Jazz Piano Tutorial – Composition and Melodic Development

Jazz Piano
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This Jazz Piano Tutorial is about Composition and Melodic Development.

Composing a melody is much like improvising, just not spontaneous. That is, you can go back and modify what you’re written. Writing a song is a very personal and subjective thing and there’s no right or wrong method to doing it.

There are 4 basic musical elements:
– Melody,
– Harmony,
– Rhythm,
– Timbre.
And various genres of music place differing levels of importance to each of these elements.

There are also 4 ways to analyse a melody:
– Intervallic,
– Motivic,
– Scalar,
– Harmonic

A widely used technique when writing creative stories is the Snowflake Method. I recommend using something similar when composing a song.
– Doodle about on the piano
– Accidentally discover a phrase you like
– Use that phrase as a motif
– Develop the motif into a melody
– Find another motif and link the two motifs together somehow
– Embellish your melody (by adding ornamentals, passing notes, etc)
– Harmonise the Melody with Chords (see my lessons on reharmonization. The same principles apply here)
– Arrange your composition (by adding a form, chord voicings, instrumentation, dynamics, etc.)

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