recorder method online : bassc natural
Dr. Brian Blood

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Important: To see and hear our 'live' music examples you will need to install the free Scorch plug-in for PC and MAC systems.

First Octave: E :: D :: C :: A :: G :: F :: Bb/A# :: B :: Eb/D# :: F#/Gb :: C#/Db :: G#/Ab :: Second Octave :: Third Octave

This section gives advice on the following topics:

How To Finger The Note C
How To Tongue The Notes C, D and E
Raising and Lowering Your Fingers
How To Slur The Notes C, D and E

How To Finger The Note C

The third note we learn, C on the bass recorder, lies on the second space from the bottom of the bass clef. Click on the play button in the Sibelius score to hear it. Below that we give the standard fingering for this note, the fingering you would use under normal circumstances.

Legend: = hole covered = hole uncovered = pinched thumbhole

Recorder Thumb 1 2 3 4 5 6b
Bass in F
Contra Bass
  -----left hand------ -----right hand-----


Using the standard nomenclature, the fingering for first octave C natural is written 0 1 2 3.

How To Tongue The Notes C, D and E

In the previous lessons you discovered how to tongue the notes D and E. You will find that the same tonguing stroke and strength with the fingering given above will produce a good C. Moving between the three notes, you need to coordinate the tongue and finger movements so that there are no extraneous sounds in piece no. 3a. As in the previous lesson try detaching the notes so that there is a noticeable period of silence between them. Then, shortening the silences, make the musical line less detached and more legato. Many bass recorders have a key to close hole 3. By adjusting the angle the wrist makes with the instrument and allowing for the slightly greater effort involved in closing the key as opposed to closing a hole with the finger you should, with a little practice, by able to move between the notes as smoothly on a bass as on a smaller recorder.

Raising and Lowering Your Fingers

As you begin to use more than one finger at a time you will find it difficult to keep all the movements coordinated. You should try, from the outset, not to raise your fingers too far above the holes when uncovering finger holes. The best distance is that which allows you to return the finger to the recorder as quickly and as directly as possible, say 5-10 mm from hole surface to finger pad. When raised, the finger should lie directly above its own hole. If the fingers drift away from this position you will find yourself 'hunting' for the holes each time you need to cover them. When the fingers are too high or unevenly high, it is more difficult to move them up and down neatly. When going from E to C, you want get the 'feeling' of a single block of fingers moving onto the recorder, rather than two individuals. Try moving back and forth between the two notes E and C until you feel the two fingers moving as one block. Try piece no. 3b.

How To Slur The Notes C, D and E

The exercise we have given you above can be extended to use slurs as well as tongued notes. Again, play particular attention to neat slurring; just the tow notes with a minimum of extraneous noise in between them. Try piece no. 3c which makes use of extensive slurring before moving onto the next lesson.