Playing the Recorder – Tone Production

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 33,480
    Professional recorder player and teacher Vicki Boeckman shows how to produce a good tone on the recorder.

    Vicki Boeckman: Hi! I am Vicki Boeckman with the American Recorder Society. We are talking about how to play the Recorder. Today I am going to talk about Tone Production.

    So first of all it's really important not to grip the Recorder with your lips. Some of you may have played the Clarinet or the Saxophone or the Oboe or even still do, and with those instruments you really need a fixed embouchure or even a bite, but with the Recorder the embouchure if you will is already built-in.

    You have the block and the ceiling and the chamfers in the labium and in the wind way. What we need to do is produce the most efficient and resonant flow of air through this tiny wind-way.

    So the easiest and most natural way of thinking about having loose lips or loose embouchure is by kind of imagine that you are licking your finger after you have just dipped it into a bowl of something that tastes really good. So you want your lips to just be formed forward, it's like making a little cap around the recorder, and then you can also do this.

    I just want that upper lip to be very loose, but not floppy-loose, so we don't want to leak air out the sides. The Recorder is very close to the human voice and what I mean by that is that we have to think about the vowel sounds and where we place the sound inside of ourselves before it comes out of the recorder.

    So the low notes will feel different and will be placed differently than the high notes. So for example the low D, I want to feel as I am placing it down here, almost like I am sying and my lips will be very relaxed yet still form and O shape.

    [Music Playing]The high notes will have a faster air speed and I'll feel as I am placing them a little higher in my face.

    [Music Playing]So the best way to practice having a beautiful tone is playing long tones, every time you pick up the Recorder just play long beautiful tones. Visualize tastes, colors, and imagine what this low D would taste like, use your lower stomach muscles, inhale deeply and then say go up the recorder to the next note.

    [Music Playing]The higher notes, will sound different and have a different color. So the low notes will have a low speed, the high notes will have a high speed, and literally think about speed of air and direction of air. So we want to place that air, and again we have this very, very small little wind way so we have to imagine all of these changes.

    To try to visualize various colors and tastes and these tips will help you with your tone production while playing the recorder.