If you’ve ever heard a melodica, you might be wondering if it’s a wind instrument or a piano keyboard? And the answer is, it’s both. A melodica, which is sometimes called a pianica, makes sound by blowing through the mouthpiece and simultaneously playing keys on the keyboard. As you blow through the mouthpiece, reeds inside the melodica vibrate, kind of like an accordion or a harmonica.
Melodicas add an interesting flair to live performances, and they’re lots of fun for beginner musicians, too. So if you’re looking into a melodica, you’ll definitely want to check out these seven melodicas.
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The melodica uses breath control to change the volume, shape, and tone of the notes. This is an alto melodica with a full 37 keys. You can play technical melodic lines as well as chords with the Suzuki melodica.
This melodica includes a tube mouthpiece that retains the shape you give it. This way, when you pick it up to play, it's ready to go. It works great for quickly switching between instruments or between songs.
Suzuki is known for its student ensemble instruments, and this melodica is no exception. It works great for school settings and ensembles and also as a solo instrument. The sturdy ABS housing makes it durable and safe, and it includes both the flexible hose mouthpiece for playing on a table and a standard solid mouthpiece for standing performances.
This sturdy design is great for students and beginners who need a sturdy instrument to learn on both in school and at home. In addition, the carrying case makes it easy to transfer to and from school.
The Melodicas Melodica is an easy-to-use, inexpensive melodica. It includes a case, hose mouthpiece, and traditional mouthpiece for playing standing or at a table. It is made of durable ABS resin, brass, and bronze.
The unique aspect of this model of melodica is its coloring. The keys that you would expect to be white (like a piano) are actually black, and the keys you would expect to be black are either red, blue, or black to match the housing of the instrument.
It includes a carry case with a shoulder strap and has a handle for standing performances, making it easy and flexible to play and commute with.
The Hammond 44 Acoustic Melodica has a warm and bright tone with excellent key responsiveness for quick and technical playing of any style of music. The best part of this professional melodica is the line out, making it an excellent choice for live performances. You can use the line out to an amp or sound system. It also has a whopping 44 keys, making it a larger instrument than most for the most musical expression.
The Hohner Student Melodica is a lightweight, ergonomic melodica great for student learners at home or school. The size and shape of the melodica make it ideal for long performances and practice sessions because it is so lightweight and easy to hold. This is a great-sounding instrument for pop and rock music and has a rich tone for the price. It also plays chords well without losing sound quality.
The Cahaya Melodica is extremely inexpensive, making it friendly for just about every budget. It is made from durable ABS resin and includes a carrying case and two types of mouthpieces. You can play it on a table with the tube extender or play it standing with the standard mouthpiece. This melodica handles chords well without distorting the tone.
The Yamaha Pianica is a form of melodica that has a sound similar to a harmonica. It has 37 notes and includes both a fixed mouthpiece and a flexible air tube. The soft zippered case will help keep your melodica safe when you are transporting or storing it.
Melodicas are interesting instruments because they can fill in for harmonicas in many types of music. In addition, they have a unique sound and tone that can add flair to your music.
Melodicas are surprisingly easy to learn to play and are a mix of wind, reed, and piano instruments. However, there are a number of factors you might want to use to choose which one is right for your playing. Here are a few factors that we considered when we created our list of the top 7 melodicas.
The first question you may want to ask yourself is, what is the purpose of my melodica? If you just want to start playing around to see if you like it, you may prefer to purchase an entry-level or student model just to see if you like it.
On the other hand, if you are a professional musician adding it to your arsenal of instruments, you might want to choose the highest quality instrument available.
There are five basic types of melodica that you can choose from. The Soprano melodica is probably the most common melodica type. It has the highest pitch of all the different types that are available. On the other hand, an alto melodica is slightly lower than a soprano and is also reasonably popular. The tenor melodica is even lower than the alto version. Bass melodicas are rare, and they are also large enough that they need to be played on a table.
An accordina is a different type of melodica altogether. Instead of using piano-like keys to play, you use buttons.
Average melodicas range from just a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. Typically, the higher the price, the better quality of the instrument. You’ll need to find one that fits your budget and goals.
For example, if you are looking to perform professionally with a melodica, you aren’t going to purchase a kid’s toy version. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something that your child can play with to get used to the idea of making music, you probably won’t want to invest in a serious instrument until you know they are serious about playing.
Most melodicas are available with 37 keys, but some have just 32. More keys will give you more options for making music. However, more keys are also more notes to learn and might be confusing for beginners, especially if they don’t already play the piano.
A few melodicas are even bigger, with as many as 44 keys. These are harder to hold but give you a lot more flexibility when it comes to making music. If you’ll be doing a lot of standing and performing, you may want to choose a 37-key model, which gives you plenty of notes without being too bulky or hard to control while performing.
The key action of a melodica won’t be like a piano or keyboard. This is because your musical nuance doesn’t come from how hard or how fast you play the keys but rather from the way you breathe into the instrument and the articulations you make with your mouth. You don’t need to depend on the keys for that.
Look for a melodica that has key action that is easy to use and doesn’t get stuck. In addition, you’ll want to be able to play fast passages and create chords.
You should be able to play chords with your melodica without them sounding choppy or weak. A chord is several notes played simultaneously. Some melodicas are better at playing chords than others, so make sure to try one out before you purchase it.
Ideally, if you are playing on a table with two hands, you might be able to play a melody and chords simultaneously for even more musical expression.
Most melodicas are made from plastic, although higher-quality instruments may be made from wood. Both types are made to be durable as long as you take good care of them. Don’t drop, throw, or break your melodica.
Internally, your melodica is made from brass reeds. These are also very durable, although they may need to be tuned from time to time.
Your melodica should have a button on the back called the spit valve. As you play, moisture builds up inside your instrument. You’ll need to push the button periodically to let it out. Otherwise, your instrument’s tone will start to sound sluggish, and you may even hear liquid sloshing around inside as you play.
Many melodicas will come with two different types of mouthpieces. One is a soft tube mouthpiece, which means you can lay the melodica on a table to play. The tube should be long enough to reach from your mouth to your table or stand. This is great for beginners who may need to look at the keys to know what they are playing or for people who have trouble holding the melodica while playing.
On the other hand, your melodica may come with just a small hard mouthpiece. This is so you can play the melodica standing up and holding the instrument with one hand. Ideally, you may want your melodica to come with both, so you have flexibility in the type and style of playing you do.
Sometimes melodies come with accessories to make playing easier or more fun. For example, you may have multiple mouthpieces and brushes to clean them easily. You may also have a carrying case for your melodica.
Any of the melodicas on this list would be fun to purchase and play just for the joy of it. They are all quality instruments with enough keys to help you learn how to play and play well. However, we chose the Hammond 44 as our favorite melodica.
First of all, it has the best tone and a rich, warm sound that will suit all types of music, although it really works well in place of harmonicas. It also has responsive keys and a shallow keybed, making it great for quick passages and technical playing as you advance in your skills. We love that it has a full 44 keys so you can expand your music, too. You won’t be limited by the size or number of keys.
This is a professional quality melodica, but the price isn’t outrageous, so that you can use it as a beginner or as a pro. It is reasonably sturdy, too. And since it has its very own microphone pickup with a line out, you can easily use it for just about any performance venue that you choose by connecting it to your sound system or amplifier.
The Hammond 44 is an all-around, great-sounding instrument for a reasonable price.
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