Monday, April 27, 2015

Vibrato on Melodica

Today we would talk about one of the most important on playing the melodica: Vibrato.

First of all, what is a vibrato? Well, imagine if you hear a person holds a note while singing, you noramlly don't hear that person just holds that note straight, you hear some "vibrations" in his/her voice while he/she sings. Those vibrations are what we called "vibrato".

For those who sings or plays instruments that sustain notes, you all know that vibrato makes the tone of the voice/instrument richer and more expressive. That's the same case for melodica as melodica is an instrument that sustain notes; plus since melodica mostly is cheaply made, the tone of melodica simply sounds like a toy without vibrato. BUT, one of the coolest thing is that melodica is the ONLY sustain & vibrato instrument in the world that can play more than two notes at the same time. Hence, melodica has an unfair advantage over all instruments as you can play one man band like piano, AND obtain the expressiveness like violins or saxophones AT THE SAME TIME. Next time we would talk more about how to apply vibrato on melodica, it can take years of training to get a nice vibrato on melodica.

Anyway, here is me playing a slow song using a melodica with vibrato, you can hear how expressive the tone can be when you apply vibrato. The song is the main theme song of "Dragon Ball GT". I don't know if you guys know it or not, this theme song is actually a very romantic love song if you know the lyrics.
P.S. This weekend I am going to be really busy hence I won't update this week. Start from next week it would be updated weekly on Saturday again :)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Fur Elise

Sorry I did not update as I was really busy these days :)
Anyway, you know, everybody has heard the song "Fur Elise" before. It is one of the most well known classical piece composed by Beethoven for piano. This time I would do an experimental improvisation for this piece on the "saxophone melodica". Sure this improv does not sound like the original piece anymore, but you can hear how expressive and sexy the "saxophone melodica" can be from this recording. The vibrato really makes the instrument sing and take it to a different level in my opinion.
Hope you guys like this experimental improv and see you guys next time.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Saxophone Melodica

What is a saxophone melodica?

Well actually it is a nickname that I named for my bass melodica. A bass melodica is a melodica that has a range from F2 to E4, and the tone is a bit deeper than a standard melodica. It DOES sound like a baritone saxophone in my opinion. It is a very rare instrument, and as I know there are only two models available: suzuki B-24 and hammond BB. Here is my playing of "stand by me" using a bass melodica, and you would be the judge to see if it sounds like a baritone saxophone.
Interesting sound isn't it? It looks small but in fact it is REALLY HARD to play this melodica. It takes way more air than the standard melodica to get the sound. This arrangement is relatively simple compare to my final fantasy X and dragon ball song, but I would say I almost pushed this instrument to its limit in order to play melody and rhythm together. Melodica is not an instrument meant to play melody and rhythm together like a piano anyway.

Next time it would be an experimental improvisation for Beethoven's classic "Fur Elise" on the bass melodica :) See you next time. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

FINAL FANTASY X battle theme arranged for melodica SOLO!!

I just wrote an arrangement for the battle theme song of the video game "Final Fantasy X" for melodica solo this week. This still needs some modification as I may have remembered some part of the melody wrong (and I would re-record it once I receive a better microphone), but one can definitely recognize the song if you have heard the original. This also shows that melodica is a REALLY BAD ASS instrument, who can imagine a 37-note wind instrument can handle THIS kind of song? Anyway ENJOY :)