The Best Melodica
The very best melodica is a must-have wind instrument for an enthusiastic instrumentalist as it imparts beautiful sounds and can blend well with other instruments. It’s a portable free-reed instrument that you can travel with, and it’s also very simple to play it. Others use it as a stepping stone to mastering the piano keyboards because it is a compact version of a keyboard with the ability to play single notes or a variety of chords.
However, a broad range of melodicas can be overwhelming especially to novice buyers because they may struggle to pick the best melodica. Others fall victim to instruments of sub-standard quality.
Taking that into account, I have decided to compile a list of the 5 best melodicas. Let’s have a look…
Made in Japan, this is a high-quality musical instrument you can enjoy playing a variety of songs on it, be it classical or jazz tunes.
Suzuki M-37C is a reputable product; it comes in a minimalistic and aesthetic design that can impress the onlookers.
Included with the purchase is a carry-bag to help protect the instruments against light, dust and other grime accumulation.
But, I personally recommend searching on the internet the best way to play melodica. Surely you can acquire knowledge about music theory and get to master the chords, etc.
Educational departments are also frequent buyers of this melodica. It is a suitable instrument to train learners. The professional orchestral players can also find it helpful to use M37-C and blend with other players.
If you plan to play solo, this could be your go-to instrument as it embraces a good quality with good resonant tone and keyboard action. The least you want is a melodica that requires too much breadth to get the good tones.
Design-wise, the instrument features black and white keys to distinguish between flat and sharp keys. It is 3 octaves long, which provides you the opportunity to play a wide variety of chords and single notes.
That’s actually good for both intermediate and professional players. Beginners do not really need a long keyboard; as long they can understand the basic concepts of playing scales.
What I also liked with the instrument is the moisture dispenser lever. It helps keep the reeds in good condition because an accumulation of moisture in the air chamber can be a bad thing.
Playing the instrument is also a walk in a park. Two mouthpieces are provided. By using the extension hose, you can play it on the table and then play with both hands.
The black handle helps in handling the tool when playing with one hand – that is the other hand plays while the other holds the instrument.
Suzuki is a Japanese brand but has grown in popularity internationally. It is no wonder they brought this high-quality melodica.
This instrument is a perfect tool for passionate or just occasional musicians. But its price tag can discourage seasoned musicians.
I have no doubt it can give a good playing experience. With 37 keys, it gives you enough range to play your chords.
The design is made of metal and finished with vinyl. That’s a plus advantage on durability.
What you want is a tool that can last you for many years. I do recommend this melodica to any enthusiastic musician.
Hohner requires no introduction as it is a renowned manufacturer of high-quality melodicas.
The Hohner Performer 37 key melodica bears testimony to that.
But is it really worth your purchase?
What caught my attention is a compact design yet imparting an accordion-like sound. One can enjoy playing lots of songs on this wind instrument.
With 37 keys, the instrument is long enough to play many chords on it. It spans over 3 octaves, the length which many entry melodicas seldom reach.
Student and professional players can find this melodica helpful in their recitals and lessons. Many schools I know are using Hohner due to its durability and ease of use in teaching their kids and in performing music.
Thanks to the bronze reeds embedded in the instrument as they give us different tonal sounds.
One warning though: make sure you are certain about your purchase because the melodica cannot be returned. This is attributed to hygienic purposes since you have to blow air through the mouthpiece or the extension piece.
It will feel like you’re playing piano. And for storage purposes, the deluxe padded zipper case has been provided.
It will protect against dust that could affect the alignment of reeds in the instrument.
I do recommend Hohner to any aspiring musician or student. It’s a user-friendly wind instrument that you can ace in no time.
No breathing too much is required. However, given a choice between Hohner and Yamaha, I would choose the aforementioned Yamaha brand because it outsmarts Hohner with sound quality and keyboard responsiveness.
The problem is its price tag.
