How to Transform Your Memories Into Melodies

· By Will Harken

How to Transform Your Memories Into Melodies

Turning your memories into music is a special kind of magic. It has shaped my creative journey, like how my breakup with my high school sweetheart (yeah, that one) inspired one of my earliest songs, "Denser Suns." It's raw but remains one of my best. Recently, someone even told me they're using it as their wedding song. How cool is that?

Let's walk through this music creation process together, step by step.

Digging into the Past

Your first step is embracing the power of reminiscence. Start with a memory packed with emotion, like my post-high-school heartbreak.

Sit quietly with a computer or some paper, and let yourself relive it. Focus on the small details – the words said, the feelings felt, the people involved, and the setting. Write it all down. These tiny details will make your song feel real and relatable, even if they don't all make it into the final lyrics.

For me, I leaned into how cold I felt... as cliché as that sounds.

Turning Emotions into Poetic Words

Next, turn your emotions and the details into poetic words. When writing my heartbreak song lyrics, I focused on how I felt then.

The desolation, the longing, the shock – I put it all on paper. I also mixed in a friend's story. He's an Aerospace engineer who's all about space. I drew a symbolic comparison between the death of a star and a breakup.

Space Art
Space stuff

That helped describe how a star's death can lead to new beginnings, in a way. Be as descriptive as possible; this raw material is the backbone of your song.

Struggling? Trying Lyric Studio can help with suggestions based on a core idea.

Finding the Rhythm in Your Words

Once you have your words, it's time to find their rhythm. Think about the timing of how the words are sung. Read your words out loud and notice where the natural stresses fall.

When I wrote my lyrics, I found a rhythm in "You left me in eclipse behind the cold dark moon." The stress fell on the syllables: left, lipse, cold, dark, moon.

Pay attention to the natural flow, and rhythms will emerge.

Developing the Melody

Now, write the melody – the pitch of the vocals. If you're new at this, learning an instrument can really help. Playing more songs makes writing melodies easier because you learn what sounds good.

No musical training? No problem. Hum or sing along. Pay attention to the natural peaks and valleys of your voice. Keep experimenting with notes until something clicks.

Note: Single note melodies sometimes get critiqued, but they can work really well. Look at T-Swift or Ed Sheeran.

You can also try using Melody Studio for computer assistance. Humming along to the rhythm lines is how the melody of "Denser Suns" was born.

Sharing Your Song and Improving

Now, show your song to close friends or family. I was super nervous when I first performed for my friends, but seeing their reactions was empowering. It felt even better when we made a music video for it.

Don't be afraid to share your work. Feedback can lead to great improvements but don't take it personally.

Need Music Help?

Feeling creative and want to make music from your memories? Sign up for one helpful music email per week.

Also, don't hesitate to reach out if you need help bringing your musical ideas to life.


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