Reply To: Best plastic Bass Recorder???

Dick Mattson

Hi Bill– While the difference between 1 1/8″ and 1 7/16″ wouldn’t sound all that great to someone who has large hands (like me), I can imagine that the larger distance could create a problem. And the fact that the Yamaha sits lower will indeed cause a bit of trouble with the lowest notes. Your next question answer indicates that the high F plays better when the instrument is cold (this Michigan boy thinks that cold is perhaps a bit of a misnomer for Lake Havasu City AZ). Might it be possible that you are getting condensation in the bocal before the time the instrument is truly warmed up (if indeed that ever happens–see down below)? Just a guess, but it does possibly justify my tendency to stay away from instruments with bocals. The answer to your next question as to whether I play high F on my bass very often is yes. I belong to a small group of friends, three of whom stick adamantly to their respective soprano, tenor, violin–plus me (I play anything from sopranino through to F bass as the music demands). As we play totally for our own amusement, a lot of the music we play (Renaissance, Baroque, early Classical) is scored for just about anything–we play it if it fits the ranges of any combination of the above instruments without too much octave transposition up or down. A number of the Baroque works we play have an unrealized continuo part or a cello part (bass clef and tenor clef) as the bottom line (lately I’ve been playing some bass gamba parts that are in alto clef), so my bass recorder parts can therefore be all over the map pitch wise. Translation: I have to play high Fs aplenty. My Yamaha has no real problem with those (although sometimes I tend to stumble on that rather odd fingering for the high C#). Note that I don’t bother to warm the head joint of the Yamaha bass up above room temperature since it is so big that it would take forever to get it up to body temperature. Hence, I sometimes end up having to suck a great deal of condensation out of it as I play–one of life’s little annoyances I guess. Finally, from what you say, it seems like the Aulos will end up being your bass of choice as long as you can deal with the stretch between 5 and 6. All the best. –Dick–