January 9, 2021 at 11:32 am #1325
sorry for possibly misusing this forum but I am looking for an instrument that I can practice on quietly and that I may be able to teach myself as a beginner.
So now I have discovered the Roland Aerophone Mini (=AE-01) which looks (a bit) like a recorder and so I wonder if anybody ever tried it.
Would that be a good beginner’s instrument?
And apart from that do you think that someone with no prior musical experience can pick up the recorder by using some book/tutorial only?
And If so what book would you recommend for an adult?
Many thanks!January 9, 2021 at 8:49 pm #1327
I’m honestly not sure I’d recommend that sort of instrument for a beginner– you mean a complete beginner to music, right, not just a beginner to that particular instrument?– but maybe I’m just a traditionalist and a Luddite. For your first musical instrument, I would recommend to start with a real analog instrument, not something digital, and not something that expensive.
I understand that you’re worried about volume, but unfortunately there are few ways to get around that when playing a musical instrument.
Try this site for method book recommendations:January 10, 2021 at 2:24 pm #1328
Well, you CAN use that Roland Aerophone Mini to play without making any noise at all (it’s electronic and you can play thru earphones, as shown on their website). The fingering is based on the recorder, but it looks somewhat different (those two extra small buttons for the left-hand pinky are decidedly non-standard).
I think you could probably play regular soprano recorder music on it and yes, you could learn music using it. But, as Katia mentions, you could also just buy a very good Aulos or Yamaha plastic soprano recorder for about $10-15 and learn that way, which would be better, I think. Only wrinkle is that it couldn’t be quiet.January 13, 2021 at 1:16 am #1337
Also– yes, you could learn that instrument if it was the only instrument you wanted to play, and if you only wanted to play by yourself or in situations where the logistics would allow it (somewhere you can plug in) and where such an instrument would fit in.
However, I have my doubts about how knowing how to play one of those would translate to playing anything else. You would perhaps learn recorder fingerings. But I don’t imagine blowing into one of those is much like blowing into a recorder, pennywhistle, clarinet, etc, in that I doubt you’ll learn much about breath control (you’ll certainly have a learning curve going between two wind instruments as well, but at least you’ll take the fundamentals of breath control and something of tone production with you); pressing buttons is not going to teach you anything about covering holes (or perhaps using keys), etc. All of these things are nuances in playing an instrument just as much as putting your fingers in the right places to make the notes (the joy and heartbreak anyone who plays any instrument has learned!), so if your goal is ever to learn to play a “real” (analog) instrument, it’s best to start out with a real instrument.
Like I said– I sympathize with worrying about noise. I myself live in a very thin-walled apartment and practice recorder and whistle outside in summer, and just have to go the winter months without playing because I can’t go out. (Violin/viola I don’t play at all because I don’t want to be playing them anywhere public-ish, and of course indoors is too loud, even with a heavy mute.) There are just some situations where being a musician isn’t ideal, unfortunately.
There are ways of muting a recorder, though they’re not very satisfactory as your tone will suffer, and as a beginner, being able to hear and correct your tone is pretty important. (They also may result in you subconsciously playing overly-quietly to also compensate. I took a few remedial violin lessons a few years ago and the teacher pointed out that I was playing way too meekly and quietly. I’d spent too long trying to keep my indoor playing as quiet as possible, didn’t even realize I was doing it.)
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