Piccolo Snares In Jazz

audiochurch

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I was thinking of getting a Pearl Maple Free Floating piccolo for a jazz trio, but didn't find the right deal yet. I'd try it though considering the posts above alone.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I saw Billy Hart couple years ago at Monterey Jazz and I was shocked to see he had a 3x14 brass Pearl free floater piccolo....and it sounded amazing.
 

pwc1141

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While I personally don't play a piccolo snare for my jazz gigs, they are certainly valid for jazz and brushes can sound great on them.
 

JimmySticks

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I was thinking of getting a Pearl Maple Free Floating piccolo for a jazz trio, but didn't find the right deal yet. I'd try it though considering the posts above alone.
I always hear about these "free floating" snares, but I honestly don't know much about them...except there pretty expensive! :wacko:
 

multijd

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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 -

Yes. What size do you actually consider a piccolo to be? I lean toward 13” dia. 4” is the deepest. A 4x14 is on the edge. Gutsy drums in that size, like the one that Erskine is playing, may not really project a “piccolo” sound.
 

Elvis

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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?
Yes, very definately.
I picked a 13x3 for my Ludwig kit because I was looking for a lighter sound. I was interested in playing Jazz and I didn't want something that "dominated" the room.
...and I got it right, too....

Ludwig_ClassicMaple_ME_13x3.jpg


...with a 14x5, you can get a "pop" sound. With a 13x3, you get a "pap" sound. Say it. See the difference?
Its not something you can imitate with a 14x4 or even a 14x3, because while you attain the same depth, the larger diameter makes the drum want to naturally speak in a slightly lower note range.
Its a higher pitch, too, so it can add some brightness, but I enjoy that lighter sound.
Brushes take a little getting used to, but its not a major obstacle. You'll probably acclimate quicker than you think you will.
One thing I have found out, in the years since I got that kit, is that it doesn't make any difference in how sensitive the drum is.
You can play a 13x3 or a 14x10, if you set them up right, they'll both be just as sensitive.
So go ahead and snag that piccolo snare drum! I think you'll enjoy it a lot.
Good luck. =)

Elvis
 
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Elvis

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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 .
I SAID, IT'S ALSO THE LOUDEST SNARE DRUM EVER!!!!
 
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JimmySticks

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Yes. What size do you actually consider a piccolo to be? I lean toward 13” dia. 4” is the deepest. A 4x14 is on the edge. Gutsy drums in that size, like the one that Erskine is playing, may not really project a “piccolo” sound.
I believe a true piccolo to be 13"x3", and that's what I'm after honestly. That honest crack. I think you can go to 4" deep and still call it a piccolo, but I want the true piccolo snare.
 

Elvis

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I was thinking of getting a Pearl Maple Free Floating piccolo for a jazz trio, but didn't find the right deal yet. I'd try it though considering the posts above alone.
Maybe things are different now, 35 years down the road, but I remember playing and listening to a number of Pearl free floaters when they came out and I was not impressed.
The whole idea of the free floaating drum is less mass on the shell allows it to move easier and thus, the sound of the shell itself is supposed to come across better.
All I ever noticed was that it made the drum sound colder and drier than if the same shell were used to make a snare drum in a more traditional manner.
Personally, I think you'd get a better sounding snare drum, if it were a Sensitone or a Masters series.

Elvis
 

multijd

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I believe a true piccolo to be 13"x3", and that's what I'm after honestly. That honest crack. I think you can go to 4" deep and still call it a piccolo, but I want the true piccolo snare.
I have a pearl steel 3x13 that I needed for a gig. (Evita). Its a true piccolo but for me me two bright and one dimensional for Jazz. Of course then we get in to ” what kind of jazz”. But generally I want something with some air. Resonance and tone. If I was to play a3x13 in a standard jazz setting I would prefer a wood drum maybe three ply mahogany?
this one is 4x14 maple.
 

Seb77

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Billy Hart has used Free-Floating snares for a long time, but I haven't seen a video of him playing a shallow one. About the sound: Maybe you could say they let the head vibrate just as much as the shell. You get a lot of overtones, so they're not dry, and in a shallow depth that would result in a bright overall sound. With a 6.5 maple shell on the other hand, you get a lot of fundamental plus the overtones, so it's a loud snare overall with a long overtone decay, especially when hit off-center.

For a jazz piccolo, I would go with a darker sounding drum, mahogany sounds like a good idea; those Pearl maple shells are good, too, but probably more in your face.
 

Targalx

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I used to play one of these one hundred dollar Guitar Center special Remo Mastertouch piccolo snares. They were very common in the late '90s and Guitar Center always had them on sale for about $79-$99. I used them in jazz combos and when I played in the university big band. It was a perfect snare sound for any jazz situation.

I sometimes see them used for about the same price now as when they were new. I had a Remo Mastertouch kit at the time, so when I sold the kit, the snare went with it. It was an excellent drum for the price. I wouldn't need one today, but I also wouldn't hesitate to use one on a gig if it were around.

 

Soulfinger

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I´ve been playing (jazz) on piccolos only for some time now, love them. I use the 13x3 brass and steel Pearls - the brass is warmer but I don´t feel the steel is lacking. In 14x4 I have a Pearl and a Tama Artwood, both maple. Amazing snares.
There´s a Crockett Tubs 14x3 on offer locally that is calling my name but i don´t need another maple piccolo - or do I? :glasses8:
 


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