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Good place to start with recorder?


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#46 Flossie

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Posted 21 October 2020 - 22:03

Are you warming the recorder up to body temperature before you play? If you don't, it will be flat and also the wood will be more vulnerable to cracking. I warm mine up by sticking them under my arm. It is best to warm the recorder with body heat, not artificial heat.

Dry the recorder with a lint free cloth, making sure you don't touch the labium, then leave case open for a while so the bits you can't reach can air dry.

In terms of breath pressure, it's a case of just getting used to what is needed. The bottom octave won't need that much pressure but the highest notes (second D upwards on sopranino) need more than the rest, especially on a Superio which can be a little bit tricky at the top. You do still need to support the sound with your diaphragm.
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#47 Misterioso

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 09:47

Are you warming the recorder up to body temperature before you play? If you don't, it will be flat and also the wood will be more vulnerable to cracking. I warm mine up by sticking them under my arm. It is best to warm the recorder with body heat, not artificial heat.

 

I didn't know that! I read the leaflet that was supplied with the sopranino and it made no mention of that, so it's really helpful to know. I will be sure to warm it up in future. Thanks so much, Flossie.


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#48 Misterioso

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 18:05

I warmed up the sop today for 5 minutes before playing, and it was much nearer to concert pitch, although still a tad flat. Interestingly, when I blew harder, according to my electronic tuner it was even nearer. Does that mean I should blow quite hard all the time? And if that is the case, how do I play  p or even pp? :unsure:

 

 


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 hate to say this, Zixi, but I'm now wondering about a descant for Christmas!! It would have to be a wooden one again; I think perhaps one of the things I didn't like before about my brief attempts with recorder was the shrillness of it, but it does sound much warmer on a wooden instrument. I can play (don't laugh) five notes now, and it's quite hard limiting myself this first week to 5 minutes a day. I keep wanting to go on and do more. It's such fun!  :) 
 


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#49 Bagpuss

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 19:08

One should never 'blow harder' and 5 mins sounds nothing to me....so says The Bag who has spent many a gig night with wooden tubes of various dimensions stuffed down her trousers, under armpits (mine) and snugged in an Ugg boot for half an hour plus.....!

For the really quiet stuff one can resort to 'soft fingerings' but for now I'd say just get to know your tube and enjoy it...

I have recently formed a quartet locally after relocating last year and it's soooooo good to play again.....

Bag x
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#50 elemimele

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 22:12

warming-up is a double good thing: it not only gets it closer to pitch (with my cloth-ears, and playing alone, that's not such an issue for me), but it reduces the amount of condensation that drops out of warm breath, so things don't clog so quickly. Recorder-player's clothes need extra skin-close pockets. I knew someone once who sewed little pouches for bits of recorders, that could then be worn inside various items of clothing. I'm guessing the players of larger recorders get quite knobbly and angular...


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#51 Misterioso

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 18:23

I warmed up for longer tonight, but it was still a little flat, even after playing. Am I doing something wrong? - Or could it actually be an issue with the recorder (I would be surprised if this were the case). I had hoped to be able to duet with a friend eventually; does the tuning issue mean that we won't be able to do this? (Her recorders are plastic - not sure if tuning is still an issue with these?)

 

Top G seems to be wobbly and unstable, although not quite as unstable as I found it on alto. Probably just a matter of getting used to it.

 

How often do they need oiling? And how do I tell when it needs oil? Does the sound change?

 

What a lovely picture you evoke, elemimele with your comment about knobbly and angular recorder players! :rofl:

 

Good to hear about your quartet, Bagpuss. What kind of music are you playing?


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#52 elemimele

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 22:27

you might not be doing anything really tangibly wrong, but you might find that as your confidence improves, your pitch changes. I remember being in such a panic about how flat my plastic recorder was when I first got it that I started to wonder whether the "B" moulded onto its head-joint was its pitch instead of an indication that it uses baroque rather than German fingerings. But nowadays I don't think it's all that far off - I've used it with the backing tracks in a couple of anthologies that came with disks, and it wasn't so far off as to be painful.

 

You should be able to duet. If there is still a difference, your friend can pull her head-joint out slightly, to lower her pitch a bit. Not sure about oil and top G's, someone else will have to comment on them!

 

Bagpuss, that's great about the quartet...


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