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Riffs typical for 4 trumpets section in big band are easily performed:

||: N-ku tut Tat tu-Ku | tu-Ku Tat N N :||

[Linked Image]

Rhythms performance through chords is preparing to participate in melodicas ensemble , that is most important to the jazz /funk/pop/rock education.

Creation of melodic ensembles requires the skills of arranging for a group of 2 - 4 instruments. This will be discussed later.

Last edited by Nahum; 09/21/16 03:47 AM.
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Rhythms performance through chords is preparing to participate in melodicas
ensemble. an ensemble that is most important to jazz /funk/pop/rock education.

Samba (even eights):

TA-ka-ta-KA-TA-ka-ta-KA.
Metronome: 120- 184 BPM

[Linked Image]


Funk

This rhythm can use not only exhalation but inhalation as well – slightly similar to the technique of Bobby Mc Ferrin or Michael Jackson. But inhalation does not create rhythmic sounds, only the rhythmic pauses – and this is exactly what is needed for funk.
Metronome: 50-84 BPM

[Linked Image]











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Triplet feel


Playing 3 eights (triplet) for every beat:

“KAtata-PAtata”, “KUtutu-PUtutu” etc.

Metronome from 60 MM to 92 MM

[Linked Image]

Rhythms performance through chords is preparing to participate in melodicas
ensemble. an ensemble that is most important to jazz /funk/pop/rock education.

Funk

This rhythm can use not only exhalation but inhalation as well – slightly similar to the technique of Bobby Mc Ferrin or Michael Jackson. But inhalation does not create rhythmic sounds, only the rhythmic pauses – and this is exactly what is needed for funk.
Of course, rhythms previously are studied verbally.
Metronome: 50-84 MM

[Linked Image]

















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Start improvising

There are plenty of various manuals and self-teaching books for studying jazz harmony, improvisation in jazz style, blues, country etc. Some of them are very basic and primitive, and some are on a high academic level. But all are based on the following requirements for improvisation:
1. Well developed musical ear
2. Mastering the instrument
3. Knowledge of the theory: chords, harmony, tones, phrases etc.


Pianist has it all in the tips of his fingers: the sound, the technique, articulation, dynamics – all that we hear in his performance. And what a long time it takes to learn all that!
Wind instruments have division of functions between fingers and breathing: fingers are responsible for the vents, like the keys on the piano; sound originates in the mouth. Again, many years of training are needed to learn how to produce full, beautiful sounds on the trumpet, clarinet, saxophone or bassoon! And it takes a lot of time to learn fingering on these instruments, while his own fingers the musician may see only in the mirror, and the wrong finger means wrong sound.
As for Melodica, we discover that even a child may start improvising on it right away, by pressing only one key or several at once and talking into the inlet . A word spoken into Melodica is being transformed directly into musical sound. This is not fully a music yet, but the important elements are already here: form, phrases, breathing, rhythm, articulation, dynamics – and all this without the finger technique of the right hand, complete ignorance of the theory. Spoken language is becoming the rudimentary musical language… This kind of transforming speech into music is well demonstrated by the keyboard player from Hermeto Pascoal group – on the Festa Dos Deuses disc, the 5th track Pensamento Positivo.
Obviously, at this stage of sound making on Melodica other important elements are lacking: melodic intonation, melodic movement, as well as harmony. These are clearly functions of the right hand – here the technique is needed, as well as theory. Phrasing, breathing, rhythm, articulation, dynamics – all these demand years of learning and practice for any other instrument player, so that the instrument will sound similar to the human voice
Melodica, better that any other musical instrument, allows to achieve this effect directly, albeit on a limited scale. Any sound so performed, or even cluster, receive a very concrete meaning.
In author’s opinion, the importance of this feature for beginners is hard to overestimate.
Exercises are best practiced without the mouthpiece – otherwise it may sound like conversation with a smoking pipe in the mouth…

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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 the sound aloud , 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”.

Last edited by Nahum; 09/29/16 04:16 AM.
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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.
For example:

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) :||

[Linked Image]

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.

