Saturday, December 26, 2015

Chopin Nocturne Opus 9 No. 1 on Melodica (Demo)

First of all, I was sick hence I did not update the blog last week, sorry about that.

This time I would talk a bit about playing and arranging some classical pieces on melodica.
It is always a challenge to arrange classical pieces for melodica, since the melodica has not been invented when those classical composers wrote their pieces. Therefore, arranging classical pieces for melodica really takes a lot of musicianship, and understanding the "language" of the pieces from different composers is very important. If you arrange the pieces for melodica solo, you may even have to change the style of the original pieces, but not to the point that it would lose the original "melody line". So far I have arranged some parts of these classical pieces for melodica solo:

1. Toccata in D Minor; 2. Minuet in G.
1. Sonata Pathetique; 2. Fur Elise
1. Nocturne Opus 9 No. 1; 2. Nocturne Opus. 20 in C# Minor
Clair de Lune

Anyway, here I would post my demo of Chopin Nocturne Opus 9 No. 1 on melodica. I only arranged the first several bars, and I changed the key from Bb Minor to C Minor for easier playing. I would say my arrangement capture the color of this piece pretty well, even though I changed some part of it. And I definitely could arrange the whole piece if I really go for it :)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

This time I would talk about something other than melodica. As you may remember, baritone ukulele is also one of the other instruments that I play. Last week I went to an ukulele meetup group, we played the song "White Christmas" over there. I jammed with the other guy where I played the melody chords and he played the rhythm chords on low G ukulele and standard ukulele respectively. People commented the performance as "oh I felt like I wanna cry". You can imagine how beautiful the song came out :)

Hence I arranged another version for baritone ukulele solo. The lower register part is actually the same as the one I played in the meetup group, only this time I added another verse and made some twist on the upper register. Normally you rarely hear the very high notes of the baritone ukuelel, but this arrangement makes use almost the whole range of it. The only thing I think it can be better is that I probably should use less strumming on the upper register part, as the song itself does not fit that lousy arrangement that well. But yeah you never really know how it sounds before you actually record the whole song. Anyway enjoy and Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

PSY's newest song "DADDY" for Melodica -- How to play continuous, fast notes

FINALLY, I got Suzuki Hammond 44 melodica!!
This melodica is a very nice instrument. First of all, it has 44 keys instead of regular 37 keys melodica, which gives me more freedom of music arrangements. The sound of it is great, but very different from the Wood Mylodica, another great sounding melodica. The Hammond 44 sounds like some brass instrument, while the Wood Mylodica has a more mellow, gentle sound like woodwind.

As you may know, PSY, the original singer of the world famous song "Gangnam Style", has a new song released called "DADDY" about a week ago. This time I would use this song to test the Hammond 44. The result is very nice, and it's funny that this song sounds very much like horse racing tunes when it is played on this melodica. The whole arrangement to me sounds like it is played by a brass ensemble :)

This song is actually a very hard song for melodica. As you may notice, this song is very fast, a lot of continous notes, and almost no place to sneak in breath. In order to play fast continuous notes in melodica nicely, normally you DON'T keep repeating pressing the keys on the melody part like how you do on piano. If the continous notes are not too fast, you can use breath to blow several times to get the continous notes. If they are too fast, then you need to use your tongue to get the fast notes. I would say I am quite good with using breath, but I still need to work more on the tongue technique.

Anyway, enjoy and see you next week!!