recorder method online : descant/sopranog sharp / a flat
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: B :: A :: G :: E :: D :: C :: F :: F#/Gb :: Bb/A# :: C#/Db :: G#/Ab :: D#/Eb :: Second Octave :: Third Octave


This section gives advice on the following topics:

How To Finger The Note G sharp
How To Play The Note F sharp


How To Finger The Note G sharp

The eleventh note we learn, G sharp on the descant (soprano) recorder, lies on the second lowest line on the treble clef but has a sharp sign before it, in the key signature at the beginning of the stave or on a G earlier in the same bar. The enharmonic equivalent to G sharp is A flat in the equitempered scale - that is both notes have the same fingering. 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
6a
7b
7a
Bell
Descant
Tenor
  -----left hand------ -----right hand-----

G#
standard



G#
alternative


Using the standard nomenclature, the fingering for first octave G sharp, or for the enharmonic equivalent A flat, is written 0 1 2 4 5. An alternative fingering, which is generally better in tune than the standard fingering for G sharp is written 0 1 2 4 5 6a.

How To Play The Note G sharp

Play the note A on the descant (soprano). Now lower the first and second fingers of the right hand. Low G sharp should be blown gently because on almost all makes of recorder this note tends to be a little sharp. There is a good argument for using the alternative fingering shown above, where an extra hole is closed with the third finger of the right hand, as the standard, using the standard only when the complexity of a series of finger movements makes it difficult to use the extra finger or the dynamic level of the G sharp is low. Most professional players use the alternative fingering as a matter of course. If the G sharp is the major third in a chord based on E, it will be essential to keep it flatter to sweeten the interval. You will remember we made a similar point when considering the tuning of F sharp when it was the major third to D. Once the the movement between A and G sharp has been mastered, you might try the progression E to G sharp, which requires the lifting of only the third finger of the left hand. A third, trickier progression is the movement between F sharp and G sharp as well as the reverse, something one is likely to come across in baroque recorder music written in the keys of A and E. Once you have mastered these progressions you should try the next exercise piece 11.


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