PLAYING THE RECORDERS - online tutorial

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

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The Instruments
bass instrument, being different in shape from the others, will be described later.
The descant, treble and tenor recorders are usually made in three pieces, the head joint, the middle joint and the foot joint All the instruments have eight holes, a thumb hole behind and seven holes in front. The small double holes at the lower end of most instruments are here regarded for descriptive purposes as one hole. The lowest hole is not in line with the others and, by turning the foot joint, its position can be adjusted to suit the shorter length of the little finger.
The tone is produced in the head joint, for a note can be sounded with this part of the recorder only. A breath of air is blown through a narrow passage in the mouthpiece on to a sharp edge known as the fipple and it is this which produces the tone.
If all the holes, including the thumb hole, are covered on the descant or tenor recorder, the note produced will be C, the lowest note of the instrument. The fingering on these two in­struments is exactly the same, the only difference being that the notes on the tenor will sound an octave lower than those on the descant. Anyone who has learned to play the descant should therefore be able to play the tenor, for the only addi­tional difficulty which will be encountered in playing the tenor is that the finger stretch will be greater than that on the descant.
If all the holes are covered on the sopranino, treble or bass, the note produced will be F, which again will be the lowest note of these instruments. Anyone who has learned to finger the treble, therefore, should be able to play the sopranino and bass. Here too difficulties due to differences in finger stretch will have to be overcome and this will take a considerable amount of practice. A further difficulty in playing the bass
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