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Help: From Pennywhistle to Recorder

18 Nov 99 - 11:12 PM (#138228)
Subject: Help: From Pennywhistle to Recorder
From: Áine

I began working on a song today and realized that it would sound much better if I used a recorder instead of a whistle. Problem is, I've never really played a recorder and don't know the first thing about the right 'technique' of playing it.

I had a couple laying around the house (OK, so I've dabbled a bit now and then over the years) and decided which one I wanted to use -- a lovely little bamboo number my husband picked up somewhere -- by recording a passage on tape playing each one.

The 'ambience' is very good with the bamboo recorder, but, to my ear, it sounds like a whistle player trying to play a recorder. Help, please!! Any suggestions on tongueing (sp?) would be appreciated -- at that rate, any suggestions at all would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance, Áine


19 Nov 99 - 12:49 AM (#138254)
Subject: RE: Help: From Pennywhistle to Recorder
From: alison

aine.. it should have a thumb hole at the back.... basically you have your thumb on for the low octave, and pinched (half covering the hole for the top octave).

Recorder fingering is different.. for a start you have an extra hole for the little finger of your right hand.... helping you to get middle C, and the thumb hole mentioned earlier.

recorders are chromatic.. you can play in any key whereas the whistle is more limited.

if you are after a more mellow sound I recommend trying a lower whistle... the Bb is lovely, and not much bigger than the D... but that depends on what key you want to sing in. They teah recorder in schools you should be able to find a tutorial in a music shop.

slainte

alison


19 Nov 99 - 04:59 AM (#138279)
Subject: RE: Help: From Pennywhistle to Recorder
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au

I haven't much experience with a whistle; but I did notice that when I changed between traverse flute and recorder that I had to lighten my tounging for the latter. With the flute I tend to go t-t-t-t-... whereas with the recorder I tend to go d-d-d-d...I think this might be a difference with the whistle and recorder too. The whistle seems to like a nice sharp attack whereas the recorder tone seems to get squashed and even distorted by too strong an attack.

Murray


19 Nov 99 - 12:09 PM (#138398)
Subject: RE: Help: From Pennywhistle to Recorder
From: sophocleese

Different recorders will have slight changes in fingering for the same notes. Experiment a bit until you find the fingering that sounds better but try and remember some of the other fingerings they may be helpful for quick runs. Fingerings in the higher octave also are a little different from the lower one, its not just the change in thumb position.


19 Nov 99 - 09:46 PM (#138571)
Subject: RE: Help: From Pennywhistle to Recorder
From: Áine

Thanks to everyone for the advice!

I've been working with the bamboo recorder, definitely the one I want to use with this particular song. It's a D, and I'm using it in the lower register only. I've worked out a couple of runs on it -- I'm doing the song in 3/4 time, but not fast. The fingering is coming along nicely (at least I think so), but I've found that I'm not using any 'tongueing' per se at all. Instead, I'm using my breath to 'attack' the notes and allowing some of them to be very legato. I haven't recorded this yet, but to my ear, it sounds fine.

My question is, and please pardon my ignorance of recorder 'technique', is this sort of playing 'allowed' or am I going to sound like a right eejit playing like this? Does it really matter, as long as I like it? The song I'm working on is one of my own (words and music -- and yes, Alison, it's in Irish).

Please let me know your thoughts on the matter. Thanks in advance (again), Áine


19 Nov 99 - 10:52 PM (#138597)
Subject: RE: Help: From Pennywhistle to Recorder
From: Laura

I find little difference between the tonguing on tin whistle, recorder, clarinet or sax. I use different tonguing techniques depending on the piece, it's mood and my mood. The 't-t-t-" and d-d-d- and bursts of breath are all acceptable- do what ever sound right to you. Before you get too engrained in one method (which will be hard to unlearn), go ahead and make some simple recordings of some of the passages trying out different tonguing techniques. See which sounds better. Ask someone else to listen and see if they have an opinion. What you hear recorded may sound different than what you sound like to yourself as you are playing it. Laura


19 Nov 99 - 11:35 PM (#138617)
Subject: RE: Help: From Pennywhistle to Recorder
From: sophocleese

The last time I had any type of lesson in recorder was close to thirty years ago. I kept it around and used it to bang out simple tunes now and again.What do I know? I know what I like and I keep playing. My brother, who plays medieval music in Europe, was over last February, he was impressed and said that it was the first time he'd heard a recorder sound Celtic.Celtic? I just used the Fiddlers Fake Book to improve my sight reading. What can I say to that? He can play two at once.


19 Nov 99 - 11:39 PM (#138620)
Subject: RE: Help: From Pennywhistle to Recorder
From: Áine

So, sophocleese -- Is your brother's name Euripedees? (Sorry, I just couldn't resist . . . *BG*)


19 Nov 99 - 11:50 PM (#138625)
Subject: RE: Help: From Pennywhistle to Recorder
From: sophocleese

You rip what?

Actually more like Pyrenees, damn I don't know if I spelled that right or not.

Sorry I must apologize, I've had four glasses of wine and am feeling a little silly. I'm not looking forward to tomorrow morning.


20 Nov 99 - 12:24 AM (#138641)
Subject: RE: Help: From Pennywhistle to Recorder
From: alison

when we were taught recorder in school, we were encouraged to tongue all the notes.

however recently I have heard a wooden recorder (treble or tenor) played like a whistle, with whistle ornamentation... slides etc.....it sounded lovely..... like a low whistle...

slainte

alison


20 Nov 99 - 01:58 AM (#138659)
Subject: RE: Help: From Pennywhistle to Recorder
From: roopoo

I tried going from recorder to whistle, but being a bit inflexible and not inclined to try all that hard, I found I couldn't: there aren't enough holes and the one in the back wasn't there! I have a friend who carries a bag of whistles and recorders around, (descant and soprano), and plays either. Also another friend who only plays recorder, but blasts out Irish tunes as well as most other things like you wouldn't believe! He plays a lot on the tenor recorder but carries a bag of different types around. He is also a member of the Civil War Society which re-enacts battles from the English Civil War of the 17th century. The recorder is particularly relevant for that period.

mouldy