June 8, 2021 at 2:46 am #1454Dave PParticipant
Are the lessons good? Worth signing up for? I’m a total recorder noob, I don’t even remember doing it in grade school, so I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.
Otherwise, what else would you recommend? I see the Sweet Pipes books on Amazon but they don’t seem to come with audio which I think would be a plus. And there’s multiple versions of their books and I’m not sure which one would be best to begin with.
DaveJune 11, 2021 at 3:54 am #1457
ASW has a good page where they talk about various method books.June 11, 2021 at 3:55 am #1458
For some reason, the forum won’t let me post a link, but if you go to their site– that’s aswltd dot com– and then go to the page about “where can I find more information?” and follow the link there.June 23, 2021 at 7:32 pm #1463Richard HureauParticipant
I see the Sweet Pipes books on Amazon but they don’t seem to come with audio which I think would be a plus. And there’s multiple versions of their books and I’m not sure which one would be best to begin with.
I’m not familiar with those books, but I suspect that there are “multiple versions of their books” because one book is probably for soprano instruments and another is for alto. I think. So, please be sure to buy instruction books for the instrument you have. It is very important.July 3, 2021 at 8:16 pm #1467
It also looks like these have a “Book 1” and “Book 2.”
So it looks like you’re going to want the blue one if you’re learning soprano, or the red one if learning alto.July 4, 2021 at 1:08 am #1468
Sweet Pipes are the books I teach with. I only teach adults, and the problem is that they have three series that are very ‘look-alike’ but are very different. Two are for children’s Elementary School classes and teach the staff and notation as they go along. The adult books don’t teach notation, but are otherwise, I feel, excellent for someone learning without a teacher.
Another issue is that they are inexpensive… so inexpensive that people buy and resell them online and especially on eBay at often four times their real $7- to $10 a copy price. You’ll see them on eBay and Amazon at up to $45 each – Really! I tell people to order them from Sweet Pipes, Courtly Music, or Von Huene. It’s good to support our long-term Recorder Community stores anyway.
Match the publisher’s “SP” number to get the right books:
SP 2313 The Sweet Pipes Recorder Book – Soprano Book 1
SP 2365 The Sweet Pipes Recorder Book – Soprano Book 2
SP 2318 The Sweet Pipes Recorder Book – Alto Book 1
SP 2367 The Sweet Pipes Recorder Book – Alto Book 2
Hey, the best of luck, and if you have any questions along the way, post’em here.
KenNovember 22, 2021 at 10:48 am #1509Diana K.Participant
This is a bit late, but I just joined this forum! I just started playing alto recorder last week. I have experience with clarinet as a kid, and more recently, Native American style flute, so I can read music and breath control. I like the Learn Recorder on-line lessons because they give you playing and music notation tips as well as guiding you through how to play each note, with audio clips of how each should sound. The accompanying songs also have audio clips of how they sound and back tracks also.
I like the Sweet Pipes books for the variety of scales and song clips. They are good for setting up a daily warmup and practice. I’ll add to Ken’s list this one: SP2351 Playing Alto Recorder, Level 1. That’s the first book I’m working through.
The ARS website has some really good videos showing breath control, fingering technique, etc., and of course, Team Recorder has great youtube videos on a variety of topics.November 22, 2021 at 6:24 pm #1511
Hi Diana… I just looked through the Sweet Pipes catalog and don’t see a book 2 to follow your SP2351. Your book is most often used for classroom instruction for students that need to learn to read music and is 32 pages long. I’ve never seen a copy. You might want to check if your book teaches the full 2+ octaves of the Alto. The books I noted earlier are each 48 pages and don’t teach a student to read music. They’re closer to the classic approaches to most instruments that I learned in conservatory with lots of good sounding finger studies and tons of music to play. All the Sweet Pipes books are very affordable, if you feel the books 1 & 2 I use better suit your efforts or the time you’ve invested already. — k —May 11, 2022 at 7:36 am #1630Maree NicolParticipant
After buying a soprano recorder and learning with youtube clips for months, i decided to get a more serious and I have been learning the alto recorder with learn recorder online lessons which I find very good. But I am also learning to read music for the first time in my life and while I am well into Alto 2 and now know the G major scale and the C major scale I feel overwhelmed when I attempt to play the songs. I am only familiar with a few of them and because i can listen to the music in my head they are easier for me. After playing by ear I now find playing with only the notes difficult.
I hope that someone can give me some encouraging words to keep me going.May 12, 2022 at 1:14 am #1631
Maree, The issues you raise in your posting above are exactly the ones that someone that IS going about things in the right way is always asking about. You’re on the right path. First off, you would do well to search YouTube for the title of any new song that haven’t heard of. I cannot get over how many songs that appear in lessons have been posted on YouTube. I teach my Zoom students using the Sweet Pipes books. They are full of songs most people have never encountered. Yes hearing a recording of a song is helpful in the beginning.
I also work with my students on approaching new music like doing a puzzle or breaking a code. There are three steps to learning a song you do not know. 1, READ the puzzle, meaning count outloud the beats of the notes for a few measures while tapping your leg. Any words will do. “Bum Bump-a Bum tid-y Tid-l-tid-l.” If you do that you’re already inside the song.
2. S-l-o-w W-a-y D-o-w-n and play only one or two measures. Get them right. Try to identify the end of the first phrase. Sometimes there’s a long note or a rest or some kind of ‘landing.’ Add one measure at a time slowly till you get the phrase.
3. In that slow pace play just that first phrase. Yes, it will have lots of mistakes still. You aren’t getting ready for Carnagie, you’re trying to get the
sound and feel of the piece into your body. At this point you should have had enough for today or this hour or whatever, and you should leave the piece for a bit or a day. Just MAKE SURE you come back to it and pick up where you left off.
I’m 73-years old and learning Bach’s second Brandenburg Concerto. Difficult piece. I’ve been at it about a month… maybe two. I’ve been listening to the piece since I was a teen. I just have arrived to where I can play the piece along with a recording. Me! One of the Brandenburgs at speed! Hoo-Hah! I can’t get over that my wife hasn’t moved out, I played it over and over so many times. Repetition and avoidance of frustration. That’s all I can tell you.
All of us find diving into a new piece is daunting. I perform pieces I’ve never known before, and I don’t mention too often that there have been a few I had to walk away from… usually cause I wasn’t there yet as a player. I still cannot play the Bach Chaconne on guitar. I hate it, but I respect it. I have yet to see a method book or teaching that gives students pieces too hard for a beginner. But… your words make sense. Starting a piece up from nothing? Cold! A cold, cold world at times, but part of the learning. You are saying the right things. You asked of the right questions and issues in your posting. You ARE on the path. If you weren’t I wouldn’t take the time I just did to support you here. I for one would love to hear how you’re doing and/or answer anything you want to ask about. Oh, and switching to Alto was a great idea. Just don’t try to learn both C and F instruments at the same time. Pick one and stay with it.
Energy, Energy, Energy!
KenMay 12, 2022 at 4:45 am #1632Maree NicolParticipant
Thanks so much for your wise and encouraging words. I will do the things you suggest and let you know how I go.
MareeNovember 22, 2023 at 11:51 am #1968bridget murphyParticipant
Acknowledging the challenges of tackling new pieces and the temporary difficulty of some works, they advocate for a pragmatic approach of revisiting challenging pieces later, expressing admiration for the respect and frustration evoked by the Bach Chaconne on the guitar, appreciation for method books, and encouragement for the original poster’s journey and decision to switch to Alto with a reminder to focus on one instrument at a time.
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