What Recorder Should I Buy For A Beginner?

Art makes our lives complete, and what makes it so special is that regardless of whether we are looking at some painting or listening to our favorite song, all those emotions that emerge and that are brought up, as a result, are something that only art can cause. We have mentioned painting and music, but there are many forms and types of it, and basically, everything that we use to express our views, thoughts, and emotions that causes an emotional reaction from a third party can be considered as art. Understandably, it’s also about having taste and a sense, as it’s not just about writing some things up, and voila, a masterpiece has occurred, far from it.

As already mentioned, music is such an important part of our lives, as we all have our favorite album, band, or at least a song. That’s because music washes away the dust of our soul, and good music can give us life. However, it can only be created with a good instrument, and when we talk about creating music, it can be challenging picking the right equipment, but it all starts with buying the right recorder. So, what confuses many is which one is most suited for a beginner? Well, we’ll try to help you with that.

Even if you are currently learning to play the recorder as a beginner, you should be very careful in selecting the right one, as even a small alteration can cause more harm than good. After all, a beginner musician today can be a master tomorrow.

There are certain factors to consider before buying your first recorder. These tips on can assist you in choosing the suitable recorder for yourself. Let’s get started!

Recorders to Select as a Beginner

The recorder family consists of members of all shapes and sizes. The most prominent ones of them are Tenor and Sopranino, and they are the most often choice of many musicians around the world.

The second one is known for being a favorite choice among first-time buyers due to its less complex features, meaning that it’s much easier to learn how it all works. The Sopranino is readily available in the market, and you should know that the Sopranino recorder possesses a bottom note of C. It sounds an octave higher than a Tenor recorder, which is yet another factor to keep in mind when choosing the right piece, as depending on what your goals are, it can do wonders for the music you want to create. Most music schools prefer teaching Sopranino at the primary level, and its simplicity of use is the main reason for that. This respective family member allows a variety of musical tunes and folk music to be played, so there is no need to worry about not being able to create the music you want.

Another popular option at the beginner level is Tenor, otherwise known as Alto. Tenors possess a bottom note of F, and one of the main differences between these two recorders is about the finger patterns that even though they resemble, the Tenor one produces different notes. The respective member of the family is more convenient for playing Brosque pieces and solo music, which makes it a popular choice among this type of artist.

However, suppose you are unsure about your playing style and your compatibility with different types of recorders, and in that case, you can check out the beginner’s guide on for a deeper understanding of instruments as well as mentoring by pro-level musicians, which can be pretty useful.

Recorder Fingering Styles

Your fingering in the recorder might also define the style of recorder you might find most comfortable to play. In summary, it is important to know that there are three primary fingerings, namely: Renaissance, Baroque, and German.

The Baroque fingering is the standard style used by many modern players. Therefore, it is a good option given you are at the beginner level.

The German fingering was invented to redesign the recorder. Fingering of the fourth scale degree in both octaves of German fingering resembles clarinet, flute, and saxophone.

Nevertheless, the Baroque fingering and German fingering recorder can be easily differentiated. Baroque fingering possesses a larger finger hole for B-flat (alto) and F (soprano) than German fingered instruments.

The historical fingering of Renaissance style covers a wide range of different fingering types found in recorders. Frequently these Renaissance ones have single holes and wide bores to accommodate a variety of notes. However, they are also available in standard Baroque patterns for ease of playing, which is suitable for people on a beginner level.

Recorder Pitch Settings

You should be well aware of the pitch settings before laying your finger on the perfect recorder to start with. Often beginners prefer to keep the standard pitch, which is probably the simplest one. This makes room for synchronization with other instruments and entry in orchestra plays and gives more opportunities. The usual pitch is calculated to be at A=440.

Baroque is a semitone lower pitch than the modern or standard pitch. Baroque pitch is usually estimated to stand at A=415. The French Baroque stands even lower at A=392. The French Baroque is more known for producing warm and sonorous music notes.

Recorder Materials: Plastic or Wooden

Another important consideration is the material of which it is made, and starters generally prefer plastic ones. The main reasons for that are easy maintenance and cheap cost. Plastic recorders often come with moisture blockage issues, and it is necessary to keep that in mind before deciding to buy one of them. However, they take the lead due to different models and advanced features, and we cannot say that they are not good enough. Some of these models might also be valued at higher prices in the market due to their characteristics. Yamaha models are one of the most recognized brands for first-rate plastic types and one of the most popular choices.

On the other hand, wooden instruments can produce more melodious tunes than plastic ones and satisfy everyone’s needs. Available in a wide range of colors and styles, those made of wood allow more expressions and dynamics in music notes. Their resistance is higher than plastic ones, and they can last much longer. They are also found to be convenient for low notes much more than plastic ones.

A few of the most delicate carvings famous around the world are Küng, Mollenhauer, and Moeck. Most of them are made in Germany and Switzerland of some of the most quality woods. High-pitched recorders such as altos, sopraninos, and sopranos might produce more rich and colorful tones in wooden material.

Thus, a plastic recorder might be more suitable for the test and trial period since they are much cheaper and easier to maintain. Once they grip the tune and notes, they might prefer to level up their game with wooden recorders.

Final Thoughts

Recorders enjoy a rich history in the world of melodies and choosing the best one can be pretty challenging, especially if you are new in this world and trying to find yourself. Hence, a great deal of focus has been laid upon design, styles, and material throughout history. A beginner ought to consider all these factors before buying their first recorder and starting their journey as a musician. It is not an easy decision, and it needs to be made based on personal preferences since every musician is different and needs different equipment to prove themselves. We gave you a few tips on how to find the best one for you that should be useful, but the final decision is only yours, and no one else can make it instead of you.