Beard styles chart. piccoloHQ


Author: Beard, Christine Erlander.

Author: Reichert, Timothy. [fingerings contributed by various players and sources]


"Piccolo Trill Fingerings."

Treatise on contemporary techniques of the transverse flute for the use of composers and performers.

[Contains picc, alto flute and bass flute fingerings]

Author: Artaud, Pierre-Yves and Gerard Geay

Availability: Published by Editions Jobert/EMT, 1980 (Paris)

Fingering Tips for Piccolo.

Author: Burkart, Lillian. [Contributions by Geralyne Coticone, Jan Gippo, Walfrid Kujala, and Morgan Williams.]

A Modern Guide to Fingerings for the Flute. 2nd ed. Bloomington, IN: Zalo, 1972. [Contains quarter-tone fingerings for piccolo.]

Availability: Most flute music stores carry this title

A Basic Guide to Fingerings for the Piccolo. Bala Cynwyd, PA: Sopranino Press, 1990.

Availability: Published by Boosey &, Hawkes (London)

Boehm System Piccolo Fingering Chart.

Availability: Published by Fischer (New York)

Chart of Chromatic Scale for Piccolo.

Availability: Published by Fischer (New York)

Tablature de la petite flute system Boehm.

Beard types chart

Availability: Published by Leduc (Paris)


Author: Beard, Christine E. [Published in Pick-up Notes, the Nebraska Flute Club Newsletter, April 2004]

Author: Eitan, Lior. [Principal Piccolo, The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra]

Author: Esposito, Nicole. [Principal Flutist, Dubuque Symphony Orchestra]

Author: Herbine, Lois Bliss. [published by the New Music Box, 2006]

Author: Mazzanti, Nicola [originally published in Syrinx ]

Topics include: Introduction, Selecting a Piccolo, First steps, Intonation &, Dynamics, Scales, Flexibility, Tone Development by Singing While Playing, and tips for playing piccolo excerpts from symphonic works by Tchaikovsky, Rossini, and Beethoven. ,

Author: Schultz, Diane Boyd [Stephen F. Austin University]

Author: Shade, Fred. [Principal Piccolo, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (retired)]


Notes from the 2005 NFA Piccolo Master Class with Nicola Mazzanti

by Christine Erlander Beard

The main problem going from flute to piccolo is that the embouchure needs more support from the diaphragm.

Three critical elements to piccolo playing: 1. support, 2. throat, and 3. embouchure.

Keep the support stable - don't let it fluctuate. It affects intonnation as well as the line.

To practice proper support, practice making attacks without using the tongue (i.e. "ha ha ha").

Practicing singing while playing (simultaneously) is also a great exercise (I didn't write down why he said this, but in my own experience, it helps to relax and open the throat).

The piccolo embouchure hole is smaller than the flute, so make the apperture smaller.

Beard styles chart

Don't force forte but use a big sound - relax embouchure and drop jaw down for more sound. Roll out, stay open, make oral cavity large.

Breathing is very important - think to your back expanding.

Keep elbows out so not to restrict the rib cage.

C# is often flat, so use an alternate fingering often to bring up the pitch.

Intervals - especially perfect intervals - must be in tune!


More dynamics, especially on the softer end.

More shape/direction in the triplet section.

In the 2nd section, don't breathe before the D# in the descending passage.

In the outer movements (I &, III) - practice the 1st note of each group (i.e. the skeleton) to determine phrasing.

Christine Erlander Beard's

The Online Headquarters for Piccolo Players and Piccolo Enthusiasts Around the Globe!

Do you know of additional articles about any aspect of the piccolo or piccolo playing which should be added to this list? Would you like to submit an article or notes from a piccolo master class? If so, e-mail me the details!.

Website Content Copyright ©, 2005 by Christine Beard. All rights reserved.

Christine Beard's Alternate Fingering Guide for the Piccolo

A note from the author: Professional piccolo players use alternate fingerings on a regular basis. However, the fingerings listed below might not work on all piccolos. You should experiment with your instrument to find the fingerings that work best for you that will enable you to play in tune and with a good tone. Any alternate fingering that sounds bad is not an acceptable fingering! I also firmly believe that alternate fingerings are NOT to be used to make up for poor technique. That being said, alternate fingerings can do a lot to enhance the advanced piccolo player's performance. Enjoy!

by Christine Erlander Beard

(Published April 2004 edition of Pick-up Notes, the official newsletter of the Nebraska Flute Club)

Greetings to all of you piccolo enthusiasts! In my first column, I thought I would answer the question I am asked most often: What kind of piccolo should I buy? My answer to this query always begins with another question: What do you intend to use it for?

