8 Best Piccolo Snare — Punchy and Cutting Snare Tones for You!

A piccolo snare is a small snare drum that utilizes a thin shell construction. This specific construction delivers a higher-pitched sound than standard snare drums. In addition, piccolo snares provide a lightweight performance that’s easy to bring in gigs.

8 of the Best Piccolo Snare in this Guide — A Glance

Aside from this, piccolo snares deliver a cutting tone that punches through dense mixes. Not to mention, these snares are an excellent addition to compact and portable drumkits.

If you want your snare to have that “poppy” sound that’s perfect for dense mixes, a piccolo snare is for you. That said, I collected eight piccolo snares from all price points for all skill levels in this guide.

4 Budget-Friendly Piccolo Snare for Personal Practice

GRIFFIN Zebra 13” Piccolo Snare Drum

Piccolo Snare Drum 13' x 3.5' by GRIFFIN | 100% Poplar Wood Shell with Zebra Wood Finish & Coated Drum Head | Professional Marching Drummers Percussion Instrument with Bright Tone & Brilliant Attack

The GRIFFIN Piccolo Snare drum features a 13” x 3.5” 7.5mm 3-ply poplar construction. This specific shell construction allows the GRIFFIN Piccolo to deliver a high-pitched sound without busting the bank.

Aside from delivering a tight sound, this small snare drum also features six tuning lugs that enhance its tonal flexibility. These tuning lugs are compatible with most standard drums key. Moreover, the GRIFFIN Piccolo Snare comes with snare beds for a sharper sound without unwanted overtones and excessive snare vibrations.

Furthermore, GRIFFIN utilized white powder-coated snare drum heads that improve the overall sound and attack of the snare. This product is for you if you’re looking for the cheapest but decent piccolo snare on the market!

Key Features:

  • 13” x 3.5” shell size
  • 7.5mm 3-ply poplar shell
  • Snare throw-off
  • 10-strand snare wire
  • Built-in snare bed

Pros:

This piccolo snare drum features the necessary facets of a snare drum within a budget-friendly price point. It has tuning lugs for better tuning control and customization. In addition, GRIFFIN incorporated a built-in snare bed to eliminate excessive vibration for a sharper tone. 

Cons:

The snare drum head included with this snare drum doesn’t live up to expectations. That’s why I would recommend buyers to change it right away.

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Groove Percussion 3.5″ x 13″ Metal Piccolo Snare Drum

Groove Percussion 3.5' x 13' Metal Piccolo Snare Drum

If you prefer a sound that pops more than wooden snare shells, then the Metal Piccolo Snare Drum is for you! First, Groove Percussion utilizes a 13” x 3.5” chrome-plated shell that offers a higher pitch than wooden shells.

Second, Groove Percussion offers incredible levels of tuning customizability thanks to its 16 individual tuning lugs. This construction allows different resonant and beater head tunings, providing users with limitless possibilities.

Lastly, aside from boasting a high-pitched sound, this snare’s metal share delivers a highly durable performance. Its extremely robust construction is why the Groove Percussion Piccolo Snare is an incredible addition to a touring drumkit.

Key Features:

  • 13” x 3.5” snare drum
  • 16 tuning lugs
  • Chromed-plated metal shell material
  • Heavy-duty snare throw-off
  • Triple-flanged hoops

Pros:

The Groove Percussion piccolo snare drum delivers a lightweight and durable performance without compromising tone. In addition, this snare drum delivers a higher-pitched sound than wooden shells, allowing it to punch through dense mixes. 

Cons:

One gripe I have about this product is that its tuning lugs come loose often, affecting the snare’s tuning stability.

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MAPEX Poplar Snare Drum, Black, 14-inch

MAPEX Snare Drum, Black, 14-inch (MPBW4350CDK)

The MAPEX Snare Drum is a great addition to any drumkit. Whether be it an auxiliary or main snare drum of a kit, this snare will deliver cutting tone and projection.

Furthermore, this snare drum features a 14” x 3.5” 7.2mm poplar shell. The shell’s specific construction provides users with a decent tone while remaining within an affordable price range.

In a nutshell, this piccolo drum is an excellent choice as an expansion snare for standard drumkits. Its cheap price point makes it a good option for drummers looking for a budget-friendly snare without compromising sound.

Key Features:

  • 14” x 3.5” snare size
  • 7.2mm Poplar snare shell
  • Black finish

Pros:

This snare drum is highly flexible, allowing users to tune its drumhead in any way they like easily. Its drumhead is also sensitive enough to provide dynamic playing when using different types of drumsticks.

Cons:

Other snare drums within the same price point offer better features.

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Mapex MPST4351 Steel Piccolo Snare Drum

Mapex MPST4351 Steel Piccolo Snare Drum

If you’re looking for a highly resonant snare drum, then the MAPEX MPST4351 is perfect. Aside from delivering a high-pitched snare sound, this drum comes with low-mass lugs. This specification provides this small snare drum with better resonance, enhanced tone, and improved overtones.

