Piccolo Snares In Jazz

JimmySticks

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I happen to love a good piccolo snare. That sharp "crack" is irresistible to me. But these days I'm playing mostly jazz and I'm not sure a piccolo fits that genre. So before I invest in one, I wanted some opinions on their use in jazz and whether they would be a good fit for me.

I've heard what sounds like a piccolo while listening to Jonathan Blake from the Kenny Barron Trio, but I can't be sure.

So does the piccolo have a place in jazz?
 

Seb77

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Peter Erskine in the 80s comes to mind. I just watched this clip, great music, maybe the sounds take a bit of getting used to. Same with that snare sound imo.
(not sure this qualifies as real piccolo, though).

Reminds me that I have an old Sonor pancake snare, solid(?) beech, somewhere that actually sounded quite good as main snare. Maybe it just looked odd but I haven't used it for a long time.
 

JimmySticks

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Peter Erskine in the 80s comes to mind. I just watched this clip, great music, maybe the sounds take a bit of getting used to. Same with that snare sound imo.
(not sure this qualifies as real piccolo, though).

Reminds me that I have an old Sonor pancake snare, solid(?) beech, somewhere that actually sounded quite good as main snare. Maybe it just looked odd but I haven't used it for a long time.
Thanks Seb, that does look and sound like a piccolo to me. Not sure if they're is a rule on what measurements qualify a snare as a piccolo, but I'd say anything 4" wide or less, and that looks like about 4". Nice sound IMO.

Here's Blake. You can't see the snare and the sound stinks, but it does have that piccolo sound to me -

 

Seb77

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Here's Blake. You can't see the snare and the sound stinks, but it does have that piccolo sound to me -
If you like how your snare sounds, play it. This seesm to be a 5 or 5.5 though, I think you can make it out in certain spots.Listening from the side, most snare sound thinner than if picked up by the overheads. Cool playing - that slowing down thing in the solo!
 

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Peter Erskine in the 80s comes to mind. I just watched this clip, great music, maybe the sounds take a bit of getting used to. Same with that snare sound imo.
(not sure this qualifies as real piccolo, though).

Reminds me that I have an old Sonor pancake snare, solid(?) beech, somewhere that actually sounded quite good as main snare. Maybe it just looked odd but I haven't used it for a long time.
My neighbour looks exactly like Peter Erskine did those days. Even wears the same clothes while mowing the lawn:blink:
 

JimmySticks

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If you like how your snare sounds, play it. This seesm to be a 5 or 5.5 though, I think you can make it out in certain spots.Listening from the side, most snare sound thinner than if picked up by the overheads. Cool playing - that slowing down thing in the solo!
Ok, I couldn't really make out the size, but it does have a wonderful sound. I just came across Jonathan Blake recently and I really love his playing. Very tasteful stuff.
 

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If you did a piccolo for jazz I think I'd use a wooden one as opposed to metal. It still retains that crack you want, but with a slight warmth and less sustain and overtones. I personally love my pearl steel piccolo and use it as my primary snare, but I play rock and it can get very obnoxious if I'm not careful. I never could get the hang of jazz as much as I love to listen to it.
 

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( i have this on good source)
they were invented so your girlfriend (that week) could carry "something in" hence not having to pay the cover charge at your gig that was their main sole purpose
 
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Edward

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I play jazz in a little big band and a big box guitar trio. I use a 3x13” 5 ply African Mahogany Pearl piccolo snare. Ludwig made a 3x13” snare that was called a bebop or jazz combo snare and was endorsed by Buddy. The famous Max Roach Birdland kit had a 4x14” snare.
 

JimmySticks

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If you did a piccolo for jazz I think I'd use a wooden one as opposed to metal. It still retains that crack you want, but with a slight warmth and less sustain and overtones. I personally love my pearl steel piccolo and use it as my primary snare, but I play rock and it can get very obnoxious if I'm not careful. I never could get the hang of jazz as much as I love to listen to it.
That's actually a good point I think.

I do have a very cheapo Yamaha steel piccolo, that does sound surprisingly good, but warm it's not. Great little drum for some funk though.
 

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always have a 4 x14 wood/maple/ Taiwan/ snare around Jimmy (for a main/variety)
5 x 12 like the Yamaha Stage Custom (another 99$) (now maybe $109) are excellent side snares when you want to add a dash of hip hop in your grooves.

wood 4 x 14. USA Gretsch ones are astronomical 700-1000$ used...
settle for a lesser build (Lp Ascend 4 x 14 (maple/ish) were very popular and still around)
 

JimmySticks

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I play jazz in a little big band and a big box guitar trio. I use a 3x13” 5 ply African Mahogany Pearl piccolo snare. Ludwig made a 3x13” snare that was called a bebop or jazz combo snare and was endorsed by Buddy. The famous Max Roach Birdland kit had a 4x14” snare.
Yeah man, love me a 3x14 mahogony. Now that is a PICCOLO!!!:wub:
 

NobleCooleyNut

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I would go with the Noble and Cooley Maple SS 14 x 3 7/8” piccolo snare for small group or big band jazz gigs . It has a huge tuning range and is a wonderful brush snare .
 


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