Beard types chart

If you intend to use the instrument outdoors (for instance, marching band) then your first priority has to be durability. Metal piccolos (silver plated or solid silver) are durable, and their bright tone quality is a good choice for outdoor venues. Another positive point for the metal piccolo is that the head joint style imitates that of the flute head joint: because it has the lip plate to help guide the player's lips into the correct position, it is easier for some students to make the transition from flute to piccolo.

If you wish to have a durable instrument that can be used outside but also want an instrument that is suitable for concert use, consider a plastic piccolo. This material is durable for outdoor use but has a warmer tone quality that blends more easily than most metal piccolos, ideal for concert playing. Plastic piccolos are inexpensive and for those players who want more options, a few companies offer "combo packs" in which two head joint styles are included: one traditional metal head with a lip plate, and one plastic head. With a combo pack, you can play the metal head in marching band to cut through the ensemble and then switch to the plastic head for concert season. Truly the best of both worlds!

Finally, if you only intend to use the piccolo indoors and/or if you want the highest quality instrument available, wood is the way to go. Wood piccolos are the choice of professional players due to their warm tone quality which blends more easily with an ensemble. Although there are a few choices out there, Grenadilla - a type of African Blackwood - is the standard material. There are two drawbacks to wood piccolos: first, they are very susceptible to temperature and must be cared for carefully to avoid cracking. Second, they are more expensive than plastic or metal piccolos. Unless you buy a used instrument, it is highly unlikely you will find a wood piccolo (in good condition) for under $1000.

For the young player just starting out, my recommendation is to go with a plastic piccolo. It's inexpensive, versatile, durable, and having a choice of head joint styles in my opinion makes it a no-brainer. For those players who are more serious and when money is no issue, wood is the material of choice. In either case, go to the music store and try out a few different styles. When you decide on one you think you like, ask to try a few of the same style for comparison. There can be a lot of variety in response and intonation from instrument to instrument, even with the same make and model! Because of this, when you find the one you want, make sure it is the instrument you will take home with you (not just the "floor model"), otherwise, you may not always get what you paid for.

Prior to playing the piccolo be sure to warm it up using warm air. If the piccolo is going to be sitting for awhile with out being played, positioning the piccolo between your arm and rib cage will allow the piccolo to warm up quickly and safely. To insure that no damage is caused to the inside bore of the piccolo, use an extremely thin, short cloth, no more than 6" long and 1/2" wide. Using a cloth this small will also prevent the swab from getting jammed inside the piccolo.

Piccolo Wood: Preventing Cracking

A well made and well cared for wooden piccolo will improve with age and give you years of delight, Most wooden piccolo's are made from the aged grenadilla, although you may also find some instruments made from kingwood or rosewood,. Breaking in the piccolo for the first six months is extremely important to prolonging the life of the instrument (see below for more information on breaking in). Once the piccolo is broken in, the chance of cracks occurring can be minimized by:

Avoiding rapid changes in temperature. You can help by keeping the instrument well insulated - use both the case and case cover - and do not leave the piccolo in your automobile.

Never allow standing moisture to accumulate in your instrument, especially in the headjoint. Always swab your instrument frequently.

For the first two months, you should play your instrument for no more than 20 minutes at a time. You should not play it again for at least four hours. Be sure to thoroughly swab out your instrument with a cotton or linen cloth immediately after each playing session. During the first month, do not play the wooden piccolo more than twice a day, during the second month, you may increase the frequency to three times a day. After the first two months, you may gradually increase both the time and frequency of playing sessions until, after six months, the instrument may be regarded as fully broken- in.

The benefits of oiling are an improved appearance and a slight increase in the moisture resistance of the wood. Only an authorized repair technician should undertake the task of applying oil to the bore of a piccolo body.

Your wooden headjoint may benefit from an occasional application of almond oil to the bore and embouchure hole after it is at least one year old. Be sure to use only pure pressed almond oil. A small amount of almond oil may be applied to a cloth swab, use this oiled cloth to wipe the headjoint bore very lightly. Be very careful not to get oil between the cork assembly and the bore of the headjoint.

A cotton swab may be lightly moistened with oil and used to gently wipe around the inside of the embouchure hole. Use extreme caution in wiping, as the delicate edges of the hole might become damaged. Oil, after it is applied, whether to the bore or the embouchure, must be wiped off thoroughly but gently. A buildup of oil around the embouchure hole will have an adverse effect on the playing characteristics of the headjoint.

This file is designed to be printed on double-sided 11x17 paper to use in a folded booklet format,

but it can also be printed on 4 pages of standard 8x11 paper.

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