick to expanding our skills for the creation of melodic ideas are strongly based in wave forms and there's a visual geometric representation to this. Much like those scientists had spent long hours studying the connection between sound and forms, we need to establish a similar way to pursue this on our instruments.

Learning scale and arpeggio patterns is only the beginning. Those elements are just the building blocks. It's the music we compose that's the reflection of the vibrations overall. That's what ends up determining how greatly our music affects others. That's the power we have as composers. The ability to make our listeners feel a certain way. To bring their mood up, to bring them down, or to make them restless. Whatever the emotional effect may be. 

Well, I'd like to end the discussion by saying, thanks for joining me. If you want to learn more about what I do as an online guitar teacher, then head over to my website at and sign up your FREE lifetime membership.

When you want more, you can always upgrade to either a Basic, or a Premium lesson package and start studying the guitar courses I've organized for the members of my website.

Also, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on all of this in the comment section below, if you enjoyed this video on YouTube, give it a thumbs up and subscribe for more. 

Thanks again and we'll catch up next week , for another episode of the, "Guitar Blog Insider."



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