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Melodica Beginner Questions

 
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famico



Joined: 02 Jul 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:57 pm    Post subject: Melodica Beginner Questions Reply with quote

Hello everyone. This is my first post here...

I want to buy a melodica. But I'm a complete beginner with all keyboard instruments (I'm a below-average guitar player), so I have a few basic questions that I can't see answered anywhere on any forum, so either there are lots of people scratching their heads like me, or there will be lots of people scratching their heads at my ignorance once they read this post. Surprised)

So, here are my questions:

1) Do I want a soprano or an alto? My intention is to play along to my music at home, maybe jam with some guitar players, woo some girls, nothing major.

2) What's the difference between a melodica in 'C' and in 'F' (for example). All the notes are there, right? Is it just that the lowest/highest notes are C on one and F on the other? Why is this good/bad?

3) Web literature on the melodica seems to be sparse. What should I be searching for? I'm guessing that if I want to be playing chords, "piano chords" and "left-hand piano techniques" are good and for melodies, "piano melodies" and "right-hand piano techniques".

4) Any other tips?


Thanks to everyone for humouring my ignorance.

Famico
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Klaus5



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 108
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think what you need to do is get a melodica, then read up some basic general piano technique like chords and such so you have a general idea of what your doing, then just listen to music and try to play along by ear.Youll be knocking out your own tunes in no time!
Also i imagine breathing technique will be important, but im sure there is some things on the web somewhere about that..

As for soprano/alto, ive no idea. Just go for what sounds best to your ears i guess. (look up some vids on youtube to hear the different types)

According to wikipedia:
Quote:
* Soprano and alto melodicas are higher-pitched and thinner sounding than tenors. Some are designed to be played with both hands at once; the left hand plays the black keys, and the right hand plays the white keys. Others are played like the tenor melodica.

* Tenor melodicas are a lower-pitched type of melodica. The left hand holds a handle on the bottom, and the right hand plays the keyboard. Tenor melodicas can be played with two hands by inserting a tube into the mouthpiece hole and placing the melodica on a flat surface.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melodica

Ive no idea about the c/f thing, i never knew of that til now, but this pic illustrates how your right, its just what note it starts with.




sorry i should say that i dont play melodica or any keyboard instruments myself, im just trying to help out, so take what im saying with a pinch of salt!
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famico



Joined: 02 Jul 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:34 pm    Post subject: Melodica Beginner Questions Reply with quote

Thanks for your help, Klaus5. Well, I've managed to answer some of my own questions by a trip down to the music shop today. It seems my two questions were kind of the same one. In case anyone else reads this and is interested...

A C is a soprano ( I think) and an F is an alto (might be the other way round). The difference is that the F is 5 semi-tones lower. When they say it's in a different key, they don't mean that only one key can be played on it, because it has all the notes. It's just those 5 semi-tones lower, that's all.

In that photo, you can see that the top two are 'two handed' (in terms of how many hands you actually play notes with), with the right hand playing the black notes and the left using the white ones. This makes it easier to play more complex pieces, as there are twice as many fingers tapping away, but it means that playing this kind of melodica is less of a transferable skill to and from the piano. As I want my melodica to be a kind of a stepping stone to playing the proper piano, I'm going to stick to one of the lower kinds. Likewise, a seasoned piano player is probably going to want to go to one of the lower ones too, as they will be able to pick it up and play. But if you want to be doing some seriously nifty stuff, the two handed version might be better.

Wikipedia is wrong in that little excerpt. It suggests that only the tenor one can be played two handed with a tube. In fact, they all can.

I've been having a look at my music collection to find the easiest sounding music to learn to play with, and I've decided that Kraftwerk sounds like the easiest and most fun to play. Smile
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Klaus5



Joined: 04 Nov 2008
Posts: 108
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice man. Im excited for you, id love to get/learn melodica one day!
It would be cool if you could maybe post some recordings when youve figured it out. Have fun
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