Time for another quick review. This week we have a product from Dance Music Production or DMP for short. Apart from the fantastic book, Dance Music Manual, they also sell tutorials and helpful musical tools. One of these tools is a mouse mat, which comes in one of two varieties. This is no ordinary mouse mat as it provides an ‘at a glance’ view of the relevant notes to the chosen scale. You have a choice of either a Major Scales or Minor Scales mouse mat.
Close up view of the scales
The mouse mat itself is foam based with a polyester fabric top. The print quality of the fabric is very good, legible and easy to read from a distance. The mouse mat measures 230mm x 190mm and at this size will fit on top of most controller keyboards. However, I no longer use a mouse as I find a trackball easier on my hands and wrists. That being said it is so handy having this as a visual guide when you want to slip into less familiar scales.
To use the mouse mat simply look down the left-hand side of the table for the key/scale you want to work in. Once selected just read across to find the 8 notes that form the chosen scale. Handily the respective notes of the scale are numbered in order of appearance. For example, the D Major Scale is labelled as C# (7), D (1), E(2), F#(3), G(4), A (5), B (6).
As this is a mouse mat, and therefore portable, you are not tied to using it while sitting at your computer. If like me, sometimes moving out of your recording space provides you with different ideas. Some of my compositions start out with an idea on my upright piano, which is in a different room; simply take the mouse mat with you. Perfect for experimenting.
Would I recommend this product? A wholehearted yes. Even though I have a good grasp of music theory the mouse mat is a wonderful aid to quickly jog the memory. Especially if you decide to work with less familiar keys to your own normal output. Head on over to Dance Music Production and pick yours up today.