Are you trying to decide where to buy a piccolo? If you’re looking for your first one or an upgrade, where you buy can make a huge difference.
There are tons of places you can go to search for a piccolo. Whether you want a new or used one, give yourself time to shop around to let your next piccolo choose you.
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Where to Buy a Piccolo New
A new piccolo can be a good option for a beginner or someone looking for an upgrade. Of course, buying a new piccolo will cost more, but it may be worth it.
If you really need or want a new piccolo, you should consider where to buy one. That way, you’ll have plenty of choices so that you can get the best instrument for you.
Here are a few places where you can buy a new piccolo.
Local Music Store
Depending on where you live, you might have a music store nearby. The store might be local, or it could be a national chain that has a location in your city.
Either way, going to a local music store to buy a piccolo is easy. You don’t have to worry about traveling a ton. And the store can handle shipping if they don’t have piccolos for you in stock.
I’ve bought flutes and piccolos through local music stores. I even bought some of my instruments through a local flute and piccolo technician who also sells instruments.
Specialty Flute Store
Maybe there aren’t any music stores near you, but you don’t want to buy through a big box store. You can check out specialty flute stores, such as Flute World, Flute Center of New York, and Flute Specialists.
These stores are all over the country, so you can order a piccolo on their website or over the phone. I bought my most recent piccolo from Carolyn Nussbaum Music Company, which is another flute shop.
If you buy from a store in another city, they can ship the piccolo to you. A lot of these stores will even ship a few piccolos so that you can compare three to five models and return the ones you don’t like.
Another option is to buy a piccolo through an online retailer. Of course, you can go through a general online shop, such as Amazon or eBay. They both have a surprising selection of piccolos to buy.
If you want to stick to some sort of music store, there are also online music stores, such as Woodwind and Brasswind. Buying a piccolo online is a risk, so consider if they take returns.
That way, you can still test out a piccolo before you have to fully commit to the purchase. If you like the piccolo, you can keep it, or you can return it to try another one.
If you can, consider going to a flute festival or convention. Most events like those have an exhibit hall. Music and flute stores can set up booths and sell flutes and piccolos.
You can try a ton of piccolos at one time and compare them. That makes it really easy to figure out what does or doesn’t work for you. As you try piccolos, you might find one is the perfect fit.
Then, you’ll be able to buy the piccolo at the event. You won’t have to worry about a company shipping it to you or having to ship it back. If you can, I’d recommend trying piccolos at a flute event.
Where to Buy a Piccolo Used
New piccolos can be pretty expensive, and used piccolos can play surprisingly well. If you’re willing to get a used model, you may be able to save quite a bit of money.
You can buy used piccolos from many of the same places as new ones. There are some differences though, so you need to know what you’re looking for.
If you know what to consider, you can look for used piccolos in a few places.
Local Music Store
Some local music stores will sell used piccolos on consignment. If someone who owns a piccolo wants to sell it, they may take it to a music store in the area.
The store will put the piccolo up for sale. That makes it easier for you as the buyer because you don’t have to vet individual sellers. Some music stores will even perform maintenance on the piccolo.
So when you go in to buy it, it might play like new. Then, you can save a lot of money on a good instrument. And you won’t have to travel far to find one.
Specialty Flute Store
If you don’t find any used piccolos at a local music store, you may find some available through a specialty flute store. Just like local stores, these national shops may take in used instruments from clients.
They can fix up the piccolos that come in and then list them on their website or other places. When you’re looking for a used piccolo, you may be able to filter accordingly on the shop’s website.
If you don’t know where to buy a piccolo that will play, a flute shop is a great place to start. You can even look at different flute shops to see which models they have so that you can find one for you.
Another place you can go when looking to buy a used piccolo is an online marketplace. Platforms such as eBay and Facebook Marketplace let people sell just about anything.
You may be able to find a good piccolo for sale. Be sure to vet the seller and ask for as many photos as you need. You can even ask the seller to send a video of them playing the piccolo to hear it.
If possible, buy from local sellers. Meet them in person and try the piccolo before you hand over the money. That way, you can see if the piccolo works for you before you buy it.
