Saturday, May 30, 2015

Street Fighter "Vega's Theme" on melodica!!

Well this is one of my older recordings, but since I used a condenser mic, the recording quality is pretty good. I cut out quite some ornaments from the original melody in order to show the legato line of playing the melodica more, but you can definitely recognize the song if you have heard it before :)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Melodica Madness

Well you guys have heard me playing the melodica already, let me introduce some of the really best melodica players I have heard so far.

I don't know if I have mentioned this before, I personally think almost all of the best melodica players I have heard are from Japan. The way I hold my melodica is also a Japanese way of playing it, I never saw anybody who is not Japanese use that posture.

Here is one of the really best I have heard. Ena Yoshida playing the Russian folk song "Dark Eyes". You will know why my title is "melodica madness" after you watch THIS :)

Friday, May 15, 2015

More about vibrato on melodica

Hi there :) Sorry I did not update the blog last week as my schedule was busier than I expected. But now things have been settled and it would be back to routine (update on every Saturday).

Last time we talked about the importance of vibrato on melodica, and how it changes the sound and expression of melodica playing. But you may think of one more thing, HOW do you perform vibrato on melodica?

First, I have to let you guys know that I am a classically trained baritone singer. The video on the right is how my singing voice sounds like:

You may wonder: why hearing my voice is relevant to how vibrato on melodica is created? The secret is by applying a breath control technique called appoggio. This is in fact an opera singing technique to control the breath flow through the vocal cord in order to maintain a "natural vibrato", and to maximize the volume of the vocal tract to get the deeper, darker, richer, bigger, yet ringing vocal sound. Appoggio can only be achieved through the control of the intercostal muscles, which control the movement of the diaphargm. As I apply appoggio both on my singing and my melodica playing, you may hear the tonal similarity on my schubert lied singing and my dragon ball GT song melodica playing (i.e. both have very rich, dynamic, expressive tone, and natural vibrato that makes the melodic lines flow smoothly). The melodica itself works just like a human vocal cord.

However, there is still a slight difference between the breath control on singing and melodica. On singing, you only have to control the air flow by appoggio and let the air goes like a stream. But on melodica, say if you note can sustain 10 vibrations, you actually have to blow 10 times BY USING appoggio to create a natural vibrato. Hence as I said, it could take years of training to sound great on playing melodica; and the same case as opera singing, the ideal is using appoggio to keep your larynx low when playing melodica as it gives the least tension for the throat and gives a more resonant sound. Most of the people who do vibrato on melodica are using their throat, which to me sounds quite unnatural and not very smooth/expressive.

Anyway hope my information helps and see you guys next Saturday :)