Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Trying to Play the Bass Recorder April 3, 2011

Filed under: Dublin,Music,Musical instruments,Recorders — Janet @ 5:34 am

   A nice old postcard I found on the Dublin Sketchers website.  This is an early tinted rendition of Stephen’s Green.

Now to the subject of this post.  While we were living in Dublin in recent years I became interested in learning to play the recorder and proceeded to take lessons and to play with the Irish Branch of the Society of Recorder Players.   This Irish Branch was quite small and as a relative beginner I found it a challenge to integrate with the group of more experienced and expert musicians.  Nevertheless, I persevered and made other contacts as well so that I could develop as a player.  It was very enjoyable.  Now here in Seattle I have joined the Seattle Society of Recorder Players.  This group is a different kettle of fish altogether.  A very encouraging and welcoming group for all levels – at least that is what I have found.  It is large and one can feel less conspicuous compared with a smaller group.

Last night was the monthly first Friday of the month meeting of the Seattle Recorder Society.  This is held in the Maple Leaf suburb of Seattle.  A lovely name but difficult to get to from Ballard, particularly in the dark and the rain.  And it has rained each first Friday.  Bad luck, but I got there and back each time.

Last  night I wanted to play the bass recorder.  That meant reading the bass clef – which I can do – but I just couldn’t seem to transfer that knowledge to my fingers on the recorder to produce the right notes.  I can read the bass clef for playing the piano……but not for playing the recorder, at least not yet.  I will persevere.  I also want to get a special support for taking the weight of the instrument.  It is quite heavy on the thumb.  I enjoyed last night even though I really was not able to play very much.  I will practise and hope to get better in time for the big workshop being held for a week in July down in Tacoma.   This is the Port Townsend Early Music Workshop which is held every 2 years,  only it won’t be in Port Townsend – it used to be but for this year has been shifted to Tacoma.

  photo taken in November 2009    This is when I got the instrument but I have scarcely played it since then.


3 Responses to “Trying to Play the Bass Recorder”

  1. Joanna Says:

    I used to have a bass recorder, but a burglar took it! What a bummer! That was many years ago. I found that when first playing it, I had the same trouble – transferring the bass clef into the right notes on the fingers. The ability to do this didn’t come gradually, but with a bang. One minute I was having trouble, and the next, I suddenly was not. It just happened, and it will happen to you.

  2. Janet Says:

    That is most encouraging Joanna – thanks. After the playing was over and my brain was still working on the problem – and I looked at my instruction book again – I began to get that sort of a-ha feeling. In the calm that was fine. We’ll see what happens en mass when I try to play again at speed with a group.

  3. Matt Says:

    I’d never even heard of a bass recorder, but I guess there’s a bass everything. Thanks for enlightening me 🙂

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