You’re ready to play the piccolo, but you don’t know which model to get. Look into some of the best plastic piccolos to help you start playing piccolo and enjoying it.
I looked into some of the most popular and lesser-known models. Here are the piccolos you need to check out for your first one.
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The Yamaha YPC-32 is one of the best plastic piccolos for students. It features an ABS resin body and a silver-plated headjoint and mechanism.
I appreciate how the G key is offset like on many C flutes, so it can be easier to reach. While I haven’t played this specific model, I know a lot of people who have and who have enjoyed it.
A very similar plastic piccolo is the Jupiter JPC1000. This model has a lot of the same specs as the Yamaha, including the metal headjoint and the ABS body.
I love how the piccolo doesn’t have a cork on the body tenon. That means you don’t have to worry about using cork grease on the instrument.
The Jupiter JPC1010 features both a plastic resin body and headjoint, and the keys are silver plated. That means this model doesn’t have a lip plate.
It can also sound a little warmer than a piccolo with a silver-plated headjoint. So if you play in an orchestra or wind ensemble, it might be a better choice.
Going back to the plastic piccolos with metal headjoints, there’s the Giardinelli GPC-300. It’s more affordable than some of the other best plastic piccolos, but it features many of the same specs.
The Blessing BPC-1287 isn’t a super popular piccolo, but it’s very similar to other models. If you can’t seem to find a plastic piccolo you like, give this one a try.
Selmer Prelude PC711
Another less popular, more affordable model is the Selmer Prelude PC711. From what I know, it’s a newer model, but it has all of the standard specs, from a silver-plated headjoint to an ABS resin body.
The Gemeinhardt 4P is another amazing plastic piccolo for students and casual players. Like the Jupiter JPC1010, this one features a plastic headjoint as well as a plastic body.
Why Get a Plastic Piccolo
When looking at the best plastic piccolos, you may wonder why they’re even worth considering. Here are a few of the biggest reasons in favor of getting a plastic or resin piccolo.
Compared to wood piccolos, plastic models are much more durable. That makes them a great choice for use outdoors, such as in marching band.
You can also use a plastic piccolo indoors, and the ones with plastic headjoints can blend with other instruments well. I’d also recommend a plastic model to a beginner.
If you tend to put your flutes through a lot, a plastic model will be able to handle it better. You won’t have to worry about the piccolo breaking or if it does, having to spend as much money on a repair.
Another way in which the best plastic piccolos beat out wood models is the cost. Plastic piccolos cost anywhere from $500 to $1,500 or so, depending on the model and condition.
If you’re new to playing the piccolo, you may not want to spend a ton of money on your first model. That makes plastic one the best options since even all-metal piccolos can cost more when they’re new.
Other piccolos can cost thousands of dollars, especially wood models.
A plastic piccolo can offer a good sound, especially compared to a piccolo that’s all silver-plated or solid silver. If you play in large ensembles, you can blend with the other sections.
Plastic won’t sound as warm as wood, but it can sound pretty close, especially for the price.
Why Not Get a Plastic Piccolo
Even the best plastic piccolos aren’t right for everyone. Before you buy one, think about a few reasons why you should look into other materials.
If you’re playing at an advanced level, you may want to upgrade your piccolo. But in many cases, switching to a plastic model isn’t much of an upgrade.
You’d be better off looking at wood piccolos or even composite piccolos.
Not Many Models
If you’re interested in a piccolo with a metal headjoint and plastic body, you have quite the selection. But when I was looking for the best plastic piccolos, I found there aren’t many with plastic headjoints.
While a metal headjoint can be nice, it can be harder to blend with the woodwinds or other orchestral instruments.
Consider what your goals are when playing the piccolo. Sure, the Jupiter JPC1010 and Gemeinhardt 4P are two full-plastic models, but I didn’t find any others like them.
Another drawback, especially for advanced piccolo players is that these models don’t have a ton of unique specs. Many of them have a split E mechanism.
But if you want other specs, like more headjoint cuts, you’ll need to look into composite and wood piccolos.
Are Plastic Piccolos Good?
Plastic piccolos can be great for students and casual players. You don’t have to worry about the instrument cracking like you do when playing a wood model.
On the other hand, plastic piccolos don’t sound as shrill as metal piccolos. That makes them a great compromise, especially if you don’t have a ton of cash to spend.
Is Gemeinhardt a Good Brand?
Gemeinhardt is a great piccolo brand. In the past, it didn’t have the best reputation, but the company has started making better and better instruments.
Because of that, I’d be careful about buying a used Gemeinhardt plastic piccolo. Make sure it’s from the past few years so that you can get the best possible model.
How Much Does a Good Piccolo Cost?
A good piccolo can cost anywhere from $500 to $20,000. When it comes to plastic models, they cost between $500 and $1,500 depending on the brand and condition.
On the used market, you can find piccolos for even less, sometimes as low as $200.
When it comes to the best plastic piccolos, you can’t go wrong with the Yamaha YPC-32 or the Gemeinhardt 4P. But you should try a few models to get the right one for you.
Just make sure you review a piccolo fingering chart so that you can play your new piccolo in tune.