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Author: Matt74 
Date:   2018-12-09 08:13

Does anyone play recorder?

I think my Alto Yamaha 300 plasic model is a dud (or I just don’t like Yamahas). I have a background in woodwinds, so I *think* I can tell the difference between being unskilled and playing a bad instrument. I learned on a cheap Suzuki soprano that I liked, and played a couple used wood models at the VonHuene workshop that were great. I never liked the Yamaha.

1. I bought cheap from the recorder professor at Longy school of music where I auditioned on the Suzuki, which suggests that maybe someone didn’t like it, but she thought I needed an alto and it was better than what I had.

2. The low notes F-A are extremely quiet. F is difficult to play, and the A is too quiet compared to the second register. I have to play them right at the edge of overblowing or they are too soft and weak. (I know the foot joint is not leaking.)

3. Notes above high C are difficult. I’m starting to get D more consistently, but E is airy, and F is very unstable and very difficult to play with a nice tone. I’ve tried all sorts of voicing, air speed, and fooling with thumb hole.

4. The windway is always totally clogged with condensation, and even the whistle edge causes problems from moisture collection.

5. The low notes F-B are very flat. I can correct them but they’re very out.

The thing is that people say they like them. Do any of these problems sound characteristic of Yamahas? Or, should I try playing a new Yamaha and assume mine wasn’t molded quite right?

*I’ve studied clarinet, saxophone, and flute, and taught myself recorder a number of years ago. I have some training in instrument repair. I’m returning to recorder, and wanted to do a more proper job of it this time.

- Matthew Simington

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