Reply To: Bass Melodica in Small Band Setting?
Hello Mudbone, good question, I love the base Melodica and use it on all our recordings for the Monsters of Melodica. There are some things you need to consider, first the base Melodica has a limited range so you will definitely not cover the all the notes you would hope for and the lower you go the more air is released and there is a limitation on how long you can hold a note. I own the Hammond BB, the Suzuki and the Hohner Basso. Tone wise the Hammond is superior, but is slower than the Suzuki and the Hohner Basso. My favorite Is the Basso because it is fast and the air pushes the notes quite well and longer. The Basso is no longer made so the hunt will take a bit of time. I have (4) Basso melodicas and all work perfect. When doubled in recording they can sound like a trombone section. Bass/brass effect. The Hammond is a warmer and smoother tone just slower. Can you do a walking bass line? Yes but you will have to take a lot of breaths and choking the reed can happen quiet easily. So a breath every four notes on a regular tempo would max you out if you want to have consistent volume. I have a tutorial on here on how to replace a bladder, quite easy and materials are cheap. If you are looking to replace your upright I can tell you it is not going to happen, but in it’s on right you can create some good base lines that may work for you. Check out our Monsters of Melodica video “Snow Samba” and see if you can distinguish the bass melodicas. we have four Bass melodicas playing and it sounds like a trombone section. We call that section “The wall of Basso” we also used them on our version of Chick Coreas “Spain”. One last note, even though the pick up on the Hammond works fine I tend to get a better sound when using a microphone for recording (EV RE-20 or Shure SM7) work great.
I hope this helps a little