The Melodica Piano is a fun-to-learn wind instrument with piano like keys. It can also be used by students for getting introduced to Keyboards. These are free-reed music instruments (like accordions and harmonicas). Melodica is a popular instrument among several music students. Here’s a complete guide to the key-flute and reviews of the best brands available.
Table of Contents
- What is a Melodica?
- How Does the Melodica Work?
- Here’s Why People Love It – Advantages of Melodica
- Types Of Melodicas
- Top Melodica Piano Reviews
- Stagg 32-Key Melodica with Gig BagStagg 32-Key Melodica
- Hohner 32-Key Piano Style Melodica
- Hohner Performer 37 Key Melodica
- Yamaha P37D 37-Key Pianica
- Playing the Melodica – Holding the Instrument
- How to Play the Melodica
- Students Will Find it Useful
- Final Thoughts
What is a Melodica?
The Melodica is similar to the harmonica but comes with a musical keyboard on top. The keyboard is usually two or three octaves long.
These are smaller in size, much lighter, and quite popular in music education, especially in Asian countries.
This instrument is also known as: Pianica, Blow-organ, key-flute
The Melodica wind piano is an instrument similar to a flute, except for the fact that you have piano like keys to play the various notes. It sounds more like a harmonica or an accordion. It was originally created by the German company called Hohner, which is very famous for producing wind instruments.
How Does the Melodica Work?
You play it the same way – by pressing the keys and – by blowing air through a mouthpiece that fits into a hole towards the side of the instrument.
When you press a key, it opens a hole allowing the air to flow through vibrating reeds, which produces the sound.
Check out this video to see how pros play the melodica.
Here’s Why People Love It – Advantages of Melodica
People like the Melodica for many reasons.
Its popularity and charm is because of the fact that it is compact and quite expressive. So next time you are out on vacation or on a week-end drive, you can take it along with you. Another reason is that it has piano like keys. So if you know the basics of keyboards/piano, you can easily play this instrument.
Here are some advantages of this musical instrument:
- It’s easy to learn, that is why several teachers use it for teaching the rudiments of theory, harmony, chord formation. It’s a great instrument for teaching beginners the basics of music.
- If you can play the piano, you can also play this (you need to learn breath control though)
- It’s compact and very portable, perfect for travel
- It can produce single notes, chords, sharps and flats (in most other wind instruments, like the flute or clarinet, you can only play one note at a time).
- It’s a solo as well as an orchestral instrument
- The sound blends beautifully with other musical instruments
- You can play it in the traditional manner, or play the keyboard horizontally on a table using a flexible tube.
- The melodica can play chords, just like on a piano. You can hold like an accordion, or put down on a table and played like an organ or keyboard.
Types Of Melodicas
You can choose from the several different types of Melodicas (classified based on the number of keys)::
- 37-keys: Melodica with full three octaves, great for performances. One octave has 12 notes – 5 black + 7 white
- 44-keys: Hammond makes a 44-key melodica, adding another 7 beyond the standard 37 keys on a professional instrument.
- 32-keys: Perfect for students who’re learning music.
- 24-keys: Bass melodica with only 24 keys (Doesn’t have the range of the soprano or tenor melodica)
Melodicas could also be classified by their range – Soprano, alto, tenor, bass and the accordina, although the most common types are the soprano, alto and tenor melodicas.
- Soprano and Alto: Smaller sized, highest pitched models. These play the higher end of the piano scale. Usually played with two hands on the keys.
- Tenor: The tenor is lower pitched, and normally played with one hand on the keyboard and the other hand holding the melodica.
- Bass: These are less common, larger in size and bit expensive. They typically have only 24 keys, playing the lower octaves (bass notes).
- Some players play the tenor and bass melodicas by keeping it on a table or stand with an air tube, so the player can use two hands on the keyboard.
- The accordina has buttons to play notes, instead of a keyboard. They are often called melodicas as well.
Don’t forget to see this funny video that demonstrates how to play the Melodica like a man.
Top Melodica Piano Reviews
Melodica is a polyphonic wind instrument that’s played like a piano, and perfect for music students who have a fascination for wind instruments. There are several brands and models out there, but the more popular one are those made by Hohner, Yamaha, and Schoenhut.
There are different features and quality-levels among the various brands. Here is a guide to some of the best melodicas on the market.
Stagg 32-Key Melodica with Gig BagStagg 32-Key Melodica
The Stagg 32-Key Melodica is light, compact and comes with gig bag. It comes with Mouthpiece and Flexible tube. Length: 16.1 inches, 41 centimeters.
Buy on zZounds | Buy on Amazon.co.uk (UK) | Buy on Amazon.de (Germany)
Hohner 32-Key Piano Style Melodica
Fun to play and perfect for anybody who wants to start playing the melodica. Good sound, case is included. Available in various colors. Read more here…
Hohner Performer 37 Key Melodica
The Hohner 37-Key Melodica comes with 37 piano style keys, and its tonal range is F (below middle C) through F. A Deluxe padded zipper case, mouthpiece and extension hose are included with the purchase. This is ideal for students as well as advanced players. Read more here…
Yamaha P37D 37-Key Pianica
When it comes to musical instruments, Yamaha cannot be left behind. The brand makes their own line of Pianicas (melodicas) that are free-reed instruments. These are quite popular instruments for general music education. Yamaha Pianicas produce clear & full tones and feature anti-corrosive reeds.
- 32 Key Melodica for beginners, great for learning
- Hohner 32 keys Piano-Style Melodica, better quality from a trusted brand
- Hohner Performer 37 Key Melodica, produces rich accordion-like tone
Playing the Melodica – Holding the Instrument
You would hold it like the way you hold a flute. So you would hold it with the left hand so that you can press the keys with your right hand.
Several models come with a flex tube so that you can play, and see the instrument at different angles.
The Melodica piano is a right handed instrument; you hold it with the left hand and play the piano notes with your right hand.
You place your lips around the mouthpiece, ensuring that all sides are closed, and blow into it and simultaneously play the keys. You need to be careful not to blow it very hard as it may render the instrument out of alignment.
When not in use, it is a safe practice to keep the Melodica back in its box to protect it from dust and dirt.
How to Play the Melodica
As with most wind instruments, the two things that you need to address include:
Many find it easier to play, when in the standing position. There are several videos online that will show you how to play, but here are the basics:
Checkout this video to see how its played:
Students Will Find it Useful
It is useful for students as well. It is inexpensive, easy to carry around – compared to keyboards, synthesizers, accordions, or pianos.
Besides, you can start your music education with the Melodica wind piano and it can be great for introducing yourself to the world of keyboards/piano.
A melodica is a reed instrument much like a harmonica and the accordion, when you press a key it makes a sound. When you press the key down it opens a hole allowing the air to pass over a reed. You hold the melodica in your left hand, there is handle for you. You can hold it with your thumb in your hand. To play it, you play the keyboard with your right hand. You can also use a tube to play the melodica and not just your mouth piece. You can use a tube if you want to play with 2 hands or if you’re a beginner and you’re not used to playing the melodica. Before you can get the notes under your fingers, you may hold the tube in your mouth, and hold it further away from you so you can see what notes you’re playing.