Plastic Vs. Wooden Instruments

    
Plastic Vs. Wooden Instruments    15:20 on Friday, February 25, 2011          

IplayRecorder
(33 points)
Posted by IplayRecorder

The quality of plastic recorders is very good and compare to good wooden instruments. One advantage of plastic is an ensemble can all play the same brand. This is VERY important as this is like having a matched set of instruments. It is very costly for members of a group to all purchase the same make of wooden instruments. It is much easier to tune 2 or more plastic Yamaha sopranos then 2 or more different wooden instruments.

I'm new here and read some opinions that plastic instruments are not up to snuff with wooden ones. I have been playing over 35 years and find this is just not true. It's how the musician plays the instrument. In fact, it is much easier to play the extreme high notes on a Yamaha then most wooden instruments costing 10x the price.

The Yamahas really do not sound as good as the von Huene or Tom Prescott instruments, but there is a cost factor of about 100x the difference.


Re: Plastic Vs. Wooden Instruments    04:08 on Sunday, February 27, 2011          

freewill
(25 points)
Posted by freewill

Hi there
I'm a beginner and don't have a teacher, it's difficult for me to play the 2d octave notes on my recorder, mine is Yamaha Soprano C. it sounds like somebody is screaming, but with the lower notes I don't have any problem. in fact I can play some melodies without any problem. since I haven't heard the notes from someone else I don't know they sound okay or not. but I'm sure I'm doing the fingering right. could you help me with that? is there something wrong with my plastic Yamaha recorder? should I get a wooden one to play the 2d octave notes better?
thank you for reading this. I'd appreciate your help.


Re: Plastic Vs. Wooden Instruments    06:22 on Sunday, February 27, 2011          

IplayRecorder
(33 points)
Posted by IplayRecorder

Your instrument is probably just fine since the lower notes sound good. My guess is you are blowing much too hard on those high notes. Play the low D then go directly to the octave above it. You should be able to tell if you are planing in tune. It should only take slightly more air to play the higher note. Then play the C major scale starting with the low C going up one octave. Then do the same with D major scale, you need to play F# and C# on this one.

A big problem for a lot of recorder players is over blowing. Try using less air while making sure the tone is even. Practice using whole notes going up the scale. Breath control is the key to producing a nice tone.

Hope this helps.


Re: Plastic Vs. Wooden Instruments    14:22 on Sunday, February 27, 2011          

freewill
(25 points)
Posted by freewill

thank you for the reply, it seems it's working. could you tell me which one has got the lower sound? Soprano or an alto? and which one is better to learn, if you are planning to take this seriously? I mean I like playing solo, and lower notes are much enjoyable to me. I don't know if I described it well so sorry in advance. thank you again.


Re: Plastic Vs. Wooden Instruments    14:31 on Sunday, February 27, 2011          

IplayRecorder
(33 points)
Posted by IplayRecorder

It's so nice to know of someone so enthusiastic about the recorder! My suggestion is to focus more on the alto. There is a great deal of music for both and you should definately play all the sizes. At this point focus on producing a nice even tone. Your speed will come in due course. Making a simple piece sound beautiful is the goal for now. Study a piece and put in breath marks at appropriate places in the music.


Re: Plastic Vs. Wooden Instruments    02:13 on Monday, February 28, 2011          

notedude
(127 points)
Posted by notedude

I dont know....


Re: Plastic Vs. Wooden Instruments    04:01 on Monday, February 28, 2011          

freewill
(25 points)
Posted by freewill

Oh then an alto's got a lower sound?! I though vice versa, thank you again, so I'm trying as you said. producing a good note is better than 10 not so good notes! you're right. you are such a nice person and took your time to replying me, thank you again.

<Added>

oh you didn't mean that alto is the lower, it's just your choice, huh! I was getting it all wrong, sorry. by the way, have you ever heard "Golden Dreams" by Javad Maroufi? I can play it whit my recorder, it's good, because it's just 5 days I've bought my recorder.


