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e-book Bass Guitar Fret Fingering Guide For Right-handed Players (Instant Knowledge)

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For instance, to play the C major chord shown in Figure 1, hand position x, T, F, M, R, x is required, where x represents the absence of a finger. It is also possible that two or more different fingers play on the same string, like in solos. To play two consecutive notes on string G3, for instance, a possible hp is x, x, x, 2, x, x. Definition 3 Sequence of Best Hand Positions besthp is a sequence of n hand positions, besth,, It is the result of the right hand fingering algorithm. The algorithm that computes the sequence besthp is described in pseudocode as follows 1 foreach siG eS and besthp.

These costs were defined taking into account the following criteria: easy of play, flexibility, and agility. By ease of play, we mean that the transitions that preserve the fingers' positions as much as possible have lower costs. By flexibility, we mean that transitions that take into account future ones, by somehow preparing the proper fingers that will be used, have lower costs.

By agility, we mean that transitions that are more suitable for solo passages have lower costs. It is important to say that these costs, as well as the set HP, also serve to model anatomical and cultural restrictions. The best sequence, then, is the one with the smallest cost possible. To compute the best sequence of transitions line 4 in the algorithm , we used Viterbi's algorithm Viterbi Using dynamic programming techniques, its complexity is O n 7P n , where n H-P is the number of elements of 7-P and n is the number of notes of the song.

This set up reflects our initial motivation, i. Thus, set H-P was built by a simple observation of the fingerings commonly used by MPB guitar players. The bass line is always played with T and the rest of the chord with other fingers, usually in the following order: F for the note immediately above the bass, M for the note immediately above the one played by F, and R for the note immediately above the note played by M. The resulting set is formed 20 different hand positions, as can be seen in Figure 2.

The function 7 transformation cost was designed in order to avoid hand position changes. It punishes with higher costs any transition and benefits hand position maintenances with lower costs. The application cost function a was very simple: it punishes with an infinite cost the highest cost possible hand positions that do not use the string in which the note in analysis was played, and with zero cost the lowest cost possible the opposite situation. In Figure 3, it is possible to see part of the system's output.

It is the result of the right hand fingering for the beginning of the song Insensatez, as played by player 1 lower string is on top. Figure 4 depicts the result of the right hand fingering for the beginning of the song Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar, as played by player 2. The players have, then, analyzed the system output in order to find any error or unacceptable fingering anatomically incorrect fingerings, for instance. With the set up described 1All scores were obtained from Chediak Proceedings ICMC It is part of a research where the influence of rhythm in the phenomenon of expressive performance is being studied, in particular the influence of rhythm in MPB guitar accompaniment.

It is important to stress that, although the algorithm was tested having a well-defined set of restrictions, it is sufficiently general to find the fingering for other kinds of guitar music. It is only necessary to change the set of typical hand positions, which may vary according to cultural or stylistic characteristics. Although the algorithm was designed with a very well defined goal provide metadata for a particular research , it could certainly be used for other purposes. These kinds of systems simulate a human instrumental performance, showing it on a virtual instrument on the computer screen Cabral, Zanforlin, Lima, Santana, and Ramalho References Cabral, G.

Zanforlin, R. Lima, H. Santana, and G. Ramalho , Jul-Ago. Playing along with D'Accord Guitar. Chediak, A. Songbook: Bossa Nova, Volume Rio de Janeiro: Lumiar Editora. Desain, P. Honing, and R. Timmers , Nov. Dixon, S. A lightweight multi-agent musical beat tracking system. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. Set up a giveaway. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get fast, free delivery with Amazon Prime. Back to top. Get to Know Us. Amazon Payment Products. English Choose a language for shopping. Length: 2 pages.

Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled. Page Flip: Enabled. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. Sell on Amazon Start a Selling Account. AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go. Flute players may like to experiment by holding the head joint of their flute by the crown, letting it dangle and flipping the open end with a finger mail.

Plated heads always 'ping', while solid precious metal heads 'clang'. Some players come up in a rash as a result of playing one of the resinous tropical hardwoods, palisander in particular, I do myself. Should you discover this after purchase I will exchange the instrument or make a full refund. There is no recorder that is perfect for all purposes.

Just pause and have a moments thought about it. Is there a perfect car? How do you reconcile the attributes of a car; speed, space, economy, size, style No wonder there are so many different models on the roads. A good recorder will be much better for most uses than a bad recorder but there are times when a really good recorder can be a liability. It all depends on the company you keep. For playing by yourself or with a keyboard and other instrumentalists the best instrument you can beg, buy, or borrow is the order of the day.


