How to Learn Recorder Fingerings

Learning recorder fingerings is simply a matter of practice. If you play the soprano, tenor or great bass recorder, the fingerings are the same for each note. Starting with simpler fingerings and then moving to fingerings that are more complex is the best way to begin. Early recorder songs should use notes that only use three or four fingerings at the most. By breaking down the process into simpler fingerings, it is possible to learn all of the recorder fingerings in an integrated and progressive manner.

Step 1 Start by learning the fingers for B, A, and G in the middle of the staff. These fingers are the basis for many beginning recorder songs. Cover the thumb hole with your left hand and cover the first hole with your right hand to play B. Then, with your thumb still covering the hole, hold down the first and second holes to play A. Finally, to play G hold down the thumb and the first three holes.

Step 2 Play the notes B, A, and G in a rhythmic pattern that contains two quarter notes and one half note. Play this sequence twice. You just played the first half of the song, "Three Blind Mice."

Step 3 Continue to learn other fingerings by looking for songs that use a limited number of notes. Some good songs to find for recorder are "All Through the Night," "Row Your Boat," "Jingle Bells" and "Camptown Races." Each of these songs uses limited fingerings to play.

Step 4 Continue to learn the rest of the notes by practicing scales every day. Many songs are made up of scales, so by learning scales, you can learn to play these songs more easily. Start with the C Major scale and then learn all of the major scales. Use a fingering chart at first, but eventually, aim to memorize the scales. When you have learned the major scales move on to minor scales.

Step 5 Learn music that interests you. If you don't know a fingering, look it up and write it into the part. Over time, you will begin to associate fingerings with notes and you will no longer need shortcuts.


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