Thursday, December 31, 2020

TOP POST - Why, why, WHY melodica?

P.S. From now on, this post will be the "top post" for this page. That's why you see the date is in far future. Here is the song list for this video:
1. Street Fighter 2 "Vega's Theme".
2. Dragon Ball Z "Vegeta VS Recoom" theme song.
3. Dragon Ball GT main theme "Dan Dan Kokorohikareteru".

I have heard some questions like this before:
"Melodica? What is that?"
"What is this piano thing you playing?"
"Why play this and not piano?"

Today I would focus more on the 3rd question, but more generally, WHY playing melodica.

First of all, back in 2012 when I was performing in a musical called "The Music Man" as the barbershop quartet, a friend from the quartet introduced me this portable, funny sounding instrument called "melodica". It in fact sounds quite similar to another instrument called "harmonica". When I saw him playing that, I decided I want one as well, since I have a piano background, I don't have to learn the fingering start from the scratch.

Then I first recorded my playing with only one-voiced melody, I was like "hmmm it sounds pretty nice but sound too much like MIDI, but the sound has very strong sustainability unlike piano which has very weak sustainability. how about if I add vibrato on the notes, will the tone gets more richness and depth just like how you make your singing or violin playing has more richness and depth?" After that thought, I started practicing playing with vibrato. I still remember the first song I recorded using vibrato was Andrea Bocelli's "Melodramma" :) Well at first it did not sound that smooth, but with more practice, I started to make my vibrato more and more natural sounding.

But you may ask, "hey dude, you still haven't talked about why playing melodica yet."
Regarding to this, different people could have very different answers.
For my case, there are mainly two reasons:
1. Singing opera/classical music is my primary instrument, plus I have piano background, learning melodica won't be too hard for me as the technique is the combination of both.
2. As playing melodica has quite a lot of similarity to singing, by playing melodica, I can interpret songs that does not fit my singing voice, or instrumental songs that I like, artistically even better than piano.

There is another main reason I think EVERYBODY especially those who learns piano should consider:
Piano and Melodica has similar fingering technique (you don't have to learn from scratch if you learn a song from piano then switch to melodica), but their artistic interpretations are very different, hence they are in fact very different instruments. So WHY NOT learning both, to learn different ways of interpreting music, further develop your musicianship; but more importantly, to achieve higher self-esteem that you could tell people you know TWO instruments instead of one, and to explore more about BOTH piano and melodica, then YOU decide which one you want to pursue, RATHER THAN let your parents, relatives, teachers, friends, community, society, or even education system, to decide it for you so you BLINDLY accept what they tell you (and it has quite a high chance that it is NOT NECESSARILY TRUE, or at least it is NOT SUITABLE FOR YOU)?

Anyway, here I post my previous melodica recording that has higher recording quality above again, to show you what a melodica can actually do in terms of music playing. I know you may have heard me playing these songs before, but I think you would like it :)

P.S. The melodicas below are Sound Electra Mylodica, Suzuki B-24 Bass Melodion, and Suzuki Andes 25-F.


  1. Hi guys,
    Thank you so much for this wonderful article really!
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  2. Interesting Article,

    I agree with you, the melodica is great because it is not only similar to a piano, but can do more than a piano such as with the use of vibrato.

    I also believe the melodica has a better singing quality than the piano, as you can bend the note and crescendo on a single note

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