Gemeinhardt Piccolo Guide: Metal, Plastic, and Wood

You’re ready to get your first or next piccolo, but you aren’t sure where to start. As you go shopping, consider if a Gemeinhardt piccolo meets your needs.

Gemeinhardt Piccolo Guide: Metal, Plastic, and Wood | Piccolo Perfection

It may not be the most professional brand, but it carries tons of options at other levels. Read on to learn about the brand’s popular piccolos and how they compare.

But first, this post contains affiliate links. Check out the full disclosure policy to learn more.

What Is a Gemeinhardt Piccolo?

A Gemeinhardt piccolo is one that comes from the American flute brand of the same name. The company makes piccolos for beginners and intermediate players.

Compared to some other piccolo brands, you can find a lot of different models. That way, you can find an instrument that works well for you and your playing style.

Gemeinhardt 4PMH

The Gemeinhardt 4PMH features a silver-plated headjoint and a plastic body with silver-plated keys. Unlike a lot of similar models from other brands, this one doesn’t use a cork, so you don’t have to worry about cork grease.

It’s also more affordable than some other piccolos with similar specs. You can play this model in marching band, concert band, and other performance settings.

Who It’s For

This piccolo is perfect for anyone who is new to the instrument. If you’re looking to expand your flute playing skills, you should start with a student piccolo.

I’d also recommend the model to anyone on a small budget. You can get a new 4PMH and get a good sound without needing to save a ton of money.

Where to Buy

You can buy this Gemeinhardt piccolo online or from a flute or music shop. Unfortunately, this brand isn’t as widely available as some other brands, but you still have a few options to choose from.

Should You Buy It Used?

Buying a used Gemeinhardt 4PMH is a good way to save a bit of money. So if you really don’t have a ton of extra cash but need a piccolo, this is a good choice.

Just make sure you can inspect the quality of the piccolo before finalizing your purchase. Then, you’ll know if the piccolo will need some repairs done to make it playable again.

Gemeinhardt 4PSH

The Gemeinhardt 4PSH is very similar to the previous model, but there’s one essential difference. Instead of a silver-plated headjoint, this model comes with a solid silver headjoint.

That can give you a bit of a different tone when playing the piccolo. So if you don’t like the sound of a silver-plated headjoint, you may prefer this model.

Who It’s For

I’d recommend this piccolo to beginners or intermediate players who want a decent yet affordable upgrade. This model is also nice for anyone with a nickel allergy.

Most silver-plated piccolos and headjoints use nickel as the base metal. So if the plating wears off, you could have a bad reaction to the headjoint, but that won’t happen with solid silver.

Where to Buy

You can find this Gemeinhardt piccolo from many of the same stores as the other models. But this piccolo isn’t as popular as the others, so you may have to search for a while.

Should You Buy It Used?

Buying a used 4PSH can be a great option, especially if you can’t quite afford a new one. A used model is also a good option for beginners who may have the money but can’t justify spending it on a new piccolo.

If possible, test the piccolo before you buy it. Or only buy a used piccolo from a reputable music store that repairs the piccolos they sell before shipping them to customers.

Gemeinhardt 4SP

A lot of players start on a piccolo with a plastic body, but some of us (myself included) start on an all-metal model. The Gemeinhardt 4SP features a silver-plated headjoint, body, and mechanism.

I appreciate how this piccolo comes with a hand grip for your left hand so that it’s comfortable to hold. The piccolo isn’t the most affordable from the brand, but it’s still a great value for the cost.

Who It’s For

I started on a very similar piccolo to this one (an Armstrong 204), so I’d recommend this model to beginners. The piccolo is also suitable for use in a marching band or other outdoor gigs.

So even as you advance, you may want to get this piccolo to use as a backup. It can handle temperature changes pretty well, and you can project your sound very easily.

Where to Buy

You can buy the Gemeinhardt 4SP from a lot of the same places as other models. Like any piccolo, though, the stock can vary between stores and depend on when you’re shopping for one. For example, the demand for all-metal piccolos often peaks in the summer due to the upcoming marching band season.

Gemeinhardt 4SH

A very similar piccolo to consider is the Gemeinhardt 4SH. Like the previous model, this one has a silver-plated body and mechanism, but the headjoint is solid silver.

Like with the C flute, adding a solid silver head can help you get a slightly warmer tone. The rest of the specs are the same, such as the left hand finger rest.

Who It’s For

If you play outside a lot but are outgrowing a silver-plated piccolo, this is a good upgrade. You can get a better sound without having to spend a ton of money on a new instrument.

I’d also recommend this model to anyone who needs a backup piccolo. You can keep this piccolo in storage and pull it out occasionally when your primary piccolo is out for maintenance.

Where to Buy

Compared to other Gemeinhardt piccolo models, this one is a bit hard to find. However, it’s available from many of the same stores as the other instruments.

Should You Buy It Used?

It can be a great option to buy a used Gemeinhardt 4SH if you can find one. Like with other piccolos, you can get the model for cheaper than a new one.

Gemeinhardt 4S

Are you looking for a solid silver piccolo? You may want to try the Gemeinhardt 4S, which comes with a sterling silver headjoint and body, but the mechanism is silver-plated.

It looks almost identical to the other metal models, but the higher silver content can help you get a bright, gorgeous tone. That means it’s a good upgrade, but you could arguably use it as your first piccolo if you’re already skilled at the flute.

Who It’s For

This piccolo from Gemeinhardt is perfect for players who like the sound and feel of metal instruments. If you want to project your sound over a large ensemble, you can do it with this model.

However, the solid silver content keeps the piccolo from sounding too shrill. It’s a great choice for people who play in a marching band or other outdoor groups.

