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 Post subject: Recorder questions
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:29 pm 
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Hi all,
Bear with me here... it has been a very long time since I've played recorder and back when I played as a kid, I didn't quite worry about the nuances. Nor did I ever pick up alto/treble recorder, though I kept telling myself I ought to. So now that I'm picking it back up a bit, and aiming to learn alto as well, I "get" the basics, but am delving into it further... and running into roadblocks. (I'm reading back through a search on "recorder" as well, but as U2 says, I still haven't found what I'm looking for.)

I picked up a couple books from the library, but had started looking at some of the online fingering charts prior. And began getting confused by different information (I hope I can explain this in a way that's actually understandable). I don't remember everything from fingering charts as a kid, but I seem to recall that back then, I learned lower F# as XXXXO88 but the things I'm seeing now-- depending on which chart I'm reading-- tell me it can either be XXXOXX8 or XXXOXXx (where the lower-case "x" signifies the "half-hole"). (let's ignore the thumb hole for these purposes, since I'm entirely discussing the first octave here... I may have more questions once I start looking more at the second!)

Also, some sources show the F-nat I know (Baroque forked-- XXXXOXX) but the "equivalent" position on alto (B-flat) as XXXXOX8. Others use the same forked XXXXOXX fingering for the alto B-flat.

I guess what I'm asking with this is... how much does it matter? Are there certain differences in fingering where one is more "accepted" (for basic fingering; I'm not talking about alternative fingerings here)? Or are some of the differences just due to some sources being older (one of these books is from 1965), and the standards in fingering have changed? Or is it simply one of those things like C-nat on a D whistle, where you pick whichever works best with your particular instrument?

(Did any of that make any sense?)

I'm sure I'll have more questions as I get started here, as well. I'm having trouble finding recorder forums on the 'web, so I'm falling back on the trusty Chiffboard once again. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Recorder questions
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:23 pm 
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Katharine wrote:
I don't remember everything from fingering charts as a kid, but I seem to recall that back then, I learned lower F# as XXXXO88

Hmmm, where's your left thumb and have you shown it? Assuming you haven't and mean X|XXX|XOXX, that would definitely be F nat on soprano.

Quote:
but the things I'm seeing now-- depending on which chart I'm reading-- tell me it can either be XXXOXX8 or XXXOXXx (where the lower-case "x" signifies the "half-hole").

Likewise X|XXX|OXXO would be standard for a modern Baroque/English-fingered soprano F#.

Quote:
let's ignore the thumb hole for these purposes

Don't (ever) when giving recorder fingerings or you'll just create confusion as above!

Quote:
Also, some sources show the F-nat I know (Baroque forked-- XXXXOXX) but the "equivalent" position on alto (B-flat) as XXXXOX8. Others use the same forked XXXXOXX fingering for the alto B-flat.

I guess what I'm asking with this is... how much does it matter? Are there certain differences in fingering where one is more "accepted" (for basic fingering; I'm not talking about alternative fingerings here)? Or are some of the differences just due to some sources being older (one of these books is from 1965), and the standards in fingering have changed? Or is it simply one of those things like C-nat on a D whistle, where you pick whichever works best with your particular instrument?

While there may be minor quirks affecting different makes/models of instruments, there is no standard difference between soprano and alto. You'd expect them to be the same (subject to the C and F recorder differences) and only adjust if necessary.

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 Post subject: Re: Recorder questions
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:52 am 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Katharine wrote:
I don't remember everything from fingering charts as a kid, but I seem to recall that back then, I learned lower F# as XXXXO88

Hmmm, where's your left thumb and have you shown it? Assuming you haven't and mean X|XXX|XOXX, that would definitely be F nat on soprano

Actually, I think Katherine means the "88" as the OPEN double holes, so X|XXX|XOOO. Which is not a standard Baroque/English fingering of either F-nat or F#. It is, however, standard F-nat for a German-system recorder. So I wonder if her earlier experience might have been with one of those monstrosities.

In any case, Katherine, don't let the fingering charts lead you into overthinking things. As Peter says, the standard equivalent fingerings are identical on soprano and alto recorder (at least for the first 2 octaves). And if you bought the Yamahas, those fingerings should be well in-tune, so just follow the supplied Yamaha fingering charts:

1st Octave:
X|XXX|XOXX F-nat/Bb
X|XXX|OXXO F#/B-nat

2nd Octave (@=partial hole):
@|XXX|XOXO F-nat/Bb
@|XXX|OXOO F#/B-nat

There are many alternate cross-fingerings and shaded fingerings possible. These have at least 3 different uses:

1. Trill fingerings and bis fingerings.
2. Intonation fine-tuning, especially on quirky recorders.
3. Stepwise dynamics. Use a slightly sharp fingering and underblow to produce piano; use a slightly flat fingering and overblow to produce forte.

But you should consider these "advanced" techniques, and not to be concerned with at the moment. Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Recorder questions
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:50 am 
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MTGuru wrote:
Actually, I think Katherine means the "88" as the OPEN double holes, so X|XXX|XOOO.

Ah, yes! Interesting way to write it, but maybe not that helpful when there's no obvious vertical 'double-x' equivalent to show both closed?

(Yes, I suppose 'x' works for one half-hole and 'X' for both, but '8' just isn't strictly analogous to either!)

Quote:
Which is not a standard Baroque/English fingering of either F-nat or F#. It is, however, standard F-nat for a German-system recorder. So I wonder if her earlier experience might have been with one of those monstrosities.

Or was mistaught on Baroque/English? Which regretfully does sometimes happen with well-meaning helpers!

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 Post subject: Re: Recorder questions
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:41 pm 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Katharine wrote:
.
let's ignore the thumb hole for these purposes

Don't (ever) when giving recorder fingerings or you'll just create confusion as above!

That's why i specified I was referring to first octave, so it would be understood that the thumb hole is covered regardless of which fingering I was talking about. I figured trying to add symbols or explanations for the thumb-hole would just be confusing, since we know it will be covered and that doesn't really need to be said.


MTGuru wrote:
Actually, I think Katherine means the "88" as the OPEN double holes, so X|XXX|XOOO. Which is not a standard Baroque/English fingering of either F-nat or F#. It is, however, standard F-nat for a German-system recorder. So I wonder if her earlier experience might have been with one of those monstrosities.


Yup, that was it precisely with the "88," to more easily denote where those holes went, since using "X" and "O" for recorder isn't quite as straightforward as it is for whistle.

Peter Duggan wrote:
MTGuru wrote:
Actually, I think Katherine means the "88" as the OPEN double holes, so X|XXX|XOOO.

Ah, yes! Interesting way to write it, but maybe not that helpful when there's no obvious vertical 'double-x' equivalent to show both closed?

(Yes, I suppose 'x' works for one half-hole and 'X' for both, but '8' just isn't strictly analogous to either!)


Unfortunately, I couldn't think of a really good way to do it, so that was the best I could come up with. It seemed less clunky than "you know, L1, L2, and L3 down, and then R1 and R3 and R4 but not R2..."


Peter Duggan wrote:
Or was mistaught on Baroque/English? Which regretfully does sometimes happen with well-meaning helpers!

Unless the book I learned from (no teacher) was incorrect, I doubt it. It's possible I'm just misremembering-- it's been 15-20 years-- but I only remember one "forked" type fingering, and that was F-nat.


And it was definitely baroque, as it was a standard Yamaha and I definitely learned a forked fingering for F-nat.

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