Lorrie Gunn - children's lessons & play-along videos expert

How to Create your Own Melody

Learn how to create your own music on the fly

In this video, Lorrie teaches you how to create your own melody with your violin.

Released on August 4, 2021

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hello, fellow violin lovers. I'm here today to address a problem that I sometimes have and maybe you have the problem too so I'm hoping to give you a way to fix it. Have you ever had the problem where someone asks you, they say, "You play the violin. Play something," and your mind goes blank and you cannot think of anything to play. But you know how to play the violin. So I'm going to show you a way where you can create your own melody pretty easily, and it's actually really fun to do. So, you want to remember, when you're making your own melody, you need to give yourself some parameters, some boundaries. So one thing you can do is just play maybe the notes on the A string using Fingers Open 1, 2, 3, and 4. That would work very, very well.

Another thing you could do is you could include maybe your first finger on the E string. That would be like using all the notes in Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. So, that would give you more variety. But for just now, today, let's make some melodies up on the A string. What I like to do also is use a question and answer format where the first part of my musical idea or musical phrase is asking a question. Now, certain notes sound better to stop on when asking a question. So if I play on my A string, my Fingers Open 1, 2, 3, and 4, I would play maybe... I just played O, O, 1, 1, O. Well, that does not sound like a question. It sounds like an answer. So what we've learned is that the A string is a very good note to end on if you're ending your phrase or giving an answer.

So let's find a note that might sound like a question note. Okay, we play O, O, 1, 2, 3, 3, 4. I think that, that 4 sounds like a question note. So I like to land on that in the middle of my phrase. It gives a hello idea. So, all right, well, let's see, let's give a try. So I'll give a try right here in the studio. I'll play a question out. Here we go. Well, there, I was able to do it. And what you can do is then put those two parts together. So you see, you can keep it very simple and it will sound great. A lot of people get too fancy. They play too long for their question and their answer. You can just make it really, really smooth and easy. Other things you can do to make it more interesting is to make some double notes. You might've heard me playing the A string twice, or my second finger twice. You could use different rhythms. You could hold one note really long. You could put some rests in it.

Rests are the silence part of music. Music's made of sound and silence, and the rests are the quiet part. So you could stop your bow. I'm going to try a question and answer melody that I just make up now with some of those other qualities. Here we go. Now, if you are playing around with this and you get a melody that you really like, you could begin to write this down because then you're really on your way to composing and making your own songs for here on out. It's really fun. One way you can write it out is what I call using just tabs. You would tell what string you're on and you would say what finger you're on. Now, sometimes this is not the greatest for doing rhythms, but it will help you remember what you liked about the direction of your melody. And the more you do it, the better you will be at it.

If you want, there is a free sheet music download for the music in this video from virtualsheetmusic.com.
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