Tuesday, 13 November 2012

For the Beginner

YRS-23 German Soprano Recorder
 The Yamaha YRS-23 German Soprano Recorder is in the key of C; German fingering; double holes: C-C#,
D-D#; 3-piece construction. The combination of tone, intonation, and ease of playing makes it number one in its class. Suitable for more advanced players as well as beginning students and very affordably priced.
YRS-24B Baroque Soprano Recorder
The Yamaha YRS-24B Soprano Recorder with Baroque Fingering is in the key of C. Double holes: C-C#,
D-D#; 3-piece construction. The combination of tone, intonation, and ease of playing makes it number one in its class. Suitable for more advanced players as well as beginning students and very affordably priced.
Yamaha Wooden Soprano Recorder
40,60 and 80 series
Yamaha Plastic Recorders 300 series

Recommended Recorders
If you wish to play popular songs it is recommended that you buy a Soprano or Tenor. These most closely approximate the range of the human voice and are capable of playing the notes of many modern tunes To play more traditional music the F Alto is recommended. The Sopranino and Bass are very specialized and really useful in ensemble playing.

Compared to most other instruments a soprano recorder is a very affordable instrument. Very fine wooden soprano recorders can be more expensive.

Yamaha makes a fairly decent soprano plastic recorder ( 20 and 300 series ) and wooden recorder ( 20, 40, 60,80,800 and 900 series ). This instrument will certainly allow you to learn recorder technique and play tunes. However, plastic doesn’t absorb any moisture: the recorder tends to clog up much quicker than a wooden model. In addition, a plastic instrument does not sound like a wooden instrument.

Buy the best instrument you can affored but don't let price interfere with getting one. A resonable priced recorder is generally good for a start and you can always get a better one later.

It is not recommended that the novice get a second recorder until he has mastered the first. When switching from an F to C or vice-versa, it is very easy to get confused and "goofy fingered". Once the fingerings are mastered, a second recorder is much easier to learn. If the student adequately masters both the C and F fingering, he can play any recorder (including German fingerings) with a little study and practice.


Holding the Recorder

Stand or sit erect in a natural and comfortable position. Beware of slouching as this will interfere with breathing and may cause poor tone. Hold the recorder at about a 45 degree angle and always support it with the thumb of the right hand.

The holes must be covered with the soft pad of the fingers and never with the finger tips. The fingers must make a complete seal over the holes but do not press very hard since this may cause a condition similare to writer's cramp.


Playing the Recorder

Proper blowing and breathing is the key to pleasing sounds. Breathing is sometimes a problem. On long passages, one has a tendency to run out of wind. Breaths should be taken from the diaphragm (like in singing) and expelled with support from the diaphragm. The upper chest should not move. This will allow for better breath control. When it becomes necessary to take a breath, it should be taken quickly and quietly.

Blowing is done through exhaling into the mouthpiece with the lips gently sealed around it and the end of the mouthpiece positioned in front of slightly separated teeth. Blow gently, sustaining the same pressure at all times. The greater the pressure, the higher (or sharper) the pitch and conversely, lesser pressure will lower (or flatten) the pitch. Proper blowing is essential to maintain the correct pitch (or intonation) of the note.

Playing a note starts with the attack. Silently say the word "Du" or "Tu" for each note. To terminate the note, the tongue moves forward toward the teeth and silently say a stopped "D" or "T".

The fingers should come down like little hammers, completely sealing the hole (unless a half hole fingering is needed, which will be explained in the lessons) and held tight for the duration of the note. When the note has stopped, the fingers must release quickly in order to repostition themselves for the next note.

The combination of blowing and fingering is called articulation.

Practicing Tips

1. Try to play every day.

2. Practice for at least an hour when you can.

3. Play for family and friends when you have mastered a piece.

4. Practice with no interruptions or background noise. You will concentrate better.

5. Listen to yourself, don't just play the notes.

6. Use your playing for relaxation. Don't try to play when stressed.

7. Take your recorder on vacation to a lake, forest, desert, mountain . . . . and play. You'll be surprised at how good they sound outdoors. If you have a decent wood recorder, get a cheap plastic one to take with you.

8. Don't play your recorder while taking a bath, shower or swimming.

9. Don't practice at 4 AM in an apartment building.

10. Bathroom acoustics are excellent. Ever notice how good singing in the shower can sound? Play in the bathroom (but NOT while showering). Remember to sit erect and not slouch for good tone.

Last and most important - ENJOY!
How to mute a recorder (parents)

Cut a piece of paper the same width as the window on your recorder. Folder the paper so that one quarter is folded backwards. Place the paper into the recorder window with the one quarter tucked inside.

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