You may also be able to find used piccolos for sale at flute events. Of course, flute shops may bring some of their used inventory. As you test new piccolos, test used ones to see which is best for you.
However, you might also be able to buy a piccolo from an individual. If someone wants to sell a piccolo, they may bring it to a flute festival. You can meet up somewhere to test the instrument and purchase it.
Buying a used piccolo online is an option. But it’s risker than a new piccolo, especially if you buy from a person. Individuals may not want to deal with returns or refunds, so they may only do a final sale.
If you take flute or piccolo lessons, tell your teacher that you’re looking to buy a used piccolo. They may tell you that they’re looking to sell one from their collection.
Your teacher may even know another piccolo player who has an instrument to sell. Then, they can help you meet the seller and try the piccolo.
A teacher is a great option because they know your playing. They may be able to recommend used models that they think will work for you.
If you have any friends who play the flute or piccolo, you can tell them about your search. They may have an instrument to sell, and you can test it out and trust the seller.
Similar to a teacher, a friend may know someone else who wants to sell a piccolo. Your friend can introduce you, and you can test the piccolo before you commit to purchasing it.
Then, you won’t have to buy an instrument from someone random. You’ll still need to test the model, but it may be less risky than buying a piccolo from someone you meet online.
How to Buy a Piccolo
Each piccolo is a bit different, and they have served unique purposes throughout my time playing the piccolo. Even if you’re at a similar level, you may find another model better suits your playing.
So consider the following steps to help select your perfect piccolo.
Set a Budget
First, you should think about how much you can afford to spend. It helps if you know what type of piccolo you want. As a beginner, you can find good options for around $1,000.
However, if you’re looking for a professional instrument, prepare to spend closer to $5,000. That way, you have more options to compare to help you choose a good model.
Once you know what type of piccolo you need, you can research prices to help set your budget. Keep that number in mind when scheduling piccolo trials or placing an order.
Stick With Reputable Brands
Another thing that can help you is to focus on piccolos from reputable brands, such as Yamaha, Pearl, or Gemeinhardt. These brands make piccolos that are of good quality.
They’re much better than the cheap models you’ll find online. A cheap piccolo may sound great in theory. But in practice, it may not offer you a good tone, and it could break within a few months.
Choosing from reputable brands won’t guarantee the piccolo will be the perfect fit. However, it can reduce some of the risk of buying a piccolo, especially if you purchase one online.
Test the Piccolo
If at all possible, you should test a piccolo before you buy it. That way, you can see how it feels and how it sounds. Even if it sounds good when someone else plays, you may struggle to get the same tone.
When buying online, consider if the seller is local or if they’re close enough that you can meet up. If not, ask for a trial, especially if you’re buying a used piccolo.
Alternatively, you can ask a friend or teacher for recommendations. I bought my Pearl without trying it first. However, my college flute professor recommended the model to me.
Compare It to Your Current Model
You may also want to bring your current piccolo when you go to try new ones. A piccolo upgrade may be well worth it, but you might find the models you try aren’t that much better than what you have.
As I tried the Lyric and Resona piccolos, for example, they sounded nice. But when I compared them to my Pearl, they weren’t that much different. I decided it wasn’t worth spending the money on those piccolos.
If you’re upgrading from a metal piccolo, though, you may notice a bigger difference. Or you might hear more of a difference if those models work better for your playing.
Shopping for a piccolo can be a long process. You have to try a lot of models to see which suits you the best. And you may not find a model you love during the first round of trials.
As hard as it can be, have patience. Give yourself time to research and compare piccolo models and brands. Then, you can know what to look for when you get to try an instrument.
When you’re ready to buy, you will have a better chance of buying a piccolo you like. And you won’t have to worry as much about experiencing buyer’s remorse.
Where to Buy a Piccolo: In Review
Knowing where to buy a piccolo is critical if you want to buy a good model. Some shops may have a wider selection, so you can test the piccolos to find your perfect match.
You can also compare new and used models. That way, you’ll be able to select the piccolo that sounds good when you play it.