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Recorder woes
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Author:  Dan A. [ Sun Jul 19, 2020 1:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Recorder woes

Having made a fairly successful return to the tin whistle, I decided to try a recorder. After about five minutes, I'm thinking this was not a wise idea.

My issue lies in hand placement. I can play the whistle with my right hand on top without much difficulty. The same cannot be said of the recorder. Thus far, my ability to cover the bottom holes without getting squeaks has been inconsistent.

As I see it, I have three choices. I could attempt to develop a way to effectively play the lowest holes, short of leaving them uncovered all the time. Switching hand positions is another option. However, this feels horribly unnatural to me, I would basically have to start over from scratch, and I worry that an old injury may have rendered the little finger on my right hand useless for this purpose (not soliciting medical advice at all). Finally, I could just give up the recorder, stick to the whistle exclusively, and pretty much be out nothing.

Any insight on this matter is much appreciated.

Author:  fatmac [ Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Recorder woes

I played recorders long before playing whistles, (sopranino, soprano, alto, & tenor), I found them to be too quiet, whilst I find a lot of whistles loud, but I never had any problems regarding covering the holes, once used to playing them, it's just a case of practice.

I used to find pinching the rear hole much easier than increasing breath pressure to get the second octave. :D

Author:  whistlecollector [ Tue Jul 21, 2020 9:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Recorder woes

There are always possibilities!

Quitting recorder is certainly a valid choice.

You could just man up and buy a renaissance recorder! In-line-6 tone holes, left & right low C options for whichever hand you like lowermore.

Learning to play otherhanded is not difficult. Like all things manual and musical, it's just a matter of practice & repetition.

You can also look into an Aulos recorder designed for use by the disabled. Kind of like legos for recorder players. You can fit all the segments together and turn them individually so that the instrument suits your hands. Quite inexpensive, too.

Author:  Dan A. [ Tue Jul 21, 2020 9:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Recorder woes

The "build-it-yourself" recorder might be a good option for me. I'll do some research into the renaissance recorder, too. And I have yet another idea: if I have difficulties with covering the lowest holes properly, perhaps I can find another way to play those notes. Thanks for the suggestions!

Author:  whistlecollector [ Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Recorder woes

Dan A. wrote:
The "build-it-yourself" recorder might be a good option for me. I'll do some research into the renaissance recorder, too. And I have yet another idea: if I have difficulties with covering the lowest holes properly, perhaps I can find another way to play those notes. Thanks for the suggestions!


Sure!

One other thing you could do, of course, is just get a real recorder --- a bass, for example! It'll have enough keys on it you won't have to worry much about that recalcitrant pinky!

Author:  Dan A. [ Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Recorder woes

whistlecollector wrote:
One other thing you could do, of course, is just get a real recorder --- a bass, for example! It'll have enough keys on it you won't have to worry much about that recalcitrant pinky!

Anything with keys is out of the question for me...when it comes to musical instruments, I want minimal parts, low maintenance, and durability. (That's one reason I have stopped playing the guitar.) Or are those not valid reasons to pass over keyed instruments?

I did a little more experimentation with my cheap ABS recorder. Entirely covering the lower two sets of holes seems doable once I have my finger placement down pat. By rotating the foot joint to a just-right position, I may be able to properly half-cover the lowermost set of holes. With little work, I was able to somewhat convincingly play a simple tune on it, too.

My tentative plan is to learn to play the recorder, but concentrate more heavily on the whistle. Thanks for the most helpful feedback!

Author:  whistlecollector [ Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Recorder woes

Dan A. wrote:
I did a little more experimentation with my cheap ABS recorder. Entirely covering the lower two sets of holes seems doable once I have my finger placement down pat. By rotating the foot joint to a just-right position, I may be able to properly half-cover the lowermost set of holes. With little work, I was able to somewhat convincingly play a simple tune on it, too.


Most excellent! Good luck with learning & enjoying both!

Author:  Sedi [ Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Recorder woes

You could buy a recorder whistle from John Bushby (Shearwater whistles). He can place the holes wherever you want them.

Author:  Dan A. [ Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Recorder woes

Sedi wrote:
You could buy a recorder whistle from John Bushby (Shearwater whistles).

Such a purchase is not feasible at this time, but I'll keep it in mind. Meanwhile, I'll revisit my present recorder periodically and keep plugging away on the whistles.

Author:  Kypfer [ Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Recorder woes

Time was some instruments were supplied with two sets of bottom holes, for "left-up" and "left-down" players, the principle being that the unused holes were simply blocked with beeswax. Might it be practical to drill a couple of extra holes in the instrument?

Another alternative might be not to play any tunes with a low 'C' ... ;)

Author:  Dan A. [ Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Recorder woes

Drilling extra holes probably isn't a practical consideration. However, playing tunes that don't require the bottom holes to be covered is. Hopefully I can do that for a while and then have a recorder made in a left-handed configuration.

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