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Good place to start with recorder?


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#31 Misterioso

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Posted 19 August 2020 - 18:28

Thank you, Maizie - very glad to have this advice about German flutes and how to avoid accidentally buying one!

 

Zixi, Sarah Jeffrey is an amazing player. I watched the link you sent and also a further two of her videos. You are right, she's not keen on the Dolmetsch! I'm going to phone EMS tomorrow and see if I can get some advice about which make / model to go for. Although Sarah demonstrates the plastic to good effect, it's noticeably less mellow than the wood. And as it's a big birthday coming up :wacko: I can probably afford to push my luck a bit. :D


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#32 Flossie

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Posted 19 August 2020 - 19:18

I love the sopranino. It's actually my favourite recorder. I have three sopraninos.

Plastic Aulos. Does the job but not the best tone. Perfectly adequate for someone wanting to try out a sopranino or for someone who just wants one for less regular use.

Moeck Rottenburg in maple. Instrument passed on to me by someone who didn't like the higher pitch or closer finger spacing. Has a nicer tone than the Aulos but slightly less projection. Good option for someone who wants wood without spending a lot. I use it as a practice instrument.

Mollenhauer Denner in Palisander. I absolutely adore this recorder. It has a lovely sweet tone and good projection. Feels really nice in my hands and I prefer the slightly slimmer beak (the Moeck Rottenburg has a slightly more rounded beak). People are always surprised at the sound of this recorder because they expect small recorders to sound shrill, and it doesn't. This recorder can cope with whatever music I throw at it and can project in a mixed ensemble which includes electric instruments. One of my cats is absolutely obsessed with this recorder. She adores the sound and can never get near enough to it. I can only play it when she's out now because otherwise she climbs up me to get closer to the sound (which was fine when she was a kitten, but hurts now that she is fully grown!)

Given that you like the sound of wooden flutes (as in transverse flutes) you might like the sound of Grenadilla. I have a descant and treble in Grenadilla and both have a lovely tone and good projection.

As a rough rule of thumb, hardwoods (e.g. Palisander, Ebony, Grenadilla, Rosewood) project more than softwoods (e.g. Maple, Pearwood). Recorders with good projection tend to be favoured for solo playing, the softer woods for larger recorder ensembles. Boxwood is in between and is a very popular option among recorder players. It can suit both ensemble and solo playing. To me it has a slightly edgy tone (think oboe rather than flute), but that is personal preference.
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#33 Misterioso

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Posted 19 August 2020 - 21:37

That's a brilliant synopsis, Flossie - thank you! The two that I am currently seriously interested in (in order of preference) are:-

 

1 Moeck Rottenburg in Boxwood

2 Mollenhauer Denner in Pearwood

 

However I like the sound of the Palisander, so might have to add that to my shortlist - but it does depend on the price! I'll have another browse on EMS tomorrow.

 

I am absolutely, DEFINITELY not buying any more instruments after this!!!


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#34 Zixi

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Posted 20 August 2020 - 04:51


I am absolutely, DEFINITELY not buying any more instruments after this!!!

Ummmm if I had a recorder for every time I heard someone who likes recorders say that I'd have even more recorders than I have... They breed... like coat-hangers...

 

I'm not sure if you've done so, but the manufacturers usually have sound clips. Some are very good but others stick the recorder in with whacking great orchestras... sigh... Anyway, good luck with the 'pushing of the luck'! ;)


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#35 AdLibitum

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Posted 20 August 2020 - 05:50

Sarah Jeffries has a video where she compares recorders in different woods.
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#36 Flossie

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Posted 20 August 2020 - 07:45

That's a brilliant synopsis, Flossie - thank you! The two that I am currently seriously interested in (in order of preference) are:-

1 Moeck Rottenburg in Boxwood
2 Mollenhauer Denner in Pearwood

However I like the sound of the Palisander, so might have to add that to my shortlist - but it does depend on the price! I'll have another browse on EMS tomorrow.