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If you play with a mixed group you need to be able to go with the flow. If the group is dominated by low priced models, say plastic and 'student' or 'ensemble' recorders the pitch will inevitably wander and vary with dynamics. A really good recorder will not, and that can be a problem.

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Being the only player actually at concert pitch is not good. Forcing your instrument to play sharper, so that you are no longer out of tune, will make you louder than the rest. It is not a good way to go. The better ensemble recorders are not costly. If you play in a group and feel the need to get away from plastic, a plain recorder made of maple or pearwood will serve you very well.

If you develop a taste for baroque sonatas you will probably enjoy yourself more with a hardwood 'soloist' model. However, you may be criticised unjustly! A good conductor should be able to sort out any problems, but be prepared for any aggravation that may come as a result of everybody having to accomodate you, because you cannot accomodate them. For reasons that I do not understand, flatness always seems to be regarded as a more serious fault than sharpness even though sharpness in a recorder is easily correctable and flatness can be impossible to correct.

Have a look at my comments on what you can expect from different recorders by clicking here. Larger recorders have keys fitted so that pads may cover holes that are out of the reach of fingers. Sometimes they enable two holes to be controlled by one finger, or, with rings, give a choice of action. Their function is very much the same as on orchestral woodwind, clarinets, flutes and even saxophones. Because their fitment is often optional they are not well understood and give rise to many queries. Keys can be added to almost any size of recorder to help you overcome injury or age related problems.

I recommend Peter Worrell for this work. There is a reference and link to his web site lower down this page. It is very common for tenor, and larger, recorders to have one or two keys fitted to the foot joint. There are versions of wooden treble recorders with keyed foot joints. I do not advise these except in cases of physical abnormality or very small typically a child's hands.

I am not aware of any plastic treble recorders fitted with keys. When there are two keys they are often spoken of as "split" or "double". On the tenor recorder one key covers the lowest hole to enable the production of C. If there is no other hole or key low C is impossible to play.

A second key may cover a second hole or control a small hole in middle of the C pad. The systems vary, on some instruments the action of the keys is logical, both for C and one only for C , and on others, the opposite, one for C and both for C. You have to know your own instrument. If you have no C key you have no low C. Don't hold this against your instrument, it matters very little, C is generally avoided in real recorder music. You can usually find a convincing solution like missing the note out altogether or playing the third above. The C key, like double holes, is a relatively recent feature.

One way in which tenor recorder makers solve the problem is by changing the bore of the recorder so that the instrument is shortened and keys become unnecessary. This makes for a cheaper instrument with no impossible notes. There is an additional advantage in that the tenor recorders made this way are easier to handle overall and may well be easier to play than the keyed model if you have short arms or small hands.

Moeck Rottenburgh models without keys are the same length as the keyed models. Because the long, keyed models have a larger bore, they are generally somewhat louder than the unkeyed ones. The bigger recorders have more keys and generally require a much smaller hand span than tenors. Some makers will fit extra keys to the body of a wooden tenor recorder. These have extensions that reduce the finger spread. These extra keys may be the answer, but do little to reduce pain in the right wrist if it occurs. If you are an adult, and find either style of tenor recorder a strain on your hands, try a knick model, particularly one with extra keys.

A pair of keys can be fitted to a keyless foot joint tenor or treble. I recommend Peter Worrell for the fitting of special keys. Example Peter will now fit keys to plastic reorders. Some other repairers and shops will too. It is worth asking around. It is better for you to approach Peter direct. If you still have trouble, admit defeat. It is a problem which gets worse with age. Play the other sizes. The big instruments all have keys on the body as well as the foot.

These keys can make the span similar to that of the treble. Where there is a ring connecting to a key pad this device is used to play the note a semitone above the one produced by closing the hole surrounded by the ring, by touching the ring alone. It is a favourite device with Kung instruments. Some older bass recorders from Germany have an extra hole in the middle of the body and a key with two pads, one with a hole in it, for the RH first finger hole IV. I have Feb. The pads set into the key cups are made of various materials. Whatever it is, it must be completely airtight. The traditional and best recorder pad is leather over felt with a card backing.

Alternatives are closed pore foam and cork. Frequently the covering of the felt is missing, torn off or eaten by moths or insects. Felt is porous and will not work without its covering. A good woodwind repairer should be able to replace a standard recorder pad. Both the thickness and diameter of the pad are critical.

bass guitar left handed players guide instant knowledge Manual

Pads intended for bassoons are often suitable. The edge of the tone hole needs to be fairly sharp and all in the same plane. Some instruments, padded with foam, are very poor in this respect. A traditional pad will not work until the imperfections of the hole have been corrected. When this is done the results are better than new.

