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 piccolo problems
Author: johnnymo0829 
Date:   2007-01-12 15:21

I'm a decient flute player, and I deciede that I want to try to get into piccolo a bit. I have a decient piccolo, an older bundy in good shape, it plays and I have an appointment with my repairman in a week and a half. Are there any quick start tips for the piccolo anybody can give me?

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 Re: piccolo problems
Author: saxysam89 
Date:   2007-01-13 15:04

One of my friends is a flautist in college. When I was trying to learn the piccolo she told me to keep a good embachure like the flute but to actually position it on the bottom lip somewhere in the middle (from top to bottom).
It helped me a lot, hope it helps you!


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 Re: piccolo problems
Author: ArundoDonax 
Date:   2007-01-16 18:22

Switching back and forth between flute and piccolo is not so bad. What I find though is once you add in the reeds -- clarinet, saxes, bass clarinet -- piccolo embouchure is the first thing to go in the pit. Sometimes I live in terror, not knowing what will come out when I pick the thing up. I do find that (if there is time during the switch) just placing the piccolo on my mouth and finding that exact right spot on the lower lip is helpful.

For me a similar sort of thing with flute embouchure happens after playing reeds -- almost like your mouth forgets what to do for a minute. It's especially bad for low flute playing. Anybody else find that? Anybody else find some useful tricks to help with this?

John Valleau

Next show SWEENEY TODD for Garden City Productions -- fall 2008.

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 Re: piccolo problems
Author: saxysam89 
Date:   2007-01-17 20:02

> For me a similar sort of thing with flute embouchure happens
> after playing reeds -- almost like your mouth forgets what to
> do for a minute.

I know exactly what you're talking about. In my high school band, everyday I play my sax for two periods (jazz then concert band) then I switch to flute a couple periods later, and sometimes getting a good tone out is so hard even when I'm supporting and using lots air. But I have to admit, playing flute in the lower register is really easy for me, and it usually sounds pretty good (if I do say so my self)!


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 Re: piccolo problems
Author: amhso 
Date:   2007-01-24 23:16

I play tenor and alto sax, and just started clarinet, but my main instruments are flute and piccolo. I find that reeds dont necessarily affect the embochure. maybe after 2 minutes of a reed instrument then the flute wont sound as good, but wait maybe 20 and it feels just like normal.

at first, when you play piccolo, flute tone detereorates quickly. When practicing, start with flute, then switch back and forth, and end with flute. Trust me, it will get your mouth/lips used to two sets of embochure. Also, use more air with the piccolo, try not to always pinch the embochure to hit higher notes. It wears away at your tone and intonation. using more air also makes the embouchure closer to that of a flute.

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 Re: piccolo problems
Author: Elkwoman46 
Date:   2007-02-08 13:47

Dear Johnny,
I recently came across an article online that totally opened my eyes. You see I once bought a piccolo from a pawn shop, and could not figure out why all the positions did not work, no matter how hard I tried. But just so you know, here is the excerpt from an article online that may be of use to you...........???

"Fingerings are basically the same as on the flute, although some variations have to be made due to the smaller size and because, until recently, the piccolo has been less acoustically developed than the flute. For example, the highest Bb on most piccolos will not "speak" if you leave the first finger of the left hand down, whereas on the flute it will "speak" quite easily. (Please note that this isn't the fingering of choice on the flute either, since high Bb usually is already flat to begin with and this lowers the pitch even more!). Most piccolos also need to have the second and third fingers of the right hand down in order to easily produce the highest Ab. This fingering is only used as an auxiliary fingering on the flute but is practically a must on the piccolo even though it can be VERY awkward at times. Also, unlike the flute, the piccolo has no low C# or C keys and can only play down to a D natural, so it is limited in its lower range. "

Yesterday, I received in the mail a used piccolo I bought off the internet. I was completely overwhelmed and delighted at how much more I got then I anticipated. It is a Prelude Conn-Selmer PC701. It gives me such joy just trying to figure it out at this point. You see, years ago, when I had the pawn shop one (and I am sure it was a decent one, just can't remember the brand name!!!!) I thought something was wrong with it, even though I had it worked on. So, we sold it right back again elsewhere. Sad grin. I had obviously what the article said above, an instrument that had an area where it did not speak. I absolutely thought there was something wrong with it, or me. And no one told me or knew about piccolos at that time to tell me what was what.

But now I am owning a piccolo that was said to be "out of alignment" and I am hardpressed to see anything out of alignment. It looks so almost perfect. In fact, I would venture to guess that most people looking at it and inspecting it would think it was brand new by appearance. As I am just starting from scratch learning how to play it after all these years and never really started on the other one!!! LOL I know now that based on what I read (above) that there are some blank notes, and of course some notes that I still have to figure out (well, a lot) since yesterday!!! Have already picked out a variety of notes while just tooting on it. This thing is so cute!!! Currently, via my ultra beginner level, it sounds like a soprano recorder...sort of.

But I have been hearing some of these piccolo excerpts online that are free for listening to and I am so amazed what can be done with these piccolos.
Almost like birds in the forest trees singing their songs.

I say all that to say, if you are having any of these kinds of problems, consider what this article stated, and don't give up.

If you have something wrong with it, I think an expert will have you fixed up in no time. Also, there are articles online (Zachary) or Zachery that has a couple of pages on how to handle the flute (or piccolo of course) with your hands when assembling it and disassembling it. This article alluded to the idea that many of these instruments are immediately taken out of alignment when grabbed by the buttons instead of just the tube area and basically twisted right out into a mess sometimes in the first few minutes of owning it if owner did not realize how fragile they are.

Now that I have thoroughly rambled!!!

God bless you.

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 No Subject
Author: timw 
Date:   2020-02-15 19:07

Post Edited (2020-02-24 16:51)

Post Edited (2020-02-24 16:52)

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 Re: piccolo problems
Author: mark.pinner 
Date:   2020-10-18 07:11

If you are buying a wood piccolo, I would suggest you get one with the lip plate. Makes it easier to locate the hole.

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