We're here to help!
Call for suggestions or assistance
Home > The West Music Blog > 4 Steps to Master the Recorder
The West Music Blog
The West Music Blog presents articles, press releases and other information of interest to our local and worldwide customers.

The West Music Blog

4 Steps to Master the Recorder
By West Music Company
8/14/2015 8:49:00 AM
The recorder is a woodwind instrument similar to the clarinet and flute that produces a soft, airy tone. Its size and ease of use makes it a great first instrument for beginners or anyone with a desire to make a sound of their own. Anyone can learn the recorder by following these 4 easy steps:
1. Purchase a recorder. West Music has a wide selection of inexpensive plastic recorders – this is a great place to start – eventually you can move up to a full wood model. They will almost always come with a protective sleeve or pouch and sometimes include an instructional book.
Maintaining a recorder is very simple: wipe it down after playing, disenfect whenever possible, keep it dry, and keep it in its protective case when not in use. If you follow these easy rules your recorder should last a lifetime.

Shop Recorder Accessories

2. Learn how to hold the recorder and make sound. Once you have your recorder, the next step is making sure you’re holding it properly. Like all woodwinds, the sound produced is heavily influenced by how the instrument interacts with your mouth and hands. Your left hand should be positioned closest to your body. Make sure the side of the mouthpiece with the hole is facing upwards (towards your face). Hold it gently between your lips and balance with your fingers – don’t bite the mouthpiece or touch it to your teeth.
Next, blow into the recorder and see what kind of sound you get. Don’t blow too hard or it will sound very harsh and unpleasant. Try to produce a smooth, consistent air flow to get a more musical sound – this is one of the most difficult, but important techniques to focus on as you begin to learn the recorder. Focus on breathing from your diaphragm, not your mouth – this will help you keep the sound consistent.

3. Learn correct tonguing technique. Your tongue is the most important tool you have to play the recorder.  Each note you play should start and stop with your tongue. Imagine you are saying “doot” or “dud” as you play the note – this will help give your notes a clear beginning and end.
At this point you’re ready to play your first note. The first note people usually lean is B. All you have to do to sound a B is to cover the back hole with your left thumb and the very first hole (closest to your body) with your left index finger. Now, gently blow into the recorder, remembering to focus on a steady air flow from your diaphragm and mouthing a “doot” or “dud”. How does it sound? If you hear squeaking, make sure your fingers are fully covering the holes and that you’re not blowing too hard. Keep working on your B until you’re comfortable moving on to a new note.

4. Learn the fingering chart. Some recorders will come with a fingering chart like the one below, if yours didn’t, they are very easy to find on the internet. Work on learning which combination of fingers produces each note, and vice versa – which note you are producing based on your fingers. Learning any song you want will be much easier once you have a basic understanding of all the notes your recorder can make.
Using the chart below, give these simple tunes a try:

Mary Had a Little Lamb:
        B A G A B B B
        A A A
        B D' D'
        B A G A B B B
        A A B A G
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star:
        D D A A B B A
        G G F# F# E E D

Ok, so you may not be an expert quite yet, but with these tips and some quality practice, you’ll be a recorder master in no time. Just remember, if it doesn’t sound quite right at first, don’t give up. The greatest musicians in the world started out just like you. You can accomplish great things with perseverance and determination.

If you think you're ready to take your skills to the next level, West Music offers professional lessons at each of our six locations. Click here to sign up for individual or group lessons at the West Music nearest you!

Currently rated 0 by 0 people

Tags: recorder, learn recorder, easy, beginner, woodwind, fingering chart, simple
Categories: Recorders, Music Education
Bookmark and Share


No Comments have been submitted.

Write your own comment
  Your name (required):  
  Your email address (required):  
  Your website address (optional):  
  Submit a Picture No larger than 250kb (optional):  
  Submit a video via URL (optional):  
  Your comments (required):  
Text From Image:

The West Music Blog presents articles, press releases and other information of interest to our local and wordwide customers.

Include comments
Mariachi (11)
Live Sound, Recording & Software (4)
Music Advocacy (50)
Music Education (90)
piano (2)
Band & Orchestra (73)
Classroom Furniture & Equipment (13)
Company Culture (70)
Conservatory (313)
Contests (11)
Pianos, Digital Pianos & Keyboards (20)
Drums & Percussion (24)
Extraordinary Associate of the Month (39)
Guitars & Folk (33)
Kids & Movement (24)
Live Sound & DJ (8)
Music Therapy (55)
Music, Books & Resources (62)
Orff (15)
Press Releases (13)
Recorders (16)
Recording & Software (8)
West Music Cedar Falls (60)
West Music Coralville (133)
West Music Decorah (2)
West Music Marion (96)
West Music Piano Gallery (46)
West Music Quad Cities (75)
West Music Dubuque (1)
Recent Posts
Steinway Extravaganza 2016 Featuring Anderson and Roe
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
West Music Cedar Rapids To Host Grand Re-Opening Ceremony
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Extraordinary Associates of the Month August 2016: Piano Delivery Team
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Coralville September 2016 Musician of the Month: Aubryn Kaine
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Coralville September 2016 Teacher Feature: Miriam Garrett
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Coralville September 2016 Teacher Feature: Mitsuko Yofune
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Decorah September 2016 Teacher Feature: Mark Armstrong
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Extraordinary Associate of the Month July 2016: Ryan Seaba
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Cedar Rapids Gazette Celebrates 75 Years of West Music!
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Cedar Rapids August 2016 Musician of the Month: Octavia Barbulescu
  Comments: 0
  Rating: 0 / 0
Recent Comments
West Music and Music Therapy Ed Social Media Contest (6)
Ryan West wrote: Hey all-
We are working on the comments and mak... [More]
West Music and Music Therapy Ed Social Media Contest (6)
Kerry Cornelius wrote: Twitter: @songsforsuccess
Instagram: songsfors... [More]
West Music and Music Therapy Ed Social Media Contest (6)
Darcy Perez wrote: West is Best! If I win, I'll get more sound shape... [More]
West Music and Music Therapy Ed Social Media Contest (6)
Mike LimBybliw wrote: I Mike LimBybliw, of sound mind and body, plan to ... [More]
West Music and Music Therapy Ed Social Media Contest (6)
Sara DePaoli wrote: This is such a fun idea! I'm in!

