May 03

Stop practicing your mistakes

by in Fundamentals

Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.

Research shows repeating mistakes by just playing through without addressing problems can be just as bad as learning it wrong in the first place.

It’s counterproductive. Instead, try slowing your practice down, getting the notes right and nailing the tricky sections. It may seem fun to bash through pieces until you finally get it right, but if you’re not careful this can reinforce the incorrect neural pathways in your brain.

It’s important to take the time to master the details and then ramp up the speed. Practice Mode in Melodics is great for this, and you can use the Auto BPM feature to automatically increase the tempo as you get better. Repeating parts slowly to get the tough sections right will pay off over time.

Here are useful practice tips to get the most out of your Melodics time:

Create a quiet practice space, away from distractions.

This is the same thinking as not having a TV in your bedroom if you want to sleep better. Keeping your musical space set up specifically for practice can help reinforce the ritual and prepare you mentally for your session.

Begin with the end in mind.

Have a goal for your practice. What do you need to focus on today?

Practice smarter, not longer.

Map out your practice sessions just like a workout. Warm up with some easier lessons, or maybe go back and try perfect something you passed last week? You might then want to go and work on something specific like hand / finger independence or syncopation, before finally ending your session playing one of your favourite lessons.

Don’t always start at the beginning.

There’s nothing more frustrating than having to play through a piece you’ve nailed only to keep making a mistake halfway through. Rather than start at the beginning each time, work on that tricky part until you’ve nailed it – then try again.

Practice away from your instrument.

Visualisation can be really helpful to re-inforce what you’ve learned during practice. Just like in golf… Be the ball!

Let us know some of your favourite practice tips below!

May 01

Talent is practice in disguise

by in Fundamentals

 

How often have you heard someone say, “I don’t have a musical bone in my body”? The way you think about your own talent has a powerful impact on motivation and learning. Here’s why learning to adapt a growth mindset to practice can boost your progress hugely – and how Melodics can help.

As Jonathan Harnum states in his book, The Practice of Practice, “Talent is practice in disguise”. We often think of ourselves as having a well defined set of talents, based on our upbringing, our DNA, or some otherworldly gift – bestowed on us from the musical gods. The reality is that the way we think about this actually affects how we can learn new skills and our motivation to do so.

Research by Carol Dweck in 1986, discovered that there are two kinds of intelligence, a fixed belief in your own talents, and the belief that these can change and grow. When you think of your own skills and talents as limited, you’re instantly building a barrier to learning and you’ll tend to take on tasks in practice that you’re more easily able to achieve rather than try something harder, gaining new knowledge through practice. The effect on motivation from having a fixed mindset to learning is huge. It’s one of the reasons why so many people want to learn instruments but never end up trying, or start but don’t follow through.

Have a think about these statements, and how you can reframe them within a growth, rather than a fixed mindset.

I’m afraid to look stupid. I hate failing.

Try to think of failure as something to help you progress. It’s just a reminder to work harder, and to approach the same problem from a different angle. A little bit of practice each day is the way to get better. Remember the Melodics 5 minute daily practice goal.

Remember, you’re not demonstrating your skills to yourself, you’re learning. Praise your effort, not your results.

I only like to play what I can play.

Seek out challenges. Try a lesson at a higher grade, but slow it down using Practice Mode. Focus on getting it right, rather than playing at full tempo. This is deep practice and the best way to progress. Read more on that here.

Persistence in the face of failure is what separates musicians from everyone else. When you make a mistake, you should understand it and work out the best approach to fixing it.

Finally… Don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s just music. Have fun!

For further reading on this topic, check out “The Practice of Practice” by Jonathan Harnum.

Feb 20

Level up! Win a Novation Launchkey 61 keyboard

by in Melodics

What better way to celebrate your progress on keys than winning a brand new keyboard from our friends at Novation.

How does it work? It’s simple:

  1. Play our keys lesson of the month, Reach Out (Grade 3)
  2. Take a photo or video of your setup while you’re giving it a go. 
  3. Post your photo or video on Instagram and tag @MelodicsHQ @WeAreNovation and add #MelodicsLevelUp
  4. You’re in the draw.

What are you waiting for? 

