Help me with my piccolo playing!

Help me with my piccolo playing!

    
Help me with my piccolo playing!    22:03 on Friday, October 12, 2007          

hotpinkbabe1016
(26 points)
Posted by hotpinkbabe1016

Ok well.....i have my band directors piccolo he let me bring it home for the weekend but i can onlt get a few notes to come out clear. Does anyone have any tips for me? I would really appreciat them =D


Re: Help me with my piccolo playing!    22:48 on Friday, October 12, 2007          

arabians207
(259 points)
Posted by arabians207

The only advice i have is..

PRACTICE!! When i first got a piccolo from my band director (although I now have my own) i couldn't get a single note out! (Although only for a few minutes of trying) and at that it took a little to get the octaves figured out as it felt very weird!

You have to put your lips tighter and a little different than you would play the flute.

And it will probably take a while to play in the third octave like G3 and above, just practice a lot. I like to play my flute stuff (mostly my lesson stuff and my solo if i have one and all that) on my piccolo as those usually have several really high notes.

And just a question.. is the third octave C the highest note the piccolo can play or are there alternate fingerings from the flute to play higher??

have fun!!


Re: Help me with my piccolo playing!    00:32 on Saturday, October 13, 2007          

Flutist06
(1545 points)
Posted by Flutist06

Careful with that advice to tighten the embouchure. Some people need a smaller aperture to play piccolo, but that does not necessarily require tightness...The embouchure should be just as relaxed on piccolo as it is on flute.

As for how to get started, begin low. Try somewhere in the middle of the first octave (maybe the lowest A you can play, or so), and work outwards from there. Work to focus your airstream. Practice with a tuner, as piccolos often are more difficult to play in tune than flutes, and work long tones and chromatics, slurred intervals (4ths, 5ths, octaves, etc.) to get more comfortable.

And to Arabians, it is possible to play above C4 on piccolo, though it's difficult to do so, and many piccolos simply aren't capable of it, even with a very competent player. If you're going to try for those pitches, be sure to practice with earplugs, and try out the fingerings here (there's a fingering chart specifically for picc):

www.wfg.woodwind.org


Re: Help me with my piccolo playing!    02:20 on Saturday, October 13, 2007          

Kelsey
(12 points)
Posted by Kelsey

Practice is the best remedy!! When I first got my piccolo I was under the assumption that I would just be able to use the same embochure that I used for flute. Then when I played it, it was just an airy mess. I played many a scale until I found a note that came out actually sounding as clear as it should (or almost). And then (as the post before me mentioned) branched out from there. I also think it has to do with becoming familiar with the piccolo and how much you need to change your embochure for your particular piccolo. It's really different for everyone and sadly there is no "quick" fix. As everything in music, it's a time thing.


Re: Help me with my piccolo playing!    15:23 on Saturday, October 13, 2007          

akniering
(15 points)
Posted by akniering

Something that may help with both intonation and keeping from having too tight an embouchure is to think about raising your upper lip. If you warm up with octave slurs, and raise your upper lip in the lower register, it will help to keep both octaves in tune with each other, as well as making the upper octaves speak a bit easier.

<Added>

To clarify, raising the upper lip was a suggestion to prevent having too tight an embouchure. In thinking about it, it wouldn't necessarily be your entire upper lip, but focusing on "lifting" or engaging the muscles that move the center of your upper lip. It keeps the embouchure from closing too much and creating the accidental buzz that happens when the embouchure becomes to closed. It also helps in keeping the airstream more focused. This suggestion was given to me by my instructor and has served me well. However, like many suggestions, it may not work for everyone.

I also agree with you Chris, about keeping an open throat. It makes a world of difference in tone :)


Re: Help me with my piccolo playing!    16:27 on Saturday, October 13, 2007          

Flutist06
(1545 points)
Posted by Flutist06

I played with raising my lip a bit, and all it did was result in a spread tone from an overly large aperture. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you said, but if not, I have to disagree with your suggestion. Could you please clarify exactly what you mean by "raising the upper lip?"


Re: Help me with my piccolo playing!    20:21 on Saturday, October 13, 2007          

Account Closed
(3248 points)
Posted by Account Closed

I drop my jaw and keep my jaw and lips more flexible.


Re: Help me with my piccolo playing!    12:01 on Sunday, October 14, 2007          

Flutist06
(1545 points)
Posted by Flutist06

It does indeed....Keeping your throat open as much as possible is always a good idea to get the fullest, richest sound possible. You might try applying the same thinking to your flute playing and see what happens.


Re: Help me with my piccolo playing!    16:08 on Sunday, October 14, 2007          

FirstChairForeve
r

I dont know why but piccolo playing is really easy to me. I dont think you really need to tighten so much. Just act as if you are playing 3rd octave c and then it should be fine. hope this helps.


Re: Help me with my piccolo playing!    16:24 on Sunday, October 14, 2007          

Flutist06
(1545 points)
Posted by Flutist06

Just act as if you are playing 3rd octave c and then it should be fine.


Of course, this should be taken with a grain of salt. Many less skilled flutists will tense when playing C4 on flute, and transferring this feeling over to the piccolo is not a good way to go. And of course, maintaining the feeling of a C4 on flute throughout the entire range of the piccolo is likely to be less than successful as well. It's all well and good to discuss what works for us, as others may find the same to be true for themselves, but as with most things playing-related, if you try it and it doesn't work (or flat out makes things worse), then pass on it.


Re: Help me with my piccolo playing!    17:51 on Sunday, October 14, 2007          

Account Closed
(3248 points)
Posted by Account Closed

If piccolo comes so easy to you, then I would have to guess that you are not playing it correctly.

<Added>

PS. What is with all this first chair business with kids? It won't make much of a difference when you get out into the real flute playing world anyway. Sorry, just a pet peeve of mine.


Re: Help me with my piccolo playing!    20:05 on Sunday, October 14, 2007          

Account Closed
(491 points)
Posted by Account Closed

the first chair thing: it looks good when applying to colleges and honors bands across the state.

i found that one out REAL easy.

oh, and when you get a section of all girls who are all "omg, shes looking at my boyfriend of like, 2 weeks, oh no she didnt!" they can be really harsh. i had one girl who hated me so much because i sat first chair and not her (she was 2 years older than me) she actually kicked my very expensive flute off stage at a concert and laughed about it.

she ended up with a black eye in case you wanted to know.


Re: Help me with my piccolo playing!    21:03 on Sunday, October 14, 2007          

Account Closed
(3248 points)
Posted by Account Closed

I think I would have given her more that a black eye! lol!! NO ONE touches my flute!! EVER!! With the exception of my loving husband, but I trust him completely. Besides, he knows how much I paid for it and knows he would have to buy me a new one if he hurt it. *Grin*

The first chair thing might look good on applications and such, but I find it annoying and bragging type behavior and really not important. It is like me saying.. "hey I am first chair in the community band." But so what? What I should mention then is that the other flutists NEVER practice and don't care that they sound horrible. So that is not saying a whole lot now is it. First chair doesn't really mean much to me unless you are a professional flutist in a major symphony and are principle flutist and have beaten out several other top flutists.


Re: Help me with my piccolo playing!    17:28 on Friday, October 19, 2007          

schoolgirl0125
(613 points)
Posted by schoolgirl0125

YES! I AGREE :D


Re: Help me with my piccolo playing!    16:49 on Saturday, October 20, 2007          

drainfamily
(89 points)
Posted by drainfamily

do u guys think i should switch from flute to piccilo?is it easier? i need suggestions


   








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