- Piccolo: Interview and demonstration with Nadine Asin
- Flute: Interview and demonstration with principal Jeffrey Khaner
- E-Flat Clarinet: Interview and demonstration with Jessica Phillips Rieske
- Clarinet: Interview and demonstration with principal Jon Manasse
- Bass Clarinet: Interview and demonstration with James Ognibene
- Oboe: Interview and demonstration with principal John Ferrillo
- Bassoon: Interview and demonstration with principal Nancy Goeres
- English Horn: Interview and demonstration with Pedro Diaz
Created by All Star Orchestra.
Want to join the conversation?
- Why is it called the piccolo?(7 votes)
- I find it difficult to hear the flutes in band rehearsal. I play the flute and can very seldom hear myself. Our band has around 6 flutes, 22 trumpets, 10 clarinets, and 7 trombones. Does anyone have any tips on how to play louder and/or be heard at all without making a high-pitched or obnoxious sound because of blowing harder?(4 votes)
- Hi Elizabeth!
Over personal experience, I find confidence is the best way to fix this. We have three other flutists/flautists (whichever you prefere) in our band and they are all confident players. I have not been playing for as long as them and as my confidence has grown performing so has my playing improved. Also I find matching with an electric piano/keyboard a good way to vary the noise level of your flute. Try turning the volume up/down and try and echo it. Other than that, practice! I don't really know anything else that can help you, naturally as you play flute, you learn to vary the volume and usually get quieter but at the same time learn how to control and vary it.
Sorry if this doesn't make a lot of sense- I'm ill at the moment so I'm not up to my usual standard with explaining things! Hope this helps!(5 votes)
- Where does this instrument come from?(4 votes)
- A very similar instrument, the Fife, originated in Switzerland, so I suppose you could argue that the piccolo is of Swiss origin.(5 votes)
- can you play the piccolo befor you play the flute ?(2 votes)
- It's best to start on a more basic instrument first to get the hang of it. I mean you could technically, but I would highly recommend you play flute first.(4 votes)
- Are the speed/rhythm of the notes purely based on breath and the notes controlled by the fingers? How do you keep from passing out from breathing that quickly?(3 votes)
- Practice is the main reason why great woodwind performers can play such long phrases and not become dizzy or exhausted. Other techniques include tonguing, where the tongue plays a major role in controlling the speed of extremely fast passages. Some performers use a technique where they are able to breathe in through the nose while blowing into the instrument from the mouth. Another technique, albeit a strange one, requires that the performer pedal-operated bellows to the instruments to sustain it for extremely long passages (this is required in Richard Strauss' Alpine Symphony).(5 votes)
- Is it harder to hold the piccolo? I have held a flute before, when I first started music and was trying out instruments, but never a piccolo.(4 votes)
- it is slightly harder, simply due to the size of the piccolo in comparison to the flute- it's smaller so your fingers are more bunched. However, this is generally not a problem. It is simply smaller causing your fingers to be closer together.(3 votes)
- Do you use vibrato with the piccolo?(3 votes)
- Vibrato can be used while playing either the piccolo or the flute. However, since the piccolo is a smaller instrument, one has to be careful that the vibrato is not too intrusive. A vibrato with the piccolo should not be too wide, but should have a relaxed tone.(4 votes)
- is hand size a limiting factor of what instrument one could play i.e. lebron james prolly couldnt play the flute but maybe the bassoon?(3 votes)
- As a pianist, hand size is definitely an issue in the songs I can play. I have small hands, so I can't reach much more than an octave from my thumb to my pinky. Some music I can't play (or have to modify) because the reach for one hand is too long. It doesn't stop me from loving piano, though!(4 votes)
- How do you take breaths in between? Is there a button you press? Also, is there only one piccolo in the orchestra? Why only such a small number of this woodwind?(2 votes)
- The amount of piccolos in an orchestra just depends on what the composers write for. A lot of works have just one piccolo part, but some have none or even multiple piccolo parts. In the case that there are multiple piccolos written for, usually the section flute players double as piccolos. There is a small amount of piccolos because they are very loud and very difficult to tune, as the instrument itself is very small.(4 votes)
- Does anyone watching play the piccolo?(3 votes)
