Melodic search engines let people find music in online collections by specifying the desired melody. Comparing the query melody to every item in a large database is prohibitively slow. If melodies can be placed in a metric space, search can be sped by comparing the query to a limited number of vantage melodies, rather than the entire database. We describe a simple melody metric that is customizable using a small number of example queries. This metric allows use of a generalized vantage point tree to organize the database. We show on a standard melodic database that the general vantage tree approach achieves superior search results for query-by-humming compared to an existing vantage point tree method. We then show this method can be used as a preprocessor to speed search for non-metric melodic comparison.