I'm familiar with a keyboard and piano, although I can't play well. I've been learning slowly. This melodica is pretty much like a small piano, but is "powered" by your breath. It sounds a lot like a harmonica. It plays very similar to one, by having to figure out when to take a breath of air between certain notes to make your song flow correctly. This melodica seems like a really well built piece of equipment. Comes in a really nice case, too.