QFG vs Melodics


I have been using Melodics for the last 6 weeks or so. The software is good and I love doing my daily sessions. The gamification gimmicks help, I must admit. But I’m also growing a bit frustrated with it: I can see that my skill improves, but only for mechanically reproducing pre-made “scores”.

For the record, I was trained a violonist for many years, which I kind of regret, because I don’t feel like it made a musician out of me; I was able to reproduce some reasonably impressive pieces, but I was completely unable to compose anything, or even to improvise.

It looks like QFG is taking a different approach, though, and I could still be wrong about Melodics…

For example, it looks like one notable difference is that Melodics is using the pads for all sorts of things, not just drums, which means that the pad layout is a moving target. Not so with QFG, as far as I understand, which strives to establish solid patterns using a constant layout, which arguably makes it easier to make it one’s own instrument. Playing with all sorts of different samples, like Melodics does, is interesting and playful as well of course. But for a beginner like me, it’s a bit confusing as well as I have no ideas where to begin making my own beats.

I guess that sums it up: Melodics is targeting beat makers, while QFG strictly focuses on finger drumming. Do you agree?

Anyway, really curious to have your take on this.

Kind regards,


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Funny to answer first since I’m rookie in both. In my experience since I only have pads, I feel that melodics only for timing. It shows some nice melodies but didn’t teach them to me.

QFG is finger drumming mainly but using practise tapes show some examples what I could do.

For my experience I feel QFG more useful, but if I had keys I would learn more from melodics.

I feel like Melodics is a great place to start and it is not one or the other. Many people will be satisfied with the app and never crave more. It’s fun, motivating, and challenging, but it can’t help being primarily a game. For those who want to become musicians, it starts to feel a bit canned and pointless. QFG is truly music training. I’m sitting here with an mp3 of one of Rob’s custom click tracks, drumming on my table, counting one two three four and the rhythm is entering my bloodstream. That never used to happen with Melodics. However, it was my frustration with Melodics that led me here, so I’m glad I gave it a try! :grin:

Update: After hearing what folks had to say, I tried Melodics again and I must say they have added some features that make a big improvement. Changing the pad layout worked great, and they have this Memory mode now that weans us off the scrolling cues. That being said, I think its a fun thing to do when the brain just can’t handle anything too hard right away. But QFG teaches the principles to make a musician out of me.

And a further update: The drums lessons in Melodics are so much better than the pads lessons, since they strip out all the zany melodic stuff and sample nonsense. and just stick to good old drum sounds. I found I could map my Launchpad X to the General MIDI for Percussion notes with the awesome QFG layout and the Melodics drum lessons would function perfectly, as if my pad controller was an electronic drum kit. My Presonus Atom had no luck, since the note output is set for each pad and there’s no changing it to match the QFG layout. MIDI KeyMap for percussion
So, for those warmups and playtime for when I am too tired to do anything meaningful, I can do the drum lessons in Melodics. However, the dynamics are just awful and the drum sounds are flat and devoid of soul. Nothing tops AD2 and a solid groove session with one of Rob’s lessons.


Thank you. You are confirming my intuition that Melodics is mainly to be considered a simple drilling gig. I think it can still come in handy for when I don’t have the required headspace to focus on my proper musical education, but still want to maintain the necessary muscle memory.

That said I will definitely give myself QFG a try as well!


It feels a bit weird to weigh in here, since I’m obviously biased towards my own ‘product’ but I do feel like I can elaborate a bit.

So… apps like Melodics are great tools for learning especially because of the gamification they apply to learning music. I’ve seen guitar students (I used to be a guitar teacher) that would not progress that much who really took a leap when playing “Rock Band”, which is basically Melodics for guitar.

That said the downside of Melodics is that at some point, when you’ve learned how to move your hands and you’re dexterity improved, in order to take your playing next level, you have to shift your focus more on actually listening to the music, ironing out the small inconsistencies, focusing a lot on dynamics (loud soft, in between) and more tasty stuff like that. You also should try and take your eyes out of the equation since they’re not actually part of the music. Keeping the eyes in is basically training better eye hand coordination (like tennis or something) when you should actually shift towards ear, hand coordination. Playing what you hear in your head with your hands effortlessly.

For as far as I know, that is where a game can no longer help you 100% and a more “Sensei” based approach works better. At some point you want another human being who can actually do what you want to be able to do to demonstrate and explain things to you. Explain the journey that they, as a fellow human being went on and what they learned.

I don’t know of any other method that can help you when you’re at the point at which you’ve learned some cool beats and grooves and you’re wondering “I can play all of this, but why does it not sound as awesome as… (fill in the blanks)”. Or “I can play this now, but how can I come up with something cool myself”.

