yesterday i got this melodica at a ridiculously low price at the music store around the corner from me. i don't know why they were selling it for so cheap; i've usually seen thing like this for somewhere between $100-150, but i got it, case, extra mouthpiece, and all for $55! i spent a few hours jamming on it yesterday and i am extremely pleased. i've been playing it so that the keyboard sits flat in front of me and i'm blowing the air into a tube to make the sound. it's a completely different way of playing for me and i'm psyched to be exploring new skill sets. playing the accordion, i'm used to a vertically-oriented keyboard (i am *not* one of those people who played the piano first, i really just know accordion, so the flat keyboard is pretty weird to me). i'm also not used to playing a wind instrument, so the fact that i have to actually use my breath to make the sound is really interesting. the sound comes from a different place, too--more out in the ether, as opposed to playing accordion, when the sound radiates directly into my torso and i feel it as much, if not more, than i hear it. so far, playing the melodica directly into the mouthpiece, so that i'm holding it up like a clarinet or something, is the most challenging. but for some of the songs we play, i think it actually works better to play the melodica than the accordion. most of the instrument seems so unnecessary now, since i mostly use the right hand anyway, so melodica just seems so much simpler. don't get me wrong, accordion is still my primary instrument and obsession but as far as this band is concerned i don't need to play it on every single song. the sound is practically identical anyway. in fact, if i only played melodica it would make touring a whole lot easier. but then i guess there's the question of micing it... i wonder if i could get a pickup installed and run it through an amp?
speaking of amps, i have to get one. i was going to ask for one for my birthday, but i guess i'll have to ask for it as an early present if our tour is going to be early august (my birthday is late august).
it's cool, though, i like having the casual distance of having the keyboard flat in front of me for certain songs. for the songs i'm more emotionally invested in i can play it through the direct mouthpiece. when i hold it up, i can either have it down in front of me like an accordion, straight out in front of me like a trumpet, or if i'm improvising, i can do all kinds of weird things with it like hold it against my body.
the melodica keyboard also has more of a range than my accordion keyboard, which is nice. it goes a whole octave lower.