Your Melodeon Journey: Which level are you at?

These guidelines have been put together to help you understand which of the Mel Biggs Music teaching products is suitable for you. Pick the level that best describes you, don’t worry if you don’t meet all criteria.

Playing by Ear / Reading Music: Although reference is made to reading music, mostly I teach by ear. On courses where it is necessary to be a good sight reader, the course description will make this clear.

What System? All products are designed for a 2-row, 8 bass instrument and will be more than adequate at all levels. If you have a 2.5 row / 3 row / 12+ bass systems, you will be able to use any of my teaching products. 1 row players will find that they are limited in their options, but all of my products can be adapted.

Please get in touch if you are unsure; it can be really hard to assess your own ability level, and I’m happy to help you decide.

Absolute Beginner

  • You have no prior experience at all and don’t even know which way up it goes
  • You may be completely new to music

Best products for you: Pick Up & Play with Mel Biggs: Let’s Get Started! for DG and CF melodeons

Beginner

  • You might have just started playing, with a lesson or two under your belt
  • Or you may have been playing for longer without feeling you’re getting very far…
  • You are mainly playing right hand; getting the left hand to work as well is a bit of a task!
  • When learning new tunes, you need to take things very slowly
  • Playing in a group environment might be new to you
  • You have a 2-row, 8 bass instrument

Best products for you: Pick Up & Play with Mel Biggs: Let’s Get Started! for DG and CF melodeons, ‘Mel’s Angels’ club on Patreon,

Improver

  • You are able to play a few simple tunes (eg. Winster Gallop, Bear Dance etc) using both hands together
  • You can use the left-hand bass and chord buttons in simple rhythms
  • Right and left hand co-ordination is still tricky!
  • Row crossing is a dark art…
  • Learning new tunes – from music or by ear – takes a bit of time
  • You probably play a two-row, 8 bass instrument

Best products for you: ‘Mel’s Angels’ club on Patreon, Improver Melodeon Online Group Classes

Intermediate

  • You can play simple tunes – using both hands – in different keys (eg. D, G, E minor)
  • You’ll have some knowledge of playing different repertoire and styles
  • You have a pretty good idea of where to find all the notes on the treble end
  • You know where to find your basses and chords on the left hand
  • You can confidently play a variety of left hand rhythms
  • You are crossing rows
  • You are able to pick up tunes by ear, and are also able to play from music, albeit at a steady pace
  • You probably play a two-row, 8 bass instrument

Best products for you: ‘Mel’s Angels’ club on Patreon, Intermediate Melodeon Online Group Classes, 1-2-1 lessons

Advanced

  • You can play with a degree of fluency across a variety of repertoire and styles
  • You are interested in learning more complex tunes and techniques
  • You fully understand the layout of your instrument
  • You are confident playing across the rows
  • You can keep a good rhythm and pace
  • You are exploring aspects such as style, phrasing, dynamics, accents, and ornamentation
  • You can learn tunes by ear at a reasonable pace, and maybe can read music too
  • You might now be playing a 2.5 or 3 row instrument, with 12/14/18 basses, and be exploring how to use it
  • Or you might be a motivated player of a two-row, 8 bass instrument

Best products for you: ‘Mel’s Angels’ club on Patreon, Advanced Melodeon Online Group Classes, 1-2-1 lessons


Credit where credit’s due – these guidelines have been lifted from the Halsway Manor website and adapted to fit inline with my teaching offer. I had a hand in designing them originally, and feel they are well explained, so don’t feel the need to reinvent the wheel here!