Be sure to check out
the 'Show More' section under the video to see additional
information, supplemental links and lists related to the video.
Playing In your Recorder, and Maintenance
How do you play in a new recorder? How should you
look after it during your daily practice? How do you deal with
condensation, clogging up, stuck/loose joints? Does it need to be
played in again if you don't use it for a while?
One of the most fundamental questions for musicians of all levels:
how to practice? And how to make that practice efficient and
effective, with time constraints and concentration and pesky
alternative fingerings and awkward keys... So I've distilled all my
years of grappling with practice in five simple tips!
The absolute foundation of recorder playing is having a good hand
position! Sounds simple, but improving your hand position will
literally make everything else easier - from playing fast notes to
ensuring you don't injure yourself..
Warm up for
musicians: 1. Body
BODY, breathing/air, fingers and tongue. You can do the
warm ups along with me in this video!
As a musician it's so important to
warm up physically before you practice. This not only helps prevent
physical problems, but aids concentration and gets you in the right
frame of mind. Not only is the recorder our instrument, but our
-- disclaimer: I'm not a trained
professional sports person, I'm a musician! So if anything feels
bad-weird or hurts, please stop. Also, if you have nice stretches
you like to use, please let me know about it in the comments! ---
Warm ups for
musicians: 2. Breathing and sound
can do the warm ups along with me in this video!
In this video, I will give you a
whole bunch of easy to follow exercises, designed to warm you up and
improve your breathing, tone production, and quality of sound. These
exercises can be easily adapted so you never get bored and can
invent your own!
musicians: 3. Fingers
It's warm-up time! In this video I show lots of exercises and tips
for warming up your FINGERS, and most exercises can be done along
with me in the video! So grab your alto recorder and let's get
Warming up before you practice is
really important - it means you can practice to the best of your
abilities. This video is aimed at recorder players but could be
adapted for other wind instruments as well!
Musicians: 4. Tongue
It's warm-up time - for your TONGUE! The tongue is a muscle, and
your practice will benefit from warming it up - for single, double
and triple tonguing.
The exercises can be done along with
me in the video, So grab your alto recorder and let's get started :)
Warming up at the start of your
practice is really important - it means you can practice to the best
of your abilities. This video is aimed at recorder players but could
be used for any other wind instruments as well!
Self care is so important for musicians: just
because we love what we do, doesn't need we don't also need rest and
care! In this video I give ideas and tips for how to look after
yourself, how to avoid burnout, and how to stay energetic and
How to play
Have you ever wanted to know how you can get your fingers to move
faster, so you can play fast and difficult passages like they're a
Here I give a range of exercises designed to get your fingers
relaxed, strengthened, confident with difficult note changes and
running fluently! This tutorial is especially suited to the
recorder, but would fit any wind instrument. And some of the
exercises would fit any instrument!
Recorders come in a range of different keys, and for recorder
players that means: TRANSPOSING! Or, learning a new set of
fingerings and reading the music in a different way, depending on
the recorder you are playing.
But how? Why? Which keys will I
encounter? How can I tackle this seemingly monumental task? I will
try and explain everything and give you some hints and tips for
Note: Recorders come in different
tunings too (442 Hz modern pitch, 415 Hz baroque pitch etc) - and
these do not need to be transposed, they will just sound higher or
memorize/play by ear
Do you want to learn how to memorize music, and to perform it by
heart? This video will give you loads of exercises, advice and tips,
so you'll never forget your music on stage!
- utilizing different types of
- memorizing solo vs. chamber music
- how to play by heart in a group
- stories of how I FORGOT my music
and lived to tell the tale
- and loooots of other useful stuff.
How to improve
How to improve your sightreading! Exercises and tips for how you can
- in the week before
- a few minutes before
- and 30 seconds before playing a
piece for the first time.
How to sound
good on a soprano
Do you want to get a better sound on your soprano/descant recorder?
It's a high instrument and the sound can be piercing - but with
these tips, tricks and exercises you can find a beautiful sound that
is right for you!
I concentrate on breath support,
fast and slow air streams, and tuning. You are going to sound
How to hit
the high notes
One of the trickiest things with recorder playing - how to hit those
high notes! In this tutorial I give you tips on the following areas:
- thumb position
- air stream
as well as some theory and
exercises. Then you'll be treating your neighbours to some lovely
Calling all recorder players! This short tutorial teaches you the
basics of double tonguing, using the articulation 'did'll'. The
exercises in this video can also be applied to any other kind of
How to play
In this video I will show you how to play soft notes on the recorder
- or give the impression that you are playing soft... You can
actually perform or suggest all manner of dynamics on the recorder,
and here are some techniques and tricks how!
How to play
In this video I will show you how to play LOUD notes on the recorder
- or give the impression that you are playing loud! You can actually
perform or suggest all manner of dynamics on the recorder, and here
are some techniques and tricks how!
Including advice on: sound
production, vibrato, alternative fingerings, crescendo, singing and
playing, spacing, amplification and more...
