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Learning tenor recorder FAST?

Hi all! I need help from those of you who can play tenor recorder- how can I learn to play it FAST? I'm a sax/clarinet doubler playing the reed 3 book for Les Mis, and there's a tenor recorder part for a few numbers. I figured out how to play the first number with help from the fingering chart (for those of you who know the show, it's the Look Down melody so it's really easy) but for the next part of the show I play it for, it's a duet with Alto recorder and even with the fingering chart, it's low (starts in C minor, part goes down to a low D then modulates to A minor) and has a LOT of large leaps (listen to the video clip below, it's the lower recorder part) so considering I picked up this instrument a week ago, it's really hard. The performances are this weekend and tech rehearsals start tomorrow. Any advice?



Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Transpose it for clarinet. That's probably the best and fastest solution.


Old King Log
Staff member
Yup. The recorders are temperamental beasts at best, and with a part with massive leaps and notes towards the bottom of the range, you are asking for trouble if you are not fully "qualified" on the instrument.

I take it that you will be playing into a microphone, right? If so, all the more reason to move to the much more stable clarinet - any flubs that you would make on the fipple flute will be magnified ten fold.

You are brave. I've been practicing recorders for about 5 months now. The are for me, many difference in brands and models of plastic recorders. It does sound like you are committed to this. Keep your recorder warm. If you have callused fingers, keep them moist. Limit the magnitude of your finger lifts, this will help with speed and sealing. Practice, practice, Practice! And then practice some more.

Best of luck in your tenor recorder performance.