Reply To: Hohner bass melodica

Alan Brinton

Hi, Nick. The Hohner Bass Melodica was introduced in the 1960s and is unique among melodicas in that both righthanded and lefthanded versions of the Hohner were introduced. In 1972, Suzuki introduced its B-24 bass Melodion, which seems obviously to have been inspired by the Hohner. The Suzuki B-24 is still sold and has a rubber bladder that expands and contracts during playing and thus has delay at the lower end. It is demanding in terms of air blown into it and is difficult to play, not a melodica for the faint of breath. I have one. It has a great sound but is really beyond my playing capabilities. All this info is available in past discussions here, but I thought I’d summarize it for you. Among member videos there is one of Pianonymous with her group that includes an impressive player of the Hammond Bass Melodion BB-24 (same kind of rubber bladder), which is a recent iteration of the Suzuki. It is also effectively played in Melodica-Me’s group, Monsters of Melodica. I don’t know if the Hohner has a rubber bladder, but I’d be surprised if it doesn’t also have delay in the responsiveness of the bottom end notes, and any leakage will make it even more of a challenge to play.

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