With the extension hose, you can play the instrument with both hands. The mouthpiece will also help you to blow air into the chamber.
If you are on a tight budget yet looking for a good quality melodica, the Hurricane Harps S32 could be your go-to instrument.
Hurricane proves that quality is not all about exorbitant price tags, but the features the instrument possesses.
This is the 32-key wind instrument with the same keyboard pattern as does the piano.
If you are set to embark on piano lessons later on, this instrument could benefit your knowledge. You play the same chords as in the piano, but it’s a compact keyboard.
Well, if you are looking for a long melodica, this could be a disappointment because it contains less than 3 octaves. However, students and other novice musicians can find its minimalistic design quite appealing.
To make blowing of air an absolute breeze, two 3-inch mouthpieces are provided. You will not have to blow too much of air into the chamber just to play notes.
Coupled with the mouthpieces is the 15-inch tube which helps one to play the keyboard with both hands. Chords become easier to maneuver when playing with both hands so that you can assign the left-hand to the bass clef while the right-hand play the treble clef notations.
Hurricane provides you the canvas case wherein you can save the instrument and its components. It will protect your valuable instrument against water and dust.
The instrument has dimensions 17.5 x 5.5 x 3 inches and a weight of 2.4 pounds. All these are evident enough that you can move from one place to the other stress-free.
This melodica is compact and lightweight. Indeed it is a good design for students and even the amateur musicians.
The 32 keys should not be a problem for students as the main idea is to master the art of the keyboard. Included with the purchase are the mouthpieces and the extension hose.
These make it easy to blow air to the reeds to make sounds.
I like the instrument all in all. Professional players can consider the Yamaha and Hohner models I have reviewed above.
Apart from a compact design and fewer keys, Hurricane melodica is of a good quality compared to others in its class.
D’Luca M37 melodica also makes a mark in the music industry.
It’s a 37-key wind instrument with a long tonal range starting at F below the middle through to the upper F.
It’s actually a good tool to learn all your major and minor scales because of its length and more keys.
It further spans over 3 octaves, so you can enjoy a wide variety of chord progressions especially when playing with both hands.
You can play the instrument with one hand while the other holds onto the attached strap. If you want the comfort of both hands, you can attach the extension hose and then play with both hands.
Both the extension hose and the mouthpiece are included for your convenience.
But obviously, its quality surrenders to the quality provided by the aforementioned Yamaha and Hohner wind instruments. Again, it does not have a pattern of white and black keys, so that might be confusing to novice players who have been taught to distinguish chromatic notes using black keys only.
An experienced melodica player shouldn’t find that hard to discern.
The EVA case has been provided with the purchase you can save the instrument properly. This will protect it from dust or water.
Also worth noting is the durable reeds that will maintain the instrument in a perfect pitch for a long time. It’s possible to re-tune the melodica if the pitch deteriorates.
Handle it with care as the keys can freeze if it falls or abused.
I must applaud this melodica for a unique design. It stands from the crowd. However, the lack of variation in black and white keys might be confusing for small students or amateur musicians.
I will not recommend it for educational departments.
For someone looking for something special and affordable, the instrument is a go-to choice. Just like other melodicas, it comes equipped with the mouthpiece and the extension hose to make playing an absolute breeze.
The bonus is the cleaning cloth to help wipe the dirt after playing.
Mobility is yet another consideration because one might have to travel with the instrument. Fortunately, this is a lightweight tool you can carry for hundreds of miles without muscle fatigue.
Here’s yet another quality workmanship in a wind instrument.
Mugig Melodica is a good tool for teaching and playing.
It embraces two playing modes, viz. standing and sitting performance.
On top of that, it is a 3-octave and 37-key melodica. That helps in playing as many chords as possible.
Whoever wants to learn piano, harmonica or accordion, this instrument could benefit them. It is wider than 32-key melodicas.
The cleaning rag is provided to help care for the instrument because uncared instruments deteriorate fast. Some lose alignment of reeds due to the dust build up and you might incur tuning costs.
