To me, the melodica is, and always will be, one of the coolest musical instruments. I’m not just saying this because I play melodicas myself; it’s simply because the instrument has it all. The instrument is flexible, fun to use, can be challenging and sounds so good!Melodicas on Amazon
So if you are looking for a melodica, you have a good reason to stay on the page. I want to share all the knowledge I have gained over the years as a melodica teacher.
5 Best Melodicas
To make the buying decision easy for you, I have tested and reviewed over 40 melodicas. Now, I will show you the 5 best melodicas as of writing.
Best beginner melodica
Best professional melodica
Best melodica under 100
Best melodica for reggae
Best melodica on amazon
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The melodica was invented by the music giant, Hohner, in the 1950s but there had been many similar instruments in Italy since the early 1900s. Initially, the melodica was not seen as a “serious” instrument. It was not until the sixties that musicians really started to take an interest in the instrument. The composer Steve Reich and the jazz musician Phil Moore were among the first ones to use the instrument in their music. Since then, the instrument has been used in countless genres. From blues to modern pop music.back to menu ↑
Melodica parts and construction
The instrument is generally a mix between an accordion and a piano. A melodica is a hand-held instrument that is equipped with a mouthpiece and a keyboard. To make the instrument play music, you must breathe in the mouthpiece while pressing one or more keys. The keyboard usually had 2 or 3 octaves and more recent instruments are also equipped with tube which is connected to the mouthpiece. In this way you can lay the instrument horizontally while you play – you don’t have to hold it up to your mouth. It is also possible to use a foot pump as a replacement for the mouth tube. Personally, I like the mouth piece the most. If you use a foot pump, I think the instrument loses a little of its charm.back to menu ↑
Different types of melodicas
We distinguish between 4 different types of melodicas. The melodica is divided according to how the instrument is tuned. You can also say that it is divided into how high or low the notes of the instrument are:
- Soprano and alto melodica: this type of melodica gives some very high tones and is therefore very loud. Some soprano and alto melodicas have been developed to play with both hands. With the left hand you play black keys, and with the right hand you play white keys. However, this type also exists in a newer version with a mouth tube and an ordinary keyboard.
- Tenor melodica: this type of melodica is tuned lower compared to the soprano and alto melodica. This type is played with a mouthpiece and an associated keyboard.
- Bass melodica: these are quite rare. Since they are tuned so low, they are not used very often.
- Accordina: an accordina is a very special melodica that is often made of metal. However, it uses the same mechanism as a traditional melodica. An accordina does not have a keyboard but is equipped with buttons, which we also know from the accordion and concertina.
Melodica buying guide
In the following I will discuss what you should think about before buying a melodica.
Purpose and price
What is your purpose in playing the melodica? Do you just want to have fun, or do you really want to do some serious playing? Maybe perform to an audience? You need to consider how much you want to invest in your instrument. The higher the price of your melodica, the better quality the product will have. I recommend that all beginners buy a relatively cheap melodica; this way, you can get a sense of the instrument and, if you stop after a while, then you have not spent many hundreds of dollars on a expensive instrument. You can actually get a great instrument for under $50.
Below I have listed some brands/manufacturers that make some really good melodicas:
Swan: Swan is a Chinese company specializing in producing harmonicas and melodicas. They produce more than 3 million products a year and have been around since 1982. I play on a Swan melodica myself and I highly recommend their products, especially for beginners.
Seydel: Seydel is a German company, which also primarily develops harmonicas and melodicas. Seydel has developed some super cool children’s products that you should look into if your child will start playing melodica.
Hohner: Finally, I would like to mention Hohner, who actually invented the melodica in the 50s. Hohner createssome really good instruments but the price is also quite high. If you are an experienced melodica player, then I would recommend one of Hohner’s products.