Are Colored Piccolos Any Good?

If you want to play the piccolo, you want it to be fun, so you may decide to get a colored piccolo. But are colored piccolos any good?

Are Colored Piccolos Any Good? | Piccolo Perfection

Sadly, they’re not the best, at least in most cases. While there are always exceptions, you should generally try to avoid piccolos of different colors, so read on to learn more.

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What Are Colored Piccolos?

When I talk about colored piccolos, I’m referring to any piccolos that are a color other than silver. Now, there are colorful plastic piccolos, like the GUO piccolo.

But for the purposes of this article, I’m talking about the super cheap piccolos that you’ll find online. Cheap manufacturers will use different colors, probably to entice kids and others to buy the “fun” piccolo or flute.

Sadly, they aren’t the best, and there are a few models out there that you should know about. That way, you’ll know what to avoid when shopping for a good affordable piccolo.

Glory Piccolo

Glory is one of the many cheap instrument brands you’ll find on Amazon. The Glory Piccolo sounds like a good deal because it’s a fraction of the price of other silver-plated models.

Unfortunately, the company thinks it’s a good idea to make and sell metal piccolos with black plating on the body and gold plating on the keys. What gets me is that it looks like a lot of other standard, reputable piccolos.

At the end of the day, though, it’s still a cheap brand made of low-quality materials. While it comes with accessories, the cost of those further dilutes the cost of the instrument itself, so I can’t recommend that you get this model.

Mendini Piccolo

Another pretty cheap brand is Mendini, and I’ve tried one of their piccolos, just not the Sky Blue/Nickel model. Once again, it’s an all-metal model with a light blue color plating on top.

I love blue, and I think this piccolo looks cool. However, the Mendini that I’ve tried isn’t of great quality. It has some intonation issues, and all of these instruments are bound to break.

Most repair technicians won’t work on these instruments. And even if you find someone who will, the repair will probably cost more than what you paid for the piccolo.

Sky (Paititi) Piccolo

The Sky (Paititi) Piccolo is the third cheap colored piccolo I found with a quick search. This one has red plating over most of the body and headjoint, but the keys and lip plate look like a light gold color.

It comes with accessories, and you have to factor those into the low cost, so the piccolo is even cheaper than it looks. But one of those accessories is cork grease, which you DON’T NEED with a metal piccolo.

So not only is this brand just cheap and not worth the time and money. But it could also cause a lot of harm because players will think they need an accessory that could actually ruin their instrument.

SNOQ Piccolo

I thought I had seen it all when it came to cheap, colored piccolos. However, the SNOQ Piccolo is a recent discovery, and I hope this brand doesn’t gain the same traction as Mendini or Glory.

Like the other models, this one is very cheap, almost too cheap. It features a plastic body, so it’s not all metal which is nice, and the plastic is black like on most other plastic piccolos.

However, the metal parts are a light gold or brass, rather than silver-plated. On the one hand, that can look professional, but when you look at the price, you’ll find it’s too good to be true.

Not to mention, Amazon categorizes this piccolo under “Home & Kitchen,” not “Musical Instruments.”

Are Colored Piccolos Any Good?

I’ll be honest and say that I haven’t tried colored piccolos specifically. However, I have tried piccolos and flutes from cheap brands, and I’d be willing to bet that these piccolos aren’t much different in terms of the quality.

If possible, you really should avoid colored piccolos. You can get the GUO New Voice piccolo, which comes in fun colors because GUO is a reputable brand.

But when it comes to brands you find online, you might want to avoid them. Consider the following aspects of buying these cheap colored instruments.

They’re Super Cheap

At first, a low price sounds amazing. Most piccolos cost close to $1,000 if not more than that. So to get a piccolo for a fraction of that is a dream come true.

Unfortunately, that dream can quickly turn into a nightmare when the piccolo breaks. Since it’s so cheap, the manufacturer probably used low-quality materials.

If anything happens, you’ll almost certainly need a professional repair. But professionals won’t work on these cheap instruments since it’s not worth their time or your money.

They Look Unique

The unique look can be a pro or con depending on how you look at it. In many ensembles, you need your piccolo to blend in both sound-wise and visually.

Marching bands are a common ensemble that won’t allow colored piccolos. You need a silver-plated piccolo to match the (usually) silver-plated flutes.

Even in a concert band or orchestra where you’re the only piccolo player, you should choose something that looks more standard. A director will be able to tell the piccolo is cheap before you even play a note when your instrument is blue or red.

Now, I will say there’s one exception where a unique piccolo may come in handy. If you’re in marching band and your school’s colors are red and gold, the Sky piccolo could be good for visuals, such as pictures, but not playing.

They’re Not From Reputable Brands

You’ll probably never see a colored piccolo from Yamaha, Pearl, or any other reputable brand. I’ve mentioned there are colorful piccolos from GUO, but that’s an exception and not the rule.

There’s probably a good reason why these brands don’t make piccolos in many colors. While I still don’t advocate for buying cheap piccolos in standard colors, they’re a better option.

If you can afford a better piccolo, please buy something from a reputable brand. That way, it will last longer, so you may actually pay less per use for the instrument than if you bought a cheap one that you need to replace in a few months.

Try These Piccolos Instead

You know that colored piccolos aren’t any good. But what piccolos should you try and purchase instead?

There are quite a few piccolos out there, and some are decently affordable. None are cheap by any means, but investing in the following models is a much better use of your time and money.

Armstrong 204

Armstrong 204 piccolo

When I first decided to learn the piccolo, I got an Armstrong 204. This piccolo is all metal, more specifically all silver-plated, from the headjoint and body to the keys.

That can make it look and feel like a small flute, but the piccolo is still quite different. I was able to get a good sound out of this instrument, and I played it in marching band in college.

While I no longer play it as my main piccolo, I like having it as a backup. If I need a good metal piccolo, I know I can fall back on this one and make good use of it.

Pearl 105

Pearl 105 piccolo

A few years after I got the Armstrong, I upgraded to a Pearl 105 piccolo. However, you can also buy it as your first instrument and get a good sound and response.

The Pearl piccolo is a composite piccolo, so it uses a blend of wood with plastic. That way, you can get the warm tone colors that wood offers but without the risk of it cracking.

While I’ve since upgraded from this piccolo, I’ll use it whenever I need to play outside. It works great, and it sounds better than some wood piccolos I’ve tried.

Yamaha YPC-32

The Yamaha YPC-32 is another popular student piccolo. This one features a silver-plated headjoint with a plastic body, so it’s most similar to the SNOQ piccolo.

I haven’t played this model specifically, but I know a lot of players who have. They’ve all sounded great on it, and it’s an amazing choice for marching band and indoor ensembles.

While it’s not as warm in tone as the Pearl, it’s warmer than an all-metal piccolo. That can make it a good choice for students who need one piccolo to use in all scenarios.

Are Colored Piccolos Always Bad?

Not all colored piccolos are bad, like the GUO New Voice line. However, most other colored piccolos, especially those that cost less than $200, are almost always bad.

The color has very little to do with it, though. Instead, it has more to do with the quality of the materials and the care of the manufacturing process.

Final Thoughts

Colored piccolos are only any good if they’re from a reputable brand. And only one brand, GUO, makes piccolos that aren’t black (from plastic or wood) or silver (sometimes gold).

If you want to get good at the piccolo, you need a good quality instrument. Instead of wasting your money on a colorful piccolo, check out the best piccolos for beginners.

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