||[Jan. 21st, 2008|04:03 pm]
Is it just me, or is the "cover up to the 7th hole but uncover the 5th hole with your middle finger" fingering to play F on tenor recorder really unergonomic??|
Yeah, I think it's the sheer length of the instrument that I find unergonomic.
And on the descant too.
I learned as a child with the little finger up, which sounds fine on some recorders and *ghastly* on others. So now I have to retrain myself (many many years later) to do it properly. Gah.
We don't like the sound of that fork very much whether it is on descant tenor or BASS. It's a compromise that makes few really happy.
I think the tenor is the hardest recorder to play because of that stretch. I find even the great bass and contrabass easier on the right hand (generally because they're keyed). I recently bought a LiVirghi Praetorius tenor, which is the most difficult reach I've seen. It's a single piece of wood, so you dont get to rotate the bottom to find a good spot, and the holes are wider apart then any other tenor I've played. I do find that with easy stretching exercises, it's getting better. And in fact the place I really need the stretch is between the index and middle finger, rather than the pinky, if I place my hand a little lower than is intuitive it works better. After a bunch of stretching work, now if I put my hands together and spread the fingers, my right hand stretch is about half an inch wider than my left. So I think that's progress. I sit on the train and massage and stretch my hands without the instrument around, I think that is important if you are working on this--work on the flexibility without the instrument.
Lucky for me, though, Praetorius fingerings for the F have the pinky up. And for the high F you have to leak the next finger as well. Every instrument has it's own tuning quirks. Always fun.
My current fingering/tuning hell is the Praetorius G-alto, which has the high C fork (same fingering as the tenor high F) with leaking to get it in tune, and the high B-flat, which has the same hole leaked, but by a different amount, and it's picky. So keeping those two notes in tune is a pain. Time to go back and do a lot of long tone scales up there with my tuner. At least now I have a tuner that will do meantone tunings, so I'm happy about that.
Is there a brand of great bass that you recommend for easy to play and great sound and relatively affordable?
I dont know much about the brands out there. It seems to me that Kung makes something reasonable, and Paetzold makes the weird square ones that have a surprisingly good sound, and Yamaha might actually make one at this point. I've been playing someone else's which I think is either a von Huene or a LiVirghi, which would be off the easily affordable scale.