Low C Recorder Fingering Help
Submitted by Barb Philipak, St. Peters, Missouri
Idea posted 2002-04-23
I agree that having the two or three piece recorders really help. When you can adjust the bottom section (the foot joint) so that it is right under where their pinkie needs to play it, it is much easier! (That is, if fingering is the problem for your kids...)
I have also had students who had problems getting a good sound on low C... The problem with this is the amount of air pressure that they are using. When playing on the low notes, the air pressure needs to be less, and for the higher notes it needs to be more. One thing that might help for the low notes (mentioned in my Recorder Karate book - p. T-5 in the Teacher Tutorial) is to have them play with an open, relaxed throat. Have your students imagine that they are yawning with their lips closed. Then, have them try blowing air with this same feeling in their mouths on the syllable "dah." Another way for them to get the feel of this is to have them imagine a ping-pong ball in the back of their mouths.
Also, another idea... Make sure that they are directing their air pressure ahead instead of down... and make sure that their recorder is aligned correctly - some students seem to want to hold the bell of the recorder out in front of them so that the recorder ends up being almost horizontal - this makes a nice tone difficult. Make sure that the recorder is going more towards the floor - it should be held in a 45 degree angle from the mouth.
One more thing that you may have tried already... Make sure that when they cover low C, they are covering BOTH holes for low C... completely! Instruct them to use the flat, fleshy pad of their fingers... look for the 'warts' left on fingers if they are pushing hard enough. This is tough with the pinkies - cuz they aren't as strong as the other fingers... it takes a little time to build up the strength.
Hopefully, some of these suggestions help!