keeping piccolo warm?

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shanti
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keeping piccolo warm?

Post by shanti » Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:40 pm

One of the places I play regularly is a concert band - the only place I play my piccolo any more. The room is quite cool and I find that the piccolo takes a good 5 minutes of playing before it is warm enough to sound beautiful and stay in tune. The trouble is I alternate between flute and piccolo throughout the practice. Any tips on how to keep it in tune and warm in between? It is not nearly as accommodating as my flute LOL :P

Arianna
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Post by Arianna » Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:17 am

This is going to sound crazy,but gently put the headjoint under your leg. I do this (I am very careful not to catch the keys in any odd way...sometimes, I even put a cloth down too). Your body heat will warm it. Ideally, I like to put it between my crossed legs...this way, it has leg on each side. However, that can only be done if I have a decent rest.

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:55 am

NONONONONONONONO!!!!!!

Talk about a sure way to damage the instrument!

What is important is keeping at least the headjoint warm. There are various techniques for the different kinds of piccolo. First, tell us the kind of piccolo you are playing (metal, wood, plastic, plastic w/ metal head etc.)

Arianna
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Post by Arianna » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:21 am

Maybe I wasn't clear...that is the strange thing about writing. I only mean the headjoint. I just put it between my legs. NOT THE KEYS. That would be bad. With a wood piccolo (any wood instrument) I was taught that if it is cold you want to both warm up the outside, along with warming up the inside. If not, you can cause it to crack. I have know oboe and clarinet players who will put it under their armpit gently (I think that is icky). But our body heat can help gently warm it up. I don't mean to sit on the dang thing :) Communicating via email is so hard!

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:34 am

You may think it's "icky" but that is the best and safest way to do it. Doing it any other way (like the way you mentioned) risks damage to the instrument.

Furthermore, putting it between your legs could be seen as equally "icky" and could give an audience the wrong impression... if you catch my drift. No need to try and turn a piccolo into a phallus. :lol: :wink:

The only other way to do it with your legs would be to sit on it, and even with it just being the headjoint, you are guaranteeing damage.

Arianna
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Post by Arianna » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:03 pm

Ok, depending on 'how you position it, I see what you mean. How do you do any more damage to it putting it 'gently' between crossed legs (girly way of crossing) then under the armpit? I am not seeing a difference...you must be gentle either way. And, how do you propose putting a piccolo under your armpit while playing the flute??? :) I'm getting all kinds of funny visuals going on in my head right now. Maybe we just need someone to invent a mini electric blanket (low heat) to keep the piccolo nice and cozy.

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cflutist
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Post by cflutist » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:48 pm

I've also seen male piccolo players in our orchestra put the piccolo in the inside pocket of their jackets.

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:10 pm

Jacket trick: That's actually what I do if I am in Concert Black.

As you said, it could depend on how you position it. I can't imagine a way to safely put it down there between crossed legs.

My big reason for not doing it that way is because A: It requires more muscle tension/pressure to keep it there. And B: your legs have less motor control than your arms. You are more likely to drop it that way.

You wouldn't believe the simple and easy things that can destroy an instrument. I myself just paid $550 USD for work on my flute because I removed a plug from the bottom side of the key (I needed the plug for an effect), and in the process I accidentally damaged the tonehole with a paperclip! Paperclip! A tiny one at that! There was a ding and scratch on the tonehole, and the pad moved and wouldn't seal properly. And I can't remove plugs from the top side of the key because the way it is designed.

So combine that with overnight shipping to and from my tech, (so I could have it back before a performance of the Beethoven Leonore Overture and Dvorak's New World Symphony that I was playing Principal Flute in), and a COA that it needed to compensate for a new tonehole height... big bucks.

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pied_piper
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Post by pied_piper » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:08 pm

fluteguy18 wrote:You wouldn't believe the simple and easy things that can destroy an instrument. I myself just paid $550 USD for work on my flute because I removed a plug from the bottom side of the key (I needed the plug for an effect), and in the process I accidentally damaged the tonehole with a paperclip! Paperclip! A tiny one at that! There was a ding and scratch on the tonehole, and the pad moved and wouldn't seal properly.
Ouch! :(

Maybe you should adopt a variation of my signature:
"Never give a flute player a paper clip".
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:22 pm

I know. What made it worse was that I used a paperclip at the recommendation of a technician that I trust. I took one of his repair seminars, and that is what he used. I guess I did it incorrectly. He didn't have any trouble and has been using them for years.

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cflutist
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Post by cflutist » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:13 am

pied_piper wrote:
fluteguy18 wrote:You wouldn't believe the simple and easy things that can destroy an instrument. I myself just paid $550 USD for work on my flute because I removed a plug from the bottom side of the key (I needed the plug for an effect), and in the process I accidentally damaged the tonehole with a paperclip! Paperclip! A tiny one at that! There was a ding and scratch on the tonehole, and the pad moved and wouldn't seal properly.
Ouch! :(

Maybe you should adopt a variation of my signature:
"Never give a flute player a paper clip".
Good one ... :lol:

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