I've come back to playing recorder, and I'm more experienced in hearing notes now than before. I noticed that the Low C on my Soprano Recorder (All the fingers covering the holes) and it's a bit sharp. I searched how do I fix this, but I didn't find anything.

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    Does this answer your question? The low e note on my tenor recorder is sharp
    – Aaron
    Feb 24 at 5:25
  • @aaron I'm not sure there is a clear answer in the linked question, only thoughts…
    – Tom
    Feb 24 at 7:55
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    @Aaron It's a different note and the cause must be different, so no duplicate.
    – PiedPiper
    Feb 24 at 8:55
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    If in doubt, on plastic and metal instruments it works to use Scotch tape to cover all the holes tightly as a point of reference, to ensure that finger technique doesn't play a role. Not a good idea on a wooden or otherwise painted instrument, since the tape has some tendency to lift the finish off :/ Finally, you should trust your sense of pitch, but prefer to verify the result with an electronic tuner (ideally a spectrum-analyzer-based one on a mobile device) to confirm that the pitch is off in absolute terms before condemning the instrument :) Feb 24 at 21:21

Before you blame anything on the recorder, make sure it isn't actually your fault. On the low notes, it's imperative that the fingers close all holes very tightly, even a tiny leak will cause them to either rise in pitch or outright overblow.

Also, these notes aren't really suited for high breath pressure (again, because of overblowing risk) and with very low pressure the pitch goes down automatically. Of course the volume goes down too, but that's just the way it is – if you need a powerful C and D, use an alto recorder, not a soprano.

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    In my (very clumsy) experience, it's very easy to apply too much breath pressure in the lowest part of the instrument's range.
    – phoog
    Feb 24 at 15:43

Assuming you have a good instrument with a separate foot joint: Try pulling the foot joint out a bit (start with 1 mm), this will flatten the C. It will also flatten the C# a bit (but not as much), but having a flat C# is probably not as bad as having a sharp C and it could theoretically be adjusted by an instrument maker.

If you have a cheap plastic instrument with a one-piece body: buy a good one.

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    I'd still check which other notes are affected. Actually I'd say the low C being out of tune is among the least problematic ones (because its tone qualities are pretty rubbish anyway, and if it's important in a piece than soprano just isn't the right instrument), so I wouldn't sacrifice intonation of any other notes for it. Feb 24 at 9:49
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    @leftaroundabout On a decent instrument there's nothing at all bad about the tone of that low C.
    – PiedPiper
    Feb 24 at 10:17

Breath pressure is the key to good, in-tune, low tones. That said, make sure your fingers cover all the holes without tension. If you think about exhaling slowly but steadily your low long tone production may improve.

If you simply can't ever get it in tune you can extend the bottom of the instrument with a little tiny tube of paper without messing the rest of the notes too much.

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