Reply To: Melodica Produces Wide Range of Sounds and Textures


Hi Daren and Quetscher,

I am not much of a video guy, thought the thought of creating a video has entered my mind often. I am sure it will happen some day. I will, however, try to shoot some stills in the next week or three.

There are no secrets here. I have published nearly everything I know about these techniques on Melodica World over the last two years.

1. Buy a Hohner Piano 26 with the “true” sound holes on the back

2. Add a 12- to 14-inch piece of curved tubing and your favorite mouthpiece

3. Take off your shirt.

4. Okay, you don’t have to take off your shirt. But you should wear a thin shirt so you can seal the back of the melodica against your chest when needed. Sometimes, a bulky shirt of the right material also works well.

5. Hold the melodica at the bottom and jam the top up under your chin. The melodica should lay flat against the upper part of your chest. For certain techniques, your chin helps you clamp the melodica tightly against your chest. (I sometimes play the lowest note as a drone with my chin. Sometimes you need to drop the melodica down or release your chin so that you can lift the melodica from your chest.)

6. Play the melodica while you clamp, seal, release, raise, wave, wobble, pound, flail, beat, flog, and tilt it in relationship to your chest, and if recording or being amplified, in relationship to the microphone.

7. If recording, place at microphone chest high on the left side and play the microphone to enhance the effects. You can get doppler effects, volume modulation, proximity effects, etc.

8. Use breathing and mouth techniques as usual

9. Use imagination as I don’t think I have explored all the possibilities here.

If you like that, then start digging in deeper by modifying the melodica (cut the protrusions from the back, remove the handle). Sew a melodica apron. All this is documented on Melodica World.



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