I have a new Yamaha tenor recorder, and I love practicing it. But I'm having a really hard time not overblowing, especially in the lowest register.

I'm a tuba player, so using so little air is really foreign for me. If I do manage to get the lower register on the tenor recorder correct, it feels like I'm not using any air at all.

The answers in Yamaha tenor recorder are great, but I'm curious if there are any exercises I can do away from the recorder to practice my airflow. As Shannon's answer there says, "Practise for very short amounts of time at first because your fingers get tired and it's almost impossible to play then."

Are there methods of practicing this air support away from the instrument so that I'm not unduly fatiguing my fingers and creating bad habits?


2 Answers 2


To stop the low notes in the lowest register from overblowing:

  • (first make sure you are covering all the holes correctly, then)
  • Relax your mouth and open it wide (but not too wide).
  • Blow slow hot air, from your diaphragm.
  • It'll be much easier to play softly, (and there will be a limit to how loud you can play before the note breaks anyway).
  • On a recorder, the precise pitch of notes is particularly sensitive to the velocity of your airstream, but worry about that later.

A good exercise to practice would be to see how much of a window you can fog-up with one long breath.


As a tuba player you're already very good at controlling airflow. Anyway, the overblowing is quite likely as much to do with leaky fingering. Your recorder is very portable and not a loud instrument. Finger strain is not a terribly big issue. I don't see much need for off-instrument practice.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.