How does the idea of playing piccolo make you feel? Maybe you curl up in disgust, or perhaps your eyes light up, and you get excited.
Either way, you should consider some of the benefits of playing the piccolo. Then, you can decide if it’s the right instrument for you.
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1. A Lot of Music
One of the most significant benefits of playing piccolo is that you have access to more music than if you just play the flute. Sure, the flute has plenty of repertoire itself.
However, the piccolo repertoire
is growing each year. While you could play piccolo music on the flute, it won’t sound quite the same with the lower range.
2. More Opportunities
Playing piccolo can also open up a lot of opportunities that you wouldn’t otherwise get. Take the orchestra, for example, where the standard flute section include three players.
The third part is usually a piccolo part or a combination of flute and piccolo. Even some second flute parts contain a piccolo part, such as Danzon No. 2 by Marquez or Symphony No. 9 by Dvorak.
If you don’t play the piccolo, you can limit your opportunities to play flute with others. You don’t have to specialize in the piccolo. But you should be able to play it a bit, especially if you want a performing career as a flutist.
3. Help Your Flute Playing
When you play the piccolo, you need to develop a lot of control over your embouchure. You also need to be able to manipulate your airstream to get a good sound.
Those skills easily apply to the flute, from the high register to the low register. If you’re struggling to control your sound on the flute, the piccolo may help you.
As you practice, switch back and forth between the two instruments. You can practice the same exercises
on the first octave of the piccolo as the second octave of the flute to improve on both instruments.
4. Small Size
You can’t ignore the fact that the piccolo is tiny. I’ve put the piccolo in my purse multiple times, which can cut down on my load when going to rehearsals or concerts.
Even if you primarily play the flute, the piccolo is easy enough to throw in your bag. That way, you can always have it in case an orchestra or band director wants you to play a piccolo part.
If you already use a Fluterscooter bag or the Protec flute case cover
, your piccolo can fit with no problems. The instrument also doesn’t take up much space in your practice area, so you don’t need to adjust anything when you get the piccolo.
Because of its size, the piccolo is also very light, both in storage and transport and during play. Playing piccolo doesn’t require as much work from your arms.
If you struggle with weight or have joint problems, the piccolo is great. You can hold it pretty easily, and it’s not quite as awkward as holding the flute.
Be sure to try a few piccolos, like the Pearl piccolo
. That way, you can get one that feels good in your hands and can give you a good sound.
6. Easy to Hear
Of course, you have to admit that the piccolo is very easy to hear, even in a large orchestra. It’s the highest-pitched instrument out there, and the sound can carry.
Now, this can make it hard to play at first because you don’t have much room for error. However, it can be a great way to build confidence as a musician.
Playing piccolo can also test your aural skills and force you to work with a tuner. That way, you’ll be able to tackle any piccolo solo that comes your way. Just make sure to wear some good earplugs
7. Fun to Play
Probably the best benefit of playing piccolo is that it’s fun! You get to explore different parts in ensembles and various solos when playing by yourself.
Everyone will hear you, so you can enjoy playing for an audience. And you don’t have to worry about being the best flute player to get a good solo now and then.
If you like playing the flute and want to try the piccolo, do it. You may end up really loving the smaller flute.
Is Playing Piccolo for You?
I love playing piccolo alone and in orchestras and other ensembles. However, I’m the first to admit that the instrument isn’t for everyone.
Still, it’s important to consider the benefits of playing piccolo. Then, you can make an educated decision before you spend the money on an instrument.