recorder method online : treble/altof sharp / g flat
Dr. Brian Blood

home :: resources :: music theory & history :: recorder lessons :: music dictionary :: physics of musical instruments :: e-monographs

contents :: help page :: first things first :: fingering charts :: glossary of recorder terms :: Quick C :: Quick F :: comments or queries?site map :: quick search

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 :: Third Octave: F :: F#/Gb :: G :: G#/Ab :: A :: Bb/A# :: B :: C

This section gives advice on the following topics:

How To Finger The Note F#
How To Tongue The Note F#

How To Finger The Note F# in the Third Octave

The twenty sixth note we learn, F# in the third octave on the treble (alto) recorder, lies above the third leger line above the treble clef. The enharmonic equivalent is G flat which has the identical 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
  -----left hand------ -----right hand-----



Using the standard nomenclature, the fingering for third octave F sharp, or the enharmonic equivalent G flat, is written X 1 3 4 6a 6b with the bell closed, where X indicates a pinched thumb or vented thumbhole.

How To Tongue The Note F# in the Third Octave

bell key 

High F# is one of the missing notes in the two and a half octave range for which there is no 'true' fingering unless one is prepared to close the end of the bell of your recorder (see the chart above). You will find a legion of alternatives offered by helpful teachers that might work once in a blue moon, that require that you slur rather than tongue, or that force you to accept an out-of-tune note in place of the secure, well tuned high F# you will be able to play when you use the fingering recommended above. On a large recorder closing the bell with one's knee can be both hazardous and unsightly. Dolmetsch have for many years produced a simple elegant solution - a bell key. Click here to learn more about it. If you are seated, and you do not have the advantage of a key, you may find it easier to cross your legs so that the leg is closer to the recorder bell. Fortunately, there is very little original recorder music, except some written since the key was invented by Carl Dolmetsch in the 1930's, that requires this note, and so even without a bell key fitted to your recorder you should be seldom troubled.

If you would like to to see how you can manage, whether with or without a bell-key, play piece no. 26.