Are you interested in learning how to play the recorder, but afraid it may be difficult to learn?
The recorder is an amazing instrument, with lovely expression and lots of possibilities to add decorations and emotion into your playing.
And since it is fully chromatic (meaning you can play all 12 notes of music), you will be able to play any song in the world on this instrument.
Why the Recorder is Easy
Let’s explore the reasons why the recorder is a great instrument to learn, and what makes it easy and straightforward to learn how to play:
1 – Making a Sound is Very Simple
The recorder is a type a flute (part of the flute family of instruments), but it is much easier to play notes on compared to for example the orchestral Boehm flute (side blown flute).
Because instead of having to aim and control the air stream with your mouth and lips, you simply have to blow air through the mouth piece of the recorder.
2 – Easy on your Fingers
If you start on a soprano recorder (which most of us do), the holes are very close together so you don’t have to stretch your fingers as much as on bigger flutes or many other instruments.
This makes it great for everyone from small kids to elderly people.
3 – Fingering Chart is Simple
It may take a while to learn, but the fingering chart for playing all notes on the recorder is very straight-forward.
The main notes are based on the major scale (C Major on the soprano recorder), and then you even have double holes at the bottom to make the half-tones in between. The biggest challenge for beginners will be to learn all the “cross-fingerings” on the recorder.
4 – Tuning is Fixed
All of us that played string instruments know how much time we have to spend tuning and re-tuning our guitars, ukuleles and any string instrument really.
On a saxophone or clarinet or other reed instrument you have to work hard with your embouchure to get the correct pitch for each note.
And this is true to some extent even on a concert flute (side-blown flute), because changing the angle will make the pitch go slightly up or down.
On a recorder, since it has a fixed edge (fipple design), the tuning is pretty much fixed as well. So if you have a well made recorder, the notes will be in tune every time you pick it up.
Now, you should know that if you over-blow the notes they will go sharp. And they will sound bad too. Over-blowing is in fact the number one issue beginners will have on a recorder.
5 – Easy to Maintain
If you get a plastic recorder (or at least one with a plastic mouthpiece), the recorder is incredibly easy to maintain.
No keys that can get stuck, or other mechanics, simply open holes. And if it’s plastic you won’t even have to worry about wood issues.
Using some kind of cloth to wipe it of, plus cleaning the inside, is basically all you need to do. And apply some grease on the joint every now and then too.
I made a video to show why I love the recorder: