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Recorder Thread!


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#4216 Zixi

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 07:29

The double hole is awkward on the descant too when it's supposed to be half-holed. I don't think I have any recorders at all that have a single hole though. I ought to get one and try it. I wish I'd learned the rolling thumb technique. I think it's much kinder on the recorder. I learned to pinch the notes. When using the thumb nail you have to remember not to apply any pressure and that's very difficult to do when you're first learning and inclined to be tense...

 

AdLibitum - How is the recorder playing coming along?


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#4217 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 11:56

Sarah J has a new video comparing a plastic Yamaha to a maple Moeck Rottenburgh.

 

Thanks for that, I have just watched it.  Quite interesting: you could hear a difference but it wasn't as marked as the €10/€1000 test she had done between the basic Yamaha soprano and her expensive Mollenhauer.  Things like that are hard to quantify of course:  the €300 Moeck was clearly better than the €30 Yamaha; it was hard to say if it was 10 times better (I know that's essentially meaningless!).  It's a pity she didn't compare the Moeck with the Aulos Haka alto - I'm a big fan of the latter as I think are quite a lot of people.  I don't think you can get a better plastic instrument except for Bernolin's handmade ones, but at about €60 it is still massively cheaper than Moeck's cheapest Rottenburgh.


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#4218 AdLibitum

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Posted 12 September 2020 - 19:58

Zixi, thanks for asking. I got to about the level I had been as a teenager or slightly better - able to play nice easy tunes that don't go above, say, C and able to put a bit of an expression into the tone. To progress from there I'd have to practise, which I haven't had a chance to do lately - but I should have a bit of time from mid October, so I'm very much looking forward to doing more. (I'm just pleased I've managed to maintain harp and singing practice. But then I'm taking lessons in both, which provides motivation.)

o_a_g, I understand what you mean about the video and the relative merits of the different recorders. I can easily imagine people who choose the Yamaha not because it's cheaper but because they prefer the sound. (Not me, of course, I'm sticking with my Moeck! :D )
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#4219 Zixi

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 10:01

I'm really glad it has gone (and continues to go) well and that most of all you're enjoying it! I agree that teachers help with focus! They take away some of the responsibility for deciding where to go next but add the responsibility of not wasting their time!!!! Hopefully, the lessons you are having will feed into the recorder as well! It's such a lovely instrument. And there's Christmas music to come!!!!   I'm assuming you stuck to treble (alto)?


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#4220 elemimele

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 17:41

The other reservation I have is how long a wooden instrument would stay better. The plastic instrument is going to be exactly the same in 10 years' time, given the occasional dose of warm soapy water, but the worst instrument I've ever heard was a Moeck Rottenburgh - probably because if the inside of it was as filthy as the outside, it's amazing it could make a note at all.

Wood's definitely harder on the maintenance, and if an instrument's windway is full of congealed gunk and fungus, it's not going to make a nice sound (as well as being a health hazard). So although part of me is very tempted by a good starter wooden instrument like the cheaper end of the Rottenburgh range, another part of me thinks that I'd be buying it 5 years too soon, and by the time I'm ready to benefit from it, it will have decayed to the point where it can't yield the benefits.

OK, I could get the wooden recorder and get it serviced properly from time to time, but I know I won't find the time and cash to do so... and I'll get frightened of messing it up, so it will live in a box and never get played, while I carry on using my ancient aulos.

Human psychology is so frustrating.


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#4221 Zixi

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 08:44

One of the hardest things is to be happy with where you are. We're probably not built for that or I guess we'd still be in caves. If I was advising **me** I'd say stick to plastic. But when I bought (and had an awful bought for me by an over-indulgent husband) I was dealing with cancer and no one - not even me - could do anything but indulge me - we didn't know if I'd emerge the other end. I like the wooden ones and I wouldn't sell them because I have an emotional attachment to them but I don't intend to buy any more. They require more maintenance than I'm prepared to do - I'd rather spend that time on the adopted, much abused collie as I'm a much better dog psychologist than I am recorder player... by a **long** way and she's **much** more important than my ability to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I prefer the sound of the Kung but I also like (very much) the sound of the Haka. But given how much more time the Kung requires, I'd stick to the Haka. Staying in the now is very hard - that's why people make money delivering courses on it but it's a trick worth learning - except during chemo when anything but now is preferable! :-D

 

I've heard your playing remember and it's wonderful. If you can make your recorder sound like that then where's the rush? :-)


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#4222 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 08:46

Human psychology is so frustrating.

 

Not as frustrating as wooden recorders!


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#4223 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 08:56

I also like (very much) the sound of the Haka.

 

The Haka is great and it's very frustrating that nobody makes a really good quality plastic tenor.  I have bitten the bullet and sent my wooden ones off to be serviced (and echoing elemimele, it will cost more to have that done than to buy a complete range of plastic instruments), so I have been exclusively playing my plastic Aulos tenor (the one with keys).  It is nice to be able to play for as long as I like and just give it a rinse at the end of the day.  However, though I can't get anything like the range of tone possibilities that Sarah J can coax out of her recorders, the Aulos has a hard to describe but sort of foghorn-ish quality that my wooden ones don't.  If I were a better player, it would probably sound better, but then so would the wooden ones.  The keys are also very plasticky and fragile.  It's a shame that you can get the Haka from Aulos, a Bressan - even a 415 - from Zen On, something more expensive from Bernolin and something very expensive from Aafab if you want to play a plastic alto or soprano, but nothing comparable in a tenor.  I'd buy a Haka tenor like a shot if Aulos made one.