Here are ... [More]
West Music and Music Therapy Ed Social Media Contest (6)
Carly Litvik wrote: I am planning on entering the #WestistheBest conte... [More]
"It's Time For Discriminate Listening!" Lynn Kleiner Talks Recorder Quality (1)
Michael Bresler wrote: Absolutely! After 40 years of experience, I hearti... [More]
Coralville November Musician of the Month: Grace Huber (1)
Morgan wrote: atta kid Grace... [More]
Coralville September 2013 Musician of the Month: Nathan Stone (1)
Valerie McNally wrote: Congratulations, Nathan! You work hard and it is ... [More]
Urbandale Piano Gallery August 2013 Musician of the Month: Jonathan Ruth (1)
Joe wrote: Nice job Jon James!... [More]
Abbigayle M. Hicks (1)
Amanda Hazelett (8)
Amy Huston (1)
Ann Eisen, Sneaky Snake Publications, LLC (1)
Anne Carley (1)
Artie Almeida (1)
Author: West Music Conservatory (1)
Benjamin Coelho (1)
Cathi Dorr (1)
Cindy Weber (1)
Dan Ehl (The Kalona News) (1)
Dan Jacobi (8)
Deanna Swoboda (1)
Debbie Yarrow (1)
Denise Gagne (1)
Don Muro (1)
Doug Ducey (8)
Doug Goodkin (1)
Dr. Donna Emmanuel (1)
Emilia, MT-BC (4)
Erin, MT-BC (3)
Gavin Wright (2)
Griff Gall and Paul Weller (1)
Janet Stephens (1)
Jeff Taylor (1)
Jennifer Winegarden (8)
Jerry Zinn (1)
Jim Solomon (1)
Joanie Mercy (2)
John Feldman (2)
John Waltz (2)
Jom Van Gelder (1)
Jon Baumgartner (1)
Jordan Wagner (24)
Judy Pine (6)
Kalani Das (1)
Katey, MT-BC (5)
Kathy Bohstedt (2)
Kelly Klemz (1)
Kelly McNichols (1)
Kirk Davis (1)
Kyle Ware (6)
Kyle, MA, MT-BC (2)
Laura Fehr (1)
Lea Ann Huegel (8)
Lindsey - MA, MT-BC, NMT (6)
Lisa Bost-Sandberg (1)
Lisa Sullivan (1)
Lorna, MT-BC (2)
Lucy , MT-BC (1)
Lucy Schipper (2)
Mark Nicolay (1)
Maureen Butler (1)
Melissa Blum (5)
Melissa Raap (5)
Morgan, MT-BC (1)
Nick Janssen (9)
Paige Schneweis (9)
Patrick Downing (1)
Peter Hart (5)
Rachel Federman Morales & Joel Shwartz (1)
Rachel, MT-BC (1)
Randy Hargis (2)
Robbin L Marcus (1)
Roger Sams (1)
Rosemary, MT-BC (4)
Ruben Newell (2)
Ryan West (1)
Sam Marchuk - West Music Education Consultant (2)
Sandy Lantz & Gretchen Wahlberg (1)
Sanna Longden (1)
Sara Roth (1)
Sara Volz (1)
Scott Sandberg (2)
Shannon Price (2)
Sharon Burch (1)
Sol Weber (1)
Staff Music Therapist (3)
Stephanie, MT-BC (1)
Teresa Heitman (3)
Tim Wiegand (1)
Valerie Johnson (8)
Valerie Johnson and Rod Pierson (1)
West Music (12)
West Music Cedar Falls (14)
West Music Company (257)
West Music Conservatory (183)
West Music Coralville (26)
West Music Mariachi (2)
West Music Marion (13)
West Music Ottumwa (2)
West Music Piano Gallery (9)
West Music Quad Cities (13)
 October (3)
 September (4)
 August (5)
 July (8)
 June (9)
 May (8)
 April (8)
 March (10)
 February (15)
 January (10)
 December (10)
 November (8)
 October (8)
 September (11)
 August (14)
 July (15)
 June (19)
 May (18)
 April (16)
 March (11)
 February (15)
 January (7)
Blog Roll
Rhythm For Good

McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams
Buy BoardAdopt a ClassroomReverbClass WalletEbay
NAMM Believe in MusicNational Association for Music EducationNAMM Top DealersMusic Inc Mag Retail Excellence AwardHoopla Now Four Time WinnerIowa's Creative Cooridor
Current DMA Code: '511'