Competition ends in two weeks so get playing! 😎

Prize Draw Terms & Conditions

  • The prize consists of one (1) Novation Launchkey 61 Keyboard.
  • Entries Open at 12:00pm, 19th February 2018 (NZST) and close at 5:00pm, 7th March 2018 (NZST).
  • Prizes are not transferable and are not redeemable for cash.
  • Only one entry per person will be accepted.
  • The winner will be notified via Instagram.
  • Winner must make contact with Melodics within 7 days of being notified of their win, or another winner will be selected for the corresponding prize.
  • Melodics reserves the right to feature the name and location of the winners in future promotions.
Jan 18

Smashing through the plateau

by in Pro Tips

It’s getting close to February! You’ve changed your diet (no foods starting with B), decided to learn Esperanto, vowed to run 5 miles a day, and make it to grade 20 in Melodics.

Great! But you’re still stuck on grade 6.

When you begin it’s normal to see rapid improvements. When that stops it’s natural to feel you’ve hit your limit of ability when in reality you’ve just hit a plateau. How do you move beyond your plateau? The answer is to challenge yourself in a new way.

Some examples of this could be taking lessons from an easier grade and…

  • emphasising your weak hand / fingers
  • playing blindfolded
  • speeding up lesson patterns as fast as you can

You can also think about the specific skills you’re finding hard. It could that you’re struggling with finger independence, endurance or syncopation. To work out what you might be finding difficult in each lesson, check out the tags for each lesson when in lesson list view.

smashing-thru-shot-2

A good way to work on these skills is to use the “Browse by” button to sort by tag to show the full list of lessons relating to that skill – then you can go back and practice this on some easier grade lessons and slowly work your way back.

It might seem like going backwards, but in the long run it’ll help your progress.

smashing-thru-shot-1

Moving past the plateau isn’t just about practicing more, it’s about practicing the right thing.

Set yourself a challenge this week and let us know how you go!

Dec 15

Deep practice: how it can help you get results faster.

by in Pro Tips

Melodics uses the principles of a method of learning called ‘Deep Practice.’ It’s the process of slowing things down, zooming-in with focus, and deliberately building a great result step-by-step. These ideas draw heavily from the research of Anders Ericsson and Daniel Coyle and although they’re often applied to sport and athletic training, they work just as well for building muscle memory and developing musical skills.

Here’s how Deep Practice works within a Melodics lesson:

1: Pick a lesson and listen to it as a whole. It’s important to get familiar with the music you’ll be performing using preview mode and then orientate yourself to the finger placements.

2: Divide the song into small steps or components and practice and memorize these separately. Then, link them together in progressively larger groupings. You’ll notice that in the early grades we do a lot of the dividing into steps for you. As the grades increase and the steps become more difficult, you might find it useful to divide them up even further using practice mode and setting loops.

3: Play with time, first slowing the action down and then speeding it up. Slowing down helps you to focus more closely on errors, creating a higher degree of precision. Use features in practice mode such as auto-bpm or wait-mode to build up your muscle memory and reflexes. Be patient with yourself, this can take a while!

4: Pick a part of the song you want to master, reach for it then evaluate the gap between your target and the goal and start again. You can track your progress each session and see how you’re progressing. Detecting mistakes is essential for making progress. This error-focused element of deep practice makes it a struggle, a process of ‘brain stretching’ which is likely to be slightly frustrating but which leads to growth.

5: Keep practicing like this every day. This is the crucial part that so many people forget but even a small amount (5 minutes) of this deliberate and focused practice every day will lead to better results than large infrequent practice sessions that don’t have a structure and focus.

Give it a go and let us know how you get on.

To learn more about the ideas and research on this subject, check out the following books: Anders Ericsson ‘Peak’ and Daniel Coyle ‘The Talent Code’.

Dec 05

Bassline Bootcamp from Mark de Clive-Lowe

by in Interviews, Melodics, Uncategorized

We checked in with producer Mark de Clive-Lowe to get the info on his new course.

How would you describe your new course Bassline Bootcamp?

I’ve made a range of bassline examples over different style and tempo beats. They all look at applying different ideas to take you from a simple single note vibe to bringing in fills and embellishments that you can apply in your own creations. Basslines are little melodies themselves so it’s a great way to learn multiple skills at the same time.

How would you recommend Melodics users approach your course to get the most out of it?

Some of the lessons have challenging aspects so I’d definitely recommend using the practice mode to loop up those bars or sections that are harder and slowing them down. Slowing down whatever you’re practicing is the magic trick to mastering something – it might not seem as fun, but it’s definitely the tried and true method.

What will Melodics users be able to do after finishing this course? How will it help in regards to their overall music production?

If you go deep and really nail it as well as taking note of the associated information – like what key something is in and what technique it’s applying – you should be able to build basslines around any chord progression, create fills and make alternate versions of your main idea.

Are there any other comments or things you want users to know about this course and the new Melodics lessons?

Practice makes perfect!

To try Mark’s course in the Melodics App simply download and head to courses in the LEARNING tab.

Nov 23

Stro Elliot: Breaking down kits and technique

by in Pro Tips

Stro Elliot is the master of the pads. Recently named as an official member of The Roots, he’s continuing his amazing run of form from the last year – leading the way for pad drummers with his signature style of performance.

We were lucky enough to witness a masterclass from Stro in Berlin, at the Ableton Loop Conference. Not only did he show off his crazy fast fingers, he also broke down some of his technique and his unique performance setup.

Here’s a few pieces of wisdom from the maeSTRO.

Breaking down the 🥁 break

Since samplers arrived on the scene, producers have been creatively chopping up breaks and loops. Rather than just playing a loop, breaking it up into the individual hits gives you a palette of sounds to work with to make it your own. Stro maps these hits across his Ableton Push controller mirroring how he sets up a normal kit with variations of kicks, snares, hats, ghost hits, and vocal chops across the pads.

See how he works with breaks in the short video below to create his own pattern.

Keeping an organic feel to the kit 🌱

Stro arranges all his kits in a specific way, based on how he plays. He plays most of the beat on his right hand, leaving the left hand to add accents, play ghost hits and add complexity. Whether it’s adding the 1/16 note hi hat, or a roll to the pattern, having the extra hits available for the left hand lets him add variety.

Watch how Stro arranges his kit, and why it helps him in the short video below.

Feel like practicing now? As a subscriber, you can play Stro Elliot’s lessons in Melodics + lessons from loads of other great artists 😎

If you want to give pad drumming a try, download Melodics and try out our free lessons today.

Listen to more from Stro Elliot on Bandcamp.

Nov 10

The story behind Push4Life, and his keys to rhythmic mastery

by in Uncategorized

Music and rhythm have taken Eshan Khadaroo a.k.a Push4Life on an amazing journey over the past few decades. Transfixed by drums and self-expression at a young age, Eshan has made a career out of his passion. This has seen him tour the world as a professional drummer and more recently become an educator for the next generation. In this week’s interview we explore how he has made this progression as well as discuss his brand new course on Melodics “The Road To Rhythmic Mastery”.

Please explain how a Bruce Lee video inspired you to become a drummer?

Before I ever started drumming Bruce Lee was my biggest inspiration. Towards the end of this scene below, Bruce uses two fairly large sticks to defend himself. When I was 11 and my mother asked me what instrument I would like to learn, I said drums, not so much because I wanted to learn the instrument but rather because I thought I would be able to do what Bruce Lee did. It was only in my late 20’s that I saw his infamous interview where he talks about expressing oneself authentically as a human being that I realised that it was this message that resonated so deeply within me and I then went on to study his ideas and how they related to expression through drums and ultimately through music.

You said in a previous interview you moved to London at 18 years of age to kickstart your music career. When did you make the decision to pursue music professionally? How long was it until you got established?

I decided I wanted to be a professional musician around 8 years of age whilst still learning the piano. Chopin was my musical hero and I planned on being a classical pianist. But I moved to Germany when I was 10 so I had to stop piano lessons. By the time I could speak the language well enough to start back up with music lessons, the drums seemed way cooler for the above-mentioned reasons. Once I moved to London at age 18 it took me about 4 years to establish myself professionally and get booked for studio sessions and live tours.

Your career has had many highlights which include drumming for Cirque Du Soleil. Tell us about this experience. How did it come about? Do you have any crazy stories from touring?

From 2006 to 2008 I performed with Blue Man Group. As my time with them was coming to an end I just decided to surf around online to see if there were any interesting opportunities out there and stumbled upon Cirque Du Soleils casting website. I decided to send them an email regarding a position that was opening up for their show Kooza in 2009. They got back to me within days and had me do an online audition where I had to record videos of myself performing to a number of their songs from different shows. Within a few months of this process I was signed up to do their North American leg of the tour. The most exciting part of this tour was spending 10 weeks performing on the beach in our big top next to the Santa Monica Pier. At almost every show there were celebrities checking out the performance including the likes of Steven Spielberg, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Neil Patrick Harris to name a few. My favourite moment though was getting to hang out with one of my biggest drumming idols, Tools drummer Danny Carey.

You had a setback with your health that prevented you from continuing as a touring musician. Are you able to explain how this experience lead you to wanting to become an educator for the next generation?

I had already decided before going on the road with Cirque Du Soleil that this was to be my last major tour and that after that I was going to focus on education. I was very lucky throughout my career to to have had some great mentors in Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick and Guy Sigsworth – both major producers and unbelievable musicians. And they had always been so generous to me in helping not only in my career but also in deepening my understanding of music. It was my wish to “pay it forward” and do my part in helping the next generation fall in love with music. When I got seriously ill towards the end of the Cirque Du Soleil tour I felt all the more compelled to act on this desire to share what I had learned sooner rather than later – a brush with the grim reaper tends to have that kind of effect on you!

You had a Youtube video that went viral which is titled ‘Top 5 things every Push 2 user should know’. What inspired this video? Were you surprised by how well it was received?

I had only had my Push 2 for a few months when a good friend of mine in England also bought one. She was having a lot of difficulty understanding how to use it. As I live in Germany and couldn’t just pop over to her house I decided to record a video with her in mind to show her how simple it really was. I decided to make it for the general public too and so uploaded it to youtube and just sent her a link. To be honest I still can’t believe how many people have not only seen it and benefited from it but also the positive feedback has been nothing short of overwhelming.

Did this successful video get the wheels in motion for your Push4Life project? What were your next moves after you released there was interest?

At the time that I released this particular video I was focused on putting together drum related content. But the immediate popularity of this PUSH 2 video really inspired me to drop everything else and focus on creating more PUSH videos for my growing audience. The next big video that I put out that I am still very proud of is “10 Practical Ideas to Take Your PUSH Skills to the Next Level” which really is all about how I see making music and how thankful we should be for technology like the Ableton PUSH 2. And at the beginning you can also see how things come full circle again when I talk about expressing yourself as inspired by Bruce Lee. Shortly after that I also started releasing PREMIUM Ableton Push 2 content for people who want to dive deeper into the PUSH experience. The feedback has been awesome so far!

How would you describe your new course ‘The Road To Rhythmic Mastery’?

This course was conceived specifically for people who want to go from playing beats with one finger at a time to playing more complex patterns where you use both hands independently. The exercises were inspired by one of the great drumming educators – Gary Chaffee – but with my own twist to them. Most modern music is based on what is know as the 16th note grid and when you make modern day beats most of the time you are working within this grid. Believe it or not though, there are only 15 patterns you need to master in order to play anything within this 16th note grid. These 15 patterns form what I like to think of as a rhythmic alphabet and I take you through each of these patterns one by one in lessons 1 through 15.

How would you recommend Melodics users approach this course to get the most out of it?

To really benefit from this course, you need to work through all of the lessons – specifically lessons 1 through 15. Ultimately you want to be able to get at least 3 stars on all lessons (100% would be even better). The best way to do this is to slow the exercise down in PRACTICE MODE until you can play it as precisely as possible. Precision is key and that is really where Melodics excels at helping you in my opinion. Once you can play a given exercise precisely at a slow speed, then you can start upping the speed 5 bpm at a time using auto bpm until you hit the target speed of the exercise. Every 16th note pattern is equally important to master. Just like when you learn to count to 10, each number is equally important to understand and if you miss one out there will be a significant hole in your understanding. It is the same with each of these 16th note patterns. You will only ever be as strong as your weakest link and if you want to be really great, you will need to master all 15. The most important exercise of the whole course though is exercise 16 where you have to play each exercise for a bar consecutively. Once you have mastered this exercise you can rest assured that you have a very solid foundation to work with.

Talk about the background of making this course? How much time has gone into it? What was your process to creating it?

I made a similar course for my drum students back in 2012 when I set up my teaching studios here in Germany. I started working on the Melodics version of this course in January 2017 after meeting the Melodics team on my trip to New Zealand. The bulk of the work was done in the last 3 months where I had been working on both production and post-production. It’s been a lot of work and a challenge to do all of the jobs including video editing and sound engineering but at the end of the day it was a lot of fun because I am doing something I love and to know that it will be online for a global audience is a real privilege.

What will Melodics users be able to do after finishing this course? How will it help in regards to their finger drumming and overall music production?

If Melodics users put in the time and effort to not only get through the levels but to master them (3 stars to 100%) they will have a solid foundation for playing the bulk of beats in modern styles of popular music, from Hip Hop to Rock, from Pop to R&B. And above all it will give them confidence in themselves to know that they have what it takes to take their finger drumming to the next level. And as far as music production is concerned it will show them the basic building blocks out of which most beats are put together and hopefully inspire them to create beats they weren’t even aware that they could do.

Are there any other comments or things you want users to know about this course and the new Melodics lessons?

As with all things, if you really want to learn something properly it requires discipline, concentration and above all patience. This course is no different. But I guarantee that if Melodics users put in the necessary work, they will greatly benefit from these exercises. And best of all they can then take advantage of the more intermediate and advanced levels Melodics has to offer that may have been to complex beforehand.

Have you played your lessons much in Melodics yet? How have you got on?

I have played them all multiple times and it even took me a while to get 100% on all of the lessons. It just takes a microsecond of your mind drifting and before you know it you have missed a beat enough for it to be too early or too late and then you have to start all over again. But I am a person who loves a good challenge and I didn’t give up until every single lesson was played at 100% as you can see in all of the video tutorials on youtube.

What does the rest of 2017 have in store for you? Any big plans or other projects?

I have been working on various online courses solidly for the past 13 months and definitely need a break. But a break in my world just means working on fun projects. I have recently discovered modular synthesis and Reaktor Blocks so I am going to use my free time to dive into that rabbit hole. The final major project I hope to get off the ground in 2017 though is to start my own podcast and get a handful of episodes out by the end of the year. So watch this space…!

Oct 27

Introducing Melodics V2. Keyboards, Drums & Pads.

by in Melodics

Keys. Drums. Pads.

Melodics V2 is coming soon and we’re teaching you how to play the keyboard… and much more! The highly anticipated next version of Melodics adds support for keys, and a ton of new features for pad controllers and electronic drums.

Whether you’re a beat maker looking to add keys to your bag of tricks, or a drummer wanting to branch out – we’ll have you covered.

Melodics for keys will help you learn to play the chords, basslines and melodies of the music you love, whether you’re wanting to become a better producer, or just play for the enjoyment of your friends and family.

Melodics is free to try. To take your musical dreams further, subscribe and you will have access to over 400 lessons for keys, drums and pads – with new content added weekly.

Bonus extra add-on fun stuff for everyone!

We love hearing your feedback about Melodics, and we’re excited to be rolling out some great updates – for all instruments – including:

  • Choose your instrument within the app – keep track of your progress for Keys, Pads and Drums, with independent leveling for each instrument.
  • All new levelling system. Want to level up? Collect stars! See how many stars you need to hit the next grade and unlock more lessons as you level up.
  • New navigation. No more waiting for screens to load, version 2.0 is snappy AF.
  • A new view – the Finger Allocation screen is essential for keys, get the feel of how you have to place and move your hands over the keyboard before you work on playing the lesson.
  • Wait Mode – Playback will automatically pause until you hit the right notes, allowing you to step through complex rhythmical patterns or melodies. Paired with Practice Mode, Wait Mode is a great way to break down tricky phrases!
  • All new Learning page for a fresh look at courses and lessons. View lessons in list or grid mode, and browse by artist, genre, grade or tag.
  • New and Improved labelling of tracks in the play view to help you quickly work out which sample is on which pad
  • Colour coding for each hand, so you can see at a glance which part goes with which hand
  • Favourite Lessons – Add a lesson to your favourites list from the lesson screen, or within the lesson itself. Favourites are stored on line, so now they’ll be shared across computers.
  • Pause – press pause during lesson playback to have a deeper look at at difficult sections.
  • Scroll through the lesson arrangement before playing to preview what’s coming up.
  • Volume control always available. Control volume levels more easily within lessons – adjust the metronome, your notes, guide notes and the backing track levels direct from the play view.
  • Customisable Metronome sounds – Pick your metronome, with the familiar sounds of Ableton Live, Logic, Maschine, and many more.
  • Easily manage your account on melodics.com

We’ve also squashed some pesky bugs

  • Fixed an issue where your level could be reset as you passed over level 12 and above
  • Smoothed playback. Improved performance that could cause jittery playback for some users.
  • Plus a ton of other performance improvements.

We have a deal for you!

As a special pre-launch offer, if you pick up an annual subscription now you’ll get lessons for ALL instruments for the price of one instrument.

Already a subscriber? You’ll have all instruments until your subscription rolls over.

If you’ve been thinking about building your pad skills, and you’re interested in learning keys, now’s the perfect time to subscribe!

  • This deal applies to new annual subscriptions or upgrades from monthly to annual subscriptions purchased before 12 November.
  • You will have access to all instruments for the 12 months until your subscription renews.
  • Discounted Instrument bundle subscriptions will be available at the end of your 12 month subscription period.

Melodics V2 is coming soon! Stay tuned for the release before the end of 2017.

If there’s anything else you’d like help with, or if you have any extra feedback just get in touch. 😃

Aug 23

Sinden Reveals How He Went From Gig Promoter to Festival DJ

by in Interviews

Sinden is a Los Angeles based producer/DJ who has done it all in the Electronic music world. His work has seen him host his own show on Kiss FM, start a record label and produce a catalogue of music that has torn up dance floors for decades. This week Sinden answered a few questions about his new Melodics lesson ‘Crystal Maze’ and also talked about his journey from gig promoter to DJing at some of the biggest festivals around the world.

You are originally for the UK but have been based out in LA for a while now. What made you want to move out to LA and what are the biggest differences between the scenes?

Yeah I made the move coming up to 6 years soon. I wanted to switch it up and see if I was compatible to live here first and then decided to make the move permanent. The scenes are really different, musically, although they do share a diversity that you would expect from a major city especially one like L.A, where dance music and club culture scene has always flourished.

In a previous interview you said that your first break came off the back of meeting Jesse Rose. Are you able to explain this story. How it came about and what it led to?

At the time Jesse and I were both promoting our respective club nights in London. We got along really well and stayed in touch. Anyway, he called me some weeks after to ask me whether I’d like to help out with his labels one day a week. I was passionate about the music, already DJing & interested in the music game and grateful for the opportunity. Jesse really nurtured me and through him I was able to see how the industry gears operated. He gave me insight of how independent labels run, we were a stones throw from a lot of the labels and distributors so we’d do the rounds and got to meet a ton of people. Also not only that, I started to listen to more House music and he also introduced me to Dave (Switch) and we started a run of productions together.  Those 2 were making House records that were blowing my mind. It really put me on the path, without that I wouldn’t be here but there’s no such thing as coincidence.

In the same interview you mentioned how your path could have easily gone down the club promoter route. What made you choose the music production instead?

Yeah I was promoting my club night in London with a friend but its not really for me. I really wanted to contribute to the scene but that wasn’t more forte. Music production was a natural progression from DJing which I was already mucking about with. I felt that was more my field, my strength. I had been collecting records since I was a teenager and was fascinated with how they were made. I remember hearing things like Aphex Twin Selected Ambient Works & stuff like Mantronix when I was a teen and also Jungle for the first time. Knowing how to be able to make music in that era was a myth. Meeting Switch and Jesse put me in this studio environment for the very first time and it taught me everything.

What was the first bit of gear you ever purchased? Is there a story behind it?

My first hardware piece was the Virus TI Snow in 08. I was starting to think about music ‘outside the box’ haha. It also had the integrated software interface too which I was more used to seeing. Producer friends had always told me about how the Virus had a beautiful sound, something that would really rev up the bass lines too. I still use it in the studio pretty regularly.

How did you initially get into Dance Music? Was there a song,artist or person who got you into it?

I was about 9 when I got into dance music. A lot of the music in the pop charts was club tunes, albeit a more commercial form. I remember hearing Steve Silk Hurley’s Jack Your Body which was a Bonafide House record which also got to Number 1 as the biggest selling record. That was one of my earliest memories of electronic music. I always say in the UK we’ve been lucky to be surrounded with great pirate radio, for instance. Radio was may gateway into all of this as I was too young to rave. In my local town we had 3 or 4 independents selling wax and I’d make regular trips up there to buy records and scoop up all the rave flyers for my bedroom wall. I always made sure that I was a connected to the new music as much as possible.

You seamlessly DJ in club and festival environments. Outside of scale what is the biggest differences in how approach these sets?

Club sets are always a bit more adventurous. I’ll experiment more with tunes I’ve just finished and wanna test out. Festival sets you tend to stick with the tried and tested but thats cool too, I feel. The mixing dynamics are different with the pacing. Festival sets are really short and you tend to power through things a bit faster.

You have produced numerous songs on different labels. Out of all these releases which is the most meaningful to you and why?

Yeah so many, its tough to pick but I would say releasing on Atlantic Jaxx. Basement Jaxx were already an act that I had a massive amount of respect and look upped too. Switch and I had made a track which Felix from Jaxx wanted to press up which I was so gassed about really early on in my career. Putting a tune on wax was a big deal for me as a vinyl lover and when I look back on it now still is.

You’re productions are high tempo and always chopping and changing. Where does your unique style stem from?

I think that really comes from listening to loads of different styles of music and growing up with radio also the influence of fidget that Switch and Jesse Rose was making. It was rewriting the rules of house for me and shaking things up without constraint or adhering to a formula.

How did you first hear about Melodics?

Matt at Serato first showed me the program. I was intrigued by it. My immediate impression was I could really do with signing up because my timing could be better haha.

You make your Melodics debut this week with ‘Crystal Maze’. What advice would you give to Melodics users before playing this lesson?

This was my time sitting down with Melodics and I don’t often finger drum. I got to grips with it quickly and found myself moving through the lessons. For me persistence paid off and made me wanna get further. I would say making the track slower and gradually making it faster to normal speed was a really successful method – good feature.

What is your perspective on finger drumming? Do you use it much in your production/DJing process? What intrigues you most about it?

The DJ set has shifted so much from where it came from, finger drumming is becoming more the norm in this Performer DJ environment, its become an extension of turntable-ism, another tool to use alongside the mixer, the platter, f etc. Its opening up more possibilities of what you can do and is advancing the art and I welcome that. I’d like to use it more but I honestly don’t think thats my strength. I love the human element in finger drumming, the swing and also the slight off times that happen. Also the guys that do this that are at the top of their game are so crazy to watch, its inspiring.

Your latest project is a compilation called Sinden’s House Line. Are you able to explain how this came about and what has been the best part of this project?

Its a comp that I put together and released with Insomniac Records. It came about from hanging with the guys from the label chatting some dance music genealogy type stuff haha. We were reminiscing about blog house era parties and sounds and talking about how its come to influence whats happening today and that got us on to this concept of a comp that nods to the past a little but keeps things moving forward. The whole vibe is centered around warehouse parties, the underground, really appreciating music irrespective of trends, music politics, social medias influence. Something fun with that lo-fi nod.

If you were stuck on a desert island for a year and could only bring there albums with you what would they be and why?

1. The Mighty Threes – Africa Shall Stretch Forth Her Hand

2. James Brown – The Payback

3. The Clash – Sandinista!

What does the rest of 2017 have install for you?

More tunes, more shows. Look out for more Houseline releases too!