Learning to play the melodica continues. Two months ago I decided to stick with a single piece until I could play it by memory without looking at the keys. The not looking part turns out to be harder than I thought. Playing with the long flexible tube mouthpiece instead of the short rigid one means the instrument moves so making a blind hand reposition ain’t gonna happen anytime soon.
But I wanted difficulty so it’s time to play in time. Metronomes are good for simple pieces or checking every few measures to see if one is one time. But my brain goes wacko when playing different duration notes than the metronome, e.g. playing a sequence containing 1/4s, 1/8ths and dotted 1/4s while the metronome is ticking 1/4s. At least the app was free. What’s a student to do?
Google to the rescue. I’ve been playing lead sheets from wikifonia.org. A lead sheet is music notation which strips a song to it’s essentials: melody, lyrics and harmony (shown as chords). I play the melody and ignore the rest. [Update Apr 4, 2014. Wikifonia is no more because a license to secure the rights of copyrighted works could not be extended. End Update]
Lead sheets are avilable in three different file formats. PDF works for me because my photo editor treats it like an image and Pdf2Music treats it as, uh, music. Take a pdf created by music score software, load it into Pdf2Music, select the instrument and tempo, press PLAY and it plays what I’m trying to.
No examples on the Pdf2Music site and few to choose from on YouTube. Here is one. It has 3 more instruments and 1 more voice than the pdfs I play. First 8 seconds is silent