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Tip of the Day: Do not start on the Downbeat!

Tip of the Day: Do not start on the Downbeat!

Dont Start on the down beat

You know the scenario: cool beat is at 80%, the first pads or even the bassline is in and you feel, that it is time for the melody to enter your listeners ears. With or without a MIDI keyboard at hand, you might tend to start on an even beat or most of the time “even” on the first.

True, many great melodies of our or former times are or were written that way, but it is very easy to spice things up a little and add a boatload of groove and funk, by starting before or after your “1”.

Not only that, many super catchy melodies do not even start on an even (sorry did it again) downbeat in the first place. Try to kick of your melody on an off beat in the middle or the end of a bar, to create something unusual for your style and gather new ideas for future tunes.

Tip 1: move your bar

Don´t put your 1st bar right in the beginning of your Ableton project, if you are in arrangement mode. Leaving space prior to your “real” first bar, gives you the opportunity to start off beat and kick in with the music.

Tip 2: 4 and

Try starting your current melody on “4 and”. Yes, go to your project, grab your newest melody in the editor and move it´s starting point to “4 and “ of the previous bar. Your ears are probably set on the way it used to be and you can always change it back, but you will like at least 1 unexpected turn, that might lead you to starting on a different beat next time.

Tip 3: breathe

Imagine taking a breath on your first beat of the bar and starting to “sing” or write the melody after that. It will add a human feel and can be easier to sing along.


Do you want to write catchy hooks?

Learn more in our Step-by-Step Melody Course !


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