I have produced a page on the 'do it yourself' replacement of foam plastic pads here. While keys are usually made of metal, some are not. Older Aulos tenors have metal plated plastic keys which are no longer obtainable as spare parts. Do not assume that a broken recorder key can be replaced easily, in most cases in cannot. It is however possible to repair most broken metal keys if all the parts are available.

The cost of a skilled worker's time needed to repair the broken key of a cheap recorder could exceed the value of the instrument. Any complications like a missing piece make repair an uneconomic proposition. I have a small stock of spares for currently produced plastic recorders. Take great care of the keys on a recorder.

Be especially careful when putting it together and taking it apart that you do not grip and bend the keys.

Structured Lesson Sets

To reduce the noise of keys clicking up and down the axles should be lubricated when necessary. A drop or two of non-gummy oil gun oil is very good applied to the junction between moving parts will do the trick. Ever since Aulos started supplying their plastic models with moveable thumb rests there has been increasing interest in this accessory.

In my view it not needed at all for the smaller recorders and may well stand in the way of good technique. It is however a useful feature for tenor and larger recorders, where it is becoming a standard fitting. Thumb rests are standard on the larger and heavier orchestral woodwind, clarinets, oboes and saxophones. To anyone who has played these instruments the concept of a recorder being "heavy" is mildly ridiculous.

This little bracket is not so much a rest for the thumb as a device to prevent the instrument falling through one's fingers when playing the notes which use a few fingers of the left hand only. It complements the friction between the right thumb and the instrument and comes fully into its own when the recorder is held nearly vertically. It is hard to hold a tenor out at an appreciable angle, and virtually impossible with the bass and larger recorders. This is where a thumb rest comes to the rescue. I suggest that it should be positioned so that if you let your recorder slide down between your right hand thumb and forefinger, when the thumb rest stops it, your forefinger falls naturally onto the fourth hole.

At this angle there is very little inclination for the recorder to slip down and a thumb rest is more likely to promote poor style by permitting the instrument to be held vertically, than it is to enable rapid playing by increasing the security of the hold. Before any one starts an attack on me I would like to make it clear that I do realize that there are situations where a thumb rest on a descant recorder may be useful.

For the very young, those with some disability, and in the class-room where it stops the recorder rolling off tables, a thumb rest may solve a problem or two. However, please be aware that it is not a standard fitting for expert players of small recorders. There is another problem. Where should it be fitted? In my, now fairly extensive, experience, it is never ever in the right place. Certainly the manufacture never puts it in the right place because I am always being asked to move them! The trouble is that when I move one I usually find that it has been moved before and the underside of the recorder is honeycombed with nasty little holes, some of which penetrate right through to the bore, and must be plugged.

Moving the thumb rest is not the panacea which will stop pain and cramp in the thumb joint. Do not be fooled. Take a break. The attractive unorthodox new position that you may favour will become torture very quickly. Give or take very little, the thumb rest should place the thumb more or less under the hole covered by the index finger. That recognizes the way the hand is made. It is worth having a bass thumb rest fitted to a tenor. A bass rest has a ring incorporated so that a sling may be attached.

A sling will take the weight off your over stressed thumb. If you incorporate a section of "bungee rubber" light duty shock cord into the sling you can adjust the amount of weight taken and avoid being "locked" in an unnatural position. The sling does not have to go round your neck, either shoulder may do instead. Many bassoonists use a "spike", but this is difficult to fit to a recorder. An alternative is a strap round the thigh or a piece of webbing, or a cushion with a sling attached, to sit on and so lend support to a big recorder. An effective solution for a bass sling that is too short, or has a hook that will not pass through the ring or hole on the recorder, is a small loop of cord permanently fitted through the hole and set to a suitable length.

String will do but cord has more credibility! Use a good knot. I suggest the 'Fishermans Knot'. I've found it perfectly possible to sling a knick bass recorder from the bell when playing sitting down with the recorder between your legs. A normal sling will link with cord tied round the last grooved feature of the bell. A slipknot will hold it tight. Picture of loop. The player needs to wear trousers or slacks. The sling should go round the waist.

It is possible to put it on either over the head, or by stepping into it. There is not much to choose between the options, it will depend on your hair-do and degree of athleticism. If you want to try out a new and lower position for your thumb rest, do not move it.

