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Any advice for making catchy tunes?

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Sparx-1
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Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 27th, 2008 @ 12:46 PM Reply

I'm asking for some advice... Does anyone have any tips for coming up with a theme tune that sticks in one's head?

You see, I'm planning on a flash cartoon series that's what most people refer to as a "magical girl" anime (I put quotes because her power source is based on future cybernetics and time travel rather than actual magic. Sort of drawing from Clarke's 3rd law...)And I need a theme song that has a tendency to stick with you, like the most popular show of the genre, Sailor Moon's does.

Anyone have any ideas? ^^;

(BTW this upcoming series is one I plan on making in the future, after I get my graphics tablet, and won't interfere with Sonic: Quantum Leap)

Envy
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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 27th, 2008 @ 12:51 PM Reply

Create a bassline first then fit the melody to the bassline, Thats what i do atleast.


At 3/27/11 10:22 PM, sugarsimon wrote:
the brilliant songs who create a production for music
Wat

c4v
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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 27th, 2008 @ 01:25 PM Reply

Your best bet is to learn basic music theory, or you could just do it by guessing and trial and error.

InsaneSmilie
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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 27th, 2008 @ 03:50 PM Reply

At 2/27/08 01:25 PM, c4v wrote: Your best bet is to learn basic music theory, or you could just do it by guessing and trial and error.

Indeed This might help


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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 27th, 2008 @ 03:56 PM Reply

At 2/27/08 01:25 PM, c4v wrote: Your best bet is to learn basic music theory

Mmmm not always. B0UNC3 doesn't know any music theory at all. With hooks, the simpler, the better. Soulja Boy made at least a million dollars off of ONE hook. It was simple, but really catchy. It stuck. Pretty much the only way to do this is to mess around. Traditional theory, with long-winded chord progressions and epic cadences is not fit for catchy music. Rather, make a hook, and use minor variations to make the movements sound better. Ferry Corsten, although Ferry sucks, has the formula nailed.

R3SO
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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 27th, 2008 @ 04:00 PM Reply

whenever you think of a song the first thing you are thinking of is usually the melody. Create a catchy melody and you will have people remembering your tune for a long time to come. Once you have a melody that works, and sounds good you can get into the Percussion and Baseline. You might have to change your melody once you get everything in place.

A lot of music that is catchy uses a Polyrhythm, Very common in Dance music which in my opinion sticks like epoxy to the mind.

xXDathDalerXx
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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 27th, 2008 @ 08:28 PM Reply

At 2/27/08 04:00 PM, R3SO wrote: A lot of music that is catchy uses a Polyrhythm, Very common in Dance music which in my opinion sticks like epoxy to the mind.

uuh what?? no...the simpler the music generally the more popular, & most is in 4/4


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loogiesquared
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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 27th, 2008 @ 08:30 PM Reply

At 2/27/08 12:46 PM, Sparx-1 wrote: I'm asking for some advice... Does anyone have any tips for coming up with a theme tune that sticks in one's head?

that would depend on what program you use..

Envy
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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 27th, 2008 @ 08:33 PM Reply

At 2/27/08 08:30 PM, loogiesquared wrote:
At 2/27/08 12:46 PM, Sparx-1 wrote: I'm asking for some advice... Does anyone have any tips for coming up with a theme tune that sticks in one's head?
that would depend on what program you use..

Actually it has nothing to do with the program you use. It has to do with your music creation style


At 3/27/11 10:22 PM, sugarsimon wrote:
the brilliant songs who create a production for music
Wat

loogiesquared
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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 27th, 2008 @ 08:39 PM Reply

At 2/27/08 08:33 PM, Envy wrote:
At 2/27/08 08:30 PM, loogiesquared wrote:
At 2/27/08 12:46 PM, Sparx-1 wrote: I'm asking for some advice... Does anyone have any tips for coming up with a theme tune that sticks in one's head?
that would depend on what program you use..
Actually it has nothing to do with the program you use. It has to do with your music creation style

but the computer takes your notes and makes music.

EX.
One melody played in AC!D is diffrent than in FnP

Envy
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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 27th, 2008 @ 08:52 PM Reply

At 2/27/08 08:39 PM, loogiesquared wrote:
At 2/27/08 08:33 PM, Envy wrote:
At 2/27/08 08:30 PM, loogiesquared wrote:
At 2/27/08 12:46 PM, Sparx-1 wrote:
but the computer takes your notes and makes music.

