Do you want to upgrade your instrument? You should look at some of the best professional piccolos.
These instruments are all handmade and use wood, though some use metal. Either way, you need to be extra careful to choose the right model so that you don’t waste your money.
Read on to learn more.
My personal favorite line of professional piccolos comes from Hammig. This is a German brand, and they specialize in piccolos for advanced players.
I currently have a Hammig 650/3, which is the second level model. The 650/2 is the lowest model number, and they’re pretty similar. All of the Hammig piccolos use wood.
If you get the 651/4, you’ll get cocus wood. All of the other models all use grenadilla, which is a pretty common piccolo wood. The 650/2 and 650/3 have silver plated keys, while the others use solid silver.
Another excellent brand to consider when shopping for professional piccolos is Burkart. I tried a Burkart Professional model, and it worked pretty well, but it wasn’t the best fit *for me.*
Along with the Professional model, this brand has an Elite piccolo. The company has also partnered with Mancke, who is a flute and piccolo headjoint maker. That way, you can get the best combo for you.
Burkart sells the Resona piccolo, but that’s more of an intermediate model. Any of the piccolos from Burkart are worth trying. You may find that they suit you better than any other company.
Powell is yet another brand that makes some fantastic professional piccolos. They offer the Signature and Handmade Custom models, and the Signature is slightly more affordable.
Both models come in grenadilla wood and have silver keys. If you want the Handmade Custom piccolo, you can also get it in Kingwood. But that will cost more than the grenadilla option.
Like Burkart, Powell makes an intermediate piccolo. The Sonare is a great option, but it’s not quite as professional as the other models. Still, it’s great for anyone on a budget.
If you’re looking for your forever piccolo, you may want to check out Keefe. However, you’re going to have to be patient. I’ve heard they have a three-year long waitlist for instruments.
But the piccolos are well made and sound great. You also get to customize your piccolo with special keys. Keefe offers more features than a lot of other brands.
Now, that three-year wait can actually come in handy. It gives you time to save up the money to afford these instruments. Because they are far from cheap.
The Nagahara Mini is a piccolo, but it has a slightly different design. For one, it has a cylindrical bore rather than a conical bore. It also lets you play a low C and even a low B.
Most piccolos only go down to a low D. But this piccolo costs quite a bit more than some other professional piccolos. I’m not sure why, but the price increased significantly in the past few years.
Like some other makers, you can choose from grenadilla as well as other woods. That way, you can get the sound and response you want out of your instrument.
If you want to look at used professional piccolos, Haynes is a good option. You can find metal and wood models, and there’s even a Db piccolo (but you’ll have to find a used one).
Haynes is more well-known for making flutes. But the piccolos are worth trying. If you want a pro model, look specifically for Haynes. Like some companies, they also make intermediate instruments.
But the Haynes Amadeus piccolo is a new option. It may be worth trying out if you can’t find a Haynes piccolo that you like.
Yamaha professional piccolos aren’t as good as those from other brands. But they’re still worth testing when looking for one. I tried a Yamaha, but I can’t remember which model.
These piccolos are great for flute players who need a good piccolo. If you want to specialize in the piccolo, they aren’t quite as good. But they do the job, and they’re more affordable than comparable models.
Be sure to at least try the YPC-81, YPC-82, or YPC-87. Then, you can see if any of the models meet your needs. They may be just fine based on how and when you plan to play the piccolo.
Buying Guide for Professional Piccolos
If you’re ready to upgrade, you should know how to shop for professional piccolos. That way, you can make sure to spend your money wisely and get an instrument you love.
Here are some essential tips to help you choose a pro instrument.
Try, Try, Try
If you only follow one tip, make it this: try as many professional piccolos as you can. The more models you try, the more you’ll learn about what you do and don’t like.
You can try different brands and models to see what works. At this level, some instruments fit some players better than others. I may love my Hammig, but I know others who would never play one.
Give yourself plenty of time to test out each piccolo thoroughly. Then, you can determine which one suits you and your playing.
Consider an Aftermarket Headjoint
Maybe you try a lot of piccolos but can’t find the one. Before you give up your search, consider getting a separate headjoint. Sometimes, a different head can make a world of difference.
You might find you get a better tone or response. Look at brands such as Mancke and Hernandez to see which headjoints work for you.
While you can make the standard setup work, you might need to upgrade. You can also look at aftermarket headjoints to fit your current piccolo, and that’s a much cheaper upgrade option.
Set a Budget
Do some research on the pricing of professional piccolos. Once you see what’s out there, set a realistic budget. Consider how much you have to spend now and when you want to buy.
Then, you can decide if you’ll want to save up a certain amount. If so, you’ll have more piccolos to consider.
I’d recommend budgeting at least $5,000 to $6,000 for a pro piccolo. There are some that cost less, but there aren’t that many choices. You’d also probably have to stick to some used models in that range.
Review the Woods
When you get into the world of professional piccolos, you may notice they come in different woods. You should try piccolos or at least headjoints in various materials to see what you like.
Of course, you can listen to recordings to narrow your search. Then, when you set up a trial, you can order the models you think you’ll like the most.
Aside from grenadilla, some popular woods include cocus wood, olive wood, and pink ivory. But you can find tons more from various brands.
Before you buy a piccolo, consider if it’s the perfect fit. If not, keep looking until you find one you can’t live without. Professional piccolos are very expensive, so you have to choose the right model for you.
You might luck out and find that piccolo during your first trial. But it could take a few sessions to figure out if a piccolo suits you.
The good news is that if you don’t find a piccolo right away, you have time to save more money. That can open up your options to a model that you like even more.
Which Professional Piccolos Will You Try?
There are more professional piccolos out there than you may think. If you’re looking to upgrade, you have a lot to consider.
Be sure to stick to reputable brands and set a budget. Then, you’ll be able to try piccolos you can afford to find the right match.