Recorder for practice in apartment?

Home Forum Recorder Makes, Models and Maintenance Recorder for practice in apartment?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Hane November 15, 2019 at 3:14 am.

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  • #856

    Hane
    Participant

    Does anyone have a suggestion for a recorder that one can practice in an apartment without neighbors complaining? I’m looking for something with good intonation but that the sound doesn’t carry far enough to piss off my neighbors. I am a beginner but can afford to pay for what I need to not cause problems.

    #857

    Jason Cone
    Participant

    I can’t offer any suggestions for a specific “quiet” recorder. However, there are some methods for making a recorder quieter. They all affect the tone (and probably playability of some notes) to one degree or another, so it’s a trade off. If you run a web search for “recorder mute” you should be able to find some articles and videos about it. There are a few commercially available mutes, but you can also make your own from a piece of paper or cardboard that you fit into the hole by the labium. It blocks part of the air flow and reduces the volume.

    #858

    Richard Hureau
    Participant

    I agree with what Jason said. The only trouble is that your question almost sounds as though you mean a permanent condition – i.e. you always have to play softly to avoid annoying your neighbors. This doesn’t lend itself to really any muting solution. I mean, any mute you use is going to drastically alter the sound and it’s not a way you’d want to always practice, especially as a beginner, IMHO. Generally these muting techniques are temporary solutions for use when you are say on vacation and staying in a hotel or something like that.

    The only other suggestion I have is do NOT play the soprano! Learn on the alto. I’d recommend this anyway for any adult, because the alto is the “main” recorder instrument with the largest repetoir. But also, the soprano is so shrill that it will drive even anyone else in the room crazy, let alone neighbors. I can barely stand to play it myself.

    The least annoying recorder would be the tenor (or bass). You could try learning on a tenor (same fingering as soprano) and probably not worry at all about neighbors it sounds so gentle.

    #859

    Jason Cone
    Participant

    That’s a good point. I have a soprano, an alto, and a tenor. The soprano is definitely the most piercing/carrying of the three.

    While I don’t have the personal experience to back it up (my current recorders are all plastic Yamahas), I also have formed the impression that wooden recorders tend to be less shrill/biting than plastic recorders.

    #861

    Aulos303
    Participant

    .

    While I don’t have the personal experience to back it up (my current recorders are all plastic Yamahas), I also have formed the impression that wooden recorders tend to be less shrill/biting than plastic recorders.

    I found that the wooden alto I received is so much quieter than its plastic counterpart

    You don't stop playing when you get old. You get old when you stop playing.

    #862

    Richard Hureau
    Participant

    Well, it’s all relative. A soprano recorder is a soprano recorder – wooden, plastic, or otherwise, it is shrill. I actually don’t think that a wooden recorder is any more mellow than a plastic one, if they are both of the same era, design-wise (baroque, earlier, etc). I don’t think we want to encourage this beginner to rush out and buy a wooden recorder in the mistaken impression that it will be less bothersome to neighbors. A beginner should stick with plastic, IMHO.

    #864

    Hane
    Participant

    Thanks everyone. I’m going to try an alto and see how it goes. If there isn’t a big difference in shrillness between plastic and wood instruments I will start with a good quality plastic instrument.

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