When your writing your own melodies or playing your own improvisations you can get great ideas from looking at what the masters have done. If you start with the melodies you like, the songs that have stood the test of time, then you can’t go far wrong. In the example below I’ve started to have a look at what is going on in the first measures of the classic Vernn Duke and Ira Gershwin song I Can’t Get Started. On first listening it sounds as if it could be a bit of a vocal challenge with an octave leap in the melody in the pickup / measure 1 and also measures 2/3. In my Beyond Tabs guitar course I look at how we can analyse melodies in terms of leaps, stepwise motion and how the use of intervals can create tension and resolution in the music. In the example below there’s a certain tension created by these two octave leaps. However the tension is very cleverly tempered by the use steps which miss out every second note. To my ear this gives a symmetry to the melody which tempers the tension of the leap. This is the kind of idea that we can take and play around with when we are creating our own music. In my guitar course I also cover the area of ear training. A good way of remembering intervals, chord tones etc is to identify them in songs that you know. You’ll notice that the first 4 notes of I can’t get started form a Cmaj7 chord….try singing tyhem through. If your not familiar with the melody go to my I Can’t Get Started Guitar Song Lesson where you’ll find my recommended listening for the song.