I've just wandered across this forum, and I can't believe the number of people who think the recorder is just a toy!
I'm 45 years old, and first played the recorder at the tender age of 7. I've used the recorder in Jazz, Blues and Rock bands, and there's no way I can accept that the instrument is a toy.
If you want to play recorder in a band, it's important to get a good transducer. This attaches (either clamps or sticks on based on the model) to the bell, and allows you to play through an amp. You find the transducers in catalogues in music shops as accessories for clarinets! They allow you to (1) sound loud enough to cut through a rock band and more importantly (2) hear your self play. You can also (3) play through effectors if you are into that sort of thing.
I rather to use my mouth and sinuses for effects though. With practice you can get the air in your sinuses and throat vibrating while you play. It basically sounds like you're playing two notes at once! It's the same technique you use to get the overtone howls from a didgeridoo if that helps to explain it. You can also add a "buzzing" or "fat" tone to your playing, which adds a whole new emotional palette to the sounds you can make. The pitch and tones change as you change the shape of your mouth and throat, and move your tongue. It's hard to describe how to do it, but when you get it right your whole head starts to vibrate.
With even more practice you can "scat" in harmony with what you're playing while you play it. It's always a laugh at an acoustic gig when I do that, and someone says "but you're playing two notes at once! That's impossible!" while they're hearing it.
I can only encourage anyone reading this to practice practice practice, get your technique and intonation down, and then find ways to express yourself musically. It's worked for me for 37 years, including having had the pleasure of being paid to play. No toy has ever earn't me real money.
Does anyone else have any "tricks" to enhance the sound, even if it's not "classical" technique?
I'm pretty sure that posting on your forum would mainly be helping you, not other "users". I'm certain that using a forum to advertise your own is extremely rude. And given that you seem to post to direct people to your forum even when you have nothing useful to say about the questions asked, there's no way I'll ever be visiting your forum again. You are an extremely rude person who needs to learn some basic manners and netiquette.
please no one shout at me this thread seems to have gone a bit that way...anyway basically i was wondering if the person that started this thread could give anymore advice on how to achieve the effects that he is on about...i have tried to get them and not really succedded...i know its hard to explian these sort of things without actually showing someone but if you could try! please
Without the recorder, try to make a "Ohm" kind of sound through your nose. My lower jaw drops back a little, and my throat seems to be vibrating as well. You are trying to get a sound like a bunch of lamas doing Tibetan Nose Singing. If you move your cheeks in and out you'll hear set set of overtones that reinforce and interact with the main tone from your throat. Once you've got that you'll feel vibration through the sinuses below your eyes.
Then try the same thing with your recorder. You'll have to shift the positions of your throat, and move a little less air so that you get the air in your head and throat vibrating along with the pitch from the recorder. Start the notes with the usual "ta", "te" and "ti" sounds you use in the 3 registers, but slide the back of your tongue back and up to make the second sound from your head.
Once you get it right you'll have a note at the normal pitch, but kinda "buzzing" - it's really hard to explain it, but once you get it you'll be amazed.
You can then try different vowel sounds (try going "aeiou" in a long note) which gives a weird sound rather like what a phaser or flanger does to an electric guitar sound.
By subtly changing the pitch of the sound from your throat (i.e. from you vocal chords) you'll then be able to get a secondary set of "beats" in the sound. At that point you've got a very complex sound.
How do you attach a wav file on the board? I'll try to make a few low-bandwidth recordings to show what I mean if I can work out how to post them.
ok so i'm at work at the minute but when i get home i'll have a go at what you have said and then let you know how it goes...cheers for the help...i know its hard to explain things like this but i think you did a mighty fine job...i just hope i'm as good at achieving it.
I tried the throat vibration. Comes off as a purr with out the recorder but with it it sounds like im playing into a fan. lol. I'm still not very good with it so purhaps I should finish learning to play first.
ok so with you advice i tried to do the fat tone thing this morning...it sounded magic...and i love the drone sort of noise you get with it too (but i need to experiment with that to see how much of it only i can hear (cus its actually in my own throat)) (sorry for the bad parent thesis).
ok so one more question you sugest using a transducer at the bell, to feed the recorder into an amp, i use a small tie clip mic attached to the recorder just below the labium...is there any benifit to your system over mine?...without buying a transducer it is difficult to find out.
also you asked if anyone has any tricks to share...well its not really a trick as such but... during the midle 8 of one of my bands song i play two recorders, a tenor and a saprano, one in each hand...(it makes a really nice sound together...sort of like the difference between a 6 and a 12 string guitar. obveously unless you have one of those cool one handed recorders made by mollenhauer it very much restricts your range (basically to about 4 tones and a semitone)...however it sound beautiful and looks quite cool too. in the song i do it in i play the same riff on both recorders but you could equally play different riffs on each.
however it take a little practise to get the intonation right on both recorders at once! its not too hard though.
To hear what it sounds like (as against hearing what you are hearing from the sounds in your head) stand about 1.5 meters from a smooth wall so the sound reflects back at you. I should of mentioned that. I think it's a pretty good idea even if playing "straight" or "classical" recorder actually, as the sound someone in front of you hears is not the same sound that you hear.
There's no doubt that amplifying a recorder so as to get the "purest" sound requires a pickup at the labium. In a rock/jazz environment _I_ think that sound is too pure and clean. A transducer at the bell gets the sound the wood makes. My suggestion is probably a very bad idea for the plastic/polymer instruments (like the Yamaha descants). My main recorder is an ancient Schott from the mid 50's with an ivory (not plastic) mouthpiece and either pear or sycamore body. I like the sound from miking up the wood - it's a really rich tone. It is a difficult instrument to play though, as like all of us over 40 it can be a little tempermental and responds best to gentle treatment.
I've never played one of those one-handed instruments, although I have played two at once, but obviously really restricted in what notes work. Sounds like it would be a lot of fun!
It's important to get to know the instrument and to develop a correct technique. It's also important to have fun and to express yourself through the instrument (isn't that what music is really about?). Only you can really judge if practicing "alternative" sounds will be detrimental to your developing proper tone and technique. If you're not having fun playing straight recorder, then playing around with the limits of what the instrument can do can really refresh you, so that when you return to playing baroque music you have a whole new energy. I have to add that Your Milage May Vary.
at the bottom of this page there is a pic of the one handed recorder i was on about only ever seen one played once, at a folk club...by a one handed man!!!! the man played recorder before he had lost his hand...he was so proud of his instrument and so proud that he could still play. though he said to me that he had to quit for a number of years before he discovered the one handed variety...it was really inspiering to see him play...and he played it beautifully...lovely to see.