Do you want to become a better flutist? What about take your playing skills and turn them into a career? If you want to play flute in any capacity, you should consider learning the piccolo.
But before you go buy the first piccolo you find (not on Amazon, please), consider the pros and cons of playing both instruments. That way, you can make the best decision for you.
Read on to learn if you should play flute or add piccolo to the mix. But first, this post contains affiliate links. Click here for my full disclosure policy.
Pros of Playing Both
If you’re considering if you should play flute and piccolo, you should know the pros of playing both. The flute and piccolo have many similarities and differences that can make doubling an excellent idea.
Consider a few reasons why you may want to add piccolo to your musical career.
If you can play multiple instruments, you can learn more music. While you can play piccolo music on the flute, it just isn’t the same. Of course, reading through a piece on the flute first can help.
But if you only play the flute, you won’t be able to play as many fun solos or excerpts. Even though the piccolo is a fairly new instrument, it has plenty of music that you can learn.
Plus, being able to play flute and piccolo can help your flute skills. You have to have a lot of control on the piccolo, so you can use that to get even better at the flute.
If you want to become a professional flutist, playing piccolo is almost a necessity. Sure, there are some professionals who hardly ever touch the small instrument.
But in this day an age, you need to play the piccolo. It will open you up to so many more professional opportunities, so you can build a career using your flute skills.
Even if you don’t want to play professionally, being able to play piccolo can help you teach it to a flute or band student. It can also help you understand how the piccolo works if you want to arrange or compose music for it.
Speaking of playing, when you play the piccolo, you can play more solos than if you just played the flute. In an ensemble, the piccolo is gonna stand out. Even if you don’t have a “solo,” your part will shine through.
If you like to have the spotlight, the piccolo is a great option. You can float over the rest of the ensemble, and it doesn’t matter if you’re the best flute player.
You don’t have to get the first flute spot to get all of the solos. And the piccolo can have some fun solos in band and orchestra music. So give it a try, and you may like it.
Cons of Playing Both
As much as I love the piccolo, there are some disadvantages that come with being able to play flute and piccolo. Learning a new instrument can be hard, and it isn’t always accessible to flute players.
Here are a few reasons why you may not want to play flute and piccolo (at least not yet).
The more instruments you add, the more money it’s gonna cost. You can find a good student piccolo for around $1,000. But many of the professional and upper-level piccolos cost much more.
If you already have an expensive flute or need to get one, that’s a lot of money. Professional flutes can cost close to $10,000 or more. Add on another $3,000+ for a piccolo, and that can be out of a lot of budgets.
Plus, you have to pay to maintain the instruments each year. You should take them to a flute repair specialist to get the best work done. And that will cost money.
If you add a second instrument to your practice rotation, it can add some extra time. It doesn’t have to double your practice time, but you may need to practice more.
That way, you can get to all of your flute music and your piccolo music. Luckily, you can manage your practice time so that it doesn’t take as long.
If you want to learn more, you can download The Busy Musician’s Practice Bundle to get all of the resources you need.
While the flute and piccolo use a lot of the same fingerings, some are different. The piccolo has more alternate fingerings than the flute to compensate for intonation issues.
That can make learning the piccolo more confusing, especially if you aren’t quite confident with all of the flute fingerings. If you haven’t learned the flute super well, you may want to wait before you add the piccolo.
Then, you can make sure you feel good about your playing before you make it more complicated.
Being able to play flute and piccolo is so important. But it isn’t for everyone. If you want some excellent music for either instrument or you want to learn how to practice them productively, check out Flute Files!