How to plays duets! In this video we get into questions of tuning,
timing, listening, and how to count in. This can apply to any
instrument! Thanks to my lovely mum for being the special guest
and Rolling your Rs
Want to use flutter tongue in your playing, but can't roll your R's,
or roll your throat? Or can you do it, but you want to know how to
improve/practice it? Looook no further, team recorder!
This video can teach you how to:
- roll your R's (broken down into
lots of easy steps)
- roll your throat (the 'guttural'
- implement both types of
fluttertongue with the recorder
- and some extremely fun exercises
to practice it all!
This is especially useful for native
English speakers - both the guttural and tongue flutter can be
difficult for us, so I've broken it down into simple steps. If I can
learn to do it, so can you!
How to play
In this video I explain how to play folk music on
your recorder! Applying Irish/British/Celtic folk styles and
ornaments from tin whistle playing. Plus some tips and resources for
This tutorial shows you how you can make sound effects with your
recorder - birds, raindrops, a telephone, whatever else - with
absolutely ZERO experience necessary. Then I give you a whole bunch
of ideas for how these sound effects can be used in musical games
and compositions. Especially useful for music teachers, and parents
with small children starting on the recorder!
How to stretch
for big recorders
In this video I show you how to stretch your hands, so you can play
even the BIGGEST recorders! Whilst staying safe and avoiding injury,
of course ;) Plus an EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT!
We get into the voiceflute, tenor
and basset recorders - and even the C bass and F contrabass! And my
hands are tiiiiiny so if I can do it - you can do it too!
recorders at once
Playing two recorders at the same time?! Believe it or not, this has
been around for many centuries, with double flutes appearing in
countries and cultures all over the world. Today the ol' two
recorders at once technique is used by loads of composers in
contemporary music, as well as players performing early music.
But how do you do it? In this video
I will show you how!
How to learn
Have you ever wanted to learn how to circular breathe? Learn how in
a series of very simple steps! This tutorial is from the point of
view of a recorder player, but these techniques can be applied to
any wind instrument.
Slings, Crooks, Keys? | Recorder solutions
How can you help your hands when playing the bigger recorders? In
this video I get into thumb rests, thumb/neck slings, crooks, bent
necked instruments and keys. What works, and what doesn't?
REMEMBER: stay safe, and if something in your hands/fingers/wrists
etc starts to actually hurt, STOP! My aim is to have you playing the
recorder in a safe and healthy way. Not every solution works for
practice, tricky trills, recorders under $750
Hi recorder players! I'm always happy to receive lots of questions
from you guys - on youtube, facebook and twitter - so I thought I'd
make my first Q&A video so everyone can hear the answers!
In this video we dive into: 2 minute
practice, how to practice silently, which recorder to buy under
£500, tricky low trills, and... what exactly does a professional
recorder player do?!.
parents: YOUR CHILD'S FIRST RECORDER
Is your child about to start their first recorder lessons? I can
help you get the most out of them! This short video will tell you
all you need to know about which recorder to buy, how to take care
of it, and how to help with practice!
This video is aimed at the parents
of young children who are starting on soprano/descant recorder for
the first time. It's also useful for music teachers who have to
teach recorder, but aren't necessarily trained in it.
for adult beginners
Which book to buy?! There are so many methods for the recorder out
there, and it can be difficult to know which is right for you. I
went along to Broekmans & van Poppel sheet music store in Amsterdam,
and reviewed A LOT of recorder methods for you!
In this video I concentrate on
methods for alto recorder. Would you like to see a similar video for
soprano/tenor recorder? Let me know! And of course, I couldn't
feature every method ever made - if you have one you like to use,
leave it in the comments :)
My sheet music
In this video I give you a tour of my sheet music, how I have it all
organized, and mention a few of my favourite pieces ;)
We always think of being a musician
as being able to play all the notes and play beautifully, but did
you know that just as big a part of music making is the ability to
GET ORGANIZED? There's nothing worse than heading out the door to a
rehearsal and frantically searching for your sheet music in a big
crumpled pile. (Well, there are a few things worse, but for the
purposes of this little intro let's leave it at that!)
favorite recorder books
Hi recorder players! There are loads of books out there, and it can
be overwhelming to know which one to buy! In this video I'll take
you through my favourite recorder books for technique, featuring all
the exercises and studies you could ever wish for....
Paetzold square bass recorders
Meet the Paetzolds! Giant, square recorders? What do they sound
like, how do you play them, and why do they even exist?!
I love playing my two Paetzold
recorders - my great bass in C, and contrabass in F. In this video
I'll explain a little about their history and special sound
By popular demand - meet our Renaissance recorders! These are a
custom made set of seven recorders, all handmade from one block of
wood, and designed to be played together. Built by recorder maker
Peter van der Poel, for my trio aXolot!
Tour: The big
After my last Q&A the questions kept on flooding in - so here you
go! I answer the things you wanted to know about the bigger
instruments - tenors, bassets, Paetzolds...
Welcome to a tour of all my recorders! As a professional recorder
player I have to build a big collection of instruments, so that I
can perform on all the different sizes and models of recorder.
only recorder players understand
Hi everyone! Yep, these are questions every recorder player has
heard at some point... eeeggghh. What questions have you had to
field? Leave them in the comments!