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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:10 pm 
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Hello, hello everybody!

I just joined the forum, looking for some information about wind instruments, and it seems very interesting, I must say. I "normally" play the guitar, and I never was really interested in them. So, some days ago, I found an old wooden flute/recorder in a drawer and started experimenting with it, just for fun, and ended up liking it more than I thought. I tend to be overly anxious and it had an almost magical effect on me, trying to control my breath and focus on the tune was real meditation. I remember it was a souvenir from one of my grandpas trips, I don't know where. I don't even know if it was made to be playable or just decorative, but I can produce some melodies with it, though it mostly sounds off-tune.

Anyway, I read a couple websites and watched some videos on youtube and decided I want to learn to play the recorder. And that's where the question comes: what recorder? I like greek and balkan folk, medieval music, ambient music, but I'm really open to experiment with everything. I'll either go for a soprano or an alto, but which of the two? Soprano sounds too high for me but I think there are more resources for it and it seems easier to play fast on it. Alto sounds just perfect, I love it. What do you think would suit me better?

Thanks :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:45 pm 
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Anastasia wrote:
Hello, hello everybody!

I just joined the forum, looking for some information about wind instruments, and it seems very interesting, I must say. I "normally" play the guitar, and I never was really interested in them. So, some days ago, I found an old wooden flute/recorder in a drawer and started experimenting with it, just for fun, and ended up liking it more than I thought. I tend to be overly anxious and it had an almost magical effect on me, trying to control my breath and focus on the tune was real meditation. I remember it was a souvenir from one of my grandpas trips, I don't know where. I don't even know if it was made to be playable or just decorative, but I can produce some melodies with it, though it mostly sounds off-tune.

Anyway, I read a couple websites and watched some videos on youtube and decided I want to learn to play the recorder. And that's where the question comes: what recorder? I like greek and balkan folk, medieval music, ambient music, but I'm really open to experiment with everything. I'll either go for a soprano or an alto, but which of the two? Soprano sounds too high for me but I think there are more resources for it and it seems easier to play fast on it. Alto sounds just perfect, I love it. What do you think would suit me better?

Thanks :)


Greetings and welcome!

I think a recorder should be able to handle early music as well as most kinds of folk music (not to mention many eras of art music!) I know there are whistley type instruments native to the Balkans and so forth that may (or may not) be more appropriate to those musics.

As for which size and what make: I don't think you can really go wrong with a decent plastic recorder. Yamaha and Aulos seem to make pretty good instruments and they're inexpensive. Given that they're inexpensive, I'd recommend just getting both sizes. You can get decent Yamaha recorders on Ebay for around $10 to $20 in either size you're interested in. You can get a set a set of four (sSAT) for just under $200, in a nice case.

I tend to agree that the treble (alto) sounds nicer --- the smaller recorders definitely squeal! Back in the day, it was the treble that was the main flute, not the descant (soprano). All or most of the older literature will be well suited to that size of instrument. The fingering patterns are basically the same for all recorders, so you should have no issue along those lines regardless of which you choose.

Just keep in mind that recorders come in keys of C and F alternatively. So, the descant is in C, the treble in F, the tenor in C the bass in F. Although the pattern is the same, the fingerings are denoted "C fingerings" and "F fingerings" depending on the key of the instrument. So, for a descant or a tenor, all fingers down will give you a C. For a treble or bass, all fingers down will give you an F.

There are a lot of nice tutor books available to help get you started with those basics. If you play by ear, does it really matter which instrument you choose or what the fingerings are? :) You're just going to end up figuring out what sounds right anyway! :D

As for the instrument you have, take a couple good pictures of it and post them to imgur or some place and post the links here. Someone can probably identify what it is!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:03 am 
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whistlecollector wrote:
Greetings and welcome!

I think a recorder should be able to handle early music as well as most kinds of folk music (not to mention many eras of art music!) I know there are whistley type instruments native to the Balkans and so forth that may (or may not) be more appropriate to those musics.

As for which size and what make: I don't think you can really go wrong with a decent plastic recorder. Yamaha and Aulos seem to make pretty good instruments and they're inexpensive. Given that they're inexpensive, I'd recommend just getting both sizes. You can get decent Yamaha recorders on Ebay for around $10 to $20 in either size you're interested in. You can get a set a set of four (sSAT) for just under $200, in a nice case.

I tend to agree that the treble (alto) sounds nicer --- the smaller recorders definitely squeal! Back in the day, it was the treble that was the main flute, not the descant (soprano). All or most of the older literature will be well suited to that size of instrument. The fingering patterns are basically the same for all recorders, so you should have no issue along those lines regardless of which you choose.

Just keep in mind that recorders come in keys of C and F alternatively. So, the descant is in C, the treble in F, the tenor in C the bass in F. Although the pattern is the same, the fingerings are denoted "C fingerings" and "F fingerings" depending on the key of the instrument. So, for a descant or a tenor, all fingers down will give you a C. For a treble or bass, all fingers down will give you an F.

There are a lot of nice tutor books available to help get you started with those basics. If you play by ear, does it really matter which instrument you choose or what the fingerings are? :) You're just going to end up figuring out what sounds right anyway! :D

As for the instrument you have, take a couple good pictures of it and post them to imgur or some place and post the links here. Someone can probably identify what it is!


Well, I'm broke, so I think I'll just get one recorder at first, I still don't know what type. :p Then, we'll see. And, yes, I usually like playing by ear, but sometimes I read notes too. :)
Thanks for the info and the advice :)
As for my "strange" flute, I'll make a separate thread. Somebody must have seen something like that.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:01 am 
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Anastasia wrote:
Well, I'm broke, so I think I'll just get one recorder at first, I still don't know what type. :p Then, we'll see.


No worries! Try your local thrift shop or Good Will. Can almost always find a recorder there on the cheap!

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:34 pm 
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Some local music stores sell the less expensive Yamaha or Aulos soprano recorders for less than $10 (even the cheap Yamaha models are better than some of those off brands). Here's a link to a good one, though you might have to pay for shipping. Also, check those children's education stores. Sometimes they will carry one of the good brands.

http://www.westmusic.com/s/recorder-ins ... nd=256,108

At least, this will give you an idea what is out there. I spent most of my childhood and teens playing on a cheap Yamaha, and learning some complex songs on it. I still have it, too. I'm old enough to have older teens, so you can guess at how long I've had that recorder. I've since replaced it with a huge collection, but I still cherish that one. I still own several plastic ones because I can only play my wood ones for a limited amount of time. You don't have to worry about breaking in a plastic recorder, so you can have unlimited practice time.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:03 pm 
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Yes, I wasn't really thinking of buying a wooden one, I usually put my stuff in much stress. My books are drawn onto with some coffee and folded pages, my jeans are ripped... you know. I like to take my guitar to the beach and to the mountain... I enjoy more durable things. I'm also clumsy. So plastic for me. :D
Very interesting website! Even with the shipping costs, there seem to be many good recorders in lower price than the local shops in my area!
And I think I'll get an alto, for start.


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