Using a Clean Melodica Sound for the Blues

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  • #3142

    Hi All,

    This will be my last long post for a while. I am rehearsing with two bands to perform a show in several weeks. One band includes a standup bass and acoustic guitar and we are playing classic blues songs. The other band is an electric five piece band playing blues, soul, and R&B. I will let you know how it goes. I am playing piano harmonica exclusively.

    In the meantime, I will leave you with another exploratory recording. This recording show how a clean sounding melodica (just like a clean sounding harp) can fit into the mix of a blues song. It also shows how you can substantially improve the clean sound using some delay and EQ.

    I made this recording using a Suzuki A-34-C melodion, Shure SM57 microphone, a MXR Bass Innovations bass compressor, and Lone Wolf Blues Company Harp Delay and Harp Tone pedals. The Harp Tone pedal is an EQ pedal. The SM57 gives a fuller sound than a Shure Green Bullet microphone.

    First, I ensure that I am not overdriving any of the pedals to prevent distortion.

    In this recording, I am alternating between a dry signal and a processed signal. One verse is dry, then the next verse is processed. I play in three registers so you can hear the difference in the low, middle, and upper registers. You will not miss the differences. You can clearly hear that the delay and EQ contribute to a big professional sound. I have the EQ set to round off the high frequencies quite a bit, but you can EQ the sound anyway you like. Sometimes, I like a lot of high frequencies, getting a sound similar to bluesman and harp player Jimmy Reed.

    You can hear the recording at:

    Thanks to for providing an assortment of backing tracks including the one used on this recording.


    AvatarAlan Brinton

    I posted this comment on soundcloud but will repeat it here: this (like your other clips, but even more so) is very instructive for me to try to play along with and improvise on. Your generous sharing is always appreciated.

    I’m finding the A-34C to be harder to play than the M-32C, not sure I can explain it. It’s partly the different keyboard configuration, and partly a matter of controlling the sound.

    If you’re monitoring, Lowboy, can you tell us where and when if you’re performing in a public venue? I have brothers in your vicinity who might be able to come by for a listen.


    Hi Alan,

    I am scheduled to play with both bands at a place called Firefly Hollow Brewing in Bristol, Connecticut, on Saturday, October 25th. I think we start at 4:00 p.m.

    The link to the brewery website is below. The beer there is the best.


    AvatarAlan Brinton

    Hey, I sure wish I were within striking distance. I hope maybe they’ll be able to get down there. They are in/near Lee, MA. Thanks!

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