Newbie Question about Piccolo Trumpeting

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by I'mnoMaynardFerguson, Dec 15, 2015.

  1. I'mnoMaynardFerguson

    I'mnoMaynardFerguson New Friend

    Jul 17, 2015
    I am kind of a self-taught beginner on the piccolo trumpet. I have seen people playing the fourth valve with their right hand little finger, and others with their left hand index. Is there a reason to choose one over the other? What do you other piccoloers do? Thanks
  2. Kujo20

    Kujo20 Forte User

    Sep 29, 2010
    Simply put: It's a comfort thing. Whatever feels best (and presses the valve down correctly) is what you do.

  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The valve geometry normally favors the right hand for all valves. In the beginning I experimented with both and ended up using my pinky. Now I have a 3 valve picc and don't need either strategy!
  4. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Personally, I believe it becomes easier to use the little finger of the right hand if you've developed a habit of not using the pinky ring with a standard trumpet. Too I find it is easier to play the notes above the staff on a picc than on a standard Bb trumpet. I've even come to like more Va8 played on a picc. I've no aspiration or has there ever been a attempt to emanate Maynard or others up there. IMO it is more an improvisation thing and not much from music written for contemporary trumpet.
  5. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    My Yamaha 6810 piccolo is designed for use with the right hand for the 4th valve. To me, it is just second nature to use the right hand.
    Rich T.
  6. Clarkvinmazz

    Clarkvinmazz Forte User

    May 11, 2013
    Oberlin, Ohio
    I didn't really have a choice, the way my piccolo is designed it is very difficult to use the third valve slide AND the fourth valve at the same time with the left hand- so pinky it is!
  7. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    Both ways are ok. Maurice André always used the index finger of the left hand for #4. I've used both varieties - pinky on rotaries, left index for pistons. However, I've found that the left index version for me is the more comfortable one. But the legitimacy of both positions is proved by Scherzer, Schagerl and Votruba who offer their piccs with an alternative left-handed fourth valve, and even versions where you can choose on the instant:
    News - Musikhaus Schagerl - Produkte bei kaufen

    Trumpets, Bb Trumpets, C Trumpets and High Trumpets - made by Master J.Scherzer
  8. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    The Besson picc I used to own had the 4th valve offset to the left to facilitate playing that valve with the left hand.
  9. flugelgirl

    flugelgirl Forte User

    Jan 20, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I use my left index finger. My hands are too small to reach the slightl offset of a P5-4. I have a lot more strength and independence with an index than a pinky as well. Whichever you choose, practice will make it work for you.
  10. Sterling

    Sterling Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 22, 2007
    Marcellus, NY
    My trumpet professor in undergraduate school, Dr. Gordon Mathie told me the offset fourth valve of the P5-4 was to accommodate the length of the left index finger. That's the way I've always played it. My Schertzer is a little more awkward because of having to use my right hand only.

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