Piccolo Features

This page offers information regarding different piccolo features.

Cylindrical Bore – a round tube of equal diameter on both ends
Conical Bore – a round tube that has a larger diameter at the headjoint and gradually decreases in diameter across the length of the tube
Split E Mechanism – the same split E feature found on some flutes

The materials that makes up the various piccolo features can vary. Below are the most common:

  • Silver plated body and headjoint
  • Solid silver body and headjoint
  • Silver plated head and plastic body
  • Silver plated head and resin body
  • Solid silver head and granadilla body
  • Plastic head and body
  • Resin head and body
  • Grenadilla head and body

The silver body piccolos have cylindrical tubes. These piccolos are best suited for band activity, especially marching band or outdoor concerts. The main reason for this is that they tend to project sound better.

The silver head and wood or plastic body piccolos are better suited for a wind ensemble or for someone who likes the sound of a wood piccolo but still needs a lip plate.

All wood or plastic piccolos are typically used in symphonies. Their sound is more mellow and softer.

Below are my recommendations for what piccolo features that would best suit the beginner and intermediate level players:

Beginners playing in a band
Silver plated head and body

Beginners playing in an orchestra
Silver plated head and plastic body
Silver plated head and resin body
Plastic head and body

Beginners playing in a band and an orchestra
Silver plated head and plastic body
Silver plated head and resin body
Silver plated head and plastic body

Intermediate playing in a band
Silver head and body

Intermediate playing in an orchestra
Grenadilla wood head and body

Intermediate playing in a band and an orchestra
1st choice – Own both types of piccolos
2nd choice – if you can only afford one (which is generally the case), go with an all grendilla piccolo. This is what my students do.