“Now that everyone knows how great you are at orchestrating, please take everything out so we can distinguish the melody, please…”

I have been Blessed to have studied  under some great teachers,the best to date (probably because I am ready) is Bob “Rozie” Rozario” I learned one day in 10 minutes what many composers seem to miss. As much as I scream Melody is King.. People seem to still look at me sideways.

   The Lesson

As I am driving to Bobs home, I’m listening to a track Bob will surely love. 
In a previous lesson Bob  finally persuaded me to start writing out my scales. Not the Diatonic, the other ones with those weird symbols # and b 🙂  I believe it was D Harmonic anyway, I came up with a cool melody which turned into a great track. I orchestrated it with all the bells and whistles and I know Bob is just gonna say ” Now we are talking, listen to that orchestration.

“The first 10 minutes of an hour lesson with Bob, completely changed the way I looked at composing music.”

What really Happened

After listening to the track a couple times Bob said,”Dave, Nice Orchestration”  “See I knew it ” I said to myself.. Then he added  ” Where’s  the King? ” I said , Huh? Bob said, “when composing music,there is a hierarchy, Melody is King in this situation, Where is your King? “He added by saying, “now that everyone knows how great Dave Haertel is at orchestrating can you please remove the other members of the kingdom and please find me the King remove all your beautiful orchestration so we can hear the melody..” “Melody is King” Where is the King Dave?  At that point I had realized what I had done, I had gotten a grasp on some cool orchestration techniques and ” you were going to hear them.” The problem is, there is no sense having a Kingdom with no King. It just doesn’t work.

We start with a strong melody, progression or lyric perhaps even a simple groove, However  we can never lose sight of the message. Once the melody is established the rest of the members in the kingdom just seem to fall into place to support,not impress. If it is a dance track it’s probably the beat, if it’s a music cue in a media presentation then its probably the progression of the music,a melody may not even be present. Again please note there always has to be a KIng. For this particular tune it was clear the melody was the King.

Final Thoughts

I was watching one of my favorite fusion Bands on you tube the other day”The Yellow Jackets” Listening to four players perform completely different parts,like each part was a song by itself,, yet it all fit to make one great tune “Tortoise and the Hair” I believe. If you are a composer and you understand this lingo, than you know exactly what I am talking about.. Please feel free to share your thoughts.

The song below is a chance to show you an example of a simple melody and also promote my new CD at the same time At some point I need to replay and fix a couple of glitches but you will get the idea.

In an up coming Blog I will share the track which this lesson refers to. The track below was actually a lesson that turned into the tune. The student asked me to write an example of a real simple melody and I did and a song was born.

Thanks for stopping by