Melodica recommendations for street performance?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  David Brancazio 2 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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  • #10649

    David Brancazio
    Participant

    Greetings folks,

    I’m a Boston-area mechanical engineer and keyboard player that plays melodica year-round in several street/marching bands (all associated with the HONK! Festival of Activist Street Bands, which started here). These bands are acoustic, mobile, and theatrical. I learned melodica because it’s too hard to wheel a keyboard down the street (I actually did try that). At first I was frustrated because it’s very hard for an un-amplified melodica player to compete with trumpets, saxophones, snares, sousaphones, etcetera. Even my solos were barely audible. Blowing as hard as possible tends to bend the notes flat, too. Over the years I’ve made some substantial improvements, starting with ditching the inlet tube and blowing straight into the instrument, then cutting away most of the back cover of the Hohner 32’s I play to directly expose the valves. Most recently, I located larger bore corrugated plastic tubing (and adapted it to fit onto the instrument. I find this allows me to play just as if I were blowing directly into the instrument, but now I can play with two hands, “Japanese style,” if I want to. (Thanks, Gianluca, I bought your book!).
    Anyway, I’d like to purchase a 37-key instrument, and I’m wondering if anyone has suggestions for one that might be best-suited for competing with louder instruments!

    #10650

    Lowboy
    Participant

    Hi David,

    The Hohner Melodica Piano 36 is one of the loudest melodicas I have ever heard without being too harsh. Big, full, bright sound. Professional quality. It will easily keep up with horns. You would have to buy one used, however, as they went out of production some time ago.

    By the way, I live in near Springfield. Maybe we can hook up one of the days. I am a technical writer that works near Worcester a lot. I have heard about HONK.

    I happen to have two Hohner Melodica Piano 36s for sale and both are in great shape. You could try them before you buy one.

    There are other options for loud melodicas and I will leave it to others with direct experience to talk about those.

    Here is a photo of a Hohner Melodica Piano 36.

    Lowboy

    https://kpbwva.dm.files.1drv.com/y4mtO4PGUzXBtyBW19MO4PcngQ-O9MpuMmfaUESaxeP9fG8TGFfCdma7ALtyNupZRFrtxxF5ZNy4cK4cgXvFBpEH3ngQ4FNS7s5t5EysNaNXAGfad-FOIjkzeRbFPn2XlRjW_LVxsaDiMJXRJwnw5Zqx0xkgkxFInpikMGG_Zka5j3B8FmY9wqYG9MPQPl93LFx7izEF6W9O3fnAC8mCinROA?width=1500&height=1007&cropmode=none

    #10654

    David Brancazio
    Participant

    Thanks Lowboy! I’d like to talk to you more about the Hohner 36’s. I’d contact you directly if I could figure out how…

    #10655

    Alan Brinton
    Participant

    Lowboy is definitely a reliable source for the Hohner Piano 36, David. If that doesn’t suit your fancy, let us know. I have some older Suzukis, one of which might suit your purpose.

    #10656

    Lowboy
    Participant

    Hi David,

    Respond to my Craigslist ad (link below) and I will send you my email address.

    https://westernmass.craigslist.org/muc/d/ludlow-hammond-organ-player-seeks-blues/6795202364.html

    Lowboy

    #10661

    David Brancazio
    Participant

    Thanks, Alan. One of Lowboy’s Hohner Melodica Piano 36’s is heading my way!
    -Dave

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