Moreover, the Mapex MPST4351 features an all-chrome shell and hardware that offers a robust construction. This shell material also makes it considerably light while providing users with durable performance.

This piccolo snare drum also comes with an adjustable throw-off, allowing users to engage and disengage their snare on a whim. Finally, the MPST4351 features Remo UX Drumheads, providing users with an incredible tone in every hit.

Key Features:

  • All-chrome shell material
  • Low-mass lugs
  • Adjustable snare throw-off
  • Remo UX Drumheads
  • 14” x 3.5” snare drum size

Pros:

This snare drum offers a high-pitched sound in every hit, thanks to its chrome shell material. Consequently, making it an ideal choice for a student snare drum kit. In addition, the Mapex MPST4351’s low-mass lugs make it highly resonant and lightweight.

Cons:

The only difference between the Mapex MPST4351 and MPBW4350CDK is their shell material.

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4 Premium-level Piccolo Snares for Intermediate and Professional Drumming

Pearl M1330114 Piccolo Snare Drum

Pearl Piccolo Snare Drum 13 Inch x 3 Inch 6-ply Maple Shell, Liquid Amber (M1330114)

The Pearl M1330114 Snare Drum features a maple shell material that’s perfect for a versatile performance. This specific material provides the snare with an even frequency projection that is warm and perfect for all types of music.

Pearl’s combination of maple materials and a piccolo drum construction allows the M1330114 to dish out an extremely tight “pop”. In addition, this Pearl Piccolo drum comes with precision-fit rods that allow for a precise tuning experience. 

This drum’s utilization of CL05 lugs and 1.6mm triple-flanged hoops allow it to tolerate high-tension tuning for a higher pitch. Furthermore, this feature combination allows the M1330114 snare drum to have a better projection in live settings.

Key Features:

  • All-Maple shell material
  • 13” x 3” snare size
  • 1.6mm triple-flanged hoops
  • CL05 lugs
  • Precision-fit rods

Pros:

This is one of the most versatile piccolo snares on the market. Its utilization of maple shells lets it deliver an all-around sound that’s suitable for multiple genres. Also, its CL05 lugs and triple-flanged hoops enable this drum to provide a higher pitch than a small snare drum.

Cons:

This piccolo’s snare is quite inconsistent at times, requiring constant tweaking every once in a while.

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Ludwig LW0414CP Carl Palmer VENUS Signature

Ludwig LW0414CP 4 X 14 Inches Carl Palmer VENUS Signature Green Brass Snare Drum

Carl Palmer is a legendary drummer that sold multiple Gold-labeled records in the United States. Drummers within his stature wouldn’t settle for less when it comes to gear, especially when performing live. That’s why if you’re looking for professional-level piccolo snares, then you’re in for a treat!

The Ludwig Carl Palmer Signature snare features a green lacquered beaded-brass shell, delivering unparalleled projection and clarity. In addition, Carl Palmer’s signature also comes with brass tube lugs that allow users to have excellent tuning stability. The tube lugs’ colorway also makes the kit’s colorway and finish pop better.

Every Ludwig VENUS Signature comes with Carl Palmer’s Signature, making it not only excel through sound and aesthetics but also in sentimental value.

Key Features:

  • 14” x 3.7” snare size
  • Brass tube lugs
  • Green lacquered beaded-brass shell
  • Hand-signed by Carl Palmer
  • Die-cast hoop

Pros:

The Ludwig VENUS Piccolo Snare delivers an incredible performance in terms of visuals and sound. Aside from that, this snare drum comes with professional-level specifications that will suit any skill level.

Cons:

This snare’s throw-off has problems engaging and disengaging seamlessly. Thus, I wouldn’t recommend this for live performances.

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Grover Pro Percussion KeeGee Piccolo Snare Drum

Grover Pro Percussion KeeGee Piccolo Snare Drum - 3-inch x 14-inch - Natural Maple

The Grover Pro Percussion KeeGee is the best piccolo snare drum for orchestra concerts on this list. Grover Pro Percussion crafted this snare drum according to the specifications of renowned St. Louis Principal Percussionist Will James.

The KeeGee Piccolo features a 10-ply maple shell that equips the snare with a tone that cuts through mixes like butter! Grover Pro Percussion also crafted the KeeGee Piccolo with their signature snare wires, allowing for better dynamics when playing softly.

In the tonal department, the KeeGee Piccolo delivers a rich and impactful high. This piccolo snare also comes with a punchy mid-range, improving its ability to cut through dense mixes.

Key Features:

  • 10-ply Maple shell
  • Grover Piccolo snare throw-off
  • Triple-flanged hoops
  • Mini-tube lugs
  • Non-spiral snare wires

Pros:

Although this drum brand isn’t well-known, the Grover Pro Percussion piccolo snare still competes closely with high-end brands. This snare drum also delivers a biting sound that’s perfect for live performances and huge mixes.

