Melodica / melodeon question

Melodica / melodeon question

A friend of mine is learning to play the melodica. For Christmas I am going to be getting him in a new one, ideally one that works well for us to play tunes together. I just don’t know that much about the instrument. Is there anyone who would give a recommendation of what to get him that would suit ITM?

Two things to note:

-I’m planning on getting him a high quality one
-I’ll be sure to make sure he can return it if it doesn’t suit him

PS: I also get that it’s not a traditional instrument, but honestly, being able to play with anyone would be such a treat (He and his family will be quarantining for two weeks for us to spend holidays together).

Re: Melodica / melodeon question

Vechey, there have been a couple of melodica discussions this year, one of them a few weeks back, you might find what you’re looking for.

Re: Melodica / melodeon question

A couple of things to clear up:

1. Just pedantry really, but the melodica has been marketed by one manufacturer as the ‘Melodion’; the *melodeon*, as I am sure you are aware, is a completely different (and very much a traditional) instrument.

2. There are two types of melodica, in terms of key layout. One type has the black and white keys pivoted in opposing directions, so that the black keys are played with the left hand and the white keys with the right; the other type has the keys laid out exactly like a piano. The former type is, in my opinion, highly impractical and more of a toy than a serious instrument; the latter type is the one to go for.

I have not tried many different brands, so I cannot give any advice in that regard.

Re: Melodica / melodeon question

I have a Hohner "Ocean" melodica: made in Germany, cost just under £60 new in the UK. Plays 2 and a half octaves, on what looks like a mini piano keyboard, though because I chose the blue version, the piano "white notes" are black and the "black notes" are blue: shouldn’t confuse anyone familiar with a piano or piano accordion. (They do a red version too!) It comes with 2 tubes to blow down: a short one so you can play it standing up if you wish, much as you would play a low whistle or clarinet: or a long flexible tube so that you can lay the "keyboard" part flat on a table or your lap if you find that orientation easier. It comes with a sturdy plastic case. Makes a decent sound IMHO for a reasonable price: vastly cheaper than a melodeon: not sure that any melodica that cost more than that would be superior.
Think you’d be struggling to return any blown instrument in these days of Covid!

Re: Melodica / melodeon question

Check out this cheap vs expensive melodica shootout.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkrWc8Fvx-E


Darren’s youtube vids and website https://melodicaworld.com/ are a wealth of information on melodica in traditional music. I bought a couple $12 Amazon melodicas for my toddler nephews, and they are perfectly adequate instruments. Consider getting a cheapo instrument to get started. What instrument do you play? Most melodicas, even expensive ones, tend to be tuned sharp of standard pitch. String instruments hould have no problem getting into ballpark tune with one out of the box. Flutes & whistles might be able to push up into tune. Fixed pitch instruments—accordions, concertinas, etc.—may be tuned incompatibly. It’s easier to tune a melodica than an accordion or concertina

Re: Melodica / melodeon question

Augustus Pablo aka Rockers played a Hohner 28 key melodica. It’s why I bought the same one and it has never done me wrong. Good luck playing trad on it but I wouldn’t put it past anyone. Isnt there a melodica credit on one of the Touchstone albums?

Re: Melodica / melodeon question

I bought 2 at different times, a Hohner Student 32 at about £32 British pounds and a Stagg at about £20 pounds.
The Hohner was a bit better but not a great deal in it.

Re: Melodica / melodeon question

Check out this cheap vs expensive melodica shootout.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkrWc8Fvx-E


Darren’s youtube vids and website https://melodicaworld.com/ are a wealth of information on melodica in traditional music. I bought a couple $12 Amazon melodicas for my toddler nephews, and they are perfectly adequate instruments. Consider getting a cheapo instrument to get started. What instrument do you play? Most melodicas, even expensive ones, tend to be tuned sharp of standard pitch. String instruments hould have no problem getting into ballpark tune with one out of the box. Flutes & whistles might be able to push up into tune. Fixed pitch instruments—accordions, concertinas, etc.—may be tuned incompatibly. It’s easier to tune a melodica than an accordion or concertina

Re: Melodica / melodeon question

Must confess I haven’t used mine much as I prefer to play my B/C button accordion (aka melodeon). But faced with learning a fast reel in Bb in a very short space of time, and being a piano player with no piano at the ready at the time, the melodica won!

Re: Melodica / melodeon question

The Suzuki M-37C is an excellent instrument and the Suzuki PRO-37V3 Pro Alto is a superb instrument.
Both are worthy of your attention.

Re: Melodica / melodeon question

Those videos were unexpectedly impressive!

Re: Melodica / melodeon question

I’m surprised and totally impressed. Until yesterday I thought the melodica was only ever a toy, belonging in the draw with plastic pan-pipes and the clockwork soldier who plays a tin drum. How wrong I was!

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Re: Melodica / melodeon question

Thanks everyone!

I went with the Suzuki M-37C for him.

I play play fiddle so shouldn’t have any issues playing in tune with him, beyond the fact that I play the fiddle.

Also, naming a brand of one instrument a very close version of another is head slapping!

It has inspired me to create a new line of Bodrhan drums called Fiddels

Re: Melodica / melodeon question

The Suzuki M-37C is an excellent instrument and the Suzuki PRO-37V3 Pro Alto is a superb instrument.
Both are worthy of your attention.

Re: Melodica / melodeon question

The Suzuki M-37C is an excellent instrument and the Suzuki PRO-37V3 Pro Alto is a superb instrument.
Both are worthy of your attention.

Re: Melodica / melodeon question

You can get a single row Hohner for 100 bucks why be a cheap arse about it. Tin whistle costs a couple bucks. Respect tradition.

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Re: Melodica / melodeon question

I didn’t realise that buying somebody a thoughtful Christmas gift constituted any disrespect of tradition.

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Re: Melodica / melodeon question

I think Beid was applying their snark in the wrong thread. 🙂

Re: Melodica / melodeon question

In the 80’s there was a group that became quite famous and popular, the "Hooters." A Hooter is the slang name for a Melodica in Jamaica. They used the "Hooter" on several of their hits.
Not ITM, I know, but it does illustrate how a non traditional instrument can be incorporated into a tradition.
The Hohner "Perfomer," is the only model I’ve any familiarity with. A 37 key laid out in piano keyboard fashion. I bought my daughter one 20+ years ago. Taught her how to play it, clean and care for it. She still has it, it still works great, although being a mom with two toddlers, she doesn’t have the opportunity to play it as often. The Performers sell around the $100 mark.

Re: Melodica / melodeon question

‘A Hooter is the slang name for a Melodica in Jamaica.’

Nope, absolutely not true!

This is apparently the reason for The Hooters’ name - https://bit.ly/36Eiezj.

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Re: Melodica / melodeon question

I used to like "The Hooters" :
https://youtu.be/RVXjBMK3EkI


[ see circa 2m 17s ]
[ also the only rock band I can think of who ever used a concertina ]

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