Recorder/Lesson 2

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In order to encourage versatility, rather than relating the fingering patterns to specific notes, they are related to intervals on the musical scale. If you learn to relate the fingering patterns to the intervals rather than to specific notes, you should have less difficulty switching between different recorders.

Before playing the two songs presented below, have a go at writing out fingering charts for the notes represented below on both a C instrument, and an F instrument, giving the note name for each fingering pattern. As a suggestion, use O for an open tone hole, and X for a closed tone hole.

Compare your charts with the answer given (Recorder Exercise 1a). If you made a mistake, spend a few minutes working out why. Be sure you understand what was wrong, or ask for help. Recorder Method

Fingering chart


In this lesson you will learn some of the finger patterns for both right, and left hands. Students using a "C" instrument should be able to play BAG and FED; two first songs without difficulty. Learning recorder

Students using an "F" instrument should play BAG as is, but should make a transposed copy of FED, as an exercise. Transpose FED up by a fifth, then check your work by referring to Recorder Exercise 1b.

Using the fingerings above, practice the two simple first songs presented in BAG and FED; two first songs. If you are uncertain whether you are playing these songs correctly, you can listen to MIDI renderings of these songs by clicking on BAG and FED

Pay attention to the sound you are making. Aim not only for the correct fingering, but for correct duration of each note, and to make a pleasant sound.

When you make a mistake, play the song again, more slowly so that you play without mistakes. Once you can play the song at a slow tempo without mistakes, increase the tempo a little. Continue to practice the song without mistakes before increasing the tempo, and increase the tempo until it "feels" right.

Finger technique

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Technique is the term used by musicians to describe the physical activities that make up playing music. Good technique means not straining muscles and joints, and finishing one note in a position that is comfortably ready to play the next note.

As you practice the songs in this first exercise, take time to consider the position of your fingers as you open the holes for each note to speak. Your fingers should remain close to the holes but not so close that the note starts to change. A rough guide would be that your finger should not rise more than one finger's width above the hole. While it may not seem important at this stage, when you begin to learn more complex music, and to play faster, you will find it much easier to move a short distance.

Over the hills and far away

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In English-speaking countries, there usually comes a time when someone who is learning an instrument is asked if they can play "Over the hills and far away", somebody's idea of a joke! Well, here is the song. It isn't hard now that you have learned all the notes needed to play it.

It is presented in soprano and alto versions. Students learning the soprano recorder may like to try naming the notes in the alto version, as an exercise. There will be times when you may need to read notes below the typical range of the treble clef (leger lines) and sometimes the fundamental (lowest note) of the alto may be written on the bass clef.

Back to Recorder: 1st lesson

Recorder: 3rd lesson