Melodica Mouthpieces

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  • #8051
    Daren BanarsëDaren Banarsë
    Keymaster

    I started this topic so we could continue the discussion on melodica mouthpieces…

    #8043
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    Somebody please resolve to design some new mouth pieces that we can all use! This seems like a simple project but one that could make a world (a melodica world) of difference. The situation is not so bad with Suzukis. Some alternatives for Yamaha Pianica, though, are badly needed, especially since the hose fitting is an elbow. I wonder if it is possible to design a mouth piece that will snugly fit in varying size openings. Or, alternatively, a short adapter that would allow the use of, say, a Suzuki mouthpiece with a Hohner or Yamaha melodica. There are existing variable connectors and adapters for plastic pipes and tubes. The ones I’ve tried are not flexible enough. Maybe something like this oxygen tube connector?

    #8048
    AvatarPaul Durham
    Participant

    I’m sort of short for awhile but in the future I’ll be in the market for longer hoses if any of you have plans to offer accessories for sale. As a stroke victim I’ve been able to come back to melodica playing because of the hose but many are just barely long enough. Would be much better and be less stressed ( mouthpiece sometimes pull out when stretched too tight ).

    #8050
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    Some of the older Japanese melodicas came with hoses that can be connected. I have a few that came with two hose segments, one end of each narrower than the other so that they can be used separately or conjoined.

    #8056
    Daren BanarsëDaren Banarsë
    Keymaster

    I use the standard mouthpiece that comes with the Yamaha, but always remove the first 5mm of the top, which makes it much easier to play. I just file it down.

    Alan, apart from a ‘one size fits all’ mouthpiece, could you be more specific about what you’re looking for in a mouthpiece? And why? Is it the shape? Or is it more to do with using a hose which doesn’t contain an elbow?

    Then I’ll see if there’s anything I can think of!

    #8058
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant

    I only use the trumpet mouth piece, because I feel it gives me (personally) more control when playing a fast stecatto or rapid tongueing, I can’t seam to get the same results when playing a straight or duck bill mouth piece. I have seen others do great using a straight mouth piece or even a hose. I also use a modified 7C trumpet mouth piece with a modified throat and backbore for more air clearance (Diamante) and a modified French horn mouth piece (Vibrandoneon) I do use the straight pipe for the Claviola as I dare not modify the pipe without an extra pipe, in case I do not like the results. I have no choice on the Clavietta (for now) so I use the straight (black) standard it comes with and dare not put my mouth on the metal, it gives me the creeps. So basically I use the standard plastic trumpet mouth piece that come with the Hohner, and Hammond. I do use the large (Tuba) plastic mouth piece for the Hammond and Suzuki bass melodion and a plastic trumpet mouth piece for the Hohner Basso. For the Eolina I use the duck bill it comes with but will be modifying another French horn mouth piece for that.
    Melodica-Me

    #8059
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    There seem to be a lot of different preferences, which is a general reason why I think more different kinds and shapes should be developed. I personally prefer a minimalist mouthpiece, and these are the two that I like best. The first is a Suzuki mouthpiece (Oscar sent me one of these), the second is a standard fitting from a Suzuki hose. How the mouthpiece works with my lips is more important to me than how it works with the tongue. This could change in the future. But both of these are very comfortable for my playing. With the fitting, I rest my lips against the first ridge. I’m also thinking, though, of some of the extended mouthpieces on the old Hohners and the Hammond/Suzuki gooseneck mouthpiece; it would be nice if these were available in various shapes and sizes and for different brands.


    I’ve shown this photo before of an original Pianica 32 with a Hohner extended mouthpiece (from the Piano 36 I think), which just happens to fit. The impetus isn’t necessarily to find the ideal mouthpiece (in general or for oneself), but have choices in playing.
    Yamaha Pianica 32 with Hohner Piano 36 mouthpiece

    #8105
    Daren BanarsëDaren Banarsë
    Keymaster

    We could start with one – an adapter which enables Suzuki mouthpieces to fit Yamaha melodicas/melodions, as it sounds like this is your greatest need at the moment?

    Yamaha mouthpiece connectors are 12 mm long, and tapered – they start at 13mm diameter, and taper to 12mm at the end.

    The Suzuki mouthpiece connectors are 15.5mm long, and have a 13.5mm diameter, with a rubber ring, around midway, extending the diameter to 14mm.

    I don’t have a Suzuki melodion at hand to measure the mouthpiece aperture, but I suspect it’s around 14mm. Could you measure and confirm?

    So we need an adapter with a 15.5mm long aperture which has a 14mm diameter (to be confirmed, as soon as someone measures), and a plug of 12mm length, tapering from 13mm to 12mm.

    I could design one of these for 3D printing, and have it available to order directly from the manufacturers. They have this facility already set up, and its easy to use. You would just have to pay them directly for the manufacturing, and they send it to you by post.

    #8107
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    Thanks for starting the separate thread, Daren.

    I don’t have a good measuring device at hand, but judging as well as I can with a straight ruler, Suzuki aperture is just a hair under 14mm, I suppose because the rubber ring will fit snugly.

    Since you brought up the rubber ring, I just wrapped a small, very thin rubber band tightly around the other end (the small end) of the fitting shown in the above photo of the yellow Study II. This works. Now I’m blowing into the larger end of the fitting rather than the smaller — which I don’t like as well, but it’s not bad. I’ll see what I can find in the way of rubber bands or rings. But I like your idea of 3D printing an adapter, and I will order some if you do that. Or I might be able to get my local material sciences professor to print some.


    That’s my espresso Yamaha P-25E in the photo. It looks better in person.

    How about a short simple mouthpiece similar to this fitting that fits a Yamaha at one end and a Suzuki at the other? My mouthpiece preferences are probably not very representative.

    #8108
    AvatarAlan Brinton
    Participant

    I just ordered 1/8″ orthodontic rubber bands. Cheap enough.

    #8118
    Daren BanarsëDaren Banarsë
    Keymaster

    How about a short simple mouthpiece similar to this fitting that fits a Yamaha at one end and a Suzuki at the other?

    The problem with 3D printing a full mouthpiece, as opposed to an adaptor, is that the material is a bit porous, and not food safe. it would have to be sealed, which probably makes it even more of a health hazard if left in the mouth for too long.

    That’s why I’ll be experimenting with 3D printed ceramic, which will be traditionally glazed afterwards. This is food safe, but not as accurate. The solution will probably be a ceramic mouthpiece, made on the smaller side, with a couple of your orthodontic rubber bands to provide the seal!

    #8122
    AvatarMelodica-Me
    Participant

    Alan, Daren, if a 3-D mouth piece can be made, you can use it to make a mold and pour one out of resin. The center hole can be drilled out very easily. But then again, an adapter would allow you to use other mouth pieces of the same make.
    Melodica-Me

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