The chosen phrase should be pronounced as a mantra – rhythmically and repeatedly, into the Melodica inlet slit, with any key pressed – let’s say, middle “A”. We’ll get ‘riff”, i.e. repeated rhythmic phrase. Historically riffs in music originate from Africa; the basics of blues, jazz, rock, funk etc., are all build on riffs.

Riff is a smallest musical form in jazz and blues.

Improvisation starts with riff.

All the popular dancing music, as well as songs, is built on riffs, and their composition is usually starts with creating riff – trigger.
The moment when Melodica is sounded even on one note with pronounced phrase – this is the moment when musical composition is born; if the words are coming while you play – we have a spontaneous composition.
In vocal music it is called recitative. So, we have the following: anybody holding Melodica can easily create the musical recitative.
Just think – how many years would it take to learn this on any other instrument?

Speech intonation and melodic intonation


Reciting text into Melodica with any key pressed (recitative) sounds literally like monotonous speech; one of the most essential elements of human speech is lacking: intonation.
There are many opinions regarding definition of intonation. Phonetic musicians such as Daniel Jones, O’Connor and others side with the narrow definition: intonation is the variations of the voice pitch.
But we won’t be concerned with defining the term “intonation'”. More important is to assign the intonation and learn how to use it in improvisation.
Intonation in speech (and in music) consists of ascents and descents, flying up and falling down. In music it is sometimes replaced by the term “melodic contour”.
Actually, there are three basic intonations: ascending intonation (simply: question intonation), descending intonation (simply: answer intonation) and monotonous horizontal intonation – which is what you could produce on Melodica so far.
Each kind of intonation symbolizes one of the three main human emotional states: strictly horizontal is associated with complete tranquility, ascending intonation – with emotion, descending intonation – with calming own.
Our own regular speech intonation is so habitual and spontaneous that, when we need to recreate it, even roughly, on the instrument – we find it quite difficult.
At the same time most of us learn to imitate someone’s speech in childhood; some even grow up to become professional imitators.
What we need at this stage is to imitate on Melodica our own speech intonation. These should not be the exact sounds or even in the same register – rather something very approximate.
The main point is to catch the ups and downs of your talk intonation, while pressing not the separate keys but several simultaneously – what is called “clusters”. Such “blobs” will completely neutralize feelings of harmony, mode or tonality, releasing the effect of intonation. As a result we get your intonation scheme.

But first you need to realize the exact direction of the spoken intonation: up, down, or horizontal. For that the right hand movements can be used, drawing in the air the directions in the rhythm of your speech: vertical movements if intonation is up or down, and horizontally to the right if the intonation is flat.
Then the movements should be transferred to Melodica keyboard.
It won’t be easy for the first time; here you can use the recording equipment – to record your own voice. Such equipment is very common today, especially among the musicians .

[Linked Image]

Absolute note pitches and the intervals between them are not indicated in this example, but the arrows under notes indicate the exact direction of the phrase intonation, as spoken by the author. Most probably, intonation will be different if the phrase is spoken by someone else; voice intonation is an individual characteristic of the person speaking, like finger prints.

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Here is the same example but with clusters:

[Linked Image]

Transforming intonation scheme into melody

The last step remains in order to transform rhythmic phrase with intonation into a full-fledged, albeit simple, melody. This is not an improvisation yet, it is repeated without variations, without development; but it is fully yours, and can even express your character – you should value this!
To build a house, you need building materials. Our building material at this introduction to improvisation – pentatonic minor mode.
This simple mode is considered to be the oldest; it exists in musical culture all over the world.
To construct the melody we’ll take the following pentatonic mode, on the white keys: A (in the center) – C – D – E – G – A (the next octave).

[Linked Image]

These sounds will build the melody of your phrase, while its other main characteristics are already defined: rhythm, articulation, intonation, tempo, dynamics.

Building such melody is easy: determine which syllable in your text will have the highest pitch – here it is “wo” from “wonderful“, it will be on the highest A. And the lowest pitch will be on “that“:
It will fall on the lowest A. All the other syllables will be positioned between these two, taking into account intonation direction and using only sounds from the given pentatonic mode.
Here is the result:

[Linked Image]

Now we can take the 12-bar blues form and pack into it our constructed riff – 6 times.

