Melodic Inspiration from Random Numbers

Sometimes great melodies come as a result of forcing yourself out of the usual patterns you rely on in improvisation.

In this Tuesday Tip we'll look at a way to jump start the process.

The idea is simple: Create melodies by stringing random numbers together, each number corresponding to a scale degree.

So the key of C, for example, would be 1=C, 2=D, 3=E, 4=F, 5=G, 6=A, 7=B, 8=C, 9=D.

Let's say I wanted to create a melody from my birthday...8/11/1986. The resulting melody would be C C C C D C A. Not the most exciting example, but you get the idea.

Here are a few other ideas to get you started:

  • Important dates
  • Your street address
  • Phone numbers
  • The lucky numbers on the back of your fortune cookie fortune
  • Pi

    Set aside 20 minutes or so and see where this concept of creating melodies from random numbers takes you. You may be pleasantly surprised!

    P.S. Please remember to add some rhythmic variety to your melodies. Therein lies the magic.


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