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 Post subject: alto recorder
PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:22 pm
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I have played the soprano recorder for years, but since last week I now have an alto recorder. It is a plastic Yamaha simulated wood. I am having trouble consistently getting the note D above the staff to play with the clean pitch. Sometimes I get a little grumble and fighting over which octave and sometimes a lower harmonic. I can adjust the thumb half hole and make it work after it starts, but I need to have the note produce correctly from first attack. Any tips? Is it the recorder? Does wood make the difference? Or do I just need to practice for consistency?


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 Post subject: Re: alto recorder
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:02 pm 
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Location: San Diego, CA
I take it that it's the Yamaha Rottenburgh model you have? I have the simulated rosewood YRA-312B, and it's a fine instrument.

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Or do I just need to practice for consistency?

Yes, probably. Those upper notes are tricky and sensitive to thumb placement, breath, and embouchure, which vary from instrument to instrument. You may simply not be used to the Yamaha's response yet. Try:

1. Experiment with thumb position to find just the right "pinch".

2. Use a fairly light breath attack to "ease into" the note before hitting it with full volume.

3. Narrow your embouchure a bit on that note, to direct a more focused airstream into the windway.

I can consistently hit the D and above with a clean attack and without burbling. And no, wood vs. plastic shouldn't make a difference. Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: alto recorder
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:59 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:47 am
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Location: Inverness, Scotland
I own a Yamaha too - I really love the sound of it - and I find that D above staff is the first really tricky note to play. I used to avoid it, but now I try including it when I transpose music for me to play, feeling I need the practice. I found it a lot easier to play putting my fingernail into the thumb hole rather than using the pad of my finger on the outside, so I am trying to make that a more natural and faster movement for me.

I struggle with it sometimes simply because I don't work on the high notes enough. I just play music, and never really practice scales or playing the upper register, so it's not very often I try to play those high notes.

In the end, it's all about practicing and getting used to how your instrument responds, though. I remember I used to find all the upper harmonic notes difficult when I started playing, but now I find anything below D relatively easy.

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