[Linked Image]

By changing the intervals and sometimes intonation, reflecting so the feelings (intervals widen with emotional upheaval, and becoming shorter with relaxation), while remaining within the mode, you receive quite an acceptable musical piece. Most important – it is really yours…

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Epilogue

Nothing is easier than to pronounce a word – and it is so much more difficult to transform this word into music. To learn this many aspiring musicians study composition. To perform this music on any instrument you need to master the instrument, mastering an instrument takes a long time.
And so, ages may pass between pronouncing the word and its musical performance.
Basically, when we talk – we actually improvise.
The amazing MELODICA! book presents another way to your own music: from pronounced word directly to the musical sound, from pronounced phrase – to the musical phrase, from pronounced sentence – to the musical sentence; and, finally – from the story told in your words – to the story told through music.
And here – the sky is the limit!


To be continued…

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A few more words about the intonation factor. In the field of improvisation
the main driver are the rhythmic impulse and intonation. If the rhythmic part is clear to all, the intonational – far from it! The confusion begins with the terminology in the West, the term refers to the exact location of Pitch and tuning instruments .

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intonation_(music)

Note contradistinction semiotic concept in the West and in Russia – there is a “doctrine.” Idiotic invention by Western musicologists, which in relation to Russia have never learned to separate flies from cutlets.
In addition, there are the terms: speech melody, melodic curve, melodic contour, melodic inflection . Too much ! In Russian, there is a basic concept of intonation, related to individual sounds, to speech and to music.
This specific human quality, serving for verbal contact, and extrapolated to music. And when you consider that all of us – musicians and not musicians – are talking in some rhythm (depending on the native language) and are expressed through the intonation, one can safely say, that all of us are natural improvisers and composers – who with only potential, who in reality.
Now you can understand why it is necessary not only to respect other people’s sounds, but also your own – they are unique, like fingerprints – even if you are trying to emulate. and nobody, even a genius can’t copy them exactly. To discover the arts around us, we don’t need to study at the Academy, and even
read books about it, just move the lens to a small fragment of the seen and the heard .

https://yadi.sk/d/ELVAgJeowske4

The order of recorded: Satchmo, Russian passer, from street bickering in South Korea.

Otherwise, damn theorists completely twisted brains of all of us – in a democratic manner both in the East and the West!

Last edited by Nahum; 10/15/16 07:19 AM.
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For students the most interesting in melodica – to play in an ensemble of melodicas . Children specially love it very much! You already know that to perform the rhythm on melodica isn’t difficult. In the case of duo, the second melodica gives harmony in rhythm. Chords must be in lower case in a narrow position, it is possible to use the inversions for good voice leading.

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/...ly%20Boy%202%20melodicas_zpsnwemi4eh.jpg

https://yadi.sk/d/ToYzmb9NxRnSU

If there is a instrument with lower register as Hammond 44 or bass melodica, then bass part is provided.

http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/...oy%20%203%20%20melodicas_zpsgurtjj3m.jpg

https://yadi.sk/d/Kg9jeuUXxRngA


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Fast and very fast playing on melodica



Subject fast playing on the keyboard takes a lot of keyboardists minds in one or another period . The first natural advice is : to play a lot slowly and gradually pick up the pace. However, it is valid to some extent, beyond which the case simply isn't progressing. The students are thinking it's always a question of training of fingers ; but already in the 19th century, the great pianist F.Buzoni put forward the idea of technical phrasing, based on the organization of musical material in blocks, easy for brain to play on one volitional impulse. Teachers rightly say that fingers should be easily and freely , ie the focus moves from the fingers to another place . Melodica clearly demonstrates - whither: breathing (For pianists it means the breath of hands ) . As mentioned above, in this case   breath plus intonation control the movements of hands and fingers. Breath is primary, movement is secondary. After many years of playing melodica , if I simple pick up right hand and begins to blow just like that, the fingers jump themselves. Elaborated reflex.
Thus, for a significant acceleration of pace necessary to define the boundaries of breathing phrases, including a longer music fragments , and reduce the breathing time. On a more long phrase - a more accelerated breath. To determine the boundaries breathing phrases is possible just sing simultaneously with playing .




