Good keys for non-sloppy playing

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Alan Brinton 4 days, 2 hours ago.

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    Randy Freemire

    Being a piano player I’m used to full sized keys, so the mini-keys on my Hohner Instructor 32 are pretty small. But beyond how small the keys are, they feel “sloppy”. I’ve played all kinds of full-sized keys, and even being full sized, some keys make me a sloppy player, and some give me the right kind of resistance that my playing is clear and articulate.

    So the question is: which melodicas have good feeling keys? Being that most melodicas have the mini keys I guess I’ll have to live with that, but I’m sure some melodicas have better keys than others. Where it gets the bad with the Instructor 32 is playing the black keys, which might also be the angle from which I’m playing.



    Shannon M

    Hi, Randy

    None of the melodicas that I have played (about 15 different ones) are weighted or have the resistance that piano keys do. The best I have played is the Hohner Professional, whose keys are also larger. The Yamaha 37 has the smaller keys, but does have pretty good “feel”. Also, the Clavietta has adjustable spring tension, so that may help you as well.

    Just some thoughts




    Alan Brinton

    Adjusting spring tension is a good suggestion. Increasing tension will make key action more stable, though there can also be a down side to this. Spring tension is adjustable on most if not all melodicas, Randy, even without adjustment screws. Most common are extension springs, whose tension can be increased by cutting off a loop and be decreased by stretching. The tension of compression springs can be increased by stretching the spring slightly (careful not to overdo it) and be decreased by cutting off a loop. Torsion springs are under the keys and can be bent in or out, “closed” or “opened.” If there are not adjustment screws, the spring has to be removed, adjusted, and then replaced. This is easy to do in most cases with extension springs, once you get the knack of it. It is a bit trickier with compression springs (which you don’t want to be launched off into the atmosphere), and harder with torsion springs, which are sometimes hard to get back into position. The main things to remember are not to overdo it and not to twist the spring out of shape.

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