Jeremy Latham


Using call and response notes to make a melody

Making a good melody is often an important part of a track for many producers. If you’re just starting out it can be daunting and may seem complicated to make a pleasing melody.

There are many different ways to make a melody and you’ll find that many producers have different methods. There’s no rules as such, some will jam on a keyboard or guitar and others may start with a chord progression and use that as a basis to build on. Others will enter notes directly using their DAW’s piano roll editor.

Whatever method you use, a great tip for making a coherent melody is to use call and response notes. This is the musical equivilent of somebody asking a question and then receiving a reply.

When you listen to a melody which has call notes you also instinctively expect to hear response notes later which compliment and complete the call notes.

Shown below are two simple examples I’ve made.

These two examples use the same instrument for both sets of notes which is fine, but you can try using a different instrument for the response notes. Remember, there’s no rules when being creative.

Download the Ableton Live project file – Note: some plugins have been removed to make it more easier to open. Instrument plugins used – ElectraX & Nexus 2

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Jeremy Latham

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