recorder method online : treble/altob flat / a sharp
Dr. Brian Blood

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

This section gives advice on the following topics:

How To Finger the Note B flat
How To Tongue the Note B flat

How To Finger The Note B flat

The eighteenth note we learn, B flat in the second octave on the treble (alto) recorder, lies above the first leger line above the treble clef. The enharmonic equivalent of B flat is A sharp, the note that has the same fingering as B flat. 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 B flat, or for the enharmonic equivalent A sharp, is written X 1 2 3 4 6a 6b, where X indicates a pinched thumb or vented thumbhole.

How To Tongue The Note B flat in the Second Octave

When we introduced A in the second octave of the treble you will have noticed that it had the same fingering as for low A but with the thumbhole slightly open. There are quite a lot of notes in the two octaves that have this similarity. Unfortunately, B flat is not one of them. If you finger low B flat and then 'pinch' the thumb, and tongue a little harder than for the low B flat, the note your recorder produces is A in the second octave and not B flat. You must raise the bottom finger of the right hand to produce B flat in the second octave, the note we will also call middle B flat. If you are moving from middle B flat down to bottom B flat you must remember to add the bottom finger of the right hand otherwise the low B flat will be noticeably sharp. If you play successively the middle and bottom B flat you should soon find the finger movements you must make become instinctive. In every other way, middle B flat like middle A before it is an easy note to play and you should be ready to play piece no. 18 to familiarize yourself with this new note.