Reply To: New Player, what lesson frequency would you recommend for me?

Recorder Forum Home Page Forum Teaching and Learning New Player, what lesson frequency would you recommend for me? Reply To: New Player, what lesson frequency would you recommend for me?

Rex Kerr

Thanks again for all of the replies! I saw your comments over the weekend, but was out hiking when I read them and wasn’t in a position to respond at that moment. 🙂

To Ken:

Yes, the book that I have is the SP2318 book. After reading the reviews I was fairly sure that it was a good starting point because of my prior experience with sight-reading and already knowing the basics about clefs, tempo, note durations, ties, trills, etc from other instruments, so I didn’t think that I needed a book that started that far back. As for the beginning units being “too simple”, yeah, I’ve been tempted to skip over that stuff, and the day that I received it I jumped right into simple songs for fun, but immediately took a step back and haven’t played a single song since, instead focusing on just unit one, as painful as that is to listen to. I’ve been playing that unit repeatedly with and without a metronome at various tempos (something that I’ve always hated, but forcing myself to do it this time around!), and with and without a chromatic tuner to ensure that I’m getting the right tone. I find it interesting that I’m having a much harder time getting a clean C than expected — the threshold between too flat and squeaky overtones is surprisingly narrow, at least on my instrument, especially on the C.

I’ve been forcing myself to repeat unit 1 for 3 days in a row now, trying to get to where I can play it without a single squeak, without a single mistake (it’s easy to let your mind wander when it seems too easy, and when the patterns aren’t really a melody), and where every whole note sounds consistent throughout and stays within the +/- 10 cent range that I have my tuner set to (mostly glancing at the tuner on the whole notes, when I have enough time to see it). I’m definitely not ready to set it to 5 cent or less!

One quick question about the unit: the breath indicators are placed at the end of every single measure. I tried for a while to take their advice, but found that I was getting too much air, I couldn’t get rid of as much as I was bringing in. Should I be focusing on smaller starting amounts and replenishing more often, or just go with what’s comfortable? Comfortable for me is enough air to go 4-5 measures, otherwise I don’t feel like I’ve exhaled enough to replenish it!

Anyhow, thanks for the recording offer, would love to hear it, and will definitely take a look at the linked video!

Thanks for the encouragement!

To Katia:

Thanks for your insights and words of encouragement too! I definitely relate to your comments about making it sound good. I feel like the recorder is one of those instruments that is deceptively hard — easy on the surface, as I said in my early post I was able to play all of the easy songs well-enough with less than an hour of toying with the instrument, but to make them sound good — well, that’s something else entirely! 🙂 Posture is one of those things that has always bitten me. I work at a computer all day long, so my posture isn’t the best, and that bites me often. I get sore playing the piano from slouching, it negatively affects my dancing (dance teacher is always getting on me about my posture, especially in Tango/Foxtrot/Waltz, and other formal dances), etc, but I’ve been doing a ton of stretching and exercises lately with a focus on posture, which’ll hopefully help undo years and years of bad habits (more years than my outdated Gravatar belies!).