2015 07 09 20.10.13 e1455641225970

Tips and Tricks

Photo credit: Zachariah Galatis
Photo credit: Zachariah Galatis



We all run into THOSE spots in a piece of music or what seems like a completely impossible passage.  Feel free to share your problem area and how you got past it or, if you are still struggling, ask for help!

Here are a few pointers that may be helpful.


  • Loosen Up! Although the piccolo embouchure is firm, it is not overly tense: and absolutely no squeezing! Keep your embouchure firm, but “loose”. People think piccolo is tighter, but you have to stay more relaxed than flute to produce good tone.
  • Place the Piccolo Higher on the Lower Lip.
  • Don’t tense up! embouchure, shoulders, neck, etc. remain relaxed
  • Practice with earplugs, especially when working on high and fortes sections.
  • Practice with a tuner!
  • Get to Know Alternate Fingerings! Alternate fingerings provide a wealth of opportunity to adjust pitch and change the tone colors of notes.
  • Use a lighter grip than you would on flute! Everything’s closer together
  • For high notes, sometimes just rolling out will fix the problem.
  • Long tones….arpeggios.  scales.  If you practice the flute you should practice the piccolo.
  • Always warm up!
  • Christine Beard Guide To Alternate FingeringsDaphnispicc-1

Good luck and we hope these tips help!

the flute examiner
  1. thanks so much for this resource. l plan to put a link on the website listed above.

  2. Dave Booth

    I think the most important piece of advice I ever got and could pass on is something Britten Johnson told me many, many years ago.: The piccolo is NOT just a little flute. It is an entirely different instrument, and should be approached as such. Even when I was in the Navy, and playing every day, sometimes as much as six hours, I was never what I would call a “good” flute player; I was a real solid mediocre. But I was good on piccolo. I am convinced that was because I approached it as a different instrument.

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