Playing the Moog: Best Way to Learn?

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GreyStorm404
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Playing the Moog: Best Way to Learn?

Post by GreyStorm404 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:36 am

So I recently inherited a Minimoog from my grandfather. The thing sounds great, only problem is, I suck at playing. I don't have any experience with instruments, so that may have something to do with it :wink:

Some people have told me to just learn to play the piano/keyboard, and to bring those skills to the Moog. Others have told me that it's better to learn to play the Moog like a bass rather than a piano.

So, my two questions are:

A. How in the hell do you learn to play this thing?

B. Is it truly better to learn it like a bass rather than a piano?


Any help is greatly appreciated :D

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noddyspuncture
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Re: Playing the Moog: Best Way to Learn?

Post by noddyspuncture » Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:50 am

GreyStorm404 wrote:So I recently inherited a Minimoog from my grandfather. The thing sounds great, only problem is, I suck at playing. I don't have any experience with instruments, so that may have something to do with it :wink:

Some people have told me to just learn to play the piano/keyboard, and to bring those skills to the Moog. Others have told me that it's better to learn to play the Moog like a bass rather than a piano.

So, my two questions are:

A. How in the hell do you learn to play this thing?

B. Is it truly better to learn it like a bass rather than a piano?


Any help is greatly appreciated :D


A - Take piano lessons - and keep at it - preferably from an early age.
B - No - play it for what it is - a monophonic keyboard instrument.

MoogProg
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Re: Playing the Moog: Best Way to Learn?

Post by MoogProg » Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:54 am

Congratulations! What a wonderful way to remember your loved one.

The Minimoog presents you with two areas of learning: Synthesis and Music. For the music side, start with the C-major scale (all white keys) and begin playing around with that. Piano lessons will be useful, especially if you can find a modern teacher who understands your goals. Synthesis is the whole areas of learning how to make sounds you want using the Minimoog controls, and for that area of study this is the place to be.

RE: Playing it like a bass. Very popular indeed, but that is only one thing out of many, which the Minimoog does very well.

GreyStorm404
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Re: Playing the Moog: Best Way to Learn?

Post by GreyStorm404 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 10:12 am

Thanks for the info guys!

One question about learning piano skills: I have taken some basic piano lessons before, which consisted of learninv the c, d, a and g chords. Only thing is, I cant play these on the Moog, since the Moog cant play multiple keys at once. My friend (who owns a Korg) says that, on a regular keyboard, i should learn basic and intermediate piano skills, then on same keyboard learn bass (such as walking basslines, turnarounds, etc.) After this I could then take those bass skills to the Moog. Does this sound accurate?

If it's any help, the style I'd like to go for is like 80s funk (Dazz Band, Evelyn King, Kleeer)

GreyStorm404
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Re: Playing the Moog: Best Way to Learn?

Post by GreyStorm404 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 10:19 am

Forgot to mention he also said to learn how to synthesize becore jumping into the Moog, just as you said Moog Prog. I found an 80s video talking all about synthesis. Very cheesy, but also pretty damn informative.

Trigger
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Re: Playing the Moog: Best Way to Learn?

Post by Trigger » Mon Dec 21, 2015 11:40 am

noddyspuncture wrote:
GreyStorm404 wrote:So I recently inherited a Minimoog from my grandfather. The thing sounds great, only problem is, I suck at playing. I don't have any experience with instruments, so that may have something to do with it :wink:

Some people have told me to just learn to play the piano/keyboard, and to bring those skills to the Moog. Others have told me that it's better to learn to play the Moog like a bass rather than a piano.

So, my two questions are:

A. How in the hell do you learn to play this thing?

B. Is it truly better to learn it like a bass rather than a piano?


Any help is greatly appreciated :D


A - Take piano lessons - and keep at it - preferably from an early age.
B - No - play it for what it is - a monophonic keyboard instrument.


Yes and yes. I'd also add that finding the Moog-issued patch sheets would be very helpful. They'll show you the basics (and theory of operation), get you off and running, and you'll get immediate gratification.

EricK
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Re: Playing the Moog: Best Way to Learn?

Post by EricK » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:34 pm

Welcome to the forum.
Sorry to hear about your grandfather. You are doing what a lot of us hope our children will….appreciating our passions.

First, here is a link with a lot of info for you: There are scans of the service manuals, the operations manual, etc. Read the manual and learn about the Basic components of the synthesizer: Oscillators, Filters, Envelope Generators (Contour Generators), and the Amplifiers. Then there is the modulation section.

