German and Baroque fingering

Initially, the German fingering is easy to learn: one simply closes all the fingerholes and lifts the fingers one after the other starting from the bottom hole. The result is the basic scale in c or f. One can quickly learn to play simple tunes in simple keys. Recorders with German fingering however have a big disadvantage: some semi-tones are very difficult to play in tune and require uncomfortable fingerings, so that what seems easy at first sight, is in fact a hindrance when playing more advanced literature.

The difficulty of the Baroque fingering lies in the forked fingering one has to use for the basic scale (for the note f on a soprano), which in the beginning often poses a problem especially for children. The big advantage though is that one can play the chromatic scale over two octaves in tune.

Those who would like to play more than a couple of simple tunes on the recorder, i.e. a sonata or a concerto, should certainly start with the Baroque fingering. Of course changing later from German to Baroque fingering is always possible as the difference lies merely in a few semi-tones.

f� with German fingering

f� with Baroque fingering

How to recognize the fingering of a recorder?

One can tell the fingering of a recorder by the way it is built and by the finger-holes:
4th finger-hole large, 5th finger-hole small = German fingering
4th finger-hole small, 5th finger-hole large = Baroque fingering



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