Learning finger drumming with Melodics

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Naenyn
KVRian
939 posts since 26 Sep, 2013 from Arizona, USA

Post Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:30 pm

Thanks to an advertisement email from Ableton, I recently gave Melodics a try. It is pretty fun, but I am having a heck of a time disassociating my right and left hands from each other and the beat. As soon as there is a pattern with a swing kick, I muck it up. :dog:

Any finger drummers out there have any suggestions for overcoming this? :help: I'm guessing it's just a matter of practice and eventually it'll click..

funky lime
KVRian
1272 posts since 17 Sep, 2002

Re: Learning finger drumming with Melodics

Post Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:17 pm

Random, unorganized thoughts:

Yes, practice. There are no secret shortcuts to getting good at an instrument.

Listen to some swinging music and tap along with your fingers on your desk or whatever. Try to isolate the rhythm elements in your mind; start by just tapping along to the kick, then add the snare.

Check out some Latin music like salsa, merengue, cumbia, or other kinds of stuff that rely heavily on syncopation. Listen to how the rhythms just flow so naturally. Try to emulate this feeling your fingerdrumming; you don't need to bang out the beats, you need to just let the rhythm flow organically, as an extension of your very being. I see a lot of (mediocre) drummers who are trying so hard to stay on beat that they seem to forget that life itself is a rhythm. Too much thought, not enough feeling. Don't drum with your hands, drum with your soul.

Something I used to do all the time: tap quarter notes with one hand, and triplets with the other (so for every 2 quarter notes in your left hand, you've tapped 3 triplets with your right). Then switch hands. It's rough at first, kind of like rubbing your stomach and patting your head, but keep at it until you can switch hands seamlessly every bar or two.

Tap your foot (along with your finger) for every kick drum hit. This can help get you thinking like a drummer, which can help for getting a more organic feel to your rhythms.

Don't be afraid to go incredibly, painfully slow; learning consistency first is way more valuable than learning speed or fancy techniques. Slow stuff down in your DAW and tap along to it.

Play with metronome settings. Sometimes it's way easier for me to lay down a beat with the click set to 8ths instead of quarters. This can help you hear a finer resolution of subdivision and syncopation.

Find (or create) a layout/mapping that you like, and stick with it. Use all your fingers. It's like typing, almost; it's pretty hard to type effectively and efficiently if you only use two or three fingers. Why use all the muscles in your whole arm each time you want to play a note, when you could use just a couple in your hand? It's a waste of time and energy, and makes the rhythm sloppy, if you have to involve your whole arm just to hit a new note. I came up with a mapping on my MIDI keyboard for drum patches that I like, and any time I use a different kit I take the time to re-map it so it exactly fits what I'm used to using. This instills confidence: even if the sounds are completely different, I know that a certain finger movement will yield a kick, another a snare, etc. Muscle memory is crucial. It should be second nature, to the point where you don't have to look at, or even think about, which key/pad you are hitting.

Sorry to ramble, I hope some of this helps!

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Naenyn
KVRian
939 posts since 26 Sep, 2013 from Arizona, USA

Re: Learning finger drumming with Melodics

Post Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:25 pm

Thanks for the great feedback! Your post definitely will help.

The comment about going slow is particularly interesting. There were times in Melodics where I wished there was a way to change the tempo. I couldn't get it at the rate they were quizzing me at, but I had no problems once I slowed it down just a little bit. Definitely something to think about... hafta get them some feedback.

Melodics Adam
KVRer
3 posts since 27 Jan, 2016

Re: Learning finger drumming with Melodics

Post Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:42 pm

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Hey guys,

I'm Adam, the designer for Melodics. Came across your post Naenyn and thought "I bet a lot of other people have the same trouble with separating their hands".

funky lime makes really good points and suggestions. One in particular is something I do all the time as well:
funky lime wrote:tap quarter notes with one hand, and triplets with the other
I took a minute and made a quick Youtube vid showing that exercise in practice, and also another rudimental called a "Paradiddle" (which comes from drumming) which also helped me a lot with hand independence.

You can see the video here on the Melodics Youtube channel. Hopefully it helps!

The other thing you mentioned that would be useful was being able to change the tempo. That was actually the most common feature request we got from our users by far, and we actually just shipped it last week (that's covered in the video as well). When playing a lesson, look in the top left of the arrangement (next to the metronome) and there's a switch where you can change between 'performance mode' and 'practice mode' - practice mode is the one that allows you to set the tempo.

Melodics should have auto-updated to include that new feature, but if not you can grab the latest version on the website (https://melodics.com/download).

Cheers, and thanks heaps for giving Melodics a go! Let me know if I can answer any questions :)

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Naenyn
KVRian
939 posts since 26 Sep, 2013 from Arizona, USA

Re: Learning finger drumming with Melodics

Post Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:23 pm

Adam: Thanks for sharing! That'll definitely help. Cool to see practice mode. It looks handy. It'd be nice if there was a "loop endlessly" option, too.

I need to practice more...