EX.
One melody played in AC!D is diffrent than in FnP

not really, just a different output like a VST. The midi will be the same. The midi being the melody.


At 3/27/11 10:22 PM, sugarsimon wrote:
the brilliant songs who create a production for music
Wat

jnry3
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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 27th, 2008 @ 08:52 PM Reply

Nothing beats playing around with ideas. If the riff/hook sticks, then that's it.

Then build around the hook, then you're good to go. ^_^

Problem is it's not easy coming up with the hook anyway.

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loogiesquared
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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 27th, 2008 @ 08:57 PM Reply

At 2/27/08 08:52 PM, Envy wrote:
not really, just a different output like a VST. The midi will be the same. The midi being the melody.

exactally.

winKoneR
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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 28th, 2008 @ 07:33 AM Reply

listen to the stuff of most popular artists on NGAP and get the ideas yourself by using your ears man ;)

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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 28th, 2008 @ 11:24 AM Reply

At 2/27/08 08:39 PM, loogiesquared wrote: but the computer takes your notes and makes music.

No, no, no. The computer takes your music and makes it sound. That's like saying Beethoven's piano (or harpsichord, w/e) made music, not hm.


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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 28th, 2008 @ 03:34 PM Reply

I highly doubt music theory will be the key aspect on deriving a catchy tune. if you just solely rely on that then you will just end up sounding formulaic, which will not result in making a catchy riff. With that said, it won't hurt if you dont solely revolve around music theory, but you certainly won't need it. I believe that developing something catchy is an ability that comes natural as a musician, not something that you will learn by looking at a bunch of rules.

If you look at some of the top songs on the AP, and furthermore in the mainstream- you will realize that the generally more catchy music produced will be "catchy" because it's the most marketable. The most important element in creating these motifs is simply, simplicity. Like someone stated above, something generally in 4/4 time, and with a melody and rhythm that is easy to dance or groove to. I don't think you will find too many high schoolers and college students pulling out a crank-dat to an ancient Mozart tune. Look at popular artists here ParagonX9 and F-777, they get loads of recognition for creating very rememberable tunes, but there's nothing technically special about the compositional side of them.

I think I'll go with nav on this one,

InsaneSmilie
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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 28th, 2008 @ 04:51 PM Reply

At 2/28/08 03:34 PM, Suspended-3rd-Chord wrote: I highly doubt music theory will be the key aspect on deriving a catchy tune. if you just solely rely on that then you will just end up sounding formulaic, which will not result in making a catchy riff. With that said, it won't hurt if you dont solely revolve around music theory, but you certainly won't need it. I believe that developing something catchy is an ability that comes natural as a musician, not something that you will learn by looking at a bunch of rules.

Music theory isn't some genetic formula for creating music, it's a means to turn emotions, feelings, and thoughts into music. There is no formula for writing music, but knowing the theory will teach you how to get the type of sound you want. Without this knowledge your really just shooting holes in the dark trying get something that sounds good.

As a side, please don't go around saying that music theory isn't helpful if you don't know music theory.


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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 28th, 2008 @ 06:21 PM Reply

At 2/28/08 04:51 PM, InsaneSmilie wrote: As a side, please don't go around saying that music theory isn't helpful if you don't know music theory.

It might be helpful but it's in no way mandatory to be able to make catchy music.


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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 28th, 2008 @ 07:13 PM Reply

At 2/28/08 04:51 PM, InsaneSmilie wrote:
Music theory isn't some genetic formula for creating music, it's a means to turn emotions, feelings, and thoughts into music. There is no formula for writing music, but knowing the theory will teach you how to get the type of sound you want. Without this knowledge your really just shooting holes in the dark trying get something that sounds good.

As a side, please don't go around saying that music theory isn't helpful if you don't know music theory.

You might want to re-read what I wrote (I don't mean to say that in an insulting way) and I probably could have explained my message better so I won't sound like a stubborn (lazy) kid who thinks music theory is useless. In fact, I agree with everything you said except your last sentence (in your first paragraph). I probably could have just quoted nav, said I agree, and left it at that. But I will explain myself so I don't come off as being ignorant.

I highly doubt music theory will be the key aspect on deriving a catchy tune. if you just solely rely on that then you will just end up sounding formulaic, which will not result in making a catchy riff. With that said, it won't hurt if you dont solely revolve around music theory, but you certainly won't *should have said always* need it.

