larger key melodicas
April 12, 2017 at 10:09 pm #8801
Hello, all: I am a pianist and got the hammond suzuki 44 note melodica with the pickup. I have had it for a few years, and I am still struggling with the size of the keys. So I am wondering is there a good melodica that I should consider with significantly larger (ie wider) keys? I can do with fewer notes if the size of the keys is more usable.
Thanks in advanceApril 12, 2017 at 11:37 pm #8802
The largest melodica keys I know of, Eric, are on vintage Hohner 36 key Melodicas, the Professional 36 (hard to find and usually very expensive) and the Piano 36, which is plentiful. If you look through recent posts by Lowboy Bootay, you’ll see that he has two of the Piano 36 for sale. He will sell at a reasonable price, and you can believe what he says about their condition. The keys are about the same in width but longer, about 4″ total, 3.75″ showing. It’s a noticeable difference.April 13, 2017 at 2:08 pm #8803
In what position do you usually play your melodica, Eric? If I lay mine on a flat surface and play it with the long tube, small keys are a big problem, but not when I think of it more as a wind instrument and hold it up to my mouth. Then both hands are coordinating to get into position on the keys. My background is on piano. Lately, I’m playing a little Suzuki Study II that has 2 and 5/8″ white keys and 1 and 5/8″ black keys. In some ways, it is easier to play. My right hand is in position to cover almost the whole keyboard. I couldn’t play this one at all laid flat. And when it’s laid flat, the melodica can’t be rotated to suit the hand, so the hand has to be in awkward postures. Just some thoughts.April 13, 2017 at 2:35 pm #8804
I have tried it many different ways. If I am chording, then putting it flat makes most sense. Usually I am playing it with the flexible tube holding it in my left hand about 18″ 2 ft to my my face, angled toward my face and down. That way I can see the keyboard. I have been playing with a choro ensemble, which combines pretty fleet single lines and chording. And I just saw Hermeto Pascoal, who had an amazing melodica player with him (well amazing pianist who also played melodica) Jovino Santos-Neto. He just used the mouthpiece, as does jon baptiste. The length of the keys is not the issue for me, its the width.
Thanks for your help/ . EricApril 14, 2017 at 7:18 pm #8805
Hello Eric, the biggest or wides keys are on the Hohner Claviola. Rare with the sound of a clarinet. The next would be The Eolina longer but about the same width as the the Hohner professional 36. As mentioned by Alan, the Hohner pro 36 in a good condition you should expect to pay $350-$400 one in prestine $400-$500, but a bargain compared to an Eolina about $2,700-$3,500 depending on condition. The Claviola like the Eolina anywhere from $1,800 to $2,500. Be sure to ask a lot of questions on these models as they are no longer made and repairs will be a little costly unless you can make these repairs yourself. Most Melodica, Yamaha, Suzuki, Hohner, have the same key size (excluding the mini keys) if you are looking for a Melodica with keys the same size as a piano, I don’t believe you will find one unless it is a one off or custom made.
Hope this helps
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