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

This section gives advice on the following topics:

How To Finger The Note A
How To Tongue The Note A

How To Finger The Note A

The twenty second note we learn, A in the second octave on the descant (soprano) recorder, lies on the first leger line above the treble 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
  -----left hand------ -----right hand-----


Using the standard nomenclature, the fingering for second octave A is written X 1 2, where X indicates a pinched thumb or vented thumbhole.

How To Tongue The Note A in the Second Octave

A in the second octave, one of the group of notes from G in the second octave to C in the third octave, can sometimes give recorder players problems. Many recorder players seem uncertain about how hard they should tongue to get the notes to speak and how much air the notes require to sustain them. We discussed a trick for playing these high notes when we introduced middle G and we will use the same trick again to play middle A.

We start by playing middle G. If you have problems getting middle G to speak click here to return to the lesson where we introduced 'the high note trick'.

Assuming you have now mastered the playing of G try again to play middle G and then, while sustaining it, lift the third finger on the left hand, continuing to supply enough air to keep the new note, middle A, speaking. Try the same sequence of notes, still slurred, a few times until you are confident you can always produce a clear full sounding middle A. Once you have reached this stage, you should try the same sequence, but this time stop the middle G, before moving the third finger of the left hand, and then tongue again for middle A. Try first to use the same amount of tonguing pressure as you used for the G, and, if this does not seem to work, try a slightly harder one. Middle A needs a greater flow of air than middle G and, on most recorders, a slightly firmer tonguing stroke. Once you can produce a middle A coming from G, try playing the octave jump from low A to middle A. Apart from the 'pinching' of the thumb the fingers do not have to move. Try this sequence a few times until again you are happy that you can always produce a clear secure middle A.

Why not try now piece no 22 where we introduce both middle G# and middle A.