Best Yamaha Piccolos: Your Guide

Do you want to become a good piccolo player? Without the right instrument, such as some of the Yamaha piccolos, that can be much more difficult.

Best Yamaha Piccolos: Your Guide | Piccolo Perfection

Yamaha can be a good brand to consider as a beginner, professional, or anywhere in between. The company makes piccolos to suit a variety of needs, so consider some of the best models.

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Yamaha YPC-32

If you’re looking for student piccolos, the Yamaha YPC-32 is an excellent option. The piccolo is relatively affordable, so you may want to try it if you’re new to the piccolo.

This model is similar to a lot of other student models. If you’ve played a Yamaha flute and liked it, you may like this piccolo. But you might not like it either.

I’ve never played it myself, but I know people who have and who have enjoyed it. Consider this Yamaha piccolo in more detail.

Features and Specs

The Yamaha YPC-32 features a plastic body and a silver-plated headjoint. It’s very durable thanks to the ABS resin body, so you can play it inside or outside.

Yamaha uses contoured keys that make it easy to feel the keys as you play. That way, you can have a smooth technique when playing almost anything on the instrument.

It also features a spilt E mechanism, which helps control the sound of the third-octave E. The G key is also offset, so you don’t have to reach as far to cover the key when you play.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Easy to play
  • Suitable for all environments
  • Great for students
  • Nice sound

Cons

  • Not for professionals
  • A bit overpriced for what it is

Who It’s For

The Yamaha YPC-32 is one of the best Yamaha piccolos for beginners. If you aren’t sure you’ll play the piccolo a lot, it doesn’t make sense to invest in a wood model.

But this piccolo can still sound great as you learn the basics. If and when you upgrade, you can keep this piccolo on hand as a backup. And if you don’t have a backup, you can buy this model to be yours.

The YPC-32 is also great for casual players. If you can’t justify spending a ton of money but still want a good instrument, this piccolo can hold up.

Who It’s Not For

As I said before, I haven’t played this model. If you already have a student piccolo, this won’t be much of an upgrade. You’d be better off saving a bit more money to get a wood or at least a composite piccolo.

The YPC-32 also isn’t the best for serious players. If you want to play in an orchestra or as a soloist, you should at least consider a wood model. When that’s too expensive, composite piccolos are available.

Either way, if you want to take the piccolo seriously, you shouldn’t rely on this model. It can be a good backup instrument, but if you have one already, save your money and get a better piccolo.

Yamaha YPC-62

The next model in the lineup of Yamaha piccolos is the YPC-62. It’s an intermediate instrument, so it’s a good middle-level option.

Whether you’ve outgrown the YPC-32 or have a student piccolo from another brand, the YPC-62 is worth trying out. That way, you can determine if it’s the best piccolo for you.

Here’s what you need to know about this Yamaha piccolo.

Features and Specs

If you’re looking for a wood piccolo, the Yamaha YPC-62 may suit your needs. It features a grenadilla wood body and headjoint, so you can get a nice, warm sound in an orchestra.

I believe this is the model I played on when I was in college. The music department had piccolos that students could borrow. So I was able to use some wood Yamaha model for ensembles and solo music.

Like the other piccolo, this one has a split E mechanism. The keys are silver-plated to keep the price relatively affordable. And you can choose between a traditional and a wave headjoint.

Pros

  • Good sound
  • Easy to play
  • Different headjoints
  • Not too expensive
  • Split E mechanism

Cons

  • Low register isn’t the best
  • Not for beginners

Who It’s For

When looking at Yamaha piccolos, consider your needs. The YPC-62 is great for advancing players who need a wood instrument. It’s not as expensive as some other models.

You can get a warm tone without needing to spend all of your money. Plus, it has a lot of the same features as more professional piccolos. If you’re a casual player, that makes this model well worth it.

The piccolo is also a good option for flutists and woodwind doublers. If you aren’t a piccolo specialist it can be hard to justify spending thousands of dollars. But you can get a piccolo that suits your needs for less money.

Who It’s Not For

The Yamaha YPC-62 isn’t for beginners. Maintaining a wood piccolo takes a lot of time, and you have more to worry about. You need to warm up your instrument slowly to keep the wood from cracking.

It’s also not great for beginners because there are more affordable options. You should start with a piccolo that costs less. Then, you can upgrade if you want to stick with it.

I’d also say that piccolo specialists may want to avoid this model. It can work as a backup piccolo. But if you want to play the instrument a lot, you may want one with more handmade features.

Yamaha YPC-81

Another, more professional model is the Yamaha YPC-81. It may seem like this piccolo is the same as the 62, but there are some differences.

As you shop for your perfect piccolo, you should consider how these models compare. That way, you can figure out if one is right for you and your playing.

Here are some things to know about the YPC-81.

Features and Specs

This piccolo has a grenadilla wood body and headjoint. It features a split E mechanism as well as silver-plated keys. That makes it a nice option for a piccolo upgrade.

Unlike the other Yamaha piccolos, this one is completely handmade. If you want to try it, you may find different piccolos respond a bit differently, so try a few.

The piccolo comes with a traditional or wave headjoint, so you can get the sound you want. I believe this was one of the models I tried before buying my current piccolo, but it’s possible I tried a YPC-87, which is similar except it has sterling silver keys.

Pros

  • Handmade
  • Good sound
  • Different headjoints
  • Great for advanced players
  • Easy to play

Cons

  • A bit expensive
  • Not for piccolo specialists

Who It’s For

The Yamaha YPC-81 is an excellent piccolo for advanced flute players and woodwind doublers. If you need the best piccolo without spending as much money as some cost, this may be for you.

I’d also recommend this piccolo to people with the money. That way, you can bypass cheaper wood models, like the YPC-62.

This piccolo is also a good option for private teachers. Of course, you can play it, or you can rent it out to students. Then, they can learn on a good piccolo even if they can’t afford to buy one.

Who It’s Not For

If you’re going to spend a few thousand dollars, you want to get the perfect piccolo for you. When I was trying professional models, my professor said that Yamaha isn’t the best for serious piccolo players.

So if you want to take the piccolo seriously, Yamaha might not be for you. Of course, you can give it a try. I was able to try a Yamaha model, but I quickly learned it didn’t work for me.

The price point also means this model isn’t great for beginners. If you aren’t sure you’ll like playing the piccolo, you should stick to more affordable options.

What About the Yamaha YPC-82 and YPC-87?

The Yamaha YPC-82 is a professional piccolo with a wood body and a metal headjoint. I haven’t seen many people play it, so I can’t speak to how good it is.

Yamaha’s YPC-87 is another pro model. It has basically all of the same specs as the 81, but it has solid silver keys. That makes it a bit more expensive, and solid silver keys aren’t necessary.

Best Yamaha Piccolos for Who?

When looking for the best piccolo, you might come across Yamaha piccolos. The brand has multiple options, and these are three of the more popular models.

Whether you’re new to the piccolo or are looking to upgrade, give these piccolos a try. You may find the instrument that you love.

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