I have a friend who's been playing violin for seven years, shes an excellent performer, and was a great student in the theory class we took together. But when the class got near the near the end and we approached harder subjects, this time involving excercises were we start composing are own music, she was completely lost. With all those years of reading music, and knowing how to analyze, you still can't write anything at all? This is more common among musicians than you think. That just shows, you can have perfect grammar, a broad vocabulary, an overall excellent understanding of the language of English- but when it comes to writing your own stories, all that knowledge is pointless if YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SAY.

I would never advise not to learn music theory, for the reasons you stated and more. I just don't think it's entirely necessary in all cases, and it is certainly not the foremost important aspect in creating music. IMO, having a personal inspiration and having something to say is the gateway to composition. Your ear is by far the most important tool when creating music. Can music theory improve it? Obviously yes, but it will never be the answer to everything. If you look at professional musicians you will see that there is a balance between those who attend school and seriously study music, and those who just have a natural talent for creating audio and composing something appealing, with having little to no formal training. If you want to talk about composing symphonies and juding on a technicality basis you can make a case, but this topic is a query on how to make catchy tunes.

(I took that literary analogy from Steve Dunster btw)

Besides, I fail to see how that video that you posted has anything to do with making catchy riffs.

InsaneSmilie
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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 28th, 2008 @ 09:43 PM Reply

At 2/28/08 07:13 PM, Suspended-3rd-Chord wrote:
At 2/28/08 04:51 PM, InsaneSmilie wrote: As a side, please don't go around saying that music theory isn't helpful if you don't know music theory.
lots of stuff

That comment was directed at you, so much as musch some of the erlier posts and previous topics on this stuff. It's just something thats been annoying me.


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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 28th, 2008 @ 09:56 PM Reply

At 2/28/08 09:43 PM, InsaneSmilie wrote: That comment was directed at you, so much as musch some of the erlier posts and previous topics on this stuff. It's just something thats been annoying me.

EDIT: That comment was not directed at you Suspended-3rd-Chord, that was a typo. My appologies.


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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 28th, 2008 @ 09:56 PM Reply

Your ear is by far the most important tool when creating music.

I hate to be a jackass, but this statement is completely false, and unfounded. The mind and the voice are the two greatest tools a musician has. granted, there will be people like Danny Elfman, who have no great training in music, but even he still abides by theory. Your ear can only take you so far. Contrary to popular belief, the rules of theory make you more free, rather than less. When writing, you should work out a melody first, as melodies are what people will remember. next, for harmony, the ear should not be your guide. Start on the tonic (first chord in your key signature) and then try and figure out which chords the next measure implies. Look at your standard chord movements, and see which ones work. Play those through, and repeat. That is by far the most efficient way to write. Granted, banging at a piano, like I tend to, will get you somewhere eventually, it will take more time to say (random chord), no. (random chord), nuh-uh. (random chord), maybe (random chord), no. (random chord), ew. Etc.

Just go with theory. it's like getting a root canal, but in the end,it will be worth it. You can make catchy music without it, but your music will never be fully substantial and full until you take it.


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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 28th, 2008 @ 11:23 PM Reply

At 2/28/08 09:43 PM, InsaneSmilie wrote: That comment was directed at you, so much as musch some of the erlier posts and previous topics on this stuff. It's just something thats been annoying me.
EDIT: That comment was not directed at you Suspended-3rd-Chord, that was a typo. My appologies.

It's all cool I guess O_o

I hate to be a jackass, but this statement is completely false, and unfounded. The mind and the voice are the two greatest tools a musician has. granted, there will be people like Danny Elfman, who have no great training in music, but even he still abides by theory. Your ear can only take you so far. Contrary to popular belief, the rules of theory make you more free, rather than less. When writing, you should work out a melody first, as melodies are what people will remember. next, for harmony, the ear should not be your guide. Start on the tonic (first chord in your key signature) and then try and figure out which chords the next measure implies. Look at your standard chord movements, and see which ones work. Play those through, and repeat. That is by far the most efficient way to write. Granted, banging at a piano, like I tend to, will get you somewhere eventually, it will take more time to say (random chord), no. (random chord), nuh-uh. (random chord), maybe (random chord), no. (random chord), ew. Etc.

Just go with theory. it's like getting a root canal, but in the end,it will be worth it. You can make catchy music without it, but your music will never be fully substantial and full until you take it.

