Saturday, July 25, 2015

Japanese youtube channel and 荒城の月

Well, I just created a new youtube channel which features Japanese songs arranged for melodica solo. All titles will be in Japanese as well:

Now there are four songs posted in that channel, three of them are published in my English youtube channel, the remaining one is a traditional Japanese song called "荒城の月" (The moon of the ruined castle). It has a very authentic "Japanese tune", the melody is very simple but it really captures the soul of Japanese traditional music. Here I arranged it for melodica solo and I hope I do it justice :)

P.S. In Japan, the melodica is called 鍵盤ハーモニカ (keyboard harmonica), I personally think this name describes the instrument very well. As the melodica really sounds quite similar to harmonica, except you play it like a keyboard.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Back from Japan Trip

Hey guys, sorry I did not update the blog last two weeks as I was in Japan.
The trip was SO MUCH fun, nice place, AWESOME food, etc.

But the main point today is what I found out about melodica in Japan :)
In fact, the trip was so packed that I did not have much time to look for musical instruments, but still, I found out that the price of melodicas are ridiculously cheap in Japan. Suzuki M37C and Hohner superforce 37 only cost like 7500 yen (around $472.5 HKD = $60.58 USD), Suzuki pro-37V2 cost ONLY 20800 yen (around $1310.4 HKD = $168 USD)!!! I could not find Suzuki Hammond 44 in store though, but I read from one of the official site from a Japanese instrument store that it costs around 40000 yen (around $2520 HKD = $323 USD). These prices are even cheaper than what you can see in amazon and ebay, and the most important thing is that these models I mentioned are all MADE IN JAPAN, not those made in China toy looking crappy melodicas.

When I saw the Suzuki pro-37V2, I really wanted to buy it right the way, as my wood mylodica starts to get out of tune, I may have to send it back to the US to tune it and it costs quite a lot of money, hence I am considering a good quality backup melodica and I would tune my melodica when I go to US for trip. But I ended up did not buy it, as I think more about it, I would get Hammond 44 once and for all if I finally decide I need one for backup. Hammond 44 has 44 keys and internal mic, which blows pro-37V2 out of the water right the way. I was thinking of whether I should get Mylodica or Hammond 44 when I first upgraded my melodica, I ended up choosing Mylodica as it has better sound than Hammond 44, even though Mylodica has only 37 keys and Hammond has 44 keys.

Anyway, this is my melodica adventure in Japan :)  I would also repost one of the most awesome melodica arrangement I have ever made -- Final Fantasy X battle music arranged for melodica solo.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Melodica Madness 2 -- Classical Pianist Suguru Ito

Here is another one of the best melodica players I have ever heard -- Suguru Ito.
He is in fact a classical pianist, hence the way he plays resembles a lot of classical music interpretation, and you can definitely tell by how his fingering of playing the melodica. Not only his fingering is out of the world, his breath control and vibrato also shows how well he expresses his music. You can definitely call this as "melodica madness" :) Anyway enjoy!!

P.S. He uses Yamaha Pianica, which is the same grade as Suzuki M-37 (about $100 US). This proves further how good he is as a musician.