Because it's the melody that our brains latch onto first.
A melody on it's own can make you cry, laugh and everything in between. It truly can be a direct communication to the soul.
An interesting mood-evoking melody commands our attention. It makes us sit up and take notice.
Only then do we start to pay attention to the storyline. To the lyrics. And if those lyrics are top-notch: Bingo! You've hit the jackpot.
Write Lyrics As Good As Your Melody
Now, this scenario can also be looked at from the opposite side:
You write music that is truly inspiring. You then settle for the first lyrics that pop into your head. You don't bother rewriting those lyrics. You figure that since they fit the melody and tell the story they are good enough.
I did this for years! And I was always secretly embarrassed by my lyrics.
As songwriters, we must strive for that perfect balance. And it takes time and effort to master. (I'm still working on completing my apprenticeship!)
Work On Your Weakest Skill
If you only want to write music or you only want to write lyrics, that's okay. Collaborating with writers who excel at what you do not is a great way to write songs. If you love to write melody, find yourself a great lyricist. Or vice-versa.
Most of us are better at one aspect of songwriting than we are at others.
For me, it's always been writing melody that seems to come naturally. As a lead guitarist I usually opted for the slow, melodic, soulful lead over the fast shred. Through the years I've written quite a few instrumentals that I am proud of.
Lyrics have always been a struggle for me. That's why I tend to spend a lot more time working on the words to my new songs than I do the melody.
But I spend quite a bit of time on writing melody too! Because I understand how important a great melody is.
Listen To Your Melodies
Listen to the melodies you are writing. Are they as strong as your lyrics? Perhaps more importantly, can they stand on their own?A melody should be able to stand on it's own. It should be moving, interesting, somewhat predictable and a little surprising at the same time.
I say somewhat predictable because we need familiarity. If every line goes off in a completely different direction you will lose most listeners.
People must have something they can grasp immediately. Especially in the chorus.
So go and write music that moves you. If you can do that, you can be sure it will move others too.
Happy melody writing!
For more songwriting tips and ideas, sign up for my free newsletter "Inspired Song Alerts."
New! CommentsHave your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.