do you place your free pinky of your left hand underneath as a support or do you let in hang free?

3 Answers 3


Absolutely do NOT ever put the pinky under. Not only does it distort the rest of your left hand, but you need that pinky up and "ready" because one day you'll pick up some other woodwinds and discover that the left-hand pinky has actual work to do, on top of the bore.

  • Wait, when I play clarinet or bass clarinet, I always put my left hand on top of my right. Is the conventional recorder fingering really the other way around?
    – Dekkadeci
    Nov 29, 2020 at 15:04
  • 1
    @Dekkadeci what are you asking? We're talking about putting a finger on the underside of the bore, not moving the left hand to the far end of the instrument :-) Nov 30, 2020 at 13:06
  • I thought the question implied that the right pinky was already used in recorder fingering, while the left pinky obviously is not. Therefore, I thought that recorder fingering involves the right hand on top.
    – Dekkadeci
    Nov 30, 2020 at 14:38

You can place your left pinky wherever it feels comfortable. You can leave it free or rest the tip against the side of the instrument (which gives the recorder a little more stability). Placing it under the instrument would be very unusual.


Leave it free. Using it as support would be as constrictive as the similar bad habit or wrapping the left thumb right round a guitar neck. Your right hand thumb supports the recorder just fine.

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