- Yes, I play the piccolo. It looks a bit like the flute, but the keys are much closer together, and the entire instrument is about seven inches long.(2 votes)
(classical music and with piccolo solo) I'm a flutist but I also play the piccolo. And the flute has a range from (plays lowest note) to (plays highest note) Whereas the piccolo has a range from (plays lowest note) (plays highest note). So as you can hear, the piccolo is much higher than the flute. The flute and the piccolo are kind of sisters or maybe they're brothers. They're in the same family, they're related. And the flute obviously, it's much larger and longer, and that's why it is a lower instrument and we play notes by adding or subtracting, lifting our fingers, and that's what changes the length of the tube inside. And the same for the piccolo- I add, I put my fingers down or I lift my fingers up to change the length of the tube and therefore change the notes. So as I add my fingers, (plays descending scale) (plays ascending scale). As I'm pressing down on the keys and we're closing the keys, I'm making a longer tube inside and lowering the notes. I do use wind, but I don't use a reed, I use my lips. I create the same kind of compression that a reed creates for a reed instrument like the oboe or the bassoon or the clarinet, I do that with my embouchure. My lips form the embouchure and I create a tube of air inside my throat from my lungs, through my neck, through my mouth, comes out into the flute (plays scale). And the same applies to the piccolo. Although, because the piccolo is so much smaller, everything is kind of in miniature on the piccolo. So I have a embouchure on the piccolo. You can see the difference in where I blow on the flute and the piccolo. On the flute I have an entire lip plate, on the piccolo, which as you can see is made out of wood, so it truly is a woodwind, I don't have that. So I use my lips to find the position for my embouchure (plays notes). (classical music with piccolo solo) Piccolo is used primarily as an orchestral instrument, you won't necessarily go to a piccolo recital. Playing the piccolo in the orchestra, you'll also play the flute as a member of the flute section. However if you're playing chamber music, you'll primarily be playing flute, if you're playing a solo recital, you'll be playing flute. To me, the flute is a very lyrical instrument, and often in orchestra, we play along with the violins. And we kind of float on top the orchestra or we float on top of the wind section, so we have kind of a- and the fact that our instrument is either made of silver or gold, we've got this real shimmery quality that allows us to kind of create this sheen in the sound of the orchestra. And the piccolo is kind of the icing on the cake because it's so much higher than the other instruments that as a piccolo player you have to be very careful not to overpower the sound of the other winds, you have to blend, you have to be a blender to play the piccolo. It's small, but it's powerful, so you have to really think about your role. Is the line that you're playing a supporting line? Are you playing along with other instruments or is it a solo? If it's a solo then you can kind of step into the spotlight. But if it's a supporting role, then you do best to really just kind of cool it and wait and just blend with your colleagues. (classical music with flute and piccolo solos) I started playing the flute because my best girl friend in elementary school had a piano in her house, and I every time I went to visit my friend Linda, I would make a bee line for the piano, I was just totally entranced with this piano. And so when they offered in my public school, a program for wind instruments, I asked my parents if I could play a wind instrument, and I was just about to get my braces. So we went to my orthodontist, "How 'bout the flute?" He said. And thus my fate was sealed, and my parents bought me an instrument and they got me a teacher and at my first lesson, we played "O Sole Mio" as a duet and when I heard her sound, she was a high school student and I was ten or eleven, when I heard her sound, I thought that's it, I've fallen in love. And from there on in I played all the time, I joined orchestras and I went to music camp and I was a real music nerd. (classical music with piccolo solo) I would say for wind players, the kind of sweet spot is ten to twelve, and after that, you don't want to lose too much time. So ten to twelve, is really that's when you have to really start thinking about it. Doesn't mean you're gonna grow up to be a flute player because you don't know, but yeah if you're at all intrigued by the sound of the instrument or the personality, give it a try because it's great stuff. (classical music with piccolo solo)