The only problem is that the air is not enough ! smile







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Here is a good example of using melodica during jazz piano lesson for improvement the swing articulation on piano .

https://yadi.sk/d/v4hLJOuj389T8w

As a training material I have used the rhythm etude from the book of Bob Stoloff Scat! combining with rhythm pronunciation aloud. The student worked specifically on swing articulation for the first time for himself . The improvement came very quickly - in 20 minutes.

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I think that for those who want to move from a classical piano to a jazz , it will be useful to look here.

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I am interested in which brand allows for the easiest technical control over pitch bending ? Pitch bending mostly involving slowly releasing the key or also slowly depressing the key. Since a bend is controlled by key action then I assume some brands have better springs and pivot points than others for controlling this technique.


Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.
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Originally Posted by RinTin
I am interested in which brand allows for the easiest technical control over pitch bending ? Pitch bending mostly involving slowly releasing the key or also slowly depressing the key. Since a bend is controlled by key action then I assume some brands have better springs and pivot points than others for controlling this technique.
You can find a lot of information and ask about it on the Melodicaworld website.I saw my mission from the very beginning in the very active coverage and promotion of this tool in the network, on its features, properties and potential. I believe that this has been achieved; so I stopped collecting new information. All melodicas I have - Hohner, Yamaha, Hammond, unnamed Chinese - allow bending.

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Dear Nahum,

Thank you for doing such a great job in this thread! What a wealth of information. We need you here.

I have two Yamaha pianicas (melodicas in Yamaha speak) an old blue 32 that I recently tuned and replaced the worn out body gasket and a 5 year old burgundy 37. I really like playing them when I wear foam earplugs. If I don't use earplugs I find that my ears are ringing loudly after a few minutes. I recommend playing melodica always in earplugs so as not to permanently damage ones ears. For real.
Of course I wish the keys were a little bit bigger and I had more air smile
And you wisely advised advised to use a lot black to white key same finger slides.

Jazz+

Last edited by RinTin; 01/10/21 02:52 PM.

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book." Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.
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Originally Posted by RinTin
Dear Nahum,

Thank you for doing such a great job in this thread! What a wealth of information. We need you here.
Yes, RinTin, you are right: I have invested over three years of intensive work on the instrument and its assessment in relation to the musical education of children and adults.

Quote
I have two Yamaha pianicas (melodicas in Yamaha speak) an old blue 32 that I recently tuned and replaced the worn out body gasket and a 5 year old burgundy 37.
I like the sound and mechanics of Yamaha more than Suzuki.

Quote
I really like playing them when I wear foam earplugs. If I don't use earplugs I find that my ears are ringing loudly after a few minutes. I recommend playing melodica always in earplugs so as not to permanently damage ones ears. For real.

You are also right in that high melody spectra affect the hearing - I have it sound impact on the right ear. I recommend just not blowing hard and not playing loudly.

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Originally Posted by Nahum
Originally Posted by RinTin
Dear Nahum,

Thank you for doing such a great job in this thread! What a wealth of information. We need you here.
Yes, RinTin, you are right: I have invested over three years of intensive work on the instrument and its assessment in relation to the musical education of children and adults.

Quote
I have two Yamaha pianicas (melodicas in Yamaha speak) an old blue 32 that I recently tuned and replaced the worn out body gasket and a 5 year old burgundy 37.
I like the sound and mechanics of Yamaha more than Suzuki.

Quote
I really like playing them when I wear foam earplugs. If I don't use earplugs I find that my ears are ringing loudly after a few minutes. I recommend playing melodica always in earplugs so as not to permanently damage ones ears. For real.

You are also right in that high melody spectra affect the hearing - I have it sound impact on the right ear. I recommend just not blowing hard and not playing loudly.


Hi Nahum, thanks for all your work in this thread, but a lot of the text seems to be altered? For instance, I see lots of texts like "“woâ€" that I don't understand. Also, there's lots of dead links. Is there anyway the text at least can be fixed? This seems like a great resource. Thanks for the hard work

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