Jonny Mellis DriveHQpage

Making Music

Somebody once asked me

how I make my music and what methods I recommend....

I wrote a pretty good and quite a long answer so I saved it... and here it is:


Making music for me is a lot of fun and a job at the same time...

(an ingredient in my life so vital that I would probably not be alive if I didn't)

Everyone an anyone can learn some basics and use "templates" to write a song...

But there is a big difference for those who are "gifted" and the ones that wants to be good.


You can not force good music to be created...

( it"creates" itself ;) )

For me it's "easy" - I've been doin it almost all my life...

I "hear" the melodies in my head (sometimes it's like a whole orchestra )  the hard part 

is to remember it long enough to record it or get hold of some musical instrument and play it...

I think you could compare it to the way an artist "sees" the painting before he paints it...

Anyway if you want to make music and don't know how my advise is

that you "co-write" a song with someone that has done it before...

Try to play a simple melodie on a piano or guitar (or whatever instrument you can get access to) try to "humm" or sing it until it "sticks".

Then show it to friend/s you know that can play and ask them to help you to record it on your computer...

THEN you can start to modifie it with various programs...

OR as some do : you can "steal" other peoples stuff, and remake it your own... But this I DO NOT recommend...

no one appreciates a thief...and you will not feel good about yourself or your creation...

Again you can compare it to a drawing, that YOU have made and scanned it into photoshop for some "effect experimenting".

The main thing to remember is that it's supposed to be FUN to play / make music... THAT is more important than the result....


Some background as teacher

I  started  with private lessons, then progressed to be a  proffesional guitar and drum teacher for more than 10 years ago

( to make some extra cash since my job as musician and studio engineer did not pay well enough at the time )

So I can say that I know a thing or two about  teaching music without bragging

The fact is I'm good at  it in a  pedagogic manner. ( patience and calm, not always easy)

I used my own "note-system" that is very much simpler and more logic than the traditional.


As an example: I did not start with the C major scale   C D E F G A B  

 [ do-re-mi-fa-so-la-t i ]    - All the white keys on a piano played from left to right.

I showed them the  A-minor instead  A B C D E F G  (looks familiar eh?) 

 [ la-ti-do-re-mi-fa-so ]   Still all the white keys,  but ina much more logic manner.


Guitar Techniques

Start with simple chords or better: simplified chords.

In rock music you can go a long way playing "fifths" with only two notes.


Example: put your index finger on the 6th string (the thickest) fret 5 (A) and your pinky on the 5th string fret 7.

There you have an A that is neither minor or major. 

This simple "chord" can be used anywhere on the neck and it's easy to learn

what "chord" you are playing 'cause your index finger is pointing at it.


Example 2: index finger on 5th str, fret 5. pinky on 4th str, fret 7 = D

Example 3: index finger on 5th str, fret 7 and pinky on 4th str, fret 9 = E

With these 3 chords you can play thousands of songs like the 12 bar blues...


A, A, A, A, D, D, A, A, E, D, A, E.....


Easy Drumbeats

Lesson number one for my drum-students is the 4/4 - straight beat.

Assuming you are right-handed you will play the HI-HAT with your right hand and the

KICK-drum (bassdrum) with your right foot. - You will play the SNARE-drum with your left hand.

To make it easier to understand we will use these shorts for the drums above:



Start by counting to 4 aloud (1,2,3,4 should take about 2 seconds = 120 BPM) and keep repeating it like this:

Strike the HH with your right hand on all 4 counts. - Hit the BD on ONE and the SD on the THREE.

This simple formula shows the pattern: 

Repeat the patten 4 times and you have played the 4/4 beat:


This page will be updated as soon as I get the time....



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