That’s when you get into this other stage of music making where things get more complex, more nit-picky (we’re talking about differences in timing of about 10 milliseconds that make a big difference) and in a way more philosophical. In order to progress you not only have to know what to play (basically what pads to hit), but also how to play it (loud soft, fast slow etc.) and you have to know why you’re playing all of this in the first place and not something completely different.

And then all of that has to become part of who you are. You have to practice things so thoroughly that it all becomes second nature.

So yeah, that’s sort of what the Quest for Groove is about in the long run. And it’s not a perfect resource at all at this point, but I’m working on making it better and better with the goal of helping everybody out with the stuff mentioned above. I don’t believe it’s in direct competition with Melodics in that sense and can be used along side it or after it, or s student can switch back and forth :slight_smile:

Hope this gave some clarity!


Thank you for the thoughtful answer. At this very early stage of my drums education, I feel like Melodics is still teaching me some useful tricks. That being said, I will try QFG in parallel as it sounds a very complementary approach whatever the level.

I do like the variety of tracks and styles in Melodics lessons and I think I might continue to do so even in the long run. In that vein, I would like to share a slight concern about QFG being stricly about “classic” drums, as I do find it interesting to use pads not only for drumming, but also for music creation (which I like to refer to as “beat making” – but I don’t know if that’s a correct use of the term).

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I think you can assume that QFG won’t teach you beat making. At least not in the near future.

But with that said, things like timing and groove and the ability to work with dynamics will never hurt you even if you would quantize the beats or use fixed velocity samples in the end.

It does depend on your goals though. If you’re really into for example producing house music im not sure if you want to invest a lot of time into drumming qfg style.

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I did make one video where I sample my acoustic guitar by the way. Might be fun for you to see:


Nonono, I don’t want to make house music :smiley:

Having some mileage with the violin, quantizing and fixed velocity are just depressing to me. All I’m saying is that Melodics does bring some nice inspirations into the mix.

I love your approach in that video above, btw… That’s exactly what I’m aspiring to… in the long run


Also after starting with Rob at QFG I also reinstalled Melodics. I use melodics free 5min as warm up and then I practise with Rob to evolve my drumming skills :slight_smile:


Haha, Melodics is gonna charge me commission for serving as a QFG warmup :slight_smile:


I’m now using QFG for a little bit less than 2 weeks, and here is what I have to say.

So far, the learning methods don’t seem to be that different: the idea is that you learn to play a pattern with some variation, starting slowly and gradually speeding things up.

But there are some subtle and some not so subtle differences:

  • Rob will explain things to you; the videos are great, I enjoy his enthusiasm and personality. That’s a BIG ONE.

  • You can reach out to Rob via this forum (and possibly via email), and that’s another BIG ONE. Melodics has a Slack channel, which is OK, BUT: you are in contact with a company there, and you don’t necessarily know who is going to answer you. Is it a developer? Someone who’s in charge of gamification tactics? the CEO?.. In any case, you aren’t dealing with someone whom you know has the skills that you want to learn, which is Oh so cool with QFG.

  • Melodics has a somewhat consistent set of layouts but they don’t make as much sense as the QFG pad layout. I haven’t studied this obviously, but I know that there has been some thoughtful process in QFG’s pad layout that I don’t know about in Melodics. The feeling I get from this is that QFG is teaching me an instrument, whereas Melodics can pass as it’s simply trying to teach me a certain number of cool tricks. Now, you can modify the pad layout in Melodics, even if that’s something you will need to do for each lesson (and you loose the ability to have a color associated with each pad). As I plan to continue using Melodics for the time being, I am now consistently doing just that before starting a new lesson. That is nice, because now I can continue to apply Rob’s teaching to whatever cool tunes I can find in Melodics (and there are tons of them).

  • Rob takes you by the hand and that’s very reassuring. I think I personally need that. But there are times where the automatic system of Grades (level of difficulty) in Melodics is gratifying as well. You know you probably have the chops to start learning any tune that has a grade of X, and there are myriads of cool lessons in many, many different genres to choose from.

  • Now of course, QFG is kindof low tech and Melodics certainly has an upper hand there. I mean: in Melodics, you can manually change the tempo in bpm yourself, you don’t need to download prerecorded takes of the same tune made by Rob. You can focus on a section of a song to iron out the difficult parts and you can shut down the metronome or the backing track manually, or just make them quieter. Those are all great features.

