Piccolo seriously sharp

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Daleo
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:11 pm

Piccolo seriously sharp

Post by Daleo » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:50 pm

Hey all,

I've just got my new Pearl PFP 105. I've been doing well, but put to a tuner, every single note is about 30 cents sharp. To be in tune, I have to pull the headjoint out about 1/2". At this point, the headjoint is not very secure on the body.

I wanted to make sure that it wasn't me, so I got my flute teacher to play it, and he's extremely sharp too.

Sometimes the notes read a complete half-step higher. I was really excited about my piccolo, but now I'm kinda poopy that I can't play it in tune at ALL. Any suggestions before I call up Pearl?

Thank you in advance!

EDIT: And the cork is in the correct position

evrmre
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Re: Piccolo seriously sharp

Post by evrmre » Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:48 pm

Perhaps have a look at this thread/article. The first reply might be of use to you...

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Flute-2059/2 ... tuning.htm

Seems that cork position is a little strange on piccolos, from what is said. (So speaks a flute player who has never held a piccolo ;D)

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JButky
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Location: Mt. Juliet

Re: Piccolo seriously sharp

Post by JButky » Sat Jul 20, 2013 7:02 am

Daleo wrote:Hey all,

I've just got my new Pearl PFP 105. I've been doing well, but put to a tuner, every single note is about 30 cents sharp. To be in tune, I have to pull the headjoint out about 1/2". At this point, the headjoint is not very secure on the body.

I wanted to make sure that it wasn't me, so I got my flute teacher to play it, and he's extremely sharp too.

Sometimes the notes read a complete half-step higher. I was really excited about my piccolo, but now I'm kinda poopy that I can't play it in tune at ALL. Any suggestions before I call up Pearl?

Thank you in advance!

EDIT: And the cork is in the correct position
Most likely, You need to adjust to the headjoint. If you are not used to a high wave you may need to adjust your embouchure to get the pitch low enough. This includes finding the right angle for the amount of lower lip coverage of the hole. Piccolos can have a very wide range of flatness or sharpness depending on the player (even on the same exact piccolo). It is therefore obvious to me that if your teacher also plays sharp on this then you will also since your embouchure concept comes from you teacher.

The solution is to learn to play it correctly.

Having been @ the block more that a few times, I can tell you there have been many days of inquiries about any manufacturers piccolo stack up looking something like this:

Line 2: 3 calls about piccolo playing flat.
Line 3: 3 calls about piccolo playing sharp.

Outside of there being something that is problematic, these types of issues are routinely player oriented. Depending on you playing style (embouchure) it may be that it just isn't the right picc for you too. Try another 105 and try some other brands alongside and see what works best for you.
Joe B

Daleo
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:11 pm

Re: Piccolo seriously sharp

Post by Daleo » Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:26 am

Evrmre, it feels as if that is the issue, but I would like to try other things before moving the cork around.

Joe, I do have the straight headjoint (not the wave), but this is my first piccolo. I will try to experiment with the embouchure more than I have been. I bought this one because it had the best tone for me, but maybe I should reconsider due to intonation.

I emailed Pearl yesterday. They were very polite about it, but basically said that the piccolo is fine and its me, not the piccolo.

Joe, I would be interested in your opinion about moving the cork to compensate for the sharpness. I'm afraid that it will mess with the scale of the piccolo.

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JButky
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Re: Piccolo seriously sharp

Post by JButky » Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:34 am

Cork position will affect intonation between registers. The third octave is more affected than the first. Moving the cork on the piccolo can be done but only a small amount. Also be aware that the cork introduces a dead spot in the response curve. Not a problem on flute, but those frequencies are in the piccs playing range. If you move the cork and suddenly a cluster of 3rd register notes (Usually the range of a minor 3rd) then you've moved the cork into that range and its placement is inhibiting that cluster of notes from playing. Range of picc headjoint cork placement varies a couple mm due to different bores, usually 8.3mm-10.3mm. Conical bore piccs lean to the shorter side. Cylindrical to the longer side. If you stay in that range you should be fine.

Pushing the cork in will tend to make the 3rd register sharper. The trick for you is how far can you move it out without shutting down part of the 3rd register. But this is not going to affect intonation overall. You may need to cover the hole a little more with your lower lip placement. Covering the hole a little more will lower the overall frequency uniformly. Then adjust your playing angle.
Joe B

Daleo
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Re: Piccolo seriously sharp

Post by Daleo » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:12 am

Wow, lots of great info Joe! I did find that rolling in tremendously did help bring down the pitch to "normal" range. I think with adjusting my embouchure I can overcome my pitch problems.

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pied_piper
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Re: Piccolo seriously sharp

Post by pied_piper » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:30 am

Another thing related to Joe's comment about covering more of the hole: The piccolo must be placed a bit higher on your lip than you are used to with the flute. If you place a piccolo on your lip in the same position as your flute, your lip aperture (opening) is too far away and that will also cause it to play flat. Covering more of the hole goes along with the higher placement on your lip. Try it. I think it will make a big difference!

Also, I don't mean to disrespect your teacher, but the tips that Joe and I have a suggested are things thooh good flute and piccolo teacher should have known and told you. If he is having the same problem with your piccolo, perhaps he does not have much experience playing one... Some flute teachers don't play piccolo very much and so you might consider trying to find a teacher who is very experienced on the piccolo.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

Daleo
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Re: Piccolo seriously sharp

Post by Daleo » Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:26 pm

No disrespect. I think you hit the nail on the head.

"Some flute teachers don't play piccolo very much and so you might consider trying to find a teacher who is very experienced on the piccolo."

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