I got myself a recorder...

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Thomas Andersson
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I got myself a recorder...

Post by Thomas Andersson » Thu May 29, 2003 10:21 am

My local music store is in the process of closing down, so I got this wooden Moeck soprano at a really low price... thing is, I've never played one before, let alone any instrument that you blow into. Only guitar and keyboards :) I find the fingering bit pretty easy, but blowing and breathing technique is more difficult.

How did you all learn it? Any tips for a beginner? Any good books/internet sites that you know of?

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Sam Gamgee
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Post by Sam Gamgee » Thu May 29, 2003 11:08 am

TIPS

1. Give the recorder a name.

2. I don't know how much you know, so if I'm telling you what you already know, I'm sorry. The way to breathe is to whisper "doo" for each separate note (and just keep going if there's a tie). I remember when I started recorder sometimes I couldn't play a low G, much less a D. I really don't know why, exactly, but I have a suspicion it was from the intensity of breath - the most common mistake for new recorder playeers is over blowing. Then it sounds sharp, loud, squeaky, and extremely irritating. You can also not breath with enough pressure, and then it sounds quivering, flat, quiet, and extremely irritating. I don't know that there is a set standard I could give to tell you how much intensity you do need, other than find the median between the two extremes.
Another thing that might help is when you get down to lower notes you the most important thing is to lessen your breath pressure. When you start getting above the middle D, you want to start to increase your breath pressure. The basic difference between the lower G and high G is breath, although leaving the thumb hole open a crack is also a part of the difference.
One last thing: the other main beginner mistake for breathing is to give each note the same pressure of breath. That makes it sound monotone and extremely irritating. (that's the thing about recorders - if not played right, they are high, screechy, and irritating. If played right though... *blissful sigh* :)) If you blow too hard or too little, as i said before, it sounds terrible, so you don't have much of a dynamic range, but you have enough flexibility to play musically, and stress the more important notes by breathing just a little bit louder. To make a song really beautiful, you need to remember that. And yeah, it's probably really hard at first, but if you play for awhile and get used to your instrument, it will come naturally.
Ok. So there are my basic tips for breathing.

Sorry, I don't know of any really good books or internet sites... I took recorder in school 3rd through 5th grade (our class knew the notes from low C to the high E, and I learned an F for a solo, but out teacher was smart enough not to try to teach little kids to play really high piercing notes), and then when I switched schools, again in 7th and 8th. A lot of the technique is something you just learn on your own though, as you play (at least it was for me). So just play it a lot and have fun.

Another bit of advice - the funnest songs to play on the recorder are the Ballad of Balin Longbeard and the part for Elrenn and Endereth! :-D

Heopfully that helps.
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By his blindness to see that the warmth of his being
Is promised for his seeing, his reaching so clearly[/i][/color]

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Thomas Andersson
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Post by Thomas Andersson » Fri May 30, 2003 1:58 am

Hmmm... a name... that's hard. Any suggestions? :D

Thanks for the breathing pointers. This is stuff I was just beginning to understand through trial-and-error. By the way, when you say low G, are you talking about soprano recorders? The lowest note I can take on my soprano is a C (all holes covered). That note was pretty hard to play at first, especially when I'm coming down from the higher ones, but now I'm kind of getting the hang of it :)

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Post by Sam Gamgee » Fri May 30, 2003 11:00 am

There are only two G's you can play on a soprano recorder, and I was referring to the lower of the two, which is in its middle range. Sorry for being confusing. yes, C is the lowest you can go. the D more than two octaves higher is the highest, but I wouldn't try that one for awhile, and never without warming up a lot.
Good for you. C is the hardest note to play. the higher ones are hard too, I guess, but I remember trying to play a C and failing for such a long time... :) name suggestions? Uh... Do you like elvish? quenya or sindarin?
[color=#ff6600][i]Workings of man crying out from the fires set aflame
By his blindness to see that the warmth of his being
Is promised for his seeing, his reaching so clearly[/i][/color]

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