Custom Melodica Tubing

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  • #5477

    Hey Compadres:

    I discovered a good trick today.

    I don’t like to play with tubes, but for several of my keyboard harmonicas, I need to use a short tube.

    The OEM tubes that come with Hohner keyboard harmonicas are black, which is nice, but the tubes are way too stiff, especially if you cut them to a short length as I do. They pull at your mouth and pop out. They are unusable.

    So I have been using the much more flexible tubing that come with Suzuki melodions. There are several problems with these Suzuki tubes. One is these tubes are white and stand out like a sore thumb. Second, they are so flexible, that they just fall over and wave around when you are not playing them. Third, it is difficult to mount a Hohner mouthpiece and fitting on some types of Suzuki tubing.

    So I was thinking today, I wonder if I can thermoset the black Hohner tubing using my wife’s hair drier? The answer is, yes!

    Using a hair dryer to heat the tubing, and quenching the heated tube in cold water, I was able to form the tubing to my exact needs. See the photo below.

    This is a blessing: (1) The black tubing looks much cooler and blends in to the background on stage; (2) I can use the Hohner OEM small round mouthpieces that I like (instead of munching on the white Suzuki tubing); (3) The mouthpiece is always right next to my mouth ready to go; and (4) While it is not always easy to mount the fitting and mouthpiece on the cut tubing, it is much easier than trying to get them mounted on the Suzuki tubing.

    I use a wire tie at the keyboard harmonica end to to secure the fitting to the tubing to ensure the tubing does not pop off.

    Thought I would share. Photo below.


    Custom tubing for a keyboard hamonica


    Version 2: Ultimate Tube for Keyboard Harmonica Lowboy Bootay

    Ultimate Melodica Tube


    Interesting, and much nicer look than it just loose. I never use the soft flex tube but do use the the hard flex tube for the Hammond Melodions when playing in a sax position. I now tend to use the more conventional trumpet position just because I like playing in a downward position. I will have to give it a try and see if I like it. A few years back I connected a long clear tube to my Vibrandoneon and taped it to my mic stand? I sat the Vibrandoneon on shelf above my keyboard so I can play chords on my Kurzweil and lead on the Vibrandoneon that was fun.

    Dee Cook

    Hi Lowboy – I realize this is an old post, but I wanted to ask a few questions about the technique you describe, so I’m sure I understand exactly what you did. Note: For a variety of reasons, I play with a flexible hose/tubing table-top style. However, I’d love to have a black hose rather than the cheap looking white ones that came with my Yamaha 37 melodica.

    My major questions have to do with how you replaced the fitting on the Suzuki tubing with one that fit your melodica. 1) Did you cut the fitting from another tube with the right size fitting for your melodica and attach it to the black Suzuki tube? 2) how different was the size of the suzuki tubing from the new fitting? 3) When you said you “thermoset” the the tubing with a hair dryer, do you mean that you heated the fitted piece and the plastic tubing to form a new bond?
    I too think the black tubing looks much better for performance purposes. So Any additional details about how you made your new tube/hose, and how well it’s held up over time would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance. Diane

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