Re: Plastic Vs. Wooden Instruments    05:11 on Monday, February 28, 2011          

hegyhati
(923 points)
Posted by hegyhati

Dear Freewill, here You can see, the range of all type of recorders. I think, that the main difference between alto and soprano is, that the lowest sound is a G on alto, while it is a C in soprano and tenor.
Anyway, good luck with the recorder, it is a beautifull instrument. If I'll have time in the future, I'll definitely buy a tenor recorder as well :-)

<Added>

Alto is F instrument, not G it was a mistypo, sorry.


Re: Plastic Vs. Wooden Instruments    05:42 on Monday, February 28, 2011          

freewill
(25 points)
Posted by freewill

thank you again that's so sweet of you. I don't know if I bought the right recorder, mine is soprano, now I know the most of its fingering but I realized that alto has got the lower range of notes... should I buy another one? or continue with this?


Re: Plastic Vs. Wooden Instruments    09:47 on Monday, February 28, 2011          

IplayRecorder
(33 points)
Posted by IplayRecorder

It's hard to know when to suggest learning the alto fingering. Some players in my group never took the time, even after playing 30 years. It seems you're going along pretty quickly.

A set of recorders: Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass (SATB) have only 2 different fingerings. The soprano and tenor are "C" instruments and the alto and bass are "F" instruments. The soprano is one octave higher than the tenor and the alto is one octave higher than the bass.

I enjoy playing in a small group and it might be something you would also enjoy.


Re: Plastic Vs. Wooden Instruments    09:53 on Monday, February 28, 2011          

hegyhati
(923 points)
Posted by hegyhati

Thanks for the correction, I just see now, that I've mistyped it to G instead of F.

An other thing. As going lower in sound, as far as I know, the player needs stronger lungs for the bigger instruments. am I right? If yes, is there a big difference between soprano and tenor?


Re: Plastic Vs. Wooden Instruments    10:46 on Monday, February 28, 2011          

IplayRecorder
(33 points)
Posted by IplayRecorder

It takes more air as the instruments get larger, plus some makes of recorders take more breath than others. The Kung bass takes more breath than other brands, but you can achieve better dynamics with it because it does. Leaning when to take a breath plus making it as smooth as possible is the key.

Take a breath as quickly and as silently as you can. Many people take a big gasp and often make a sound doing it. Practice taking quick breaths from the dyaphragm. You don't want people hearing your breath or gasphing for breath.

Here is a technique for increasing your breath length:
1. Inhale to a count of 12
2. Hold your breath to a count of 12
3. Completely exhale to a count of 12
4. Repeat this for a 2 minute period

This is NOT for 12 seconds, but to your own count of 12. Try and count slower and slower over the days. Inhale all the way down causing your stomach to expand, not just a shallow chest breath. Breath control is the major factor in producing a beautiful tone. Hold a low note for 4-8 counts and listen to how evenly you can make the tone. It should sound consistant the entire time.


Re: Plastic Vs. Wooden Instruments    10:52 on Monday, February 28, 2011          

hegyhati
(923 points)
Posted by hegyhati

Thanks for the advice. (Although for me it is still a several Years in advance, but I'll remember on Your words, when I'll buy my recorder :-). My last question: what is Your opinion about Dolmetsch recorders? (Especially the plastic tenor ones)


Re: Plastic Vs. Wooden Instruments    16:16 on Monday, February 28, 2011          

freewill
(25 points)
Posted by freewill

wow great technique. in fact since I read this I'm practicing... I can't wait to be a pro. thank you.


Re: Plastic Vs. Wooden Instruments    16:25 on Monday, February 28, 2011          

IplayRecorder
(33 points)
Posted by IplayRecorder

Dolmetsch recorders are not sold much in the U.S. and I have never played or heard the plastic modes. I own a rosewood Dolmetsch, which is a beautiful instrument with a very loud tone. It is much more a solo instrument and I don't play it with my ensemble as it is too overpowering with other instruments.

The plastic instruments of choice here are the Yamaha 300 series. I play all SATB models and feel the alto and tenor are the best of the set. The soprano is very good with notes above the D but inconsistent starting with the low C up one octave to the C above it. Those notes start to buzz when the instrument is just slightly warmed up.

The Yamaha bass is too quiet in the lower notes and inconsistent in sound. I still use the set as my travel instruments and other members have the bass so they blend very nicely together. The volume is fine when 2 or more play togther in the ensemble of 8 people.


   








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