Have you ever had your parents sign you up for music classes and you never wanted to go? I remember going to those classes slogging through it as I was forced to play the piano, but I never enjoyed the regimented practice sessions. I thought music was supposed to be fun; the practice was the most boring part of my day. So, I turned my back on music for about 10 years. But, somewhere within I knew I did love music, which brought me back to it recently. With my goal of creating a big game project in Godot, and because the instrument is hilarious, I decided to pick up the melodica to understand music.
Memeing With The Melodica
The major reason why I even know the instrument exists is because of a video by Lilypichu on youtube following cosplayers around. After seeing that you could carry around a portable wind instrument keyboard(it’s a wind instrument) and play songs, I was ready to pick one up. But, it’s been a long time since I’ve played an instrument, so I knew a challenge was coming.
The Initial Struggle
You remember those days your music instructor would have you play the basic octave? “Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do”. That’s all you knew how to play, you gave up playing music and decided it wasn’t for you, because you couldn’t play the songs you wanted. Yep, that’s me right now. But I decided to learn how to play easy songs that I could actually understand.
So, I started learning how to play the Song Of Storms from the Legend Of Zelda series. It’s a simple song with only about 3 to 4 patterns to memorize, so I thought it would be easy. Unfortunately, it did not work out the way I thought it would; it took me a couple of hours to really play the song. I struggled through it and was very close to just giving up again, but I powered through.
After that initial hurdle and pain point, I started to experiment with all the keys on the keyboard; I started to understand what notes sounded good together and which didn’t. I started to understand why my music teacher wanted us to understand the scale so much. If you know which keys need to be pressed, you can play just about any song on the keyboard as long as you know the patterns to play. At the end of the day, I was playing patterns, and those patterns opened up new songs for me based off how they sounded together.
Over The Hump
Now, I have a bit more experience and I can play other short songs from the Legend Of Zelda series like Epona’s song or Zelda’s Lullaby; I also learned how to play the opening of Final Fantasy 9(one of my favorite games of all time). All of this occurred within the span of a couple of days, which to me highlights some of the principles I’ve been talking about recently.
You Can Learn A Lot In A Short Time
You don’t need to know everything to be decent at something, and a lot of times that’s all you need to be. I barely knew how to play the melodica, and never played a full song before, but now I can play a couple of songs within the span of a week. I just needed a good understanding of the basics and some experimentation. This doesn’t just apply to music, but other things as well and it’s something I will not forget any time soon.
This new understanding of how music works is definitely going to impact the game we’re working on right now when it comes to what kind of music tracks we’ll have.
In the meantime stay tuned for more blog posts coming soon!