The white tube

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    Pál Krammer

    Honestly, the white tube made me reluctant to buy a melodica.

    To paraphrase Kevin from an old thread here, the white tube does have a “medical respirator” appearance. Other sites on the internet have also joked about this “medical” appearance.

    Along with a few other reasons, I think the white tube keeps the melodica from being regarded as a serious instrument and relegates it to the “children’s instrument” category along with harmonicas and recorders – even though those two instruments are serious as well!

    Also, for some reason, the tube and its mouthpiece won’t stay in my mouth for very long without me holding it there.

    Anyway, what I was thinking about doing was to fashion a brass tube with fittings for a better mouthpiece, plus a plastic connection to the melodica. The brass tube would have several joints to allow for flexibility in positioning. There is also an ulterior motive: I’m very fond of the appearance of the “paperclip” clarinet (LeBlanc contrabass clarinet), but can’t afford one and it’s pitched way too low for much solo use. So, this tube idea of mine would not only let me be creative with its appearance, but it would eliminate the stigma of the white tube.

    It shouldn’t be hard to fabricate – the hardest part might be the end fittings. I doubt the sound would change, but I don’t know.

    What say you?


    Last year, I asked Hohner about melodicas for the previous generation. The Airboard Rasta one (check out the tube segments) etc. were advertised as the Melodicas for the new generation, or fluff like that, and I wanted to make the point I just wanted the solid version, not the flavour of the day.

    One of the items in the exchange was that their Performer 37 wasn’t limited to white tubes, but they sold black tubes for it as well. Of course, that leads to the Soprano and Alto that white and black mouthpieces exist for. Ultimately, you’d have tubes of differing colour, of selectable length, with a standard connector going to a mouthpiece of your choice, and at the other end, again a standard connector, here connecting to the instrument-connector for the specific instrument you are playing. (More complex stuff is possible.)

    Indeed, it all looks doable, though the best way for the connectors might require some testing. There may not be a market anyway, though.


    The black tubes do have a slightly(SLIGHTLY) better appearance. I wish they were more readily available.
    A real problem I have with after-market tubes is hygiene.
    Most of the replacement tubes I have bought seem to have deeper corrugation to them. They quickly seem to develop odor and I see little gray things growing down in the grooves.
    Meanwhile I looked at my vintage Hohner tube from the late 80’s it smells fine and doesn’t seem to have any growth.
    Likwise the tube that comes with the Yamaha.

    P’al, I’m not sure I’m envisioning your brass tube the way you are describing it? There is the metal gooseneck tube for the vibrandoneon and the metal crank handle for the Andes 25 which will fit any other Suzuki.

    Pál Krammer

    It seems Melodica-Me has already designed an item very close to what I’m looking for! I saw this yesterday in an old thread on this very site:

    Sometimes you just have to make it your self

    My version would have longer tubing and would be at a 45-degree angle (adjustable), with a final short straight segment going into the melodica.

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