When I said ear, I didn't mean it only in a literal sense, but more as metaphor to along the lines of what you said: the mind. You ear/mind will help you decipher and break down all of what your said. You're not being a jackass; I have a tendency to not complety backup what I say. I don't completely agree what you say will be the most efficient way to write, but its still a good method.

And learning music theory is painful!? i dont know, i personally was enthralled by it, even from the beginning...

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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 29th, 2008 @ 02:06 AM Reply

At 2/27/08 12:46 PM, Sparx-1 wrote: I'm asking for some advice... Does anyone have any tips for coming up with a theme tune that sticks in one's head?

Yeah, stick your dick in your sisters fucking arse while she's asleep. The noise she'll make is just pure inspiration.

Gillenium
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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 29th, 2008 @ 03:47 AM Reply

Keep it simple.


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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 29th, 2008 @ 04:20 AM Reply

At 2/28/08 09:56 PM, MJTTOMB wrote: Your ear is by far the most important tool when creating music.

I hate to be a jackass, but this statement is completely false, and unfounded. The mind and the voice are the two greatest tools a musician has. granted, there will be people like Danny Elfman, who have no great training in music, but even he still abides by theory. Your ear can only take you so far.

Oh God, you're so restrained by the theory it's insane. You went on to give us a detailed description of how music "should" be written.

Anyway, just because Danny Elfman's music tends to abide by theory does not mean his ear isn't doing all the work. Your ear alone can take you VERY far. If you're serious about music you should study theory, but it's definitely NOT the most important thing in composition. It's just one of many tools available to a composer.

Look at Debussy back in the day. He was getting shit on for all the avant-garde and "impressionistic" composition he was doing in the musical schools of thought and theory at the time, and he was one hell of a trailblazer musically, influencing tons of new stuff.

So, arguably, without theory you may never reach full potential. But it's not the most important thing. There are lots of musicians with great theory knowledge and no ability to compose, and lots of musicians with great ability to compose and no theory knowledge.

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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 29th, 2008 @ 10:11 AM Reply

nother vote for ear here...there are plenty of things that make theoretical sense, but they just sound horrible & dissonant. even classical composers stayed away from that stuff

theory is more of a guideline, not rules to follow... accidentals ring a bell??
theory is more like a science. the most basic & robust understanding of theory is enough to get anyone by, going deep into that shit won't make you a better composer


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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 29th, 2008 @ 11:05 AM Reply

ok seriously, stop bickering.

THE GUY ASKED FOR ADVICE ON HOW TO MAKE CATCHY TUNES!

He didnt ask for a lesson in composing using music theory vs your ear, or which one is better and who used what.

If he had said "Hey guys i've been wondering, could you guys bitch about whether music theory is better for composing than using your ear? Thanks" Then I can understand where you guys are coming from. But seriously, he asked a question on how to make a catchy tune, not an entire composition.


At 3/27/11 10:22 PM, sugarsimon wrote:
the brilliant songs who create a production for music
Wat

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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 29th, 2008 @ 01:00 PM Reply

At 2/29/08 10:11 AM, xXDathDalerXx wrote: nother vote for ear here...there are plenty of things that make theoretical sense, but they just sound horrible & dissonant. even classical composers stayed away from that stuff

theory is more of a guideline, not rules to follow... accidentals ring a bell??
theory is more like a science. the most basic & robust understanding of theory is enough to get anyone by, going deep into that shit won't make you a better composer

I admit, theory can have restrictions, but it does make you a better writer. You cannot prove that it won't until you take it. I took theory, and have come out with a better understanding, and my music is better than before. Don't make statements like that unless you've tried it.

Give me an example of something that makes theoretical sense, but sounds terrible, please. I'd love to hear it.

I know I outlined how to write, but that is simply an efficient way to write. You don't have to write that way. If you hear full symhonies in your head, then transcribe them. For the rest of us, that's a well-used, logical approach. I'm not saying other ways don't work, but said way is a very efficient way to do so.

As for writing tunes, just get a hook that is hummable and memorable. If people can hum it, it's more likely than not a good little hook.

Just try humming random little melodies for a few seconds at a time every few hours, until you find something you like.


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Response to Any advice for making catchy tunes? Feb. 29th, 2008 @ 01:22 PM Reply

holy shit, do people simply ignore me?

SERIOUSLY, music theory and other arguments are OFF TOPIC to what the thread starter wanted to know. Keep your personal arguments to PMs, or the general forum.


At 3/27/11 10:22 PM, sugarsimon wrote:
the brilliant songs who create a production for music
Wat