Reply To: Remove the block during cleaning?

Ken In Dallas

As I mentioned, I see Thumb Rest placement in terms of the right pinky. Weight bearing is another matter. Accidentally dropping a fine instrument is a heart-stopping event never forgotten. Mine was an exceptional and fine violin long ago.

I jumped at your suggestion to use O Rings till I remembered an expensive mic hitting the ground in a recording session when its o-ring support snapped, and that was a fairly static situation. I look up and say ‘Thank You’ every time it’s a plastic recorder that falls to the floor. I’m far more careful with my wooden recorders, which stay in my hand or on their peg on a floor stand, of which I have a few.

I want to thank you for mentioning RecorderForge. I wasn’t familiar with them. I see they have a little $10 Brass thumb rest with a ring for a strap that I’m going to install on the Blackwood. Till now I’ve only found the ‘plated’ ones that age ugly.

As for a suggestion from me, I’m thinking you haven’t really landed on your placement yet. I would use one of the plastic snap-on rests – even on the wood instruments – till you’re consistent and happy. Once I know where I like them, I use a little ‘White School Glue’ to hold the plastic rest on plastic instruments. I don’t find they move on wooden instruments, but they will scratch the instrument after a while.

You know the tradition of old was to use a piece of wine cork with two-sided tape. Better wines have finer cork. ‘Longer’ rather than ‘wider’ gives a larger gluing surface. If I want to remove the rest, I take a piece of string to ‘saw’ the tape free. I’ve wanted to experiment with polymer clay and wood but haven’t to date.

I assumed you were in Europe when you ordered instruments from Britain. If there’s a Whole Foods anywhere near, I found the one here in Dallas has a ‘Cork Collection Box’ near the door. Expensive wines have excellent corks with few defects.

I’m curious if you’re learning Soprano and Alto at the same time and what method book – if any – you’re using. I’m very fond of the adult Sweet Pipes books both for tweaking my own technique when needed and for teaching. The authors did a great job writing them. Lots of excellent and varied melodies as well as fingering studies that are tuneful. Have you seen IMSLP’s excellent player-graded list of Recorder music at

Your questions are excellent and thought provoking. If I can be of any more help, it’s my pleasure.

— k —