The highest note on a piccolo may be higher than you expect. For the longest time, I thought it was a written C7, but you can actually play even higher.
Do you want to know more about these extremely high notes? Keep reading to find out how high you can play.
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The Standard Highest Note on a Piccolo
The highest note on a piccolo in its standard range is a written C7. Since the piccolo is written an octave lower than it sounds, you’ll hear a sounding C8, which is the same as the highest note on a piano.
Now, that doesn’t mean these notes are easy to play. I remember really struggling to play a high B consistently on my Pearl 105, but it is a bit easier on some piccolos than others.
Other players have struggled to play high Bb, high C, and other notes in that range. Still, with practice, you can get those notes to come out fairly consistently.
The Absolute Highest Note on a Piccolo
I’ve never come across anything higher than a C7, but I have seen fingerings for as high as the Eb above that. If you like playing the super high notes, you can learn the higher pitches.
Then, if you ever come across one of them in your piccolo music, you’ll know how to play them. Of course, it takes practice, so I wouldn’t recommend that beginners attempt these notes.
You’ll also want to make sure your piccolo is in good condition. Consider taking it in for a COA first to get it into tip-top shape.
How to Play the Highest Note on a Piccolo
If you want to slowly expand your range, you should learn how to play the highest note on a piccolo. While I’ve never attempted it myself, here are a few things I’d try.
Learn the Standard Range First
Whether this is your first time picking up the piccolo or you’ve played for a while, make sure you know the standard range. The piccolo already goes pretty high, and you can get away with that range for almost any piece of music.
But if you’re comfortable playing up to a high C, you can slowly learn even higher notes.
Get Piccolo Maintenance
I briefly mentioned this, but it bears repeating. Before you try to play above high C, you need your piccolo to be in the best possible shape it can be.
Take your piccolo to a repair technician and have them do any repairs and regular maintenance. If your piccolo is even slightly out of alignment, playing the highest of high notes will be much more difficult.
Upgrade Your Piccolo
If you still can’t get the note to come out, you may need to practice the other notes and get those to sound good consistently.
But even that may not be enough. At some point, you might need to upgrade to a better piccolo with a more responsive upper register.
Do You Have to Play the Highest Note on a Piccolo?
I’ve played the piccolo since 2014, and I haven’t ever come across a piccolo part with notes higher than C7. So unless you really want to, there’s no reason you have to learn the extreme top notes.
What About the Lowest Note on a Piccolo?
On the other end of the range, you’ll find the lowest note on most piccolos is the D just above middle C. It’s a written D4, but the sounding pitch (of course) will be an octave higher.
Some higher-end piccolos can play down to a middle C, but those are rare. They’ll also cost you a pretty penny.
If you want to play the highest note on a piccolo, you’ll need to learn to play a written Eb7 (sounding Eb8). There may be fingerings for even higher notes, but that’s the highest one I’ve seen.
Want to learn how to play the notes near the top of the range? Check out our piccolo fingering chart!