With the provided black zipper case, you can store the instrument so that dust doesn’t get in through the mouthpiece.
To help you play the instrument properly, the two mouthpieces are provided. The design of the melodica is compact and lightweight, so it’s easy to hold it with one hand while the other plays.
Then with the extension hose, you can put it on a flat surface and play with both hands while blowing air through the extension hose.
Durability-wise, it is made of a tough plastic. However, it can easily break if it falls from big heights.
Any of the melodicas can break easily because they are predominantly made of plastic. It’s only a few that comes with a metallic body but then comes at a price.
To help you understand this melodica, instructions are also provided. More information is available on the internet on how to master melodica.
This is yet another 37-key and 3-octave melodica in my compilation. I love its production of quality sound and different playing modes.
It’s a long instrument which you can use for educational or performance purposes. Instructions are provided to help you understand.
I do recommend this wind instrument for anyone looking for a high-quality instrument. Just make sure you care for it to retain its quality and extend its durability.
With the cleaning cloth provided, wipe the dust off. Then after the performance, you can store it in the provided case.
One other consideration is a compact design, despite being a 37-key instrument. That means you can carry it around for a long time. It’s a plus advantage.
Best Melodica – Buyer’s Guide
What is a Melodica?
Usually, it is played by one hand where the other holds the tool using the strap underneath and the other pressing the keys.
But it can be played with both hands as well by attaching the extension hose on it and then putting it on a flat surface. That’s a convenient position if you want to play chords with ease.
It’s easy to assign the left hand to the bass clef while the right-hand play the treble clef chords.
Melodicas come in different sizes and designs. Most are made of plastic because it is light and thus can be carried for hundreds of miles.
In general, we find the 32-key and the 37-key instruments. There are 3 octaves, 2 octaves and 2 and ½ octaves.
Features To Consider Before Buying
It’s important to know what to look for before buying melodica. Different users may choose the instrument on different grounds.
For instance, the other may just need it to play for fun or to learn the basic scales while the other wants it to perform professionally.
The features to consider differ based on that. Among others, we look at the octaves, the size, the construction, the responsiveness and the range.
Octaves – Melodicas come in different octaves as I have highlighted above. The entry instruments suited for students can come with 2 or 2 ½ octaves whereas the advanced ones come with 3 octaves.
For a novice musician or students in general, it shouldn’t be a problem to opt for the 2 octaves because your main aim is to discern the basic scales or even use it as a stepping stone to understand the large piano.
For anyone wanting an advanced melodica for recitals, I recommend the 3 octaves one. It will help you to play a wide variety of chords. But you should bear the costs that come with 3 octaves.
Size – An important consideration with size is the mobility of the instruments. Melodicas are the common choices of musicians over the electronic or acoustic keyboards because of their portability.
You should check the convenient weight. But because most are made of plastic, it’s rare to find a bulky wind instrument.
Others such as Yamaha above have a metallic touch which will make it a bit bulky. Others can also be made with wood materials.
Range – there are several ranges that you need to consider when making a purchase. Usually, we have the soprano, alto, tenor and bass ranges.
Soprano ranges are the most common melodicas amongst musicians because of their highest pitches. The altos are the subsequent common choices as well with moderately higher pitches below the soprano.
Then follows the tenor ranges. The bass melodicas are rare.
If you are purchasing melodicas for a group of singers, it would be better if you buy a variety of ranges to blend the instruments. Some music scores require the SATB (Soprano, Alto, tenor, and Bass) voices, so it will help to buy a variety of these instruments.
Construction – The construction materials of your melodica are also important to consider. Most of the instruments in my reviews are made of plastic with the exception of the first product – that is Yamaha.
As already highlighted, plastic is lightweight so it helps when you have to travel with your melodica from one place to the other.
