When you're trying to craft a catchy tune, one strategy is to combine instruments across a larger melody, creating call-and-answer phrases to play off each other.
In this tutorial, we'll walk you through a three-part melody line and our choices for the different layers.
Step 1: Here’s a chorus section of a track that features just drums, bass and piano, in the key of C minor. We’ll start building our hook by simply replacing the chords that the piano is playing with short, staccato versions of the same chords played by a marimba sample. This marimba part could also be used on its own as the intro to the song, for instance.
Step 2: Next, we program in a single note riff on a different track, also loaded with the same marimba sound - the factory African Marimba preset from Logic Pro X’s EXS24 sampler. To match the rest of the notes in our track, this riff is constructed using notes from the C minor scale.
Step 3: We program a little answering phrase to fill in the gaps between the main hook. We can either use the same marimba sound for this – as it suits the part and could work to make a complex, all-marimba hook – or we could use a different sound for this part, for a kind of ‘duelling hooks’ effect. Something like a mono synth sound, for instance, or even a sung vocal hook.