We never said it would be easy! Getting those 3 stars can be a struggle, so we’ve put together a guide to the best way to tackle a lesson in Melodics. The aim is that by following this guide, you will not only be able to three star the lesson, you’ll be able to play it freestyle without any assistance from Melodics.
You might want to apply this to each step in the lesson – or just the tricky ones!
Step 1: Select your lesson
It may seem obvious, but take a moment to think about why you pick a lesson. Is it in a genre you want to learn? Do you like the sound of the lesson? Are you working toward building a particular skill or technique? The key is to have an outcome to work towards, it will help you to stay motivated!
Part 2: Check out the pad layout.
The first stage of the lesson will be in the preplay screen. Start by playing each pad, and work out what sample is on each pad. You can see which fingers to use on each pad at the bottom right of the screen. Bear in mind that if you’re playing a low grade lesson, the finger allocations might be designed so that you can play other parts later in the higher grade version.
The Preplay Screen
Part 3: Preview the beat.
Hit the preview button, and have a listen. Get a feel for the groove, watch the pads lighting up, and familiarise yourself with the basic pattern. Now your ready for your first attempt.
Click the play button on the right side of the preplay screen to start lesson
Part 4. Figure Out The Pattern.
Welcome to the Play screen. Step four is all about figuring out the pattern of the lesson. Don’t worry about getting through the whole thing on the first pass, just spend some time figuring out the arrangement. Before you start, hit each pad, and watch which line lights up. This will give you a visual reference and help you to associate each pad with the track in the play screen. Start, and make the first attempt to play along. Restart often!
Performance screen. Hit spacebar to restart the arrangement. The key is to get familiar with the pattern.
Part 5. Using Practice Mode
By now you should have the basic feel for the beat – but actually playing it is another story. This is where practice mode comes in. Switch to practice mode [screen shot], and play through a few times with the tempo turned right down. If there is a particularly tricky part, you might want to set a loop to concentrate on that part.
When you feel like you’re starting to get it, turn on Auto BPM. This will ramp up the BPM each time you “pass” the arrangement.
At this point, it’s largely about just putting in the reps. If you’re not getting it, dont sweat it too much. Each time you play through it, you’re building muscle memory. You might find that when you come back to practice the next day, your first pass is much better!
Pro Tip: Combine Loop and Auto BPM. Each time you pass the loop, the BPM will increase, so you’ll get there faster with a smaller loop than playing the entire arrangement.
Practice Mode is located at the top left of the play screen. Click the text to access.
Choose a start and end point to loop over and get comfortable with a tricky section.
Part 6: Back to perform mode.
By this stage, you should be reasonably comfortable, and getting 1 star at least some of the time. Time to switch it up!
Stop looking at the screen.
Look down at the pads, focus on your fingers. Some hardware has pad lighting, so you get feedback directly under your fingers. Again, this stage is all about reps.
Part 7. A little less help.
Getting it? But can you play the beat without the help of Melodics? Next up, go back to the Preplay screen, and drop out the Metronome and the Guide Notes. Now you’re just playing along to the backing track. Again, try looking away from the screen, and just play to the backing track, and clock up some reps.
Lower the Metronome volume and guide note to take things to the next level.
Part 8. Back to preplay.
Go back to the preplay screen, so you have the samples on the pads, and absolutely no assistance from Melodics. Can you still play it? If not, go back a step, and get some more reps in.
Part 9. The true test.
Time for the ultimate test – load up some similar samples into your music production platform of choice, and record yourself playing the same pattern. How does it sound?
If you’re a Melodics subscriber, or if you’ve referred a friend via Melodics, you’ve probably received a set of the samples used in the Melodics lessons. Put these to the test – see if you can recreate the beat playing it live in your production software or sampler.
Extra For Experts: Finish your track
So there you have it, 9 steps to get you mastering more lessons in Melodics. Treat these tips as your framework to getting better, but remember there is no substitute to putting in the reps. The more attempts you take the faster your skills will develop. Happy practicing.