Where to Buy

You’ll find this piccolo available from many of the same music and flute shops as others from the brand. It might also be available on some used marketplaces online.

Should You Buy It Used?

Once again, a used piccolo can be a great way to help you save money. If you don’t have much money, you can look for one on the used market, and you can get more piccolo for your money.

Gemeinhardt 4SS

The Gemeinhardt 4SS doesn’t have any silver-plated parts because even the keys are made of solid silver. I don’t know that solid silver keys will affect the sound, but they will affect the price.

Still, this piccolo is a good option if you have the money for it. All of the other specs are very similar to other models from Gemeinhardt.

Who It’s For

If you have a serious nickel allergy, including skin contact, this piccolo can be a good option. You don’t have to worry about the plating wearing off and causing you to contact nickel.

I’d also recommend this piccolo to band players who need the best possible sound. If you find that wood models aren’t for you, you can still get an advanced instrument.

Where to Buy

You can search for this Gemeinhardt piccolo online, such as music retail stores. Local stores may also have the instrument in stock depending on where you live.

Should You Buy It Used?

If you have trouble finding a new 4SS, used is a great alternative. In my brief search, I found a few used ones for sale, but they may go fast.

Be sure to check a few used marketplaces, and test the piccolo if at all possible. Then, you can make sure it’s in working condition, or you can set aside some money for repairs.

Gemeinhardt 4P

Moving away from metal models, there’s the Gemeinhardt 4P. It comes with a plastic body and headjoint, and the mechanism is silver-plated.

That makes it an amazing choice for students who need a piccolo for indoor and outdoor playing. The plastic keeps it from sounding too shrill, but you don’t have to worry about wood cracking.

Who It’s For

I’d recommend this piccolo to beginners who are looking for their first model. It’s also a nice choice for an upgrade from a piccolo with a metal headjoint and/or body.

Another good use for this piccolo is as a backup for outdoor gigs or whenever your main piccolo needs repairs. You can still get a good sound out of the instrument.

Where to Buy

You can find the Gemeinhardt 4P from many different flute and music stores. It’s also available online, and your local music store might carry it as well.

Should You Buy It Used?

Buying this model used can be the perfect way to get your hands on a piccolo. Plastic can stay in good shape for a long time, so it shouldn’t be a huge problem if the seller has kept the piccolo in storage for a while.

Gemeinhardt 4W

The Gemeinhardt 4W is a good wood piccolo from the brand. It features grenadilla wood for both the body and headjoint, so you can get a warm, resonant sound.

I love how the body tenon doesn’t have a cork that you have to keep moist. But you’ll still have to care for it like any other piccolo and not play it in extreme climates.

Who It’s For

I’d recommend the 4W piccolo to anyone who’s at an intermediate or advanced level. It’s a good choice for an amateur player or a music major who can’t justify spending $5,000 or more on a professional instrument.

The instrument is also suitable for woodwind doublers. But I wouldn’t recommend it as your first piccolo since wood isn’t ideal for beginners.

Where to Buy

You can buy this Gemeinhardt piccolo from a variety of flute shops, and some repair techs may also have them if they’re also in flute sales. Individuals may sell their used ones online or locally.

Should You Buy It Used?

Buying a used Gemeinhardt 4W is a good option if you want to get the piccolo for a lower price. But you’ll need to be more careful with wood models than other materials.

Be sure to ask the seller about any history of cracks and of where they’ve kept the piccolo. That way, you can make sure it’s worth the asking price.

Gemeinhardt 4WSSK

Another great model to check out is the Gemeinhardt 4WSSK. It’s very similar to the other wood model in that it uses grenadilla wood for the headjoint and body.

However, the mechanism is solid silver instead of silver-plated. That makes it a bit more expensive, and it’s the closest you’ll get to a professional piccolo from the brand.

Who It’s For

This Gemeinhardt piccolo is perfect for anyone who performs inside, such as in an orchestra. I’d recommend it specifically for anyone who has a nickel allergy.

But you’ll need a bigger budget to be able to afford the piccolo whether it’s new or used. That makes it a nice choice for professional flute players who want a good piccolo but don’t need a more costly model.

Where to Buy

In my search, the 4WSSK is one of the rarer models, so you may need to search to find one. But you can look at flute and general music stores as well as online.

Should You Buy It Used?

If you want to try this Gemeinhardt piccolo, you can check out the used market. But like with any piccolo, you’ll want to inspect the condition to make sure it’s a good fit for you.

Which Gemeinhardt Piccolo Is Best for You?

The best Gemeinhardt piccolo for you depends on your playing level, goals, and preferences. Beginners should start with the 4PMH or 4P, while advanced players will most likely prefer the 4W or 4WSSK.

Consider your budget as well to help narrow your search for the right piccolo. Then, you won’t go broke trying to buy an instrument new or used.

Is a Gemeinhardt Piccolo Right for You?

Gemeinhardt is a great brand for some players but not everyone. If you play a Gemeinhardt flute or a flute or piccolo from another American brand, you’re more likely going to like these piccolos.

But if you prefer flutes from Japanese brands, you may not get as good of a sound. In that case, you’ll want to look into some other companies.

What About Roy Seaman Piccolos?

Gemeinhardt also makes the line of Roy Seaman piccolos, which are perfect for intermediate players. Check out my full guide to Roy Seaman to decide if any of those models are a better choice for you.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re new to playing the piccolo or need an upgrade, you may want to consider a Gemeinhardt piccolo or two. This brand makes way more piccolos than many other companies, so there’s something for almost everyone.

Be sure to give this brand a try to learn if it’s the right one for you. Don’t forget to test drive your new piccolo and use a piccolo fingering chart to figure out if you need to use some alternate fingerings to play in tune.

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