Cons:

This snare is excellent for home and recording use. However, buyers should still note that Grover Pro Percussion specifically designed this product for orchestral percussion use.

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Pacific Snare Drum (PDSN0413SSEH)

Pacific Snare Drum (PDSN0413SSEH)

Eric Hernandez is the studio and touring drummer of Bruno Mars. If you have heard Bruno Mars’s songs, such as 24K Magic, then you have heard the Pacific Snare Drum PDSN0413SSEH. 

Firstly, the PDP Eric Hernandez signature boasts a 6-ply maple construction. PDP utilized an extra 6-ply reinforcement on the shell, improving the snare’s dynamics and sensitivity. It also boasts a throaty attack that’s perfect for replicating a 90s sound.

Secondly, the PDP Eric Hernandez comes with a MAG snare throw-off, allowing this snare to have better tuning stability. This Pacific snare drum also comes with triple-flanged hoops that enhance its attack. 

Given the stature of Eric Hernandez within the music industry, he’ll only use professional-level gear. Therefore, if you’re in the market for professional piccolo drums, then this is the product for you.

Key Features:

  • 13” x 4” snare size
  • 6-ply European maple shell
  • Shell reinforcements
  • MAG Snare throw-off
  • Triple-flanged hoops
  • 2-ply black Remo Drumheads

Pros:

This snare comes with features that cut within professional settings thanks to its premium-level specifications. That’s why this is the best choice for all-around drumming regardless of skill level. 

Cons:

The Eric Hernandez signature snare is a tough contender to beat in this list; however, it comes at a premium.

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What to Look for When Buying Piccolo Snares?— A Buyer’s Guide

Huge drum kit - Piccolo Snare

Let’s face it, finding the right gear requires extensive research and knowledge— piccolo snares are no exception! To get the best piccolo snare, buyers should know the features to look for on a snare drum. This ensures buyers get the right specifications according to their playing preferences and budget. Therefore, I crafted this buyer’s guide to help you accomplish your quest to find the best piccolo snares in the market.

Snare Size

The size of a snare affects how high or low its sound would be. A bigger snare drum delivers a lower pitched sound. Conversely, a smaller shell diameter would produce a higher pitched sound.

The standard piccolo snare sizes are 13” and 14”. That’s why if you’re looking for a higher-pitched piccolo, you should go with the former. On the other hand, 14” would be your go-to if you love a more meaty snare tone.

Material

Every wood has its specific sound. Thus, if you’re chasing a certain drum sound, you should know what type of wood to get.

Here are the most common piccolo snare drum materials in the market:

  • Maple– delivers a warm and balanced tone suitable for most genres.
  • Mahogany- closely similar to maple but with a punchier sound.
  • Poplar- a budget-friendly material that offers decent projection and tone.
  • Steel- offers a bright tone, longer sustain, and cutting sound.
  • Brass- it sounds like steel but with a warm and clear tone.

Tunability

Although the sound of piccolos is highly dependent on their size and shells, it’s still crucial to find a snare that can hold a tuning. That’s why finding features such as low-mass lugs and other materials that enhance a drumkit’s tuning stability is important. In addition, buyers should also find piccolo snares that offer a wide-tuning range for the best tone flexibility.

Frequently Asked Questions about Piccolo Snare Drums

What is a piccolo snare drum?

A piccolo snare features the same specification as a standard snare drum. However, a piccolo snare drum comes with a smaller dimension, allowing it to deliver a higher pitch than normal. 

What to look for when buying a piccolo?

When buying a piccolo drum, buyers should look for proper snare sizes and materials according to a specific music style. Furthermore, buyers should also look for piccolo snares that feature a wide tuning range for the best tuning flexibility possible.

What is a Piccolo used for in music?

Typically, most drummers utilize piccolos as auxiliary snares. However, they can also be used as a main snare within a drumkit if you prefer a higher-pitched snare.

What is the sound of a maple Piccola?

Maple is the most popular wood material among piccolo snares. This wood material delivers a balanced mid and high-range. On the other hand, its low-end is deeper than a standard snare sound. Moreover, this wood material also offers a warm snare sound.

Enjoy your New Piccolo Snare Drum!

Drummer playing a drum set - piccolo snare

In a nutshell, a piccolo snare drum features the same construction as a standard snare. The difference between the two boils down to the dimension of piccolo snares. This smaller snare shell dimension allows the piccolo snare to have a higher pitch that easily cuts through a mix. Therefore, if you’re looking for a snare drum that cuts, you should get a piccolo snare drum!

Hopefully, this article helped you find the best piccolo snares according to your needs. If this article helped you in any way, make sure to check our other drum-related guides. Which piccolo snare on this guide did you like the most? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. 

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