I am absolutely, DEFINITELY not buying any more instruments after this!!!

Have a look at Thomann. They are good for recorders and often quite a bit less expensive. Some of my recorders came from there. Postage is pretty quick despite it being international. I haven't checked if they deliver to the Islands, but can't imagine why they wouldn't. A decent wooden recorder would put you into their free postage band.

Edit: look under 'Brass' on the Thomann website and look at Baroque not German.
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#37 Misterioso

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Posted 21 August 2020 - 11:28

Sarah Jeffries has a video where she compares recorders in different woods.

 

Thanks for this. I've just finished watching it, and feel more informed now about making a choice.

 

 

That's a brilliant synopsis, Flossie - thank you! The two that I am currently seriously interested in (in order of preference) are:-

1 Moeck Rottenburg in Boxwood
2 Mollenhauer Denner in Pearwood

However I like the sound of the Palisander, so might have to add that to my shortlist - but it does depend on the price! I'll have another browse on EMS tomorrow.

I am absolutely, DEFINITELY not buying any more instruments after this!!!

Have a look at Thomann. They are good for recorders and often quite a bit less expensive. Some of my recorders came from there. Postage is pretty quick despite it being international. I haven't checked if they deliver to the Islands, but can't imagine why they wouldn't. A decent wooden recorder would put you into their free postage band.

Edit: look under 'Brass' on the Thomann website and look at Baroque not German.

 

 

Gosh, I looked at Thomann, and could save £32 on the Moeck Rottenburg. Thanks for this tip.
 


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#38 Misterioso

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Posted 22 August 2020 - 14:08

I have chosen it! I've decided on a Kung Superio in pearwood from EMS. There seem to be a number of instruments on sale there just now, and this is one of them. This might - or might not - be a link:-

 

https://earlymusicsh...der-in-pearwood

 

Edit: Yay - my technological skills are increasing....inch by painful inch! :woot:


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#39 Flossie

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Posted 22 August 2020 - 16:57

Be aware that the Kung Superio recorders need much higher air pressure in the second octave compared to other models, especially from treble/sopranino D (the second one) upwards. For the top notes, my treble needs similar air pressure to the top octave of the piccolo. You also need to be very accurate with your thumb hole technique because you have to have exactly the right amount open. The rolling technique schools often teach for the thumbhole will not give you enough control - you will need to use the thumbnail technique which allows you to be much more precise in adjusting how much of the thumbhole is open. You may find it takes a while to get the higher notes properly and they may make you dizzy at first due to the air pressure needed (just like some people experience when they start the flute or start learning the top octave of the flute) but that will ease as you get used to the instrument.

You might want to get one of the Moeck or Mollenhauer recorder maintenance kits so that you have suitable oil and a recorder brush. It is possible to buy a brush and oil separately, but it has become more difficult to source suitable oil in shops since pharmacies stopped selling almond oil. As you are just starting out, a kit is probably easier than trying to find things yourself.

Give the recorder a week of just playing in the bottom octave and a half (up to the second C) and then add in the notes above one at a time. The Superio needs to be played in before the top notes will come easily. I followed Moeck's playing in instructions with my Superio because I could tell from the feel of the instrument that it would not cope initially with the longer playing time in the Kung guidance. 5 minutes a day (which is what Moeck recommend for the first week) was enough for it at first (rather than the 20 Kung allow).

