Can Playing Piccolo Be Bad for You?

If you’re serious about the flute, you need to play the piccolo. But you may want to know, “can playing piccolo be bad for you?”

Can Playing Piccolo Be Bad for You? | Piccolo Perfection

There are a few risks, but risks come with a lot of different things. Consider what those risks are and how you can deal with the problems that may arise as a piccolo player.

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Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

One of the most obvious ways playing piccolo can be bad for you is that it can cost you your hearing. I’ve met a few older players who’ve lost some of their hearing as younger musicians.

While any musician can lose their hearing, us piccolo players are at an even higher risk. We play a small, high-pitched instrument, and we hold that instrument right next to the right ear.

And unfortunately, you can’t exactly get your hearing back once it goes away. So unless you’re careful, playing the piccolo could cost you your hearing over time.

How to Prevent It

The best way to prevent hearing loss is to do everything you can to protect your hearing. Of course, that means wearing earplugs when playing the piccolo.

I wear earplugs whenever I play anything above the staff. If I need to play really high notes, I may even add an earplug in my left ear for more protection.

You can also protect your hearing by not playing for too long at once. For example, I’ll stop practicing whenever I hear ringing in my ears to keep the ringing from getting worse.

How to Deal With It

Dealing with hearing loss isn’t easy. However, you should talk to an audiologist to test your hearing and figure out how much of your hearing is gone.

If you’ve lost a significant amount of hearing, you may want to wear a hearing aid. That way, you can have help hearing sounds when playing music and in your regular life.

But, no matter how much hearing you’ve lost, I’d still suggest that you wear earplugs to play the piccolo. Doing so will keep you from losing more hearing.

Muscle Tension

Another way in which playing piccolo can be bad for you is it can lead to tension throughout your body. A piccolo player is most likely to experience this in their lips, but it could also affect your hands, arms, and shoulders.

I know that I’ve had small bouts of tension, especially when playing something super fast or technical. You have to put a lot of focus into the instrument.

And when you’re new to the piccolo, you may also develop tension due to its smaller size. The tension can then affect you outside of the practice room.

How to Prevent It

Preventing muscle tension can be done in a few ways. First, I’d recommend taking regular practice breaks so that you don’t play for too long at a time.

Take breaks every 20 minutes or so, for example. You can also prevent tension by stretching your muscles before and during your practice sessions.

When it comes to preventing muscle tension in the lips, I’d start by practicing the low register of the piccolo. Slowly work your way up the range, and stop when you start to feel your lips getting tight.

How to Deal With It

A lot of the ways to prevent tension can also help you deal with existing tension. As soon as your lips or other muscles start to tense up, you’ll want to stop playing.

Let yourself relax, and stretch out the muscles that feel tight. If the tension is severe, you may want to work with a doctor or even a musician’s health expert.

Financial Commitment

The other ways in which playing piccolo can be bad have to do with your physical health. But playing another instrument aside from the flute can also hurt your bank account.

Good piccolos start at around $1,000, even for student models. Not only that, but they can go up to $20,000 at the professional level, and most models cost anywhere from $1,500 to $7,000.

Once you buy a piccolo, you’ll then have to pay for ongoing maintenance and repairs. Those can add up, and it doesn’t include the cost of sheet music or accessories.

How to Prevent It

Sadly, the only real way to prevent the financial aspects of playing the piccolo is to not play it at all. But if you need or want to play it, your best bet is to buy the best but also most affordable model you can find.

You can look for a used model, and those almost always cost less than their new equivalents. Another option is to save up for a few months before making your next upgrade.

Then, you’ll have time to set money aside, so the purchase won’t feel like such a big deal.

How to Deal With It

You can deal with the financial aspects of playing the piccolo by saving money. I might even set up a separate savings account just for a new piccolo.

Set up a specific amount of money to save each month or from each paycheck. That way, by the time you’re ready to buy a new instrument, you’ll have enough money ready.

Can Playing Piccolo Be Bad for You?

Playing piccolo can be bad for you if you’re not careful. But if you wear earplugs and stretch before playing, you can reduce the physical effects of the instrument.

Don’t forget to take plenty of practice breaks and listen to your body. That way, you can enjoy playing the piccolo when you do practice or perform.

And the next time you practice the piccolo, be sure you use a metronome!

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