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I need some woodwind (recorder) advice - exam in 2 days

(12 Posts)
JimBobplusasprog Tue 01-Jul-14 20:46:49

Ds (8) has just lost 2 teeth and has two more very wobbly. More are coming through. As a result he is producing much more saliva than normal and he's finding his recorder gets blocked holes during his pieces, even when he cleans the recorder beforehand.

What can he do? He has his g4 in two days. Will his starter recorder with the straight airway in the mouthpiece be better than his nicer recorder with curved airway? The really high notes come out better on his better recorder and he needs a top c. On the other hand if his thumb hole gets blocked with dribble he won't be playing high notes at all.

What should he do if his recorder gets saturated during a piece? Stop to blow the spit out or carry on but obviously not producing the right notes?

Help gratefully received.

Wafflenose Tue 01-Jul-14 20:55:01

Hello, I also have a recorder playing 8 year old who has just done her Grade 5. She has most of her adult teeth in now, so we've been through this stage.

Straight airway probably best, but take more than one recorder in, so as to be able to swap in between pieces. Can he do the piece(s) with top C first?

Cover the window at the front and give a good blow through after each piece, and also blow any blocked holes out between pieces, and in any suitable rests if necessary. Otherwise, just CARRY ON! Credit will be given for being able to continue despite any prblems with (apparently) the instrument.

What recorder does your DS have? My DD uses a £20 Aulos (yellow bag) and an even cheaper Aulos treble. I promised her a new descant before Grade 6 - although I appreciate she might not be sitting that one for a couple of years yet - and was hoping to spend around £30-40. There are a fair few in that price range, but I'm not really sure where to start.

JimBobplusasprog Tue 01-Jul-14 21:10:01

Ds has basic yamaha (yrs-24b) and £30 yamaha (yrs-312b). The latter is still made of virtually unbreakable plastic but you can produce the high notes with a nicer tone. I also have a spare aulos yellow bag recorder at home. I'll send him in with both his recorders - I'm not sure if he'll want mine and get him to use the old one for zu hause and his new one for the waltz, and I don't think it matters for the other piece as long as he can give it a quick wipe beforehand...

I recommend the yamaha 30 quid one. I had always been an aulos fan but I took some mn advice and it's worked well. We have the aulos sopranino that is in that sort of price bracket - I think the equivalent descant is about £40. It's also pretty good. Ds isn't big enough for treble yet.

When ds is (a) able to control the drool and (b) mature enough not to leave his recorder on the music stand I may consider a wooden instrument. I expect that won't be for a good few years though and I know the mid range plastic instruments are good up to g8.

Wafflenose Tue 01-Jul-14 21:22:26

Thanks for the recommendations. I will try and get her to Bristol to try a few, I think. I had heard about the 312b before though, so I'll make sure she tries that one.

I'm not sure if we'll ever buy her wooden ones... I have three (sop, descant, treble) which all cost about £110, but the treble is so disappointing that I ended up doing my Grade 8 on the plastic one. I find that you need to spend £250+ for a wooden descant and £400+ for a treble, to make a real improvement on the best plastic models. DD also has a reasonably nice flute, and we are going to have to save up for a cello for her little sister one day! (Currently renting a 1/8 size)

Theas18 Mon 14-Jul-14 23:59:27

Waffle I so agree with the quality of plastic reorders now, they are so good I don't think there is much role for the basic wooden ones eg the maple ones- and anything other than that needs more care with drying, not blowing sweets down it etc than even young teens give them!

If you know what you are looking for in a recorder the second hand selection at the early music shop is good ( we went to Bradford recently ) and got dd2 a descant. The kids other recorders were 2nd hand mainly on courses over the years.

Theas18 Tue 15-Jul-14 00:03:26

Btw op does he suck not blow if his recorder gets spitty? A quick quiet suck in a rest can see you through a piece. Soft cloth hankie to dry dribbly holes between pieces but take more than one recorder in if you can ( and take the head joint off and stick it your trouser pocket to keep warm - better tuning and less condensation)

JimBobplusasprog Tue 15-Jul-14 17:46:26

He hasn't tried sucking out the moisture (eww) but took a spare recorder in for the piece he found particularly spitty. It turned out his pieces were fine but he had a wobble in his sight reading and ended up with a merit, but he'll get over it!

Wafflenose Tue 15-Jul-14 22:47:20

We got the £30 Yamaha one and she ADORES it - played solo in school concert tonight. I'll try and stick a video up tomorrow when I'm less knackered.

JimBobplusasprog Wed 16-Jul-14 08:23:47

smile for wafflenose's dd.

One more reason to love recorder: you can get a decent instrument brand new for thirty quid!

Wafflenose Wed 16-Jul-14 13:17:17

First performance on new recorder!

Theas18 Thu 17-Jul-14 10:20:05

But did you fall over half way through ?

Wafflenose Thu 17-Jul-14 10:46:35

No, DH was being idiotic. I was page turning.

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