easy piccolo

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bfloyd
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 5:22 pm

easy piccolo

Post by bfloyd »

Hello all. The flute is going very well and I would like to expand to the piccolo as that was one of my goals. I have been playing on a Jupiter Carnegie series flute and found that it has a nice forgiving embouchure hole, moreso than my Yamaha 200 series. Does anyone know of a picc with a forgiving embouchure similar to my Jupiter? Thanks.

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Phineas
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Post by Phineas »

www.wwbw.com/ Barrington-Model-996--Piccolo-i125667.music

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 »

In my experience, no piccolo worth playing is particularly forgiving. They're beasts for control (both with regards to tone and intonation, as well as dynamically, etc.), and unless you're reasonably advanced on the flute, I would recommend sticking to the flute for a bit yet. Playing picc without a very solid basis on flute is a bit like starting to learn any instrument by starting in the third octave. If you've established good basics on flute, playing piccolo can really enhance your playing on both, but if you haven't, piccolo can really mess up your progress on flute (aside from sounding pretty bad in its own right). Only you (and hopefully your teacher) can really decide whether it's appropriate to start playing piccolo at this point, though.

As for specific instruments, I would suggest sticking to a big name manufacturer if your budget allows it. Any of these makes (among others) would be fine:

Jupiter
Gemeinhardt
Emerson
Sonare
Yamaha

Keep in mind, however, that if you've adjusted to a particularly forgiving cut of headjoint, you probably won't have the accuracy and control of your airstream necessary to play piccolo particularly well.

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sidekicker
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Post by sidekicker »

flutepicc06 wrote:In my experience, no piccolo worth playing is particularly forgiving. They're beasts for control (both with regards to tone and intonation, as well as dynamically, etc.), and unless you're reasonably advanced on the flute, I would recommend sticking to the flute for a bit yet.
I agree. This is one of those moments in flute life where one must stop and seriously ponder the goals meant to be accomplished. The same can be said of high end flute headjoints. What makes them so wonderful is often what also makes them more difficult to play. Great piccs, like great heads, are built for maximum colour and diversity of sound. The price we pay for those capabilities is putting the hard work into what it takes to compartmentalise those features so they can be produced at will.

One other point. Not to put words in the OP's mouth, but there appears to me to be a misconception that a good flutist must "advance to", or master, the piccolo to the same degree as the flute. I disagree with this, although I'm sure many will disagree with me :-). Although it is sometimes the job of a flutist to also perform on picc occasionally (some orchestra jobs even combine the job of 2nd flute/picc), I don't find it to be a requirement that we all become masters of the instrument unless, of course, you want to always be the picc player or aim to be a professional piccoloist in a major orchestra. That's why I own just a basic "forgiving" picc that gets me by if I have to play picc for some reason. And I think that's probably fine for most people unless you have a bunch of money to sink into an alternate instrument.

Just my opinions.

SK

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Phineas
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Post by Phineas »

I have to disagree with you guys on this one. Some piccolos are definitely easier to play than others. Yes, it will take some development time to really get good at playing piccolo, but in the end how much you pay for an instrument and what your ultimate goals go hand in hand. I have found from my own experieces going from flute to pic, that a pic with a lipplate was an easier transistion than one without one. Later on, I could play s piccolo without one. Assuming that bfloyd will likely spend the money on a better piccolo in the future. If they choose to keep pursuing pic, the pic I recommended would be perfect for the initial transition. Anything better worth getting is going to cost 5 times the price. This is a lot better than paying $1000 for a piccolo that they possibly cannot play.

Phineas

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musical_Kat
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Post by musical_Kat »

Phineas wrote:I have to disagree with you guys on this one. Some piccolos are definitely easier to play than others. Yes, it will take some development time to really get good at playing piccolo, but in the end how much you pay for an instrument and what your ultimate goals go hand in hand. I have found from my own experieces going from flute to pic, that a pic with a lipplate was an easier transistion than one without one. Later on, I could play s piccolo without one. Assuming that bfloyd will likely spend the money on a better piccolo in the future. If they choose to keep pursuing pic, the pic I recommended would be perfect for the initial transition. Anything better worth getting is going to cost 5 times the price. This is a lot better than paying $1000 for a piccolo that they possibly cannot play.