Add thickness to the lower face by fixing a piece of cork to it with glue or sticky tape. You need something firm but "friendly", foam rubber and "Blue Tack" are no good. If you are really sure, after an extended session of playing, you have the option of making a tidy job of it or having the thumb rest moved. If you do decide to move it, have it done by someone who understands the need for accurately bored blind holes and who can produce them. The Aulos plastic thumb rests will fit most wooden recorders Kung tend to be an exception.

They need to be treated with care so as not to scrape tram lines up the side of the instrument and should never be pushed straight on. If you insist on using a plastic thumb rest on your latest and best superior wooden treble, consider the use of a tenor rest with the difference made up with sheet cork. The result is a shade bulky but your recorder will be unharmed. I can deal with most small troubles, quickly and economically. I can replace corks and pads, adjust tuning and clean instruments quickly, often on a "while you wait" basis. New corks require at least a full half day because of the time taken for glue to set.

You may be able to fix a malfunctioning key yourself. Click here. More serious troubles are generally returned to the maker. A missing beak mouth part for a pipe blown bass can generally be replaced by one from Aulos but bass pipes are a difficult problem. Aulos pipes there are two types, only the current top entry style pipe is available but the matching cap is not are obtainable at a price, as are pipes for most current basses. Most old instruments cannot be suited "off the peg" and the cost of having a pipe made specially is so high that I have never been asked to provide one.

I have managed to modify an Aulos old cap so that it takes the current pipe. Click here if you would like to see a pdf showing what is involved. If you cannot do it yourself, I may be able to do it for you. Plumbing fittings that avoid the need to bend tubing are available. I can make fully functional replacement bass pipes from 10mm brass tube and copper elbows.

Old Moeck pipes are 12mm and this is something of a problem as 12mm brass tube is not available from the usual sources. However, I have found a source of 12mm copper tube and another for 12mm copper elbows. You can see my first one here. I have produced a page of notes on the subject of repairs, click here. Unfortunately, the term is something of a 'catch all' and suggested as the answer to all recorder ailments.

Wood can only be removed and although it does have a tendency to swell with use there is always a danger that a recorder can be 'improved' to the point of uselessness. I have found that most recorders returned to me as being in need of 're-voicing' can be returned to their original playing condition by thoroughly cleaning the windway, block, bore and tone holes. The block has to be removed, and reset to its optimum position afterwards. This is generally flush with the head of the recorder at the beak end.

If your recorder has 'gone off' and the block is too far in, or too far out of the head to be described as 'flush', re-setting it will probably cure the problems. As a result of my experience with recorders new and old I am convinced that the block should not enter into the bore of the recorder. I define the 'bore' as the air column below the flat cut at the upper end of the window, that marks the end of the windway.

I am confident that I can clean and re-set blocks. You can see some picture and comments here. In the past I have made blocks, and performed on them, but I am reticent about doing any 're-voicing' work of this kind on a client's recorder. You may be interested in some unusual blocks pictured here.

I am highly suspicious of both 'recorder oil' and 'anti-condens'. I have never used 'anti-condens' on any of my own instruments. If your recorder has 'gone off' there are two courses of action that you could take if the instrument is not in need of cleaning and block re-setting. You will have to decide yourself which course of action is appropriate.

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The first is to play it more, ie. The other is to play it less, ie. Dosing it with a 'magic potion' will only confuse the issue and get in the way of the wood recovering its normal condition. Cork joints are a little tricky to replace but thread lapped joints are a good 'do it yourself' proposition. Use thread treated with beeswax.

You will have to obtain the wax from a craft store, it is used in needle work and woodwork , or an apiarist. There is no reason why this cannot be a replacement for a damaged cork. Here is a link to a printable instruction sheet. If you are handy with sharp tools you may like to read my notes on replacing a failed lapped cork joint. There is another style where the cork is permanently fitted into the socket. It is mainly found on old model low priced recorders, but my excellent 'concert' Hohner 'Telemann' descant is also made this way.

Picture Some lower priced recorders have rubber or plastic 'O-ring' joints. Makers include Moeck, Mollenhauer and Aura. Joints of this type are easier to produce and help to keep the cost down. They work well. However, when the ring fails you really need an exact replacement. Spares are available. Stiff joints on large recorders, even plastic models are a regular problem. I offer the following advice in the hope that some of it may 'hit the target'. Try flexing the instrument across you knee gently, you don't want to break it. This will usually break the seal which is holding the joint tight.

