If you’re looking to play the piccolo, you may wonder how much your piccolo flute will cost. The price can range significantly, so there’s no single answer.
A lot of things go into calculating the expected price. Keep reading to learn more about how much you should spend on a good piccolo.
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One of the biggest factors that can affect the cost of a piccolo or flute is the materials. For example, plastic is one of the most affordable options, making up a lot of student piccolos.
You can also find silver-plated or even the occasional solid silver instrument. On the high end of pricing, you’ll find woods, including common ones like grenadilla and more boutique woods, like cocus wood.
If you’re on a budget, look for cheaper materials, like plastic or silver plating. That way, you can still get a decent piccolo but without a super high price.
Another big thing that affects the cost of a piccolo is whether it’s handmade or machine made. As you may expect, cheaper models are made entirely or in part by machines.
Professional piccolos tend to be made by hand. That allows for more precision, but it also means there can be differences in the response, even of two piccolos that are the same model.
I’ve shopped around and seen and tested lots of piccolos. You can find two piccolos with the same materials and at the same level but at very different prices all because they’re from different brands.
A good example of this is the Lyric piccolo and Burkart Resona. They’re both grenadilla with silver-plated keys, a split E mechanism, and come with a wave headjoint (the Resona can also come with a traditional cut).
Despite those similarities, the Lyric piccolo is over $1,000 less than the Burkart.
Different specs can also add onto the standard piccolo cost. The split E mechanism is becoming standard on many piccolos, but there are a few models where it will cost extra.
At the professional level, you also get into more specs, such as the high G# mechanism or vented C key. Not all models have those as options, but when they are an option, they’ll increase the final price of the piccolo.
If you’re shopping for an intermediate or professional piccolo, you often get to choose between at least two headjoint cuts. The traditional and wave cuts are both popular.
Some brands offer other headjoint cuts that you won’t find from any other company. The right headjoint cut can make a huge difference in how the instrument responds, and we all have our own preferences.
For better or worse, alternate options, like the wave cut sometimes cost more than the standard cut.
Another thing to consider regarding the cost of a piccolo or flute is whether it’s new or used. New piccolos almost always cost more than used ones.
Even within the used market, there can be some variation based on the condition. If a piccolo is ready to play, it will cost more than a piccolo that requires some repairs first.
How Much Should You Spend on a Piccolo?
The amount you should spend on a piccolo depends on a lot of things. If you’re buying your first piccolo, I’d spend no more than around $1,200.
When you’re ready to upgrade to an intermediate model, prepare to spend $1,200 to $3,000 or so. And if you’re looking for a professional instrument, you may need to spend $3,000 up to $6,000 or more.
How Much Does the Average Piccolo Cost?
The average piccolo costs anywhere from $500 to $20,000 or more. However, most models range between $1,500 and $7,000 when they’re new.
Buying a used piccolo could help you save anywhere from $100 to $1,000 or or so. The specifics depend on the piccolo model and condition.
Why Is a Piccolo More Expensive Than a Flute?
Piccolos can be more expensive than flutes for a few reasons. First, the piccolo is smaller and so requires more precision to manufacture.
Everything has to be just right for the piccolo to sound good and to even play in tune.
Can You Rent a Piccolo?
If you can’t afford to buy a piccolo, you can rent one. Many music stores offer student models for rent just like a beginner flute or clarinet.
When you’re in college, you can also borrow a piccolo owned by the university. I did this in undergrad so that I could use a wood model in wind ensemble and orchestra.
Knowing how much the average piccolo or flute will cost you is vital before a big purchase. Be sure to consider factors that affect the price, from the material to the condition.
That way, you’ll have an idea of how much money you need to save up for your new piccolo. And when the time comes to try a piccolo, don’t forget to play around with alternate fingerings from a piccolo fingering chart.