Best melodicas for long phrases / running out of breath


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    Randy Freemire

    I’ve noticed with my Hohner Instructor 32 that I easily run out of breath. I also notice on some you tube recordings where it sounds like there’s a lag between the time you blow in and get a sound.

    So, the question is, which melodicas are the “tightest” in their ability to use your breath to maximum output?I’m surprised that I haven’t seen reviewers do a standard test phrase over and over with different melodicas to give an indication of how long you’d be able to play with one breath. In some settings it doesn’t matter as much, but when my playing is exposed, I find myself wishing I could play 2-3 times longer with one breath than I’m able to. That is what I’m used to as a recorder player, I can go much much longer.


    Alan Brinton

    Welcome, Randy. A few comments:

    1. The more you play, the less of a problem this will become, even without any special efforts.

    2. Some melodicas take much more breath than others. This is a function of several different factors, including the size of the reed chamber and how air tight the melodica is. Other things being equal, the fewer the keys, the less breath is required. For example, a 25 key Yamaha Pianica requires less breath than a 37 key Yamaha Pianica. In my opinion, among current models, Yamaha Pianicas require less breath than many other brands. This may also relate to your concern about key sloppiness; you might want to try a Yamaha P-32D Pianica, which is more tightly constructed and of higher build quality than the Hohner Instructor 32.

    3. Search for “circular breathing” in the Forums here, in particular see the demonstration by Daren. There are some good explanations also on You Tube.

    4. Be more conscious about where it makes best sense to take a breath in practicing some particular tunes.

    5. There are devices, breath exercisers, for improving one’s blowing capacity. The Expand-a-Lung Sports Breathing Exerciser helped me, though I seldom use it anymore. This kind of device is also good for your health.

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