JEPPSQUARE / Simon Jepps
" Time plays Chess. "JEPPSQUARE / Simon Jepps


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JEPPSSAX / Simon JeppsThe Jeppssax is a modification of Melodica which allows the player to create Harmonica expressions to compliment the music.

The Melodica & Harmonica are actually brother & sister, two and one of the same womb yet constructed & played in different ways. Whilst the Melodica is fully chromatic and effectively a cross between Trumpet & Keyboard, the Harmonica offers the ability to bend notes profoundly and provide an alternative "colour of voice".

I am always playing around with the construction of my Melodica, as you can see from these photos { Rainbluew / Glow 1 / Glow 2 } and I will no doubt change the colour scheme again in the near future.

Yet what I have done with the Jeppssax is quite poetic, if I may say so myself. This is because firstly as mentioned, the Melodica & Harmonica are actually two and one of the same womb and so in truth belong together ~ not least because otherwise you cannot really bend notes on a Melodica. Yet secondly, the Melodica has never truly been given a natural mouthpiece ~ I say this because in truth the Melodica is best played without a mouthpiece, directly into the instrument to achieve maximum close interaction with the reeds.

JEPPSSAX / Simon JeppsYet doing this seems kind of ugly ~ or at least it did until I strapped a Seydel Big Six Harmonica to the blowing end of the instrument! Now what you have with the Jeppssax is both an instrument with hugely increased capabilities and a profound new marriage of a perfect dual-mouthpiece.

I have tried different Harmonicas for this purpose, but in reality the Seydel Big Six is really the only one suited to the task and this is because it is quite lightweight, powerful for its size and features a lipped coverplate vital to prevent the rubber wristband from slipping off.

A rubber "shoe" beneath the Harmonica can help to prevent it moving about, but I don't really find it to move about particularly; however on my instrument that is probably because I have put some black electrician's tape over the ghastly Superforce 37 logo!

The neckstrap you can see gently flopped over the stand-arm is actually itself a Seydel Big Six neckstrap, simply attached to the rear handle of the Melodica. This is a great little neckstrap since it features a buckle-clip for easy detachment of the instrument.

JEPPSSAX / Simon JeppsThe other cool thing about the Seydel Big Six is that you can custom tune them yourself before being dispatched from the manufacturer, through the Seydel Harp Configurator. I have a handful in different tunings, the one pictured raises the 6-Hole Draw to the tonic key of the instrument, in this case a G, allowing a full two octave range with 4 bends in that final hole!

I was raised and trained as a Classical Pianist and over my lifetime I have played live Jazz & Classical music in various lounges, restaurants & bars ~ even the Royal Palace gardens in Turin ~ yet over time it became evermore obvious to me that I was simply too frustrated with the inconvenience of only being able to play wherever a Piano already resides.

In fact I have been on quite an adventure this last decade, learning numerous different flutes from around the world, miniature Saxophones and various stringed instruments... but without doubt these two relatives, the Harmonica & Melodica were always my closest friends and eventually herewith destined to become the one great Jeppssax.

Thank you for reading.

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