Learn what each function is, what it does, and how to use it.

http://www.fantasyjackpalance.com/fjp/s ... oog.html#2


Learning about music is important for any instrument if you want to have a good grasp of how to PLAY your mini, but the quickest way to learn how to OPERATE your minimoog is by synthesizing instruments, and there isn’t any better place to star than programming basses. It is simply too gratifying on a minimoog. It will help you learn the Amount of Contour knob, the Filter attack, etc. Luckily the minimoog is simply laid out and it doesn’t take long to get acquainted with the beast. Just keep in mind that it will do SO MUCH MORE than that.

I second the sound chart recommendations.

At some point you will want to find someone who knows how to maintain the Moog. It will require calibration and cleaning at regular intervals. Even better if you can learn how to do that yourself.

Whatever you do, you have a fantastic instrument, your grandfather very likely acquired it new, and he would be proud to see you learn synthesis to know that you are doing the best thing anyone possibly can with it: turning it on regularly and playing it.

Do what makes you happy, and feel a lasting bond with your grandfather as you explore something that he obviously loved very much.

I kind of have the same thing, my grandfather was a Radioman in WWII. Although I didn’t get into Amateur Radio until a few years after he died, I know that he would have loved to have helped me learn all of the theory. In a way I can kind of appreciate him even more through the hobby.

Do you have any idea as to what year it was made?


Good luck to you and welcome to the forum and to the Minimoog.



Eric
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GreyStorm404
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Re: Playing the Moog: Best Way to Learn?

Post by GreyStorm404 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:24 pm

@EricK

My grandfather was a huge Bernie Worrell fan. I remember watching him play this thing and just being in shock at how amazing it sounded compared to all of the synths I'd heard. Me personally, I love 80's Funk, and would give anything to be able to play a Moog like them. He always wanted my dad to get into it, but my dad caught on to the guitar instead. He'd be pretty happy to know that I'm so serious about learning to play it.

As far as the year, I'm not quite sure, but my dad said it was bought in '79.

EricK
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Re: Playing the Moog: Best Way to Learn?

Post by EricK » Mon Dec 21, 2015 11:04 pm

Your grandfather sounded like a hip cat! "Flashlight" did it for me.

I was actually going to recommend listening to some PFunk along those lines but that's not everyone's cup of tea.


If you prop the panel up and look on the back where the hinge is, there may be a yellow tag under there with the date.
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GreyStorm404
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Re: Playing the Moog: Best Way to Learn?

Post by GreyStorm404 » Tue Dec 22, 2015 5:02 pm

Well, whenever we were in his car, he was either playing Flashlight, Atomic Dog, or Higher Ground. Though over the years, I've grown to prefer Dazz Band, SOS Band, One Way, Zapp, etc. Being 18, I'm extremely disappointed with what my generation calls "music", but whatcha gonna do?

I'm already getting familiar with dialing it in for different sounds, and can even pull off a couple of walking bass lines now!

As far as the yellow tag, I found it, and it says that it was manufactured in 1975. Also, I've got a good friend whose dad knows how to maintain Moogs (although he says that Moogs are overrated and that he prefers Korgs. I think he's just jealous) and he says that it's a Model D.

EricK
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Re: Playing the Moog: Best Way to Learn?

Post by EricK » Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:58 am

Great!

Please post some pics!
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JohnLRice
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Re: Playing the Moog: Best Way to Learn?

Post by JohnLRice » Fri Dec 25, 2015 5:43 am

GreyStorm404 wrote:One question about learning piano skills: I have taken some basic piano lessons before, which consisted of learninv the c, d, a and g chords. Only thing is, I cant play these on the Moog, since the Moog cant play multiple keys at once.
Congrats on the Moog! 8) You can still play the chords you learned to play, just arpeggiate them! Instead of playing all 3 to 6 notes at once, play one after another and repeat them over and over. (sounds even better with some reverb and or echo. :D )
Try different patterns too, like for a simple C major chord try one of the following:
C E G - C E G
G E C - G E C
G E C E - G E C E
G C E C G E - G C E C G E
John L Rice
MiniMoog, MinitMoog, MG-1, Sub Phatty, 5U modulars, Eurorack modulars

franklinstower
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Re: Playing the Moog: Best Way to Learn?

Post by franklinstower » Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:06 am

GreyStorm404 wrote:Thanks for the info guys!

One question about learning piano skills: I have taken some basic piano lessons before, which consisted of learninv the c, d, a and g chords. Only thing is, I cant play these on the Moog, since the Moog cant play multiple keys at once. My friend (who owns a Korg) says that, on a regular keyboard, i should learn basic and intermediate piano skills, then on same keyboard learn bass (such as walking basslines, turnarounds, etc.) After this I could then take those bass skills to the Moog. Does this sound accurate?

If it's any help, the style I'd like to go for is like 80s funk (Dazz Band, Evelyn King, Kleeer)


I've gotten pretty good over the last couple of years just playing a couple hours a day to my favorite music. I just pop something in the cd player and go at it. Is has also translated well to playing with a band also.

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