Phineas
Well you are of course assuming that bfloyd is even ready to start learning Picc....sounds to me like bfloyd is pretty much a newbie flutist and should actually put off the picc for a while. Just because someone has a goal of learning not only the flute but the Picc as well doesn't mean they have to do it in a certain amount of time! There will be plenty of time in the future to learn Piccolo....and at that point finding a bottom of the barrel pic that's "easy" to play won't be an issue. Why spend money on a piccolo that you won't want to use for too much longer once you've reached a skill level that you should have been at before you even started? He (or she) should wait until they are really ready and then buy a nice piccolo that they will be able to use for years....without being dissapointed about the poor quality!

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Phineas
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Post by Phineas »

musical_Kat wrote:
Phineas wrote:I have to disagree with you guys on this one. Some piccolos are definitely easier to play than others. Yes, it will take some development time to really get good at playing piccolo, but in the end how much you pay for an instrument and what your ultimate goals go hand in hand. I have found from my own experieces going from flute to pic, that a pic with a lipplate was an easier transistion than one without one. Later on, I could play s piccolo without one. Assuming that bfloyd will likely spend the money on a better piccolo in the future. If they choose to keep pursuing pic, the pic I recommended would be perfect for the initial transition. Anything better worth getting is going to cost 5 times the price. This is a lot better than paying $1000 for a piccolo that they possibly cannot play.

Phineas
Well you are of course assuming that bfloyd is even ready to start learning Picc....sounds to me like bfloyd is pretty much a newbie flutist and should actually put off the picc for a while. Just because someone has a goal of learning not only the flute but the Picc as well doesn't mean they have to do it in a certain amount of time! There will be plenty of time in the future to learn Piccolo....and at that point finding a bottom of the barrel pic that's "easy" to play won't be an issue. Why spend money on a piccolo that you won't want to use for too much longer once you've reached a skill level that you should have been at before you even started? He (or she) should wait until they are really ready and then buy a nice piccolo that they will be able to use for years....without being dissapointed about the poor quality!
I agree with you to a point. The piccolo is not a forgiving instrument, and I know lots of flute players who started Pic, and decided it was not their thing. Or worse, buy a $2000 dollar piccolo only to find out that after they do learn how to play it, their preference changes. Of course, the other alternative is to rent one, but from what I have played on, the one I recommended plays better than most of the rented ones I've played on. The fact is, I have personally owned a lot of piccolos from 100 to 1000 dollars, and most of the ones under $1000 are crummy playing instruments. Someone would be just as disappointed paying twice as much money for a Gemmy, or a low end Jupiter...I know I was!

As far as disappointed in poor quality, I have given 2 of the model I recommended to friends, and they are still playing on them 2 years later. one of them I perform with a year before I passed it along. That brand may not be a top brand(by any means), but they are not that bad either.
Now, if I would have recommended a Venus, then shoot me! :lol:

Phineas

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 »

I will toss my hat in the ring here.

I believe that any flutist should establish a good flute technique before approaching the piccolo. Once solid fundamentals are established, then the player is ready to attempt the piccolo.

The player should then try several models of piccolo to get a very broad feel of what works for them. Naturally they wont be able to play any of them particularly well at this point, but certain instruments should play easier for them.

I feel that the beginning picc player should spend a decent amount of money on getting a quality picc, but not neccessarily a great picc. By this I mean investing in a well made solid metal or resin piccolo, and waiting until later to pay the big bucks for a wooden picc.

This in my opinion would provide a smoother transition because the majority of these piccolos have lip plates. The piccolo that they choose needs to be of good enough quality that the player does not get discouraged for problems outside of their control, but yet should not be of such high quality that the quality itself is resulting in difficulty playing the piccolo. [handmade piccs for example are far more difficult to play well than student model piccs because they require more control].

The specific instrument in question should also be good enough in regards to playability to use in many different venues of playing as well. This, combined with sturdy craftsmanship should ensure the player many years of competant performance [along with with practice and a good amount of elbow grease :wink: ].

So... do I think that the newbie picc player should spend $1000 on a new picc? Certainly not, because it is not neccessary.There are plenty of piccolos that play well for under than price [but they may not be all to your taste]. Do I think they should spend more money than $50 for a picc made of something other than pot metal? Most definately. A player's first piccolo should merely get them associated with the instrument, and serve them well enough that they do not feel too restricted by it for a considerable amount of time.

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