The Hohner Melodica Alto is a deeper sounding instrument than your average melodica. It's also of course larger in size as to produce a deeper tone. It's also got a different feeling keyboard than your normal melodica as it's not exactly laid out like a traditional keyboard. Of course the notes are in all the same spots and it won't take players too long to get used to it, but the keys are smaller and they don't take up the full platform in terms of key sizes. Playing the melodica in general will take a little bit of practice of course, as will any new instrument, but if you're used to a normal melodica, it won't be too hard to adjust to the alto melodica. The sound of the Hohner Melodica Alto is of course much like your average melodica, only deeper, but it's nice to have a slightly different sound as you never know when you might want to go deeper with your melodica sound. I don't know that I prefer this to a traditionally pitched melodica, but it's a cool option to have regardless and this really just has to do with personal preference more than anything else. Unfortunately, it will cost you a decent bit more than a normal melodica, although there are some traditional meldoicas with comparable prices. However, because of this if you're just getting started with a melodica and want something to get your feet wet with, I wouldn't recommend the alto melodica. Rather, I'd go with something else from Hohner like the student melodica as it sounds good and is a great place to start (don't let the name fool you). Having said this, the Hohner Melodica Alto is a great instrument to have around if you're looking to expand your melodica palette.