Voicing and polyphony on Hammond 44

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
  • #5789
    Neil Thornock

    Hi all, I have a Yamaha 37, the popular one, and just got an old Clavietta. While I like the Yamaha in many respects, I’m not able to do very sophisticated polyphony with it (two melodies at once kind of thing). When playing a note and then adding a note, the sounds steals from the note already sounding, resulting in loss of sound. I assume this is familiar to you.

    I was surprised with the Clavietta. No such phenomenon — it works vastly better as a polyphonic instrument.

    Also, voicing. With chords, the Yamaha does not seem voiced well. The upper notes scarcely speak at lower volumes and are drowned out at higher volumes. Again, the Clavietta performs much better in this regard.

    It makes it difficult, for example, to play a melody over an accompaniment figure.

    So, my question: How about the Hammond 44? I’m ready to purchase one, since I’d like the range and quality. I’m just *really* hoping it has those characteristics the Clavietta has, that the Yamaha does not.

    What’s your experience?


    Neil, this is perfectly normal behavior for a melodica. When you press a key, you are releasing air through that reed opening. When you play two or three notes at the same time, the amount of air released goes up proportionately.

    Similarly, unless you add more air, if you add another note while playing one, the available air pressure to the first note will drop, because that air is now escaping via two different reed openings.

    I do think that the Hammond performs ok with regard to all of the notes speaking well at low and high volumes, but you should keep in mind that different sized reeds need more/less air to ‘speak’, and on a larger instrument (44 notes),the range between low and high makes this perhaps a tad more noticeable.

    I’d be interested to hear what others here have to say on tis, as I have not spent as much time as some trying to comp and play melody at the same time.


    Hello Neil, try playing your triads/chords more staccato when playing your melody together with your chords. This will not work for every selection but you can see what works and what does not.

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Back to top button