I've got a couple of melodicas I want to run through guitar pedals, especially distortion and wah and then run the signal into a guitar amp.

Is there some kind of pickup I can put in or attach to the melodica? The pickup can't really be a transducer because transducers will squeal under distortion. It can't be an external mic because mics feedback and require a mic stand which makes the whole thing bulky as heck.

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  • 1
    tape a lav mic to it - extreme example DPA 4060 [one of my favourite mics]
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 19:18

1 Answer 1


I think that you may want to try a piezo pickup even though your comment about "transducers" seems to rule them out.

To my knowledge there is no equivalent to guitar pickups for free-reeeds, i.e. some type of pickup that transforms the mechanical motion of the metallic reed into an electrical signal (such a thing would seem to be possible for steel reeds, but wiring it up would be a mess). Thus you'll aways be looking at a signal chain of reed->sound->microphone->amp. Where microphone is either a normal external one (including lavaliere or clip on instrument microphone) or some sort of piezo/contact microphone.

  • 1
    Another problem with a piezo is that it will pickup up the thumping of the keys, probably even more than the reeds.
    – empty
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 23:07

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