PLAYING THE RECORDERS - online tutorial

How to Play The Descant, Treble, Tenor and Bass Recorders, full online instruction.

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The Descant (i)
will be approximately at right angles to the recorder, whilst the instrument is held at an angle of about forty-five degrees to the vertical.
The notes are not produced by puffing each one with a separate breath. They should be blown as if the player were saying 'tu', the breath being allowed to escape by moving the tongue. Hence, notes produced in this way are said to be 'tongued'.
In playing rapid staccato passages, it is easier to use the syllables 'tu-ku', known as 'double tonguing' or 'tu-ku-tu', triple tonguing. In these, it will not be found easy to move the fingers and tongue together. A softer articulation can be produced by using the syllables cdu-gu', and a gentle flowing sound by the syllables 'tu~ru'
Example 3 is a Tablature or Table of Notes, showing how some of the notes are produced on the descant. In all the tablatures, a black circle indicates that the finger is to close its hole, and an open circle that it is to be raised from it. A par­tially open thumb-hole is represented by a circle with a diagonal line through it. Particular attention should be paid to the following fingerings as these will help the learner to see the relation between the fingerings in the two octaves.
1. Lower E and upper E are produced by the same fingerings except that the upper note is 'pinched'; that is, for the upper note, the thumb has partially to uncover its hole at the back. This is done by bending the thumb and drawing the tip slightly away from the top of the hole. Generally speaking, the higher the note the smaller this opening should be.
2.  Lower F and upper F are produced by fingerings which are nearly the same. In playing the upper note, the little finger is not used and the thumb-hole is pinched.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III