flute to picc

For Anything and Everything to do with Flute Playing and Music

Moderators: Classitar, pied_piper, Phineas

Post Reply
bfloyd
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 5:22 pm

flute to picc

Post by bfloyd » Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:54 pm

How much of a transition is there regarding playing style to move fom the flute to picc? Also, I have noticed piccs come either with or without a lip plate. Is there one more common than the other? Thanks.

User avatar
flutepicc06
Posts: 1353
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 11:34 pm

Post by flutepicc06 » Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:39 pm

At first the transition will likely be very clumsy for you. After some time going back and forth, it becomes much, much easier. Piccolo is a very different beast from the flute, and learning to play piccolo should come after you've already established a solid base on the flute. It's much more difficult to control pitch and dynamics on picc, as well as tone, but other things become easier (response quickens, fingers have to move less to close the keys, so technique is often faster and more fluid, etc.). Any serious flutist should be at least proficient on piccolo, so I would encourage you to learn eventually, but I suggest you put it off for a bit longer if you're considering doubling on picc.

As for the lip/no lip bit, it generally depends on the material whether or not a lip plate is an option. A piccolo with a metal head will almost without exception have a lip plate, while those with heads made of plastic or wood generally do not. It's becoming easier to find wooden heads with profiled lips (lip plates, and thinner walls), but they're less common right now. The standard design for wood/plastic heads does have a lip plate, there just is no definition between it's edges and the body of the headjoint. In other words, the outer diameter of a standard wood head puts your lip at the same distance from the inner diameter (give or take a little depending on maker and individual picc). Either option is fine, and it really comes down to comfort. I regularly go back and forth between a piccolo without a lip (a wooden instrument) and one with a lip (a metal instrument), and both work well...If you have an option, it comes down to your comfort, so play both and see what you like best. Just because of the sheer numbers of student piccolos on the market (and in student's hands) as compared to the number of professional piccs, I would feel safe saying that lip plates are more common. However, among advanced picc players with a choice between piccolos, most will choose a wooden instrument, and most wooden instruments do not have profiled heads. Student instruments are made with lip plates so that they feel more like a flute when you're positioning it, but some much finer instruments also display this trait (take a Haynes silver piccolo for instance). Whatever suits the player best is what they should have!

bfloyd
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 5:22 pm

Post by bfloyd » Thu Oct 11, 2007 1:54 pm

Thanks for the reply. I do plan on becoming efficient on the flute first before moving into the picc. I just heard some recordings of the picc and was very moved by them. It's funny how some players can make the picc sound very shrill in the higher registers while other players can play the same high notes and still sound soft and beautiful. I guess the playing of an experienced player:)

User avatar
flutepicc06
Posts: 1353
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 11:34 pm

Post by flutepicc06 » Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:53 pm

bfloyd wrote: I guess the playing of an experienced player:)
You got it! I personally consider myself more a piccoloist than a flutist (I play mostly picc, and enjoy it more than I do flute), and simply love listening to piccolo recordings. Some of my favorite performers are Nicola Mazzanti and Lior Eitan....Both are absolutely amazing! I'd recommend checking out some of their work if you're interested in picc.

bfloyd
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 5:22 pm

Post by bfloyd » Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:38 am

flutepicc06 wrote:
bfloyd wrote: I guess the playing of an experienced player:)
You got it! I personally consider myself more a piccoloist than a flutist (I play mostly picc, and enjoy it more than I do flute), and simply love listening to piccolo recordings. Some of my favorite performers are Nicola Mazzanti and Lior Eitan....Both are absolutely amazing! I'd recommend checking out some of their work if you're interested in picc.
Thanks for the names. I'll look them up.:)

User avatar
Buttercup
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 6:20 am
Contact:

Post by Buttercup » Sat Oct 13, 2007 1:44 pm

When I first took up the piccolo I found it terribly hard to switch back and forth from flute to picc. After playing picc I found my flute embouchure was shot to pieces, I would try and play high notes and just blow raspberries :-) This was mainly because my embouchure was too tense when I played the piccolo, and as I learned to relax the switch was made easier. It's tempting when you're playing picc and having to pop out those super-high notes, to clench every muscle in your body! Not such a good tactic ;-)

Post Reply