Sunday, October 19, 2014

Profiled Piccolo Headjoint

In 1993, Powell introduced a new piccolo headjoint with a "profiled embouchure plate to help provide greater comfort for flutists switching back and forth from flute to piccolo."  This headjoint style was named the "Profiled" headjoint and is one of three piccolo headjoints offered today (Profiled, Wave, and Classic).  Powell's Director of Service and Quality, Rebecca Eckles, spent many years performing professionally on flute and piccolo.  She shared that the Profiled headjoint definitely allows for a "more comfortable transition from flute to piccolo."

Flute finisher Lindsey McChord also cuts headjoints for Powell, and you may remember her name from previous posts -- especially last week's post about cutting wooden flute headjoints. She told us more about cutting the Profiled piccolo headjoint, highlighting its similarities to the wooden flute headjoints, which also have a "profiled" lip plate.  The Profiled piccolo headjoints, just like the wooden headjoints and other piccolo headjoints, are all made from one piece of wood.  Lindsey begins cutting a Profiled piccolo headjoint exactly the way she would for a wooden flute headjoint -- by filing the lip plate until the wall is the correct height. She also uses a gauge on the outside of the lip plate to make sure she has the correct angles for the front and back angles.  After that, she continues cutting and filing as she would with the wooden flute headjoints.  For wooden flute headjoints, there are metal versions of these styles (Soloist and Philharmonic).  One difference between wooden piccolo headjoints and wooden flute headjoints is that there are not metal versions of the three piccolo headjoint styles.

We realize that Lindsey wears many hats in terms of cutting headjoints and finishing flutes, but we know she is also a flutist. So, we asked for her thoughts on the Profiled piccolo headjoint from the player's perspective as well.  Lindsey noted that because of its profiled lip plate, it may be more comfortable for flutists who don't play much piccolo.  She said that often times with other piccolo headjoints, flute players may need to spend time rolling in or out to get the headjoint in the right spot.  With the Profiled piccolo headjoint, she said that one does not have to adjust.  She said, "You can pick up the piccolo, and the headjoint is right where it needs to be."

Piccolo headjoint styles.  Left to right: Classic, Wave, Profiled.

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