Audio: melodic idea (0:03)
melodic idea plays a melody on a recorder. The melodic idea figure shows the score consists of a melody with the five notes G-A-B-D-C.
A melodic idea is the thing that starts you off writing melody.
The idea in melodic idea is short and simple. A long and complex melody rarely, if ever, arrives fully formed. Often, it is better to start with something short and simple and then develop it.
Generating an idea for a melody need not be difficult although many writers find it one of the most difficult things to do. Certainly, you do not need to be inspired to write a melody. In many ways, starting with a short and simple melodic idea is the best way forward because it avoids the interminable wait for inspiration. Every idea, no matter how trite and banal, can be developed into something more interesting using the techniques listed in the variant table.
Here are a few guidelines that might help you to get creative if you are absolutely stuck: