Mar 23

Learn from a band that’s changed the face of music since the 70s.

by in Melodics

Kraftwerk’s journey to becoming one of the most influential pop groups of all time began in the late 60s and early 70s. In the pop-cultural vacuum of post-world-war Germany, Kraftwerk struggled to find a new artistic voice. But few would have predicted that these reclusive European experimentalists would form a foundation for electronic music that would help build music as we know it today. Here are 7 reasons why:

1. Who Sampled Ya?

Kraftwerk who sampled

One of the most sampled acts in history with over 1000 samples used and counting…

As one of the most sampled acts in history, it’s unlikely you’ve never heard a Kraftwerk Song before. They’re often hiding in plain sight on tracks by artists as diverse as Chemical Brothers, Busta Rhymes, LCD Soundsystem, Panda Bear, DJ Shadow, New Order & Jay-Z.

Hip-Hop DJs used Kraftwerk albums religiously during the B-Boy era and Pioneering DJ Afrikaa Bambataa was the first to press a remix to vinyl – sampling Trans-Europe Express on the blistering electro track Planet Rock in 1982. The song catapulted itself into the charts and paved the way for Hip-Hop to start dominating the airwaves.

Check out the full list here.

2. Godfathers of electronic music

Kraftwerk inspired early Techno, Electro & Trance producers from the get go.

As one of the earliest groups to explore the use of synthesisers and electronic instruments, 
Kraftwerk were painting on a refreshingly blank canvas. They both defined and foreshadowed what the world would sound like in the digital age, leaving a fingerprint on all electronic music in their wake.

Sequenced drums and driving minimal beats informed Electro, Techno & House. Hypnotic hymns and ambient explorations can be found in Trance and Downtempo styles. The sheer amount of Kraftwerk samples used by EDM greats across decades, which still find their way back into modern dance tracks, prove that Kraftwerks influence is still as strong as ever.

Kraftwerk revolutionised the music industry with their use of drum machines. These devices enabled them to craft precise and rhythmic beats that couldn’t be replicated by conventional drum kits, thus making a lasting impression on the evolution of music. 

3. Minimal influence

They influenced David Bowie’s highly acclaimed Berlin Trilogy which made a ripple effect of influence for bands alike and thereafter.

While Kraftwork found a home on dance floors in the UK & America, their minimal, ambient aesthetic influence also helped shape the sound of the burgeoning New Wave scene and other avant-garde music. David Bowie and Brian Eno travelled to Berlin to meet their new heroes. This encounter and Bowie’s subsequent stay in Germany heavily influenced his ‘Berlin Trilogy’. This series of 3 albums are now regarded as the strongest and most innovative period of his career – influencing a legion of rock, goth, industrial and post-punk acts in its wake.

4. Computer Love

Kraftwerk computer love

Modern pop artists and bands have used Kraftwerk melodies to create emotional, anthemic music.

Kraftwerk is well-known for minimal ambience or cold robotic soundscapes, but they also know how to write catchy, heart-stirring melodies. Miley Cyrus, Ciara and many more have injected Kraftwerk into popular music to create depth and emotion. Coldplay famously used ‘Computer Love’s’ lilting heartsick keyboard line on their 2005 single ‘Talk’, turning the melody into a stadium anthem.

5. Digital Soul

Kraftwerk vocal processing influenced aaalllll of that autotune stuff!

While vocal effects were already enjoying a heyday in the 70s (Peter Frampton and his Talk Box guitar solos are just one example) – Kraftwerk were the first music act to really infuse robotic-sounding vocals with humanity and emotion. Florian Schneider’s patented ‘robovox’ technology (1990) still remains a mystery but gives a clue into the group’s vocal synthesis methods. It’s no exaggeration to say that Daft Punk, T-Pain & Kanye’s 808’s & Heartbreaks and all of that auto-tune we hear today, owe so much to Kraftwerks early vocoded experiments.

6. Man Machines

Kraftwerk drums

Reimagined the human voice in music through the use of vocoders and autotune

Kraftwerks early development saw a move from mere flirtation with electronic instrumentation to embracing it completely. With 2 drummers in the band, this evolution necessitated the move to drum machines, and their creation of DIY electronic drum kits – some of the first ever made.

This enabled them to craft precise, rhythmic beats that meshed perfectly with synthesised sounds, and couldn’t be replicated by conventional drum kits. In a time before the mass production of such instruments, Kraftwerks percussive sound was radical and revolutionary – inspiring the next wave of electronic music and the popularisation of electronic drum kits in the 80s.

7. Mannequin Act

Their high-concept live act showed bands how to go beyond a cliche rock show

Kraftwerk was notoriously uncomfortable with the fame and popularity that came with their music. They developed an innovative live show which rejected typical rock tropes, preferring to simply line the band up in a row in front of their instruments and present the music.

As they rejected the spotlight more and more, their presence on stage was replaced by mannequins that moved robotically to the music, fully realising the concepts inherent in their music – humanity replaced by technology.

From the 80s until their reunion shows in the 2000s, their live show held this theme while developing new costumes, choreography and visuals. Kraftwerk’s unique & artful approach to stagecraft set a new standard for how bands could present themselves in concert, inspiring countless other acts to follow with high-concept performances.

Learn it in Melodics!

Kraftwerk The Model MelodicsKraftwerk The Model MelodicsKraftwerk The Model Melodics

We’ve broken down their iconic track, The Model, into separate Melody, Baseline, and Drums lessons. Get into the kick and snare rhythm on pads or cruise the autobahn on keys with their signature bassline and mechanical melody.

Let’s play!

Mar 16

Learn ‘Ride’ by Twenty One Pilots

by in Drums

Buckle in for the ultimate ‘ride’ with our latest drums lesson by Twenty One Pilots.

Twenty One Pilots Ride

The unconventional duo comprises singer and guitarist, Tyler Joseph and drummer, Josh Dun, who have taken the world by storm since their self-titled debut album release in 2009.

‘Ride’ was released in 2015 and featured as a single from their award-winning album, ‘Blurryface’. The track follows an emotional journey that explores perseverance through life’s challenges when all seems overwhelming – a message that really appeals and represents their fleet of fiercely loyal and passionate fans known as the “Skeleton Clique”.

In true TØP style, the upbeat production and cheerful instrumental arrangement work perfectly with the ominous message. The pair are masters of working with contrasting themes and musical concepts. Drawing from a rich and upbeat reggae influence, the track features shimmery synths and brooding baselines which are all tied together in a groove that emphasises the upbeat – a track worth adding to your drumming repertoire.


Twenty One Pilots (TØP)
Twenty One Pilots Grammy

Whether it’s their riveting and energetic live shows or their urgent and profound lyrics, TØP have succeeded in unapologetically owning their ‘sense of self’ while connecting with a world of listeners who seek the same solace from their music.

Their impressive set of accolades consists of Grammy wins to MTV and Billboard awards including: Best Alternative Album of the year for “Trenches” (2019) and Favourite Pop/Rock Duo (2019).

It’s time to place your 16th-note hi-hat rhythm on autopilot. Cruising to a groove that effortlessly combines elements of rock, hip-hop, reggae, punk, electro and pop.

Get on your kit and hitch a ride with Melodics to level up your skills with this iconic Twenty One Pilots lesson.


Mar 09

Could Kate Bush be one of music’s most underrated Pop artists?

by in Music

Kate Bush Stranger Things

So, who is Kate Bush? And why isn’t she widely recognised as a musical icon? You may know her track ‘Running Up That Hill’ in the Netflix hit, Stranger Things. But beyond that, we’ve unknowingly grown accustomed to the sounds she evolved and just how much her influence has broken boundaries for women in music.

Where it began.

Kate Bush is a singer, songwriter, and musician who has been captivating audiences with her unique style and cutting-edge sound since the 70s. By 17, Kate released a demo that landed the attention of EMI who took the plunge to sign Kate at a time when the British music industry was generally stagnant. Genres like progressive rock and experimental acts were being considered as a means of revitalising the industry — and it worked.

Kate’s influence.

By ‘78, Kate was topping charts with her hit single “Wuthering Heights,” crowning her as the first female artist in the UK to reach number one with a self-written song. Her 4th studio album also broke records as she became the first female artist to reach number 1 in the album charts while achieving artistic independence in the process – an uncommon phenomenon in the 80s.

Kate Bush Fairlight synthesiser

Powerful storytelling and the exploration of contentious themes over experimental sounds are only some of the traits embedded into Kate’s artistic identity. Her revolutionary use of the first digital keyboard sampling station, the Fairlight synthesiser, and the headset microphone onstage (a brand new invention at the time) show just how much Kate’s music was inspiring a fleet of kindred artists along the way.

Billie Eilish, FKA Twigs, Stevie Nicks, Grimes and Sia are just a few artists who evoke the unconventional spirit of Kate Bush in their work. Whether it’s her avant-garde and experimental production, distinguished stage presence or dramatic vocals, Kate’s influence in music extends beyond genre and decade.

37 years after its release, ‘Running Up That Hill’ has now been streamed almost 500 million times and featured in 2.7 million TikTok videos introducing a new legion of young devotees who have discovered the seminal artist for the first time. Despite never winning a grammy, you won’t find Kate begging for the limelight. Her influence speaks volumes about why she should be recognised as a force in the music industry. Her authenticity has proved how running up that hill isn’t too bad once you’re at the top.

We highly recommend checking out her work and exploring elements of her sound in your own music. You can learn ‘Running Up That Hill’ on keys, pads, and drums with Melodics. From VI VII i pop chord progressions, to unequivocally 80s drum rhythms and synths.

Play it today and experience the unique and magical world of Kate Bush for yourself.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Oct 28

We’re on the Halloween hunt for spooky rhythms

by in Drums, Music Theory, Pads

You’ve probably heard about minor scales in music, and how they’re used to portray feelings of darkness and apprehension. (If not, read this!)

But melodies only make up half the story in music. What about the rhythm? Is it possible to evoke dark and scary emotions with patterns, phrasing, and time signatures alone? With Halloween just around the corner, there’s no better time to answer the all-important question: what makes a rhythm spooky?

Answering this question is a bit like hunting a ghost. You’re not too sure it exists, but you’re in it for the thrill of discovery. Let’s uncover some truths by looking at famous examples of spooky music:

Jaws (John Williams)

Exemplified by a simple alternating pattern of just two notes, the theme for Jaws instantly sends shivers down your spine. What makes the rhythm of this music so fear-inducing?

It begins with a sparse pattern of two notes per bar, with long rests adding to the suspense. Then the tempo starts to build. The rhythm becomes more regular but is accompanied by sharp off-beat bites to keep you on your toes.

It’s the space between the notes that builds anticipation. Just like how you don’t know when the shark will attack, you don’t know when the next notes are coming.

The Exorcist (Mike Oldfield)

Featuring a seemingly simple eighth-note pattern, what is it about this rhythm makes it so spooky? Let’s break down the complex arrangement of notes.

Instead of using different length notes and rests to create rhythm, The Exorcist Main Theme gains its rhythm through the arpeggiating pattern of notes. It’s actually the melody that gives this song its irregular rhythm.

The Exorcist Sheet Music

Let’s look at the note E in this pattern, (the lowest note highlighted in green). Notice how it’s on the off-beat of the first bar, on beats 1-& and 2-&. Then it switches to an on-beat rhythm on beat 4, continuing into the second bar on beats 1 and 2. Then back to off-beats in bar three, etc.

Throw in some time signature changes for good measure, and this constant switching of rhythms generates ever-changing tension. You’re never quite sure what’s coming next, just like you’re never quite sure when the next jump scare is coming.

Halloween (John Carpenter)

We’ve seen how irregular rhythms can generate suspense and tension. Equally, regular rhythms can evoke similar feelings. The main theme for Halloween is backed by a straight quarter note pattern on each beat of the bar. So what makes it so spooky?

The unusual 5/4 time signature brings suspense. 4/4 time signatures feel natural and pleasing. 5/4 has one extra beat to every bar, giving it a strange and slightly uncomfortable feeling. The regularity of the rhythm is also akin to a heartbeat, giving the song a chilling sense of mortality.

So, what makes a rhythm spooky?

It’s complicated. There are elements of rhythm that can evoke dark and moody emotions. For example, irregular rhythms can build anticipation. Unusual time signatures and off-beats can generate tension.

The effect that rhythm has on your music is often overlooked, but there’s no doubt that rhythm is a powerful compositional tool. Having these tricks up your sleeve will help you invent new and interesting ways to portray emotions in your music.

Put it into practice.

Get inspired with these Melodics lessons. For the drummers out there, discover how to use unconventional phrase lengths in the context of a Spooky Surf Rock course.

Or learn about shifting off-beat kick patterns with these Scary Psychedelic Rock lessons.

Oct 25

How to increase your speed and endurance on the drums.

by in Drums, Pro Tips

Moeller Method speed endurance Whiplash
Moeller Method speed endurance Whiplash

All drummers have experienced this: there’s a complex 16th note fill you want to play, but it’s just too fast. Or maybe it’s a simple groove but the band wants to play it at 200 BPM and you can’t keep up. You start to tense up. Your timing and accuracy is slipping. Your bandmates are glaring at you, urging you to stick to the tempo.

There’s a physical limit to how fast you can play. How do you overcome this limit and increase your speed and endurance on the drums?

Speed and endurance comes from working efficiently. And efficiency comes from technique. Let’s uncover one of the most influential techniques in modern drumming that makes fast drumming effortless: the Moeller Method.

The Moeller Method

The Moeller Method is a technique that uses a ‘whipping motion’ to increase speed and efficiency. This technique combines multiple drum strokes into a single arm motion, letting gravity do all the hard work. Now that’s efficiency.

Moeller Method sheet music

Here’s how it works for a straight eighth-note pattern.

The down-stroke: Lift the stick up high above your drum using your whole arm, loosening your wrist on the way up in a whipping motion. Use gravity to bring it back down to strike the drum. This is the “down-stroke”.

Use your fingers to control how far your stick rebounds off the drum. The stick should just hover above the drum after the down stroke. This will set you up for the next part of this technique.

The up-stroke: With your stick hovering above your drum ready for you to lift up again, why not tap the drum while you’re there? With a flick of the wrist, tap the drum on your way back up. This is the “up-stroke”.

Try repeating the down and up strokes in a single, fluid, “whipping” motion. Remember to stay loose and relaxed.

Watch this video for visual guidance on how to play this this technique.

Remember: you’re getting two strokes for the price of one arm movement, which takes less physical effort and you’ll be able to play faster for longer. This is the secret to increasing your speed and endurance.

Take on the challenge.

Take On Me - AdvancedQuarter & Eighth Notes

‘Take On Me’, by A-ha, is backed by an eighth note hi-hat pattern at 169 BPM. The groove is simple but it’s fast. At 3 minutes 49 seconds long, you’re going to need to build your endurance to keep up the tempo till the end. The simplicity of the beat in ‘Take on Me’ means that you can really hone in on this life-saving technique, and not worry about any unexpected notes or complex fills.

Don’t go too hard too fast. Like all good things, it takes time and practice. When learning the Moeller Method, remember to slow it down and break it down into its parts: the down-stroke and up-stroke. Melodics Daily Warmups are the perfect space to practice the Moeller Method. Use the Quarter and Eighth Notes lesson to build up your speed and endurance slowly.

Jun 23

Your key to unlocking music

by in Fundamentals, Music

Do I need to read music?

Music theory is a way of describing the things in music that different people, in different cultural contexts have found to sound good to them. We believe that music doesn’t flow from theory – theory flows from music.

From traditional and folk styles of music right up to the contemporary — none have ever required theory. Notation does not necessitate beautiful music creation (and nor does it prevent you from learning to play the popular music you love) — but it can still facilitate it in certain circumstances if needed.

wrecking crew

So why was sheet music a thing?

Before recorded music or digital technologies, sheet music was a standardised way to precisely describe, and communicate complex musical ideas from a composer’s mind, to the musicians who would be able to play it exactly as it was imagined. Without notation, the world’s most acclaimed classical composers — Chopin, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and everyone else — would have had no voice, and their music would have died with them.

Notation in a way, was the precursor to recorded music as we know it. Common use of sheet notation in the music industry progressed into 20th century pop with famous session bands like the Wrecking Crew smash out hit-after-Motown-hit; being able to rapidly learn several new songs every session and execute a top of the pops hit on the spot with minimal practice. This made fluency in site-reading notation a real skill to have.

When isn’t sheet music really needed in contemporary times?

For every Wrecking Crew session muso in 1960s , there are thousands more musicians around the world making music without ever needing to read the stave. Elton John himself learned by ear first, long before he ever went on to study theory. Legends like Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Prince and even Dave Brubeck never learned how to read music at all. From Vanessa Carlton’s “Thousand Miles”, Outkast’s “Roses”, Alicia Keys “Fallin’” to Radiohead’s “Pyramid Song” — it would be unreal to think they were composed and learned with sheet notation.

You can learn all the music from artists like these you admire with Melodics’ song-based learning approach. All without sheet notation, and play it any time, anywhere, with anyone you like.

When might you still need notation?

You might need to read music if you ever think you’ll be doing a “reading gig” — that is if you need to play music exactly as it has been composed, where it is too complex or lengthy to memorise. This is of course ever-present in Classical, and also in some Jazz, Musical Theatre and Cinema settings.

Although understanding the background principles of how to read music is fairly straightforward — It’s a lot of work to be able to read music fluently and at a professional level. For many, the hard slog to get the degree of fluency required for this might put you off, but many musicians are instead adept at being able to figure out, and play by ear, and confident enough to add impromptu creative flair when playing and recording.


your key to unlocking music

Do you need to read music? No. But you might wish to really be fluent site reading in some particular instances. It depends what your musical goals are, but it’s important to remember that one of the reasons most people don’t succeed with an instrument is because they don’t practice – not their grasp of theory!

You can absolutely learn theory by playing – and it will make so much more sense when you learn it from a real-life playing context, rather than it being a key that unlocks certain music for you. When an audience is listening, they can’t tell your site-reading ability, but they can hear your skill and confidence – so get out there, have fun and play!


May 26

Guided Learning: the perfect foundation to start your musical journey

by in Fundamentals, Melodics, Pro Tips

Where do you start? Where do you go next? What do you do when things get tricky? What should you be focusing on?

These are common questions we hear from those looking to get started – and we felt the same thing when we were beginners. Because sometimes, it’s just nice to have a little guidance!

Say hello to Melodics’ Guided Path.

The Guided Path is your introduction to the critical skills needed to play drums, keys, or pads confidently.

Here you’ll find a map through a curated selection of Melodics Courses – specifically designed to help you find your way to improve your skills from the ground up on your chosen instrument..

Don’t worry about having any prior experience or theoretical knowledge: The Guided Path starts you off with playing music at your level, and growing your ability right from the beginning!

If you’re new to learning and unsure if you’re ready to dive into the vast array of Lessons and Courses available in Melodics: then working your way through each Course in the Guided Path will make sure you stay focused, and lay down the rock-solid foundation you need first to continue building upon and explore throughout your musical life.

What does the Guided Path look like?

Starting with fundamental musical building blocks, then expanding and branching into more specific concepts and skills – the Guided Path grows with you as your ability and interests progress.

What do you want to learn? Take your pick of drums, keys, or pads – there is a dedicated Guided Path for each of them. In total, there are more than 60 courses and over 250 lessons as part of the Guided Paths that are there to guide you every step of the way.

Melodics Drums Guided Path

The Guided Path for Drums.

The Guided Path for Drums is based around developing a comprehensive understanding of the basic drum grooves and applying rudiments. From there, you’ll develop the skills to create your own grooves, and beyond.

Once you’ve developed a solid foundation, you’ll explore courses on coordination, building limb independence, exciting fills, linear playing, and time signatures which will prime you for confidently stepping out into the world of more advanced drumming.

The Melodics Guided Path for Drums will support you when you are stuck, providing a way to trace back to the fundamental skills you might have missed, allowing you to learn and develop the skills that matter, faster.
– Benjamin Locke, Creative Production & Content Creator


Melodics Keys Guided Path

The Guided Path for Keys.

The Melodics Guided Path for Keys is a modern curriculum for anyone keen to learn the keyboard – focusing on both practical and theoretical concepts through Melodics’ play-to-learn methodology.

Feel free to start off with the basics, like orienting your left and right hands, rhythm and time signatures, note lengths and note interval basics. From there, you can get introduced to playing melodies, triads, chord inversions, 7th chords, common chord progressions, rhythmic syncopation, arpeggios, and basslines – all the building blocks of modern music!

Higher and lower-level concepts are always present in music – The journey of music is non-linear and all about making connections between things. The more connections you make, the more you start to recognise certain features, almost as though they weren’t there before.
– Robert Bruce, Creative Production & Content Creator

With an emphasis on a wide range of contemporary genres like Hip-Hop, Pop, RnB and Electronic, completing the Guided Path is guaranteed fun and accessible for everyone.


Melodics Drums Guided Path

The Guided Path for Pads.

The Melodics Guided Path for Pads is the first interactive music-learning program designed specifically for Pads as an instrument. It’s important for anyone who wants help building and strengthening their finger drumming skill-set.

The pads Guided Path starts you off with exploring your instrument from a rhythmic perspective: coordination, orientation, counting beats, and seeing beat subdivisions. You’ll hone in on how to think and play pads like a drummer does drums using the Mirror Layout, build upon the classic Backbeat, into creating drum grooves and develop a syncopated swung-feel in your playing style.

By playing through the Guided Path you will exercise core skills in multiple musical contexts. Through this, you will gain adaptability and versatility in your playing. Adapting your style and problem solving helps you connect your physical skills with your conscious understanding of what you are trying to do. This will help you become a better finger drummer and musician.
– Ruby Walsh, Creative Production & Content Strategy

You’ll have built a solid foundation to progress into where pads as an instrument really shines: the exciting world of live beat techniques, and incorporating instrumental and scale sounds into your playing repertoire – whether that’s in the bedroom, with a band, the studio or the stage.

The Guided Path has evolved! What’s new?

We’ve given our Guided Path a huge boost. Along with introducing new, revamped courses by our expert music team, we’ve combined two essential Melodics features to give you the ultimate learning experience: Guided Path and Records.


Guided Path: meet Records.

We see the Guided Path as an incredibly valuable learning environment for those new to an instrument.

Where the Guided Path helps you build up a solid foundation of critical skills you might need to confidently explore music – Records provide video explanations of those concepts and ideas, which summarise and keep track of everything you’ve just learned.

Combining these two is the perfect marriage! Incorporating Records helps to better reinforce the benefits of the Guided Path, offering an all-in-one, synergetic place to learn, explore and measure your mastery of fundamental musical skills as you progress.

We’ve re-assigned Records so that they are solely found and collected in corresponding lessons throughout the Guided Path, to really support the topic you’re learning at that time. When you want to review or revisit Records all in one place, just head to your Progress section in Melodics.



Jan 14

The Day I Ran Out Of Keys.

by in Gear

Is your 25 key controller curbing your creativity? Get inspired and release your potential by upsizing your keys.

Music has always been influenced by the tools we use. Classical music is a reflection of the arsenal of orchestral instruments available at the time, and modern music has been enriched by the use of electric guitars, synthesisers, and drum machines. Of course, music is all about creativity and expression, but it’s important to remember that the tools you use also have an important influence on how you play.

Compact keyboard controllers are among the best selling keyboards for beginners, and for good reason; they’re portable, affordable, and easy to use. But as you continue to develop your skills and expand your repertoire, you might find that 25 keys just isn’t enough anymore. Most music extends beyond 25 keys, and being limited to a couple of octaves could actually be stifling your development and creativity.

If you’re feeling tethered down by having a limited range of keys, or if you’re sick of hitting that octave-shift button every time you want to play a bass line, it might be time for an upgrade. Whether you need something compact, you’re on a tight budget, or you want something that will last you a lifetime; we’ve got a line-up of the best keyboards that won’t get in the way of your creativity.

1. Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol M32

More keys, same footprint.


One of the main attractions of a 25 key controller is its compact size. If portability matters to you, don’t worry, it is possible to get more keys yet still fit your controller into your backpack so you can practice with Melodics on the move.

The NI Komplete Kontrol M32 is a great micro-sized controller for traveling musicians. With its 32 slim keys, they’ve managed to fit more keys into the same footprint of a 25 key controller. Unlike a lot of micro-sized keyboards, these keys feel solid to play and the build quality is excellent while still being light enough to take with you.

  • 32 velocity sensitive keys.
  • Slim key size for portability.
  • Solid key feel and build.

2. Novation Launchkey 49

High in features, low in cost.

If you’re wanting the best bang for your buck, look no further than the Novation Launchkey 49. As well as 49 full-sized keys, this feature-packed keyboard has eight assignable knobs and faders, and 16 velocity-sensitive pads so that you can practice your finger drumming and keys all on one controller.

The Launchkey 49 has all the features you need but it won’t break the bank, all while offering a solid key feel and reliable build quality.

  • 49 velocity-sensitive keys.
  • More affordable than other keyboards with similar features.
  • Heaps of features including 16 velocity-sensitive pads.

3. Roland A-49

Uncompromised keys.

For serious keyboard players, the Roland A-49 ticks the most important box of all: sturdy, responsive key feel. For years Roland has been producing some of the best feeling synths and keyboards, and the A-49 continues to deliver on that high standard.

Not only do the semi-weighted keys feel great to play, the A-49’s simple design means it’s about as compact as a 49 key controller gets. Roland has also managed to fit in a couple of useful assignable knobs, switches, and their D-Beam controller which is a joy to use.

  • 49 velocity-sensitive keys.
  • Excellent key feel.
  • Compact design.


4. iRig Keys 2

Melodics on the go.

If you prefer playing Melodics on iPad, we’ve got you covered. While a lot of controllers will work on the iPad, the iRig Keys 2 is designed specifically with that in mind. That means you don’t need an external power source, you don’t need to worry about buying extra adaptors, and it even has a built-in headphone output so you’re not stuck using your iPad speakers.

The iRig Keys 2 has 37 slim keys so as well as giving you more keys to play with, it remains lightweight and portable – perfect for when you’re on the move with Melodics for iPad.

  • 37 velocity-sensitive keys.
  • Compact design for portability.
  • Designed for portable devices so great for practicing on the go with Melodics for iPad.

5. Akai MPK249

Quality and quantity.
5 akai

If you don’t like to compromise on features and quality, then the Akai MPK249 is the one for you. With its 49 full sized keys, 16 MPC style pads, and loads of assignable knobs, faders, and buttons, there’s not much the MPK249 can’t do.

But it’s not the amount of features this keyboard has, it’s the quality feel of the keybed, the responsive pads, and the solid construction that make the MPK249 a keyboard that could last a lifetime.

  • 49 velocity sensitive keys.
  • Great feeling keys and pads.
  • Excellent build quality.