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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:23 pm
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Hiya,

I'm new, hello!! Having played descant recorder in school some 35 years ago :shock: I have this week started to learn the treble recorder with a view to moving onto something else (clarinet?) later on.

So I've been remembering how to read music, which is coming back (must be still in there somewhere!!) and I'm learning the new finger positions (I had been under the impression that the fingering for the treble was the same as the descant).

But, I'm having trouble getting a consistent sound and I'm wondering if part of the problem is condensation as when I pick up the instrument after a break the first couple of songs the notes are nice but then it gets harder with the notes sounding hoarse and/or squeaky and it's happening to the point where I'm having to suck the condensation out after every (short beginners!!) tune.

Does anyone have any tips to get a nice sound consistently? I'm trying to tongue, not touch the mouthpiece with my teeth and not blow too hard but I'm still having trouble!!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:48 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:27 pm
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Given that you've got condensation to suck out, thereby probably lies much of your problem. Try keeping at least the head (top section) of your recorder warm between tunes ... under the arm, in your hand, under your jacket ... also try to limit fluid intake whilst playing, especially of warm drinks, the extra moisture on your breath can cause problems.

Fingering for the treble is the same as the descant, (assuming both instruments use the same fingering system, "baroque" or "german", the former being usually preferred, but "german" fingering is closer to that used on a Boehm clarinet), what changes is the actual note that is emitted, ie. "six-fingers down" on a descant gives a D, on a treble it gives a G.

A treble recorder is a good place to start from if you anticipate moving on to clarinet ... six fingers down gives G on both instruments, at least in the lower octave.

Good luck, this is a path I'm travelling and thoroughly enjoying it, having recently retired so having more time to dedicate to such things :)

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"I'm playing all the right notes—but not necessarily in the right order."


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 7:29 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:23 pm
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Thanks for your reply.

Yes I hadn't thought of it like that's the fingering *is* the same it's the note that's different.

I rinsed the head in a solution of washing-up liquid and let it dry and have tried not to hold it so upright this morning and it was less troublesome.

The only issue now is my practicing is driving the animals crazy. The parrot loves it and squawks along and the two terriers howl and whinge pitifully.

There's a fella we see in our local woods practicing his bagpipes, I may have to join him at this rate!!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:58 pm
Posts: 66
Location: US
Hi...if you have a wooden recorder, it will need a breaking in period. Either way, you can check here to take care of condensation issues: http://www.lazarsearlymusic.com/Recorde ... r_care.htm

For plastic recorders, I don't tend to have as many problems, but I still have to fling out the moisture (my preferred method...sucking it out makes me gag).

The treble recorder does have the same fingering as the descant, but, it's tuned a fourth lower. The descant (as well as tenor and great bass) are generally "C" recorders, and the tenor (as well as sopranino and contrabass) are "F" recorders. As an aside, there's an in between one that is a treble "G" recorder as well. One think you will want to do is obtain sheet music that is proper for treble recorder in order to be able to play within the correct range. The lowest "C" on the descant is the same as the first 3 fingers held down on the treble recorder (descant "G" position, but treble "C" position). I've had the same problem, playing descant for decades, then picking up treble later in life. I have the advantage of having more musical training in general, but I found the best thing was simply printing up a new fingering chart with the treble fingering and notes, and set that next to any sheet music I'm reading, for reference.

If you are looking to jump into clarinet, remember that they are transposing instruments (concert pitch is not always what is written in the sheet music for the clarinet). My older one is majoring in music, playing clarinet and bass clarinet.

If you want, you can also try out a chalumeau: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chalumeau
It basically has recorder fingering, but uses a similar single reed mouthpiece. I will never do clarinet, but I found that the chalumeau serves my purposes (though my clarinet-playing music major daughter looks askance at me when I pull it out).


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:33 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:27 pm
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Mae wrote:
If you want, you can also try out a chalumeau: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chalumeau
It basically has recorder fingering, but uses a similar single reed mouthpiece. I will never do clarinet, but I found that the chalumeau serves my purposes (though my clarinet-playing music major daughter looks askance at me when I pull it out).


I started my clarinet journey with a chalumeau. I found a second-hand Hohner "ModernLine" on eBay. The Hanson instrument http://www.hansonclarinets.com/Hanson_C ... umeau.html is excellent value for money and virtually indestructible.

There are very many tunes that can be played within the apparently limited compass of 9 notes, so don't let that be a constraint :)

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:58 pm
Posts: 66
Location: US
Nice...I haven't seen the polymer ones around locally. I got my chalumeau from the same store that I keep linking to for information: http://www.lazarsearlymusic.com/Pavel-C ... Chalumeaux

I'm lucky to have a fairly local place to buy early music instruments. He has customers all over the world. But I'll have to try out one of those Hanson ones, if I can find them. I don't like taking my wooden one everywhere. The current price of the wooden one I own is quite a bit more than what I paid about 15 years ago, but I still don't want to risk taking it out. I can manage some good jazz songs on this, especially with some creative fingering.


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