Exercise 1: take the text of any familiar song, pronounce it rhythmically, whispering into the inlet slit, while pressing any key. For example:
One, two, three o’clock, four o’clock, rock.
If to pronounce with sound, most of the air will ‘flow away’ to the sides, the rest which will finding its way inside the instrument, will create the effect of hoarse frullato, due to the vocal chords vibration. The inlet ledge should not be taken into mouth, only touching the lips – then Melodica will respond to the slightest lips movement.
For better articulation tongue and lips should be moved more active than for usual speech.
Exercise should be practiced in all the registers.
Melodica, of course, cannot reproduce all the specter of human speech sounds, some consonants in the words won’t produce any effect; but the end result will be more varied than simply “Ta-ta-ta-tu-tu-tu”.
The First Improvisation
Maybe, this is the first reader’s improvisation ever – but you should start sometimes! Besides, you will see that with Melodica it is easier than on any other instrument.
Think of a simple sentence of 5-6 words that will get into 2 bars of 4/4, with enough time for pause.
How wonderful, that I can improvise!
To spread it by bars, we’ll get:
How ||: wonderful , that I can improvise! |(count) 1, 2, 3, 4 (How) :||
We’ve got a rhythmic phrase, not so simple, but typical of American blues and jazz; it clearly demonstrates connection between the rhythms of the spoken English and that of the American music.
Anyone can perform this exercise with other text in his native language – and will get other rhythm.