If flexing does not work, hold the affected joint of a plastic model under a running hot tap and try again. I have not yet met a case where this has failed. If two of you have a go together quite a common occurrence be sure to twist and pull straight, and do be careful not to wrench the keys off. Do not use any sort of tools, strong hands are enough. Ladies, find a willing man, do not grab that plumbing wrench from the garage. Even if there is only one of you, be very careful that you are not trying to bend the recorder as you twist and pull. It may help if your mental image is of one hand holding firm and one hand twisting.

Let your dominant hand do the twisting. Conversely, I have some clients who suffer from loose joints on their plastic recorders. I haven't a clue why this should be the case but suspect that it may be due to storage conditions. Perhaps they should exchange their instruments periodically with those from players whose recorders get too tight! A quick and easy fix is to apply a thin smear of thick cork grease to the tenon. If the joint has a 'liner' and the tenon has a 'step' on the inside apply a smear of grease to the inside of the tenon as well.

Its counter intuitive but it works because the grease fills the very small clearance between the parts with a viscous fluid and in doing so binds them together. The cork grease in the little black pots provided by Mollenhauer works well. Transparent sticky tape, neatly applied one layer should be enough can be used to tighen a joint. Clean all dirt and grease from the tenon and wrap a turn around its base with a significant overlap.

Cut off the excess. Then, with a very sharp blade, cut a single line at an angle through the overlapping tape, both layers. This will become a flush mitred joint. Remove and discard the piece of tape separated by this cut and the peel the angled end back. A short angle ended piece, from the start of the layer may peel back too, or remain stuck to the tenon. Remove and discard this short piece. Smooth the tape back carefully, squeezing out any air pockets and lining the mitred joint up tidily.

Apply a very little grease and assemble the joint carefully. It will bed in and can be a long lasting fix if treated with care. I have found that the following fairly risky procedure may a cure for loose plastic recorder joints. Be very careful! Use a hot air paint stripping gun hotter than a hair drier to warm up the tenon. If you hold recorder body through your fist you will stop when your hand gets uncomfortably hot.

Make several passes and let some hot air blow down the joint. So long as you hold near the tenon with your naked hand you are not likely to overheat the plastic. After you have let things cool down you will probably find that the parts go together without being too loose. If this doesn't work more drastic action involves more heat and forcing a tapered object like a chisel handle into the bore to expand the plastic slightly. If you overdo the heat the edge of the tenon will soften and form a bead. You will then have to reduce it with fine abrasive paper but you will ultimately achieve your goal.

Plastic joints need to be kept clean, both the socket and the tenon, inside and out, need attention. Use warm water with detergent, or alcohol after-shave. Afterwards the joint should be sparingly lubricated. I am suspicious of some of the supplied creams and I do not advise Vaseline petroleum jelly. My suggestion is the sort of white lipstick used to reduce the affect of winter weather on the lips.

Always replace the joint caps and make sure that they too are clean with a straight push, and remove them the same way. Twisting sweeps up the lubricant into ridges. Wipe a joint clean at the first sign of grittiness and re-lubricate. Never apply lubricant without first cleaning the parts. Do not idly twiddle a joint. If you do it will eventually wear loose, or it will overheat and weld itself solid. If you are having trouble with a wooden bass cap, particularly one from Moeck, be very careful not to grip it round the thin wood at the socket.

It is surprisingly flexible and you can easily work against yourself. Grip the solid top most part. Breakage is fairly common mainly due to an error in manufacture. The tenors are similar, but do not seem to be so prone to broken springs. This could be seen as a comment on the frequency of bottom C's compared with other notes. These springs are not too difficult to replace but are no longer free, I am having to buy in and modify clarinet springs.

Click here for the self help guide. Loose blocks are common with old and infrequently used large recorders. Do not panic or fret! They can be pushed or knocked back with a length of suitable wood. You can use the handle of a hammer or a sweeping brush if nothing else is handy. If the block is very loose, and will not hold its position for playing, drop a small amount of water down the bore onto the flat face by the window.

Shake it out after about half a minute and wait a minute or two for it to take effect. With normal playing and storage in a case or bag the recorder will probably give no more trouble. I have several times been presented with large recorders to repair. They make strange sounds and some notes do not work at all. Frequently I am told that the keys are at fault.

The answer is embarrassingly simple! If you should experience these problems, for goodness sake look down your recorder before throwing a fit and calling out troops for help. You are likely to discover just where that missing grease pot went, or what happened to the cleaning mop that you couldn't find to pack away last time you played, and were distracted halfway through putting your recorder away. I am concerned only with 'English', otherwise known as 'Baroque' fingering.

