Yamaha Pianica Review (2021): A Keyboard & Wind Instrument in One Cool Machine

Yamaha Pianica 37-note Melodica, Black (P-37EBK)

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First invented in the 1950s, the melodica has become an incredibly popular instrument. It combines the skills of playing a keyboard with the skills of playing a wind instrument, and has a unique sound that many professional musicians love. The term “melodica” is a trademarked term, so instruments that operate in the same way tend to have creative names, and “pianica” is Yamaha’s spin on the name.

The biggest objection to melodicas has always been that they tend to have a toy-like look, that keeps some people from taking them seriously as a musical instrument. For that reason, in 2019 Yamaha completely redesigned and relaunched their popular pianica, the P37D, with a more refined, adult look. 

The Yamaha Pianica P37E is a mature instrument with a fuller, richer sound and a stylish look that players and audiences love.

Overview of Yamaha Pianica P37E Keyboard

Yamaha Pianica

The Yamaha Pianica P37E is a melodica that comes with a short mouthpiece or a longer, tube mouthpiece. This allows it to be played in a variety of styles, whether the player wants to hold it against their body, place it on their lap, or play with one hand or two. It is designed to look great from all sides, and has a streamlined, refined shape that makes it ergonomic and comfortable in any position.

The new Pianica P37E is made of an innovative, Ecodear plastic that is not only plant-based and environmentally friendly, but has a more organic, resonant sound. The 37 keys give it a full, 3-octave range, and it is designed for great tuning stability and excellent tone right out of the box. The result is an instrument that is both casual and sophisticated, easy and complex. 

Yamaha Pianica P37E Video Overview

Yamaha Pianica P37E Specs




Comes in black or brown


Measures 48 x 10 x 5 cm


Weighs 830 grams


Three-octave range starting from F below middle C


Three-octave range starting from F below middle C

Comes with a custom-fitted carrying case with adjustable shoulder strap

Yamaha Pianica P37E Features

The Yamaha Pianica P37E is a step further in evolution of this innovative instrument. The team at Yamaha have rethought the Pianica inside and out to arrive at this distinctive design. 









It has been designed and built for professional performers, with a more mature, sophisticated appearance.The body concept has been inspired by harmonicas, and redesigned with the intention to shave off any space that has no bearing on the sound. Screw holes and structural elements have been refined. Points and surfaces that make contact with the player have been smoothed and rounded for comfort as well as visual appeal. The Yamaha Pianica P37E case is made from eco-friendly biomass plastic, a plant-based material that has better acoustics than ABS, and offers more natural resonance and an organic sound. The form is designed to be comfortable and simple to use in a variety of playing positions, whether you prefer to use one or both hands, place the instrument on a table or against your body, or use the short mouthpiece or the included extension tube.









The Yamaha Pianica P37E has a three-octave range that begins with the F below middle C. The case has a natural, organic resonance due to the material, but design refinements have also given the instrument more body and depth than similar instruments. Improved design has also given the Yamaha Pianica P37E excellent tuning stability and great intonation.









  • Enhanced design improves the sound, feel, and look of the instrument
  • Rich, mellow tone that is smooth and gentle
  • Comes with a soft carrying case with an adjustable shoulder strap
  • Redesigned mouthpiece provides comfortable play for extended periods of time 

Who is the Yamaha Pianica P37E Most Suitable For?

Yamaha Pianica


While the Yamaha Pianica P37E may seem like a slightly obscure instrument, it has become nearly standard equipment in some musical settings and genres. Far from being a toy, these instruments are used by professional musicians all over the world, with increasing popularity, as can be seen in this Wikipedia article.

On the one hand, the Yamaha Pianica P37E is a casual, easy instrument that is perfect for beginners. It combines some of the mouth and breath skills of a wind instrument, with the finger techniques of a keyboard, in a simple, go-anywhere design that invites experimentation. In Japan, it is extremely common for schoolchildren to play the pianica, and it is often seen as a nostalgic instrument that reminds people of childhood.