High-quality wind instruments are made of wood. Wood provides good sound and a premium quality. For the record, if you noticed, pianos are predominantly made of wood and they produce a good sound.
Likewise, melodicas made of wood will produce a good sound. Nonetheless, there are some plastic materials that still produce a good sound.
Responsiveness of the keys – The way keys response when you press them is also a good consideration when making a purchase. Some keys can get stuck after several plays while others do last for a long time.
Cheap melodicas will have a light feel on their keyboards whereas the advanced ones will have a solid feel.
How to ensure this responsiveness? Well, if you’re buying in a brick-and-mortar store, you can play the instrument before making the purchase.
The way it feels on your fingers will convince you that the responsiveness is good.
The challenge is when you purchase online. Some companies do not allow product return due to hygienic purposes, so you might as well be prepared to risk your purchase.
But customers’ reviews can help in that case to see if no one experienced a bad product. I would say opt for instruments whose companies offer returns for unsatisfactory purchases.
It can be heartbreaking to buy a Yamaha brand, for example, that costs over $150 and find it unresponsive but then find out you are forbidden to return it.
Accessories – equally important are the accessories that come with these melodicas. These include among others, the mouthpieces, extension hose cleaning cloth and the carrying case.
Mouthpieces help you to blow air into the melodica and the extension hose helps you to play using both hands.
Melodicas get dirty from time to time. It helps if you find one with the cleaning cloth provided.
If not then you can use any cleaning cloth.
Design – While all melodicas seem to embrace an identical design, there are some variations as you’ve seen among my products. The other instrument had not the variation of black and white keys.
This could be confusing to the student who grew up being taught how to distinguish keys using merely the colors. A professional player will find it easy to discern the keys even if blindfolded.
If you are buying the instrument for educational purposes, I recommend considering the popular design of black and white keys. Also worth noting with regard to the design is the moisture dispenser lever.
This helps to release the moisture that would have built up in the melodica. The level is usually opposite the mouthpiece.
How Much is Melodica?
Knowing how much to spend on the wind instrument is equally important as it the important features to consider. Typically, these instruments are charged per range even though the brand also plays a significant role in price determination.
Nevertheless, ranges supersede. Let’s see the price you can spend per range.
Student Range: In this range falls basic melodicas that are usually priced under $70. The models are good for students and beginner instrumentalists.
Such instruments are characterized by the lower ranges, fewer keys, and 2 octaves. Their material construction is just basic with the inexpensive plastic used.
But, I do not insinuate that this range has poor quality. You can find great melodicas under $70.
All you need to do is to care for your instrument so that it lasts longer.
Intermediate Range: In this range falls melodicas priced over $70 but usually under $130. They have high-quality construction materials and good sound than the beginner range.
Professional Range: Now, for this range, you need to spend a lot because prices are above $130. These melodicas are characterized by an impeccable sound production, quality craftsmanship, 3 octaves, great key responsiveness, and many factors.
Professional players will not complain to pop out a hefty price for these professional melodicas.
How to Play Melodica?
Melodicas sound very great when played by the professionals. You might be curious that how can one master the art of playing melodica.
The challenging part could be playing the keys to produce organized melodies. Personally, I have spent so much time on YouTube watching videos on how to play melodica and did a self-study thereafter.
You need to understand the basic scale such as major and minor scales.
By acquainting yourself with music theory, you can master the art of playing this wind instrument. The middle C is often printed on the instrument and you can name all other keys in relation to the middle C.
Remember to count from A to G and then starting again from A to G. This is how we see the number of octaves.
The word octave refers to 8 keys.
We have come to an end of our top 5 melodicas on the market which I regard the best. In a nutshell, when buying melodica, please know why you are buying it, what type to buy, which brand is the best and how much you want to spend.
As elaborated in my review, there are different types of melodicas. Others are the beginner, intermediate and professional instruments.
The buyer’s guide has further highlighted the important features you need to consider when making a purchase.
By tuning it you can revive its best performance.