I have a Superio treble and, as an experienced player, it took a while to get the top notes nicely. The lowest notes are richer than on any of my other recorders, but that has been achieved by compromising the tone and flexibility of the higher notes (some other models have the opposite compromise - beautiful top notes but weak bottom ones). Be patient with yourself in the second octave - the Superio demands good technique! Mine was also quite oil-thirsty in the first few months; but I don't know if that is typical of those recorders or just that mine was particularly dry. I actually had to oil it in the first week because I could tell from the sound that it needed oil.
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#40 Misterioso

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Posted 23 August 2020 - 12:05

Be aware that the Kung Superio recorders need much higher air pressure in the second octave compared to other models, especially from treble/sopranino D (the second one) upwards. For the top notes, my treble needs similar air pressure to the top octave of the piccolo. You also need to be very accurate with your thumb hole technique because you have to have exactly the right amount open. The rolling technique schools often teach for the thumbhole will not give you enough control - you will need to use the thumbnail technique which allows you to be much more precise in adjusting how much of the thumbhole is open. You may find it takes a while to get the higher notes properly and they may make you dizzy at first due to the air pressure needed (just like some people experience when they start the flute or start learning the top octave of the flute) but that will ease as you get used to the instrument.

You might want to get one of the Moeck or Mollenhauer recorder maintenance kits so that you have suitable oil and a recorder brush. It is possible to buy a brush and oil separately, but it has become more difficult to source suitable oil in shops since pharmacies stopped selling almond oil. As you are just starting out, a kit is probably easier than trying to find things yourself.

Give the recorder a week of just playing in the bottom octave and a half (up to the second C) and then add in the notes above one at a time. The Superio needs to be played in before the top notes will come easily. I followed Moeck's playing in instructions with my Superio because I could tell from the feel of the instrument that it would not cope initially with the longer playing time in the Kung guidance. 5 minutes a day (which is what Moeck recommend for the first week) was enough for it at first (rather than the 20 Kung allow).

I have a Superio treble and, as an experienced player, it took a while to get the top notes nicely. The lowest notes are richer than on any of my other recorders, but that has been achieved by compromising the tone and flexibility of the higher notes (some other models have the opposite compromise - beautiful top notes but weak bottom ones). Be patient with yourself in the second octave - the Superio demands good technique! Mine was also quite oil-thirsty in the first few months; but I don't know if that is typical of those recorders or just that mine was particularly dry. I actually had to oil it in the first week because I could tell from the sound that it needed oil.

Ah - I had no idea about that. I'm not a piccolo player so not sure about the air pressure needed - but guess it must be more than for the top octave of the flute. I will get a maintenance kit too. How does a recorder sound when it needs oil? (Btw, is there a reason why the pharmacies have stopped selling almond oil?) I will bear in mind about the playing time too, and keep it to the minimum. Thank you for your brilliant advice. :)


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#41 Misterioso

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Posted 30 August 2020 - 11:44

Hmmm - a mysterious package has arrived and been secreted away by OH. I have 5 weeks to wait.... :whistling:


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#42 Zixi

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Posted 31 August 2020 - 06:10

I wonder what that could be? :lol: 


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#43 Misterioso

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 14:43

....And today is sop day! :woot:


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#44 Norway

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Posted 07 October 2020 - 13:05

And you can carry it around on your tricycle and whip it out and play it (like I did for my pupil's wedding if you remember), although you don't have to hide it where I hid mine! ;) 


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#45 Misterioso

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Posted Yesterday, 16:19

I have just christened my new sopranino! :D :wub:

I know, I know, I've had it for 14 days, but life has been crazy.

I love, LOVE the size, and the tone (even in my incompetent fingers!) is nice, so it was quite hard to limit myself to the 5 minutes recommended for the first week. However, I do have a few questions and would be really grateful if someone could help.

 

1 It's a quarter tone flat according to my piano (which was tuned only last month). Will it change when I can play it for longer and the wood has more time to warm up? Or is it lack of air pressure?

 

2 What's the best way to clean it after use? I have an unused pull through for a flute (prefer fluffy brushes for my flute). Would that be okay? And should I leave it to air as well? Also, how do I clean the headjoint bit? And the mouthpiece?

 

3 I find myself having to stop to exhale as I think I'm trying to use too much air (as I would for flute). What's the best way around this issue?

 

Thanks in advance for any nuggets of information.


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