In the Americas, the pianica has become an essential instrument in dubstep music, and nearly every popular song or band in the genre makes extensive use of the instrument. It is also widely used in reggae music, thanks to the examples of Augustus Pablo and Peter Tosh. The instrument can also be seen periodically on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, played by Stay Human front man Jon Batiste.

Finally, because it is so lightweight, portable, easily maintained, and fascinating to play, the pianica is incredibly popular among buskers around the world. It has an unusual look and sound that often draws and audience, and is easy to take and set up anywhere.

What’s Included With the Yamaha Pianica P37E?

Yamaha Pianica

Additional Accessories

I honestly can’t find any; Yamaha doesn’t recommend any, and there don’t seem to be any tuning kits or anything on Amazon.

Yamaha Pianica P37E Pros and Cons


  • Sophisticated, refined design and materials
  • Richer, more organic tone than melodicas made of traditional plastics
  • Ergonomic and comfortable in a variety of positions and playing styles
  • 3 octave range
  • Excellent tuning stabilitys


  • May be difficult to tune
  • More blowing resistance than the Yamaha P37D model, and takes a bit more effort to play

Yamaha Pianica P37E Tutorial videos

YouTuber George Colligan has created a video that is a nice overview of Yamaha’s predecessor model, the P37D, with a great demonstration of his sound:

YouTuber George Colligan has created a video that is a nice overview of Yamaha’s predecessor model, the P37D, with a great demonstration of his sound:

For a different kind of tutorial, many people have been playing the prior version, the Yamaha P37D, for years, and loved the feel of playing that instrument. While they appreciate the design refinements and sound improvements of the P37E, they don’t like the new air resistance and some find it more difficult to play than its predecessor. 

Since the two instruments are so structurally similar, many people on online melodica forums have taken it upon themselves to merge the instruments, placing the workings of the P37D into the case of the P37E. Some feel that this DIY hybrid is the best melodica they have ever played, so it may be worth checking out.

Yamaha Pianica P37E Owner’s Manual

A copy of the owner’s manual can be  downloaded at:


Yamaha Pianica P37E vs. Hohner 37 Key Melodica

Hohner is the inventor and copyright holder for the name “melodica.” As the original maker of these innovative instruments, are they the best? Or is Yamaha’s redesign a huge improvement? 

Hohner 37
Yamaha Pianica

Both the Yamaha Pianica P37E and the Hohner 37 Key Melodica have the same number of keys and the same octave ranges. They both come with cases, and with short and long mouth pieces. In fact, the differences between the two instruments seem so subtle that it’s difficult to account for the big difference in prices. 

Here is a brief rundown of the differences between the Yamaha P37E and the Hohner 37 Key Performer:


Hohner is much more affordable


Both instruments have some periodic issues with tuning


The Yamaha P37E is more attractive and ergonomic


The Yamaha P37E is more resonant and richer


The Hohner keys can sometimes have a problem with clicking


The Yamaha cleans/drains more quickly than the Hohner

Air pressure

Both instruments have some infrequent complaints about the need to blow harder and create more air pressure

In other words, the Yamaha redesign does seem to have paid off, both in producing a more attractive instrument, but in an instrument that sounds fuller and more resonant. However, whether you think these small design improvements are worth such a steep price increase is a purely personal decision. Both instruments have their merits, and their devoted fans.

SANGANXA’s Review on Pianica Yamaha P37E


The melodica is an instrument that is easy to learn, fun to play, and so simple to carry and enjoy spontaneously, that it’s no wonder it has gained such a following in recent years. With the P37E, Yamaha has redesigned the instrument, giving it a more sophisticated look and richer sound, aiming to finally make a mature melodica. 

The P37E has style in spades, and is raising expectations for what this fun little instrument can do in the hands of a skilled musician. It’s a great investment for beginners and experts alike, as a fun way to start a musical education, or a fun way to broaden your musical expression.

Yamaha Pianica 37-note Melodica, Black (P-37EBK)

Yamaha Pianica P37E (click image for more info)


I am intrigued by how music affects the brain. I created this site to share my fascination with music in general and piano keyboards in particular.

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