I'm a self-taught flutist, and I've beed playing for about 7 months now. I would like to take up the Piccolo as a secondary instrument along with the flute. When is a good time to start learning the piccolo, and if I had a choice, should I upgrade to a Student Piccolo or an Intermediate Flute?

Edit: I'm 13 years old, and my level of flute playing is lower-intermediate.

1 Answer 1


You don't say how old you are or what level of playing you have achieved in 7 months, but here are some principles:

First of all, most student players do not double on piccolo. Even in professional and semi-professional groups, only one flute player is designated as the piccolo player for every song that has piccolo. In other words, this role is not passed around to give other players a turn to try it. Piccolo is a very similar, but also different instrument than flute. It needs careful approach to play it well.

Piccolo is also not a stand-alone instrument. When you upgrade in flute, you get a better flute. You don't turn in your flute for a piccolo. A piccolos is an instrument that a flute player might own in addition to other flutes.

Before even considering trying to play piccolo, you need to ensure that you have amazing air support and breath control while playing your flute. You need to be able to consistently play every single note on your flute in tune. Be disciplined and use a tuner to check. Control over your embouchure goes along with this so that you can do all kinds of articulations without going out of tune.

The piccolo is notorious for being difficult to play in tune due to its size. It is also notorious for being extremely shrill. Flute players with a strong embouchure and a good sense of intonation and tone will be able to control the piccolo and make it sound good. Some flute players may have an easier time of this depending on the shape of their lips and mouth. Piccolo is not for every flute player, even great flute players.

  • I can play the full 3 octave range of the flute (+ C# and D) in tune. Apr 7, 2018 at 12:53
  • What pieces are you playing? The next thing would be to set up the tuner and play your pieces and make sure that you are maintaining intonation throughout the phrases.
    – Heather S.
    Apr 7, 2018 at 13:05
  • In the hall of the mountain king, Swan Lake, Morning Mood are few pieces that I play. I will practice the pieces with a tuner. Apr 7, 2018 at 13:13

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