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As my wife bought me a melodica and I started learning to play it, there is one thing which puzzles me significantly. How should I remove condensate from it? - it was far easier with flute (recorder) which could be!

Specifically it is Hohner Student 32 - there are no any easily detachable covers or something like this. Only round button on a back side, which (when pressed) allows air flow to run without sound. I suppose this could also be used for purpose somehow, but there is no mentioning in manual.

What I do now is detaching mouthpiece and blowing condensate out of it, then shaking melodica violently with the air intake down.

However some humidity remains inside because some keys for few first seconds clearly do "clogged" sound. Probably because of redistributing condensate. So I feel myself somewhat silly :)

Thank you in advance!

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This is a common problem with melodicas in my experience, and, indeed, none I have played are equipped with any way to remove the condensation resulting from playing. What's more, most of the reed plates are cheaply constructed and prone to corrosion. I've had several rendered in unplayable condition over the years due to corrosion, especially of the reeds closest to the mouthpiece.

Essentially, most of these instruments are not built to be played much, and their construction principle is based not on maintenance, but disposability.

There is one exception to this, an instrument known as the "mylodica," which is built to a somewhat higher standard. There are soundholes on the back, which helps with dispersal of condensation. However, even here I've had trouble with corrosion, and had to replace the reed plates once because of it.

So, although there is no pefect solution, I have always adopted the following:

  • Shake/blow out the instrument when done playing (as you are already doing).
  • If the instrument came with a case, don't store it there---keep it in open air, preferably in a low-humidity environment.
  • If the instrument is held together with screws (some are, some aren't) disassemble it periodically to check the reed plates for corrosion. You can also directly wipe off the plates, but this can cause other problems, such as misalignment or the introduction of particles, which can cause poor tuning or stalling.

HTH, steven

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