Playing the Recorder – Choosing an Instrument

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 21,613
    Professional recorder player and teacher Vicki Boeckman has suggestions for starting on a plastic recorder and for avoiding condensation in the windway.

    Vicki Boeckman: Hi! I am Vicki Boeckman with the American Recorder Society, and I am talking about how to play the recorder. Today, I will help you choose an instrument.

    I would recommend starting on a plastic instrument. The high-end plastic recorders are actually much better than the inexpensive wooden ones. The high-end plastic ones are modeled after museum instruments.

    The only drawback to the plastic, and in fact, the wooden ones have the same, is that because the wind way is so small and we are blowing our warm air into them, they will clog up with some condensation, regardless of if its wood or plastic. It tends to happen a little more on the plastic, simply because the material is cold and doesn't expand.

    What we can do to combat this is warm it up about 5 minutes before you play or 2 or 3 at least. Hold it in your hand like this so that it gets to be at the same body temperature as the air that you are blowing into it. If you do notice that the recorder starts clogging while you are playing it, gently suck up the moisture and then start it again.

    The plastic instrument that I prefer is modeled after museum instrument and it is the Zen-on Stanesby Jr. model. You can see it kind of looks like wood, but it has a really sweet warm sound and you won't find that it sounds like plastic at all. It's very nice.

    These high-end plastic recorders can be ordered through your local music store or through some well-respected sites online. These tips will help you choose your next recorder.