Do you love playing the piccolo and want to get better at it? You should consider a Hammig piccolo like the 650/3, which is a pro-level instrument.
After playing this piccolo for about a year and a half, I still love how it sounds. I’ve played it solo and in an orchestra, and I think it sounds great and is easy to play. But it might not be for you, so read on to help decide for sure.
But first, this post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure policy to learn more.
What Is the Hammig Piccolo 650/3?
The Hammig 650/3 piccolo is a handmade wood model. It’s a good choice if you’re looking for a wood model or to upgrade from a student instrument.
I’ve had and played a Hammig 650/3 for almost a year and a half, and I love it. Of course, I know it’s not for everyone, so you should consider the features and specs to help decide if it’s a good fit for you.
Features and Specs
The Hammig 650/3 has a grenadilla wood headjoint and body. You can choose between a traditional headjoint, wave headjoint, and a modified wave headjoint. I went with the wave headjoint, and it helps me direct my air into the instrument.
Regardless of the headjoint style you choose, the body will feature a silver-plated mechanism. The piccolo also has a split E mechanism and a high G# facilitator.
A high G# facilitator is only available on higher-end piccolos. It helps you play the high G#/Ab in tune even when you have to play the note quietly.
- Multiple headjoint styles
- G# facilitator
- Full tone
- Easy to play
- Pretty expensive
- Wood can crack
Who It’s For
If you’re considering any Hammig piccolo, including the 650/3, you may wonder if it’s worth trying. And I’d recommend trying any piccolo first if you can so that you get a chance to test it for yourself.
Either way, it’s helpful to get an idea of the piccolo models you want to try. Then, you can schedule a trial or go ahead and buy the piccolo if you have tried it before.
Here are a few types of players who should consider the Hammig 650/3.
Since the piccolo is a wood model, it’s a great choice for many professionals. It’s also handmade, which can help set it apart from lower-priced wood piccolos.
I’ve tried other wood piccolos, but they weren’t that different from my Pearl 105 piccolo. That model is a composite instrument, so it’s a combination of wood and plastic.
However, when I tried the Hammig piccolo, I felt and heard a massive difference. So if you want a significant upgrade, you may want to get this model.
Even if you don’t currently play the piccolo professionally, you may still want to get a Hammig piccolo. If you’re in school for flute and piccolo performance, it makes sense to invest in a better instrument.
You can also be out of school but still studying music on your own. I know that as a student, I couldn’t afford to spend multiple thousands of dollars on flutes.
But as I was nearing the end of my master’s degree, I did have enough money saved up. So I got to try the Hammig 650/3, and I ended up choosing it as my next instrument.
You don’t have to be a music major or professional player to get a Hammig. If you’re serious about the piccolo and play it in a community ensemble or on your own, you may want a good model.
Sure, you can get away with a Pearl 105 or a similar piccolo. There are plenty of beginner and intermediate models that you can use to play well, but there may come a time when your piccolo is holding you back.
At that point, you should look into getting a professional piccolo. You can save up money over a few months or years to help afford one of these instruments.
Who It Isn’t For
As much as I love my Hammig piccolo, I’m the first to admit that not every piccoloist should buy it. This model is a huge investment, so you might want to wait and stick to your current model for a while.
Of course, you may fall into the prior categories, but you might not like the piccolo. But there are a few groups of piccolo players who might want to avoid this and other professional models.
If you’re completely new to playing the piccolo, I’d recommend avoiding wood piccolos, period. For one, you don’t know for sure yet if you’ll want to continue playing it.
Wood piccolos, including those from Hammig, require a lot more maintenance than a metal or plastic model. You should get a more affordable model that will be easier to care for.
If you still love playing the piccolo after a year or so, you can look into wooden instruments. Then, you’ll have a better chance of sticking with it and getting good use out of your investment.
Marching Band Members
Even if you’ve played the piccolo before, consider if you plan to get a new one for marching band. If so, you should look for a plastic, metal, or composite piccolo for that purpose.
Wood can crack easily, especially if you take it into extreme heat or extreme cold. During a season, a marching band can go through all different climates.
You may also drop your piccolo, or you might need to set it down during a dance sequence. It’s better to do that with a more affordable, more durable model and keep your wood piccolo for indoor playing.
Anyone on a Budget
It may sound obvious, but you shouldn’t buy something you can’t afford. Now, you may be able to finance your Hammig piccolo, which can help you spread out the cost.
But you have to plan for that monthly payment, and you may have to pay more in interest. If you really want to get a more expensive model, it’s better to wait and save up for it.
Then, you can try multiple professional piccolos from Hammig and other companies. When you have the funds, you can compare piccolos to help decide which one suits you best.
If you’re still interested in getting a Hammig piccolo, the 650/3 or otherwise, here are some things you may want to know.
How Do the 650/3 and 650/2 Compare?
The Hammig 650/3 is only a few hundred dollars more than the 650/2. It seems like that extra money isn’t worth it, but the cheaper Hammig piccolo doesn’t have the G# facilitator.
When I was comparing these two models during a trial, I thought spending more was worth it. I knew I would have the piccolo for years, so it made sense to get the extra spec.
How Does the Hammig 650/3 Sound?
The Hammig 650/3 has a nice, full sound, especially in the low register. Even as you play higher notes, you can maintain a good tone, and you can change tone colors.
Now, the exact response can depend on the headjoint style you select. However, it’s pretty easy to swap out headjoints, even from other companies, to help get your ideal sound.
Why Would You Upgrade to a Hammig Piccolo?
If you feel like your current model is holding you back, you may want to upgrade to a Hammig piccolo. When I was trying professional piccolos, I enjoyed the piccolo I had.
However, I couldn’t get as rich of a sound as I wanted. While the piccolo isn’t the darkest sounding flute, it’s still important to have a model that helps you play how you want.
Where Can You Buy the Hammig 650/3?
You can buy the Hammig 650/3 online through music stores or other marketplaces. If you want to try the piccolo first, most flute specialty shops will let you set up a trial of multiple piccolos.
However, if you’ve tried the 650/3, you can buy it outright. Then, you can wait for the seller to ship it to you, and you don’t have to go out looking for piccolos at stores near you.
Should You Buy the Hammig Piccolo New or Used?
You can buy a new or used Hammig piccolo. Buying a new one means it will almost certainly be in good condition, so you won’t have to take it to a repair technician right away.
However, if you can find a used one in good condition, you can save some money. Professional piccolos tend to hold their value, but you may still get a small discount.
Will You Buy the Hammig Piccolo 650/3?
If you’re looking to improve your piccolo playing, you need the best instrument you can get. For me, that meant buying a Hammig piccolo, specifically the 650/3.
But for you, that might look a bit different. Be sure to consider if a pro model is right for you. If so, get your hands on one or more so that you can decide which piccolo suits your needs.