- August 25, 2014 at 12:33 pm #3019CaseParticipant
Hey everyone. I was hoping to get some advice on practicing. I really like my melodica, usually carry it around in my oversized backpack with me. But, I’m a beginner musically. I can’t really whip it out and improvise anything yet.
I was wondering if anyone could suggest things to practice on it that are beneficial learning-wise, but also sound musical. IE, if I played around friends/girlfriend, they wouldn’t be TOO annoyed, or it actually might sound like something.
So, scales are one thing, but they absolutely sound like scales and become irritating, any modulation on scales that make them sound more musical? Things of that nature are what I’m hoping to find.
Any help would be awesome, Thanks!August 25, 2014 at 9:46 pm #3023prodzParticipant
try to practice on piano (or synth keyboard) with both hand. melodica is easy instrument to play, but general knowledge on piano (or synth) is esential.
usualy melodica is an instrument that you play by ear, and for that you have to know how to use a keyboard without “thinking”.
practice, practice, practice, practice, practice…
P.S. welcome to melodicaworld!August 26, 2014 at 4:56 am #3025Daren BanarsëKeymaster
Welcome to the forum. In my experience, real practising, meaning benefical practise that actually makes you a better player, will never sound interesting to listen to. You should pick something simple and play it very slowly again and again, making sure to stay relaxed and fully focused. If you’re making mistakes, then slow it down even more, or break it into small sections.
Most of my practise is ‘silent’, playing the keys but not blowing. This is a great technique for really concentrating on what your hand is doing, and making sure that your fingers are moving efficiently.
This of course has the added benefit that you can practise anywhere without annoying anyone!August 26, 2014 at 5:56 am #3029Melodica-MeParticipant
Hello Case, welcome to the forum. I have always enjoyed practice time, simply because it’s my time. When I practice alone I tend to hear things that I do not hear when I am in a group setting. What helped me when I was starting out some 45 plus years ago was that if I learned a piece that was simple in the begining It would build up my confidence with the instrument. Once I finished learning the piece I felt a sence of accomplishment, it made me want to learn another piece. If you pick a piece that is complicated you may feel that it’s to hard to make your instrument sound like what you may expect. I still practice almost every day. But now it’s mostly improvisation. Don’t worry about what others think, usually after you learn a couple of tunes your friends will want to learn as well and chicks will think your hot, OK no they won’t I’m just making that one up. One last thing, scales suck but they do work. Good luck and we are all here for you.
Melodica-MeAugust 26, 2014 at 2:01 pm #3030Alan BrintonParticipant
One thing that has worked for me, Case, is to occasionally spend a bit of very relaxed time playing little melodies (made up or parts of familiar tunes – just make up a melody from the notes of the scale), sometimes with my eyes closed. I started doing this when I first picked up the melodica. I had several years of classical training on piano, and it was all too stiff and formal, with no attention to improvisation or playing by ear and too much emphasis on preparing for performance for the teacher or recitals. I frequently sit on the bed with my melodica, sometimes even lie down, and make sounds that please me, and I focus on getting pleasing sounds rather than on hitting the notes, since there are no right on wrong notes in this situation. Except that it helps to be in a key. I started out getting in keys that were harder for me on the piano, like Db or Ab, and I found that these keys are not so hard on the melodica. I’m sure you’ve seen musicians just fooling around with their instrument, warming up, just diddling around, relating to their instrument. I’ve always liked that. I get more compliments when family or friends hear me doing that than when I play a piece for them. I think it’s better to start out playing your melodica when other people happen to be around and get over the self-consciousness that way than it is to perform for them.August 26, 2014 at 3:48 pm #3032CaseParticipant
Thanks for all the feedback! Lots of good info. Seems like for now, I’ll be doing most of my practicing on my full size keyboard and just doing little tunes or melodies when I decide to pull out the melodica. Thanks again for the welcome and infoSeptember 4, 2014 at 11:24 am #3066jazzman1945Participant
Hi, Case! To start retrieve something from melodica, forget about the piano and accordion; think about wind instrument like a saxophone or trumpet. This means – leading not fingers, but breath; ie phrase – exhale (pause) ; phrase – exhale ( pause). The primary form of this – Riff. You need to start exactly with this!Each note should be pronounced, and then she gets a sense.
Here’s my example: riffs alternate with quiet rhythmic fillers :
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