I’d hear an actor say something in a movie and immediately, without thinking, sing back the phrase. A friend would say something in conversation and I’d repeat it back with a melody. It was as if I had caught a melody disease.
Over time, I started to notice it became easier and easier to conjure new melodies while songwriting. Singing what I or someone else said was teaching me how to turn words into melodies in a seamless way — an instinctual way. I was shortening the distance between lyrical thought and the melody of a song, striking closer to the emotion of the words. This talk-sing method had become a part of me.
How To Turn Conversations Into Great Songs Using the Talk-Sing Method
Developing your aurelect. When I’m working with young songwriters, one of the most common questions I get is: “How do you know which notes to choose when writing a melody?” It’s a fair question for sure, but comes from a place of desiring to intellectually understand an instinctual process. In reality, when writing a song, I hear the notes far more quickly than I can think them. My voice is following my ear — to be specific, the instincts of my ear. I prefer to don’t overthink it and just write as it comes. Sometimes I go back to what I have written and check if it needs any changes.
Intellectually, we can learn techniques for writing melody. While it’s crucial to expand our mental understanding of melody, in order to take melody writing to the next level of composition, we must turn off our intellect and trust our aurelect.
In aurelect moments, we are not intellectually thinking about melody; we are hearing it and immediately singing it. The talk-sing method teaches us to compose without the intellect. We are following where the ear takes us. Similarly, we can use this same process to turn everyday conversations into great songs.
Practicing the Talk-Sing Method. I encourage you to practice the talk-sing method with phrases you hear on YouTube, on TikTok, on Netflix, on the radio or in everyday conversation. Do it until it becomes second nature to you. This will help train you to intuitively fit phrases into melody and rhythm. No thinking or filtering — just sing. For this melody muscle builder, remember there is no wrong way to sing a line. It’s all about shortening the lag time between thinking words and breathing musical emotion into them.