Melodics Adam
KVRer
3 posts since 27 Jan, 2016

Re: Learning finger drumming with Melodics

Post Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:58 am

No probs Naeyn - I forgot to mention, in practice mode the step does loop endlessly :)

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Naenyn
KVRian
939 posts since 26 Sep, 2013 from Arizona, USA

Re: Learning finger drumming with Melodics

Post Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:09 pm

Excellent! Guess I should have tried it before posting. ;)

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Naenyn
KVRian
939 posts since 26 Sep, 2013 from Arizona, USA

Re: Learning finger drumming with Melodics

Post Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:15 pm

Just wanted to say .. thanks to the feedback here and practicing the exercises you guys mentioned, I've managed to clear the lesson I was on. :party: Fun stuff!

Melodics Adam
KVRer
3 posts since 27 Jan, 2016

Re: Learning finger drumming with Melodics

Post Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:00 pm

Nice!

shittytunes
KVRer
9 posts since 4 Jan, 2016

Re: Learning finger drumming with Melodics

Post Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:21 am

had the app for a few days, good idea basically

Shitty developers though, crashes all the time AND you can only play 5 minutes per day until it nags you to pay 120usd or f**k off, basically cant continue playing after 5 mintues without paying the full year fee....

Never would have downloaded this shit if i knew they use such shitty practices, but hey, thats why there is not one word about that 5 minute limitation ANYWHERE. f**king shit developers

lfm
KVRAF
4962 posts since 22 Jan, 2005 from Sweden

Re: Learning finger drumming with Melodics

Post Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:49 am

funky lime wrote: Listen to some swinging music and tap along with your fingers on your desk or whatever. Try to isolate the rhythm elements in your mind; start by just tapping along to the kick, then add the snare.
...or use both hands - and do snare and kick in one recorded clip and then hihat and cymbals and possible fills in another.

With a little practise you do snare and kick with left hand and do hh with right.

Haven't tried Melodics - but I appreciate the statistics abilities in Yamaha edrum engines - Groove check stuff. It really shows how your timing improves etc.

At least that motivates me a lot - getting numbers on improvements. Getting everything more and more in the pocket.

Patterns like taught in the book Stick Control by George Lawrence Stone.
And if using foot controller as well, change from left+right hand to maybe left hand a kick in excercises. Get all lims in sync, kind of.

First page with first 20 L+R-patterns to run is really good start. And do each one maybe 2-3 minutes.

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Aloysius
KVRAF
23933 posts since 11 Aug, 2008 from the Land of Soy

Re: Learning finger drumming with Melodics

Post Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:51 am

Finger xxxxing with melodics?
Broccoli is murder.

tapper mike
KVRAF
5011 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: Learning finger drumming with Melodics

Post Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:37 pm

Got the free version with my purchase of Launchpad Pro Bought the year subscription and I'm loving it.

I'll try to bring some perspective.
A 5 minute completion only means that you have completed 5 minutes. Five minutes of serious practice daily is the only way to get better. Yes you can practice for longer than five minutes. It's just letting you know that you've completed your first five minutes.
Sometimes in our daily lives we may only have five serious minutes of practice to engage in. But if you want really improve it takes a minimum of five minutes daily.

I haven't had a crash yet. When the program first starts it looks for updates. If there is an update it asks to install. The only files installed are the updates. That's not crashing it's simply updating so you can have the most recent build. Bugs are inherent in all software the bigger, more complex the program the greater the possibility for bugs. If your windows os installs updates those updates can affect the operation of the program. The only way to fix that is to update your software accordingly.

After working with the free version for awhile I feel in love with it. I purchased the yearly subscription.

Here are a few pointers.
Don't practice the things you know practice the things you don't know. If you are always doing the same thing you aren't gaining anything you are only maintaining what you already have.

Crawl, Walk, Run. You can't run if you've never walked, you can't walk if you've never crawled. Here is where the courseware helps.
If you are...using pads (push, LP pro, maschine etc) Start with The Basics course provided by Melodics. The first part of the lesson is devoted to the left hand. The second part brings the right hand into the equation with the left. The third may have variance on the right hand.


When you open the Lesson in the program it will display which fingers on which hand that will be used.
Clipboard01.jpg
Press the right arrow to begin the lesson.

The initial page view is performance mode. If you are ready to test your skills click the play button and it will score your performance.

If you have not learned the lesson click the practice view at the top. Selected items on the top menu turn blue.
Clipboard04.jpg
Here you can adjust the tempo so you can gradually build up to playing at tempo. As well there is a "wait"mode. Set the wait mode to on and the song will wait for you to hit the correct pads before advancing. This is great because it allows you to first get the correct fingering order in place and then slowly build up to playing it in tempo. From there you can turn wait mode off and build your timing skills.
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shittytunes
KVRer
9 posts since 4 Jan, 2016

Re: Learning finger drumming with Melodics

Post Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:16 am

yeah right...

after a few days it basically nags you to pay 120 or f**k off, everytime

f**k this business model
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bungle
KVRAF
1588 posts since 12 Mar, 2004

Re: Learning finger drumming with Melodics

Post Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:27 am

So a free app that is based on subscription asks you to susbscribe, oh the tyranny, won't somebody think of the children.
Hopefully after a few days you will f**k off, whine bag.
If your plugin is a C++ creation, please don't say so.
If it is, pop round Marcos, he has just bought you a Mac to port it.

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