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#4224 AdLibitum

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 10:47

I'm really glad it has gone (and continues to go) well and that most of all you're enjoying it! I agree that teachers help with focus! They take away some of the responsibility for deciding where to go next but add the responsibility of not wasting their time!!!! Hopefully, the lessons you are having will feed into the recorder as well! It's such a lovely instrument. And there's Christmas music to come!!!! I'm assuming you stuck to treble (alto)?

Thanks. Yes, I've stuck to alto for the moment. I like the sound. I'd also like to be able to try out lots of different recorders before I decide on my next one, and that's obviously not going to be possible any time soon... I still like the sound of the Bernolin van Eyck soprano, but it's far too expensive to take a punt on it. (Especially as I'm still job hunting! :D)

Incidentally, can anyone recommend some nice Christmas music which would go beyond mere carol tunes?
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#4225 AdLibitum

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 10:52

The other reservation I have is how long a wooden instrument would stay better. The plastic instrument is going to be exactly the same in 10 years' time, given the occasional dose of warm soapy water, but the worst instrument I've ever heard was a Moeck Rottenburgh - probably because if the inside of it was as filthy as the outside, it's amazing it could make a note at all.
Wood's definitely harder on the maintenance, and if an instrument's windway is full of congealed gunk and fungus, it's not going to make a nice sound (as well as being a health hazard). So although part of me is very tempted by a good starter wooden instrument like the cheaper end of the Rottenburgh range, another part of me thinks that I'd be buying it 5 years too soon, and by the time I'm ready to benefit from it, it will have decayed to the point where it can't yield the benefits.
OK, I could get the wooden recorder and get it serviced properly from time to time, but I know I won't find the time and cash to do so... and I'll get frightened of messing it up, so it will live in a box and never get played, while I carry on using my ancient aulos.
Human psychology is so frustrating.

But even if it does go all unplayable in 5 years (and that's a big assumption), you'd still have had five years of enjoyment from it. It's like waiting for the next generation of tech so that the current devices will go on sale - you can easily be caught in the waiting loop for ever.

The maple Moeck has been pre-treated with paraffin wax, so the maintenance is minimal - no oiling, just wiping it dry after use.
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#4226 elemimele

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 11:54

Yes, very wise! Maybe one day I'll just go for it - after all, we can wait for the magic moment for ever, and then never actually quite take the plunge - and that's tragic. I'm also curious about Mollenhauer?

On plastic tenors, yes, I've heard that the keys on the keyed plastic aulos tenors are disastrously fragile and impossible to replace. That's a real pity, and sad; aulos do have the technology to make a proper key. Their key on their plastic baroque flute is, much to my relief, a proper metal key with a removable pin so that it can be serviced by a woodwind shop if necessary. I only have a keyless tenor, but I know what you mean about foghorn-like tone; perhaps the less-than-perfect sound of cheaper instruments is more obvious in the larger sizes, where the harmonics are audible to the over 40s and not restricted to dogs, bats, and teenagers.


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#4227 Zixi

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 13:39

Ahhh, 'magic moments' - don't believe in them. I'm with AdLibitum. If you're going to do it then it's best not to wait because you start the fun sooner... I don't believe in putting stuff off either. No point. I remember my grandmother telling me you're a long time dead and when I was a child I wondered at that but now I understand completely, absolutely, life-changingly clearly.

 

AdLibitum - I'm hopeless at suggesting stuff for two reasons. 1. I play the descant and 2. I love carols... so I don't really understand why anyone wouldn't want to play them. I did get some Bach Christmas pieces. However, they are still somewhere else and I'm here so I can't say what they were. But, it could be that in a couple of weeks I'll be reunited with my household and I'll look through and see what I have if no one has suggested anything by then.

 

Oag - Agreed!!! I'd buy a Haka tenor in a heart beat. In fact, I probably want the treble Haka though I really struggle with the stretch. On the tenor I can't really play the bottom notes very easily and I'm not sure if it's that I'm not holding the thing properly or my slight right hand little finger 'disability' gives me the problem...


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#4228 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 14:10

Incidentally, can anyone recommend some nice Christmas music which would go beyond mere carol tunes?

 

I shall soon be dragging this https://www.amazon.c...g/dp/B004BA43QM out of the cupboard and giving it its annual whirl.  It's a bit of fun, and more swing than real jazz.  The CD has both full version and backing.  This https://www.musicroo...bout-flute.aspx is also good though I think it's harder - I have the clarinet one but haven't tried the flute one; maybe I just wasn't very good on clarinet.  Anyway, there is a bigger selection of stuff for flute than for recorder per se, in various styles, and it all works perfectly well on a C instrument.  There is also some material for oboe that offers a bit of further variety and there is very little that you could not play on a C recorder.


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#4229 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 19:49

I don't believe in putting stuff off either. No point.

 

Absolutely, you never know what's going to happen.  Who knows, an unexpected plague might come along and carry us all off at any moment, however unlikely that might sound.  Time to invest in that hand made wooden recorder now!


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#4230 Zixi

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Posted 15 September 2020 - 07:18

@OaG - Is there a wry smile icon?

 

@ AdLibitum - There are - as OaG has said - some lovely arrangements for recorder, featuring Christmassy stuff. One of my favourites is Andrea Cappellari. I have her Christmas selection for the descant but she may have something that will work on the treble. My teacher praised her arrangements and found them 'clever'. I just liked them cos they're nice... :) They come with the piano accompaniment but a backing CD as well. Not sure if you've tried those but I think they are serious fun!!!! And the accompanists do improve if you stick at it...  :P 


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