  • That being said, QFG encourages you to start playing by ear right off the bat. In Melodics, you tend not to do that (or at least I don’t). You can – and IMHO you should, use the playground section – which I am now forcing myself to do consistently, to stop improving those useless eye-hand coordination skills that you learn in Melodics and start actually playing your instrument. That means, if you use it wisely, Melodics can still be a good teaching tool I think, but you need to go that extra mile and force yourself into the playground section, consistently. Now, that’s the downside of the gamification tactics in Melodics: they will reward you for everything they are able to quantify, but not for just playing around and have fun. I’m afraid that’s where you are learning the most, however.

  • last but not least: Rob wants you to play a relatively expensive drum plugin (I haven’t made the investment yet, but I’m using Logic’s Drum Kit at the moment which is a good substitute for the time being). I think this is actually a feature because the subtleties you get from such an instrument make it that much enjoyable for one; and for two, I’m sure it makes you a better musician. Melodics again is so much easier to set up. But – correct me if I’m wrong – you don’t get dynamics with the pads, meaning: no matter how quiet or loud you’re trying to be when hitting the pads, you are always going to get the same result. Plus: all the choices are made for you and even if I am rather clueless about my drum kit right now, I do enjoy the possibility to pick and choose the elements of my kit… someday.

To sum things up: I think QFG and Melodics are both great learning tools and they complement each other very well. If I had to choose just one I would go for QFG, but Melodics is great fun as well.


I have been using Melodics for 20 days straight and feel like I can not continue using it at this point as I feel like although my hand coordination is improving I don’t feel like I am learning anything, like I am actually learning any real grooves, I can play along with what’s on the screen but I am not learning what I’m playing also by just following the screen it makes me lazy about counting which is one of the most important things when trying to hold a groove.
But the main reason I can not continue using it is that it makes my eyes feel uncomfortable after using it for the amount of time I want to practice and that’s a deal breaker for me, so I will be joining Quest for grooves as I feel like I will actually learn what I’m playing and also I can do it away from a screen.



Hey Louis! Welcome aboard :slight_smile: I hope the lessons here will help you improve in a way that does feel good to you. Have fun and let me know if you get stuck or anything like that. I’m sure I can help out.

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@Louis14 You are going to love this method. The diagram sits still and soon you can see it without looking and you own the pattern. :blush:

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Thanks guys, yeah I am looking forward to starting properly, once I get my laptop back I will be on it, but for the mean time I am watching the beginners lessons and just familiarising myself with what is going on.

I cancelled my subscription with melodics and they where kind enough to refund my subscription, as I paid for a year, but after using it for 20 days straight I knew it was not the long term solution to learning finger drumming.


Looks like Melodics finally realized that finger drummers wanted a consistent layout. Bet they were watching a lot of QFG videos!

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haha, yeah… and xpresspads! A bit “corporate” of them to now pretend they “developed this from scratch” . But also validating to me that clearly they had meetings about how to improve their product and lo and behold, they make it more like The Quest for Groove :slight_smile:

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I have subscribed to Melodics for a year prior to joining QFG since about a week and a half ago.
Melodics was good in a sense it helped with timing and exposed myself to different styles of music. However, I feel it didn’t give me a solid foundation to understand how beats are made and to create something of my own. Everything was laid out and there was very little figuring out and learning to be done. For example, I could be getting good at playing a complex beat on time, but I wouldn’t have any idea of the timing theoretically. While I’d be good at playing it on Melodics and get perfect score, I couldn’t really use the knowledge to create something of my own.
Also in terms of feedback, it didn’t really feel like I was learning something from a specific person or there is someone I can reach out to when I get stuck. In that regard it felt a little impersonal.

QFG on the other hand I feel provides enough tool for me to learn the timing and figuring it out on my own. I like it that it is both a mixture of a bit of theoretical and hands on learning.

Plus we have this board to ask any question when we get stuck. In my experience, Robert has been pretty fast with replies with whatever questions or issues I had.

Like I said earlier I’ve only begun my yearly membership. Ultimately I’m interested in playing jazz, complex rhythms and beatmaking. It seems as though QFG is more focused on replicating acoustic drum sounds on the pads, which initially may look different than what I’m seeking. However I believe this can be a very helpful stepping stone to eventually getting where I want to be. If I have the basics down, I’ll be able to learn all other things a lot faster and more easily.

Hope this helped.


Im using both in conjunction and enjoying the combination of the two. Melodics is good for exercises and it can be quite fun being gamified… but lacks any kind of personal instruction that I am now enjoying and appreciating here at QFD. I’m also using Melodics for Keys while using my Roli Seaboard rise to get used to using the non traditional keybed. Melodics could be quite a bit better if they incorporated more video content with instructors etc instead of just the non stop game element. But I find it a good tool to incorporate into my skill building.