Here's a good exercise to engage your creative muse. This exercise is designed to iteratively modify a given phrase or group of notes, creating a slightly different melody simply by emphasizing a different note or grouping of notes each time. I have used this technique many times to perfect the phrasing in a song.
Play a short phrase, and then repeat it but emphasize a different note. You can emphasize a note using any of the ornamentation techniques that you have learned, or by simply playing the note louder, softer, longer or shorter. This exercise is a great precursor to constructing a song, and it is a great skill to build upon because it trains your brain to think about a phrase in different ways. A lot of time this kind of experimentation may actually give you a better sounding phrase than you originally started with, or it may completely change your mood.
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