It is not used for serious study. You can find more information here. Other fingering schemes are of minority interest. I have copied some here. Fingerings are not 'set in stone'.


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  • The advanced player builds a large repertoire for special purposes. If you are a beginner though, you should follow the chart in your tutor book, or the one provided with your instrument. Pay particular attention to on the descant instrument both F naturals and low B flat, in particular. Bass recorders come in many styles and the fingering and number of keys is not standardized. More recent models tend to need 'shorter' fingerings than those on smaller recorders. For example, low E flat may not need the first finger of the right hand. You will have to exercise judgement and listen carefully to the pitch of the notes you play, adding or subtracting fingers to optimise the intonation, particularly in slow passages.

    The high D natural on many basses, particularly old models with few keys, may seem impossible. The fix for this is almost always to close the foot joint key right little finger. I do not understand why this valuable alternative is not better known. I have yet to see it in a specialized list of alternative bass recorder fingerings. You can find some suggestions for using the double key at hole IV on some old German basses here.

    I am frequently asked for advice on "left handed" or "right hand at the top" recorder playing. My answer is often unpalatable, "It is a serious error and should not be done. However, if as a tutor, you encourage or permit them to play with their left hand at the low end of their instrument you are effectively disabling them. Its a sobering thought. The reason for this is that although people are not made with left or right handed advantages in respect to recorder playing, the instruments are. Furthermore, all other wind instruments are made to be played with the right hand at the bottom.

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    If you play the recorder with the left hand at the bottom you suffer several disadvantages, inability to play all the notes in tune, inability to play large recorders, inability to play other woodwind instruments. Of course, it is possible to adopt two styles of fingering, one for the recorder and another for the rest of the woodwind. It is not a good plan, instead of reinforcing each other, the different patterns conflict and seriously limit achievement. Most people come into contact with the recorder for the first time as a child at school or as a teacher.

    Unfortunately, most recorder teaching is done by non-specialists, often by non-players. There is a lack of background knowledge and appreciation of all the implications of the "training" being given. Indeed, it seems that the recorder world is dominated by amateurism at all levels Do not submit to the child who maintains that they can "do it better" the other way up. It really is wrong, and it really does matter. In some ways it is unfortunate that descant recorders with moveable foot joints have become the standard good quality model and two piece instruments are relatively rare and regarded as inferior.

    When I started playing, in the early 's, only the excellent and very high priced Dolmetsch model had the moveable foot. It was obvious to everyone that recorders had to be played with the right hand at the bottom. If you are teaching yourself, or guiding others with the aid of a book, make very sure that you do not corrupt the facts. Follow all the factual instruction. Left handedness and right handedness in the player has no bearing on the way you hold the instrument any more than the side of the road you drive on.

    I have been taken to task over the above comments, which some have described as 'harsh'. I regard the word as inappropriate as I do not invoke any sanctions. The rest of the world does, however! There are times when 'No' and 'Don't do that. Emotional issues should not be allowed to bias one's judgement.

    Going against the flow can be a very bad decision. Musical instruments are designed the way they are for historical reasons of utility and have become standardised for the good of the vast majority. Cars are the same, and even left hand drive cars have the pedals the same way round. A driver knows that this is a very good thing though children may ask why. No one would dream of producing left hand drive cars with the accelerator and brake reversed to match. Nothing in my discussion of hand position should be taken as applying to those who have a special, physically manifest need.

    They need a personalised instrument and that is the end of the matter. Its a few years since I wrote the comments above, and I stand by them.

    Guitar Right Hand Technique – Nails vs Flesh?

    Now March I see that Mollenhauer have added comments that support my views, from a recorder maker's stand point, to their new web site. If you are one of those who disagree with my opinion, which is coloured by my teaching experience, you should have a look at what a highly regarded maker has to say on the subject. It is part of a complicated page and may take some time to load. While you are there do have a look at the other topics. There seems to be a trend, in elementary tutors, towards the promotion of unusual fingerings as the first choice for the production of some notes.

    The reasons for this are varied but include "they are easier", "they are better in tune" and "it is better for the musical development of the player". In the cases I have met I am totally unconvinced of the validity of the arguments, and the musical results of using these non-standard fingerings.

    There is indeed good reason for the advanced player to depart from the "chart" fingerings when the performance of the music is best served by doing so. Non-standard fingerings offer greater facility for some rapid passages, scope for greater dynamic variation, fine control of intonation and variation of tone colour.