Do you want to get better at playing the piccolo? I’d highly suggest playing some flute music on your piccolo to help master the small flute.
You can play music you already know how to play so that you don’t have to learn the notes. That will give you more time to focus on piccolo techniques, so read on for some tips.
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Consider the Range
The first thing you should do is choose flute music to play on your piccolo. I’d suggest looking at the range of the flute part to determine how it might work on your smaller instrument.
For one, most piccolos can’t play below a written D4 (the D just below the treble clef staff). That means you might want to avoid music with a lot of low Cs, C#s, and Bs, or you’ll need to play those notes up an octave or leave them out.
On the other hand, you might also avoid pieces with super high notes. I’m talking about written D7 and above, which is already rare on the flute but can be more difficult to play on the piccolo.
If you’re a beginner piccolo player, I’d also recommend staying relatively low in the piccolo range. The high notes, like high G and above can be difficult to produce without practice.
Plus, they’ll sound even higher when you play the flute music on your piccolo. Staying low can help you work on your flute tone, and you can use an embouchure more similar to the flute within the overlapping range.
You can also avoid annoying your roommates or neighbors when you don’t play too high. And that gives you time to practice the piccolo while looking for the best earplugs for you.
Read It on Flute
Another thing you might want to do is to read the flute music on your C flute first. This is particularly useful if you want to learn a piece that you haven’t studied at all.
Reading it on flute allows you to get the notes and hear the piece on an instrument that you might be more comfortable playing. Of course, if you have a lot of piccolo experience, you can bypass this step.
As a beginner though, it helps to practice something on your flute first. Then, you’ll know the notes, and you can transfer those skills to the piccolo while you focus more on the embouchure and intonation.
Even if you won’t play flute music that goes too high, I still suggest wearing a pair of earplugs. I use Etymotic earplugs, which are great at minimizing the sound without blocking it completely.
That means you can protect your hearing, but you’ll still be able to hear yourself play. You can make sure you’re staying in tune throughout a piece.
If you lose your hearing, you can’t get it back. The piccolo can get loud, and it’s so close to your right ear, that hearing loss isn’t that uncommon among piccolo players and other musicians.
To get better at playing flute music on your piccolo, you should practice the piccolo regularly. You don’t need to play for hours and hours all seven days a week.
However, you should follow a consistent practice schedule that you can stick to. Then, you’ll be able to retain the skills you learn, and you can continue to get better.
Be sure to practice the flute music you want to learn. But make time to practice scales, long tones, and other fundamental exercises so that your piccolo playing can improve overall.
Good Flute Music to Play on Piccolo
If you’re ready to find some flute music to learn on the piccolo, you need to choose the right piece. Some works are better suited to the piccolo, while others really should just be for the C flute.
Here are some of my favorite pieces originally for the flute that work well on the piccolo.
Since Telemann was a Baroque composer, the flute range at the time was smaller than today. That means the fantasias don’t go too high, so they’re perfect for the piccolo.
I’ve actually only ever performed these fantasias on my piccolo, though I have read through them on flute. The pieces work well, and they’re unaccompanied, so you don’t need a pianist to play with you.
CPE Bach Sonata in A Minor
The CPE Bach Sonata in A Minor is another excellent flute piece you can learn on the piccolo. It’s an early classical work, so it doesn’t go too high up.
But it still has some high notes to help you explore the upper range of the piccolo. I haven’t performed this piece on the piccolo, but I think it would be a great choice, and it’s also unaccompanied.
Why Should You Play Flute Music on the Piccolo?
You may want to play flute music on the piccolo so that you can learn the piccolo using music you’ve studied already. That can help you focus more on the technique than getting the correct notes.
I also think it can help you reinforce your flute playing. You can play a flute piece on piccolo and then again on flute, and you might notice an improvement in your sound.
Will You Play Flute Music on Piccolo?
Playing flute music on the piccolo can be fun, but you need to choose and learn the right repertoire. I’ve played a few of the Telemann Fantasias on the piccolo, and they work great.
Be sure to choose music you like and that doesn’t go too high or too low. And if you want to learn more about playing the piccolo, head to the resources page.