Piccolo Buying Guide

Piccolos at BMC

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Glossary of Terms
All piccolos resemble each other except for the material they are made out of and the shape of the bore (the inside of the instrument). Piccolos with straight (sometimes called cylindrical) bores offer the same air resistance as flutes and is the favorite of doublers; players that play both flute and piccolos. Piccolos with conical bores offer more resistance, which improves the scale and responsiveness of the instrument



First Piccolos

Most students play their first piccolo after about one year of flute experience. These piccolos offer combinations of materials, such as nickel silver and composite, to offer you a selection in both price and sound. All first piccolos chosen by BMC, which feature nickel-silver alloys, are silver-plated to provide protection for those with the common allergy to nickel as well as providing a beautiful finish. Some student piccolos offer a composite body, which is durable and weather-resistant, making these composite piccolos an excellent choice for indoor and outdoor performances.

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Step-Up Piccolos

Intermediate Piccolos feature better quality in materials and craftsmanship and more handwork than first Piccolos for better tone and response. Like step-up flutes, nearly all step-up piccolos include a solid sterling silver headjoint. However, some intermediate piccolos have a Grenadilla wood headjoint and body that provides the piccolo with a warm, rich sound.

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Professional Piccolos

Professional Piccolos are known for their exceptional tone and accurate key action. Grenadilla wood piccolos are widely considered the best choice when selecting an upper-level piccolo. Grenadilla piccolos usually include a grenadilla headjoint, however, some come with a sterling silver headjoint. Pro piccolos usually have gold springs and ribbed key post construction.

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Maintenance and care are the most important factors in maintaining the playability and longevity of your instrument. Moisture is the piccolo's Public Enemy #1. It causes deterioration and premature failure of the pads as well as providing the perfect environment for germs and bacteria to flourish. Swabbing and the using pad savers are the best preventative medicines for this condition. The care of wood instruments requires special consideration in regards to humidity and temperature. To prevent the wood from drying out, keep the humidity at a constant level by using an in-case humidifier. To keep the bore from cracking, if the instrument is cold (such as from being outdoors) it must be warmed properly before playing. If this is not done, warm air blown into the instrument will cause the bore to expand while the outside does not. This will crack the bore. It is not recommended to use a wood piccolo for marching.