Melodics is a fun way learn a new instrument or improve your skills if you already play. You can connect your drum kit, keyboard or pad controller that supports MIDI and get started quickly, with minimal setup. 60 lessons are offered for free so you can see how Melodics can improve your playing with integrated feedback for each lesson. This Melodics review will explore the software and how it can help you grow.
Who is Melodics for?
Melodics is aimed at beginning to intermediate players and claims that advanced players will have fun as well, so no matter where you are in your learning journey, Melodics has something to offer you.
Lessons for each instrument are offered in a wide range of musical styles to suit everybody’s taste, with new lessons being added every week. There are a huge range of tracks (more than a thousand and counting) from artists around the globe in more styles than you can poke a stick at.
Thanks to the structured lessons, you’ll be able to build a solid foundation on your instrument, making learning fun and giving you the skills to progress quickly if you put the work in.
You’ll build your sense of time, rhythm, and musicality as you progress any you’ll have the opportunity to try out different genres you may not be familiar with which broadens your skillset.
The software offers lessons for Electronic Drum Kits, Keyboards, and Pad Controllers. As long as your instrument supports MIDI, then you can just connect it to your PC with a USB cable, and it should work straight away.
If you have any problems, there is a full list of supported devices and troubleshooting advice on the Melodics site.
Is it Effective?
Melodics uses a structured approach to learning known as Deliberate Practice. In every lesson, the musical track is broken down into individual parts. You will concentrate on these parts individually, at a speed that is comfortable to you.
After each playthrough you get a full report of your progress so you can decide whether you’re happy to move on. This way you can be completely comfortable with each aspect of the track before progressing to the next step, where further parts are added back to the track, eventually bringing you up to the full complexity of the final track.
This method allows you to build muscle memory as well as consistent practice habits. It’s claimed that only five minutes a day with this method is beneficial to your progress and building a solid habit, more so than long sessions at inconsistent intervals.
We’ve all heard the old adage, practice makes perfect. But unless you’re motivated to practice, what’s the use? Melodics is great fun to use and will keep you engaged and coming back for more.
|Deliberate Practice is a concept which can be applied to any area where you want to build great habits and see yourself grow. Check out the work of Anders Ericsson and Daniel Coyle to learn more about it.|
Download and Installation
Installation is straightforward. Melodics is a desktop application for PC or Mac. You just need to download the installer program and follow the instructions. It only takes a few minutes and the first time you run Melodics it’ll prompt you to create an account or login to access the lessons.
The system requirements for Melodics are fairly modest, with the minimum specs being:
|Operating System||Processor||Memory||Hard Disk Space||Screen Resolution|
|Windows 7, 8, or 10 (64bit only)||
Core i3 1.07GHz 64bit or equivalent
1280 x 720
|Mac OS X 10.10 or later|
An internet connection is required for the full experience. You can still access songs that have already been downloaded, but you will lose your practice goals, new lessons, song previews and certain images.
If you don’t have an instrument you can play along with your computer keyboard, but the real enjoyment comes when you connect your MIDI instrument.
Melodics supports most MIDI controllers/instruments without having to do any setup, but even if your instrument isn’t among these, you can still use the ‘Map your controller’ feature to get it working with the software.
Pretty much all electronic drum kits made by Alesis, Roland or Yamaha will work straight away. Try out the demo to double check before signing up to a subscription.
With the free plan you get 60 lessons and a maximum of 5 performance minutes per day. This time is only counted while you’re actually playing along to a track, and not in other areas of the program.
Melodics claims that 5 minutes a day is enough to make progress, so the free plan is a great way to put it to the test.
$29.99 USD per month
This plan will give you unlimited play time, more than 1000 lessons and over 50 different courses. You’ll have full access to new content which is released weekly.
$12.49 USD per month (billed annually)
Exactly the same as the monthly plan, but with huge savings, this plan offers the best value.
There’s a section to enter a promo code when signing up for a plan, so keep your eyes peeled for a code online.
After installing Melodics, it’s simple to get started. The software prompts you for a username right away without needing an account, but just a few steps later you’ll need to create one.
Once your account is created you can choose which instrument you’re wanting to learn – or whether you’re happy to bash on the computer keyboard for the fun of it. (This wont be fun for very long, check out some great beginner electronic drum kits which will work great with Melodics – the Roland TD-1K, and the Alesis Turbo Mesh)
The user interface is very nice and it’s easy to find your way around. The first time you open the software you’ll be guided through the steps of setting up an account, choosing an instrument, and doing a simple lesson to get yourself familiar with the way it all works. From there you can choose to follow a course or handpick individual lessons depending on what your goals are.
Your current lesson is displayed on the Home screen, along with how many stars you have achieved on this lesson. Four stars mean that you’ve completed the last step of a lesson and you can ‘level up’ which is a way to track your progress and what lessons you should be aiming to master.
The Home screen also shows your current ‘streak’ – how many consecutive days you’ve managed to get your practice in during the current month. Consistent practice habits are incredibly important to making progress on any instrument so you’ll want to keep the streak going if you want to see results.
Probably the best place for beginners, the guided path will introduce new concepts and challenges as you progress. The sections are taken from the Courses section of the software and put into a logical order to keep you on track.
For the drumming path, for example, you’ll start with the basics of your very first drum groove. By the end of the guided path you’ll have a good working knowledge and ability to play grooves with confidence in different genres and styles, and you can take on any of the more advanced lessons in the courses section.
Each of the courses is focused on helping learners understand and gain skills in a specific area. Some courses include Time Signatures, Building Endurance, Fills, and various styles of drumming such as Rock, Pop, Jazz, Reggae, and more.
Here you’ll find literally thousands of lessons in many styles and genres, all broken down into steps to introduce the steps required one at a time, until you can master the content.
From the song preview screen you can click the little love heart and it’ll pop the lesson into your favourites screen for easy access later.
Performing a Song
You’re going to be spending a lot of time learning, practicing and performing songs in this area of Melodics.
From this screen you can adjust the individual volumes for the metronome, backing track, the notes you’re playing, and the ‘guide notes’. You can scroll through the whole song before you start if you want to check any particular part.
Your goal in performance mode is to strike the notes perfectly as they scroll across the screen. If you hit the note perfectly in time, you get a lovely green square, but beware of early, late, and completely misplayed notes, they’ll all affect your overall score at the end of the song. At the end of each section you’ll receive detailed feedback about your performance.
If you’re struggling with a particular part, or even a whole song, practice mode allows you to slow the song right down and focus on a specific section. You can loop through the section as many times as you like so you’re ready to perform the piece to your best ability.
For beginning and intermediate players, Melodics offers a fun and accessible experience which will steadily increase your natural timekeeping ability, technical skills and enjoyment of your instrument.
The structured lessons and deliberate practice methodology will keep you wanting to practice for a short time each day, and you’ll see yourself grow musically in no time at all.
If you’ve tried Melodics, what did you think? Is it the best software for beginners? Leave a comment below!