I would like to play that note properly but I can not. I also would like to determine the make of my soprano recorder... it's green, solid and made from hard plastic, It has two stripes in the head and six stripes in the end. It says "Made in Germany" But it doesn't have the make printed anywhere. Is it too hard to tell the make of a recorder?

(edit: I know I can play it by covering half of the hole but it doesn't work)

  • You might be able to track down the manufacturer via Google Image Search. Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 12:36
  • Welcome to MusicSE. A big reason your question can't be directly answered is that you haven't given us enough information. Examples: can you produce this note on someone else's recorder, or the equivalent notes on an Alto? This way we know a bit about your overall skill level. Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 12:38
  • Thank you for answering. I currently can play the flight of the bumblebee at normal speed, but that note sounds off... And I uploaded a picture of my recorder so you can see what I mean. What do you mean my skills? It's either covering half of the hole or if its double holed covering the first hole. It obviously plays the right note on a double holed recorder. It's just I can't find the make. I have tried google image search but it doesn't recognize it properly. Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 20:49

2 Answers 2


It's likely that this note cannot be played cleanly on your recorder.

There are two fingering systems that may be found on modern recorders:

  1. English (Baroque) - a reconstruction of the baroque recorder, based in large part on the work of Arnold Dolmetsch. This system can be identified by the 4th hole (counting from the lip) being smaller than the 5th hole.
  2. German ("school") - Peter Harlan's simplified fingering, where the 5th hole is smaller than the 4th hole. This allows the ascending major scale to be played simply by consecutively lifting fingers - at the cost of making chromatic notes harder to play in tune.

Judging by your description, your instrument is the lowest tier of school recorder in German fingering, meaning that it is made to play cleanly in C major only. This is just about sufficient to play the kind of basic pieces one might encounter during general music lessons in school, but obviously insufficient for any kind of advanced performance.

You could possibly try to achieve a clean note through shading (partial covering of holes), breath control, or possibly even an alternative fingering - but it may be a better idea to get a quality baroque system recorder, if you wish to pursue the instrument more seriously.

I'm afraid there's nothing I can tell you about the make of your recorder.

Addendum to address the added image:

As I had guessed, the instrument in question is a very basic school recorder with German fingering. Trying to perform advanced material on it is likely to be an exercise in futility.

Buying recommendations are off-topic here, but any baroque-fingering recorder from a reputable manufacturer should be adequate.

  • Hi, thank you for answering my question. I edited the post to show you the size of each hole. Also the hole for the 8th finger is the smallest. I am learning the flight of the bumblebee and I need to play that note because its mostly chromatic scales. I can make sound out of it by covering half of the hole but it is not the right note. With the other notes I don't have a problem so far. What commercial recorder would you suggest for me to get? Commented Sep 24, 2018 at 20:45
  • 2
    Faza- sorry, but you did not answer the question at all. While German fingering has its problems, especially with the F# on a soprano recorder, the question was about playing C#/Db. For that, it doesn't matter if English/Baroque or German: if you don't have double holes for C#, you can't do it, except by half-holing, which, as the OP points out, is of limited utility. Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 10:50
  • @ScottWallace It was already established that on this recorder the normal technique of half-holing won't work. The instrument is inadequate to the task at hand. The only possible answer to the question is "get a better recorder". Baroque fingering is generally superior in terms of chromaticism and thus the only recommendation I can give within the scope of this site is to go with that fingering.
    – user321
    Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 15:44
  • @faza Very useful comments. I don't know how but I played the note, but it's still hard to play, and when I hit it, it almost makes no sound at all. I hope I can buy a new recorder soon. I guess I am used now to german recorders, so I would buy a german anyways unless I can get to compare them before. Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 4:26
  • 1
    Well if you buy another German fingering recorder you will just have exactly the same problem, only less money. The only way you are going to get a C# / Db on a German recorder is to half-hole the bottom note, and the only way you’re going to get a decent note that way is by practicing until you can reliably get it right. Unless German recorders defy the fundamental physics of sounding tubes there will be a correct position for half-covering the bottom hole, you just haven’t put enough practice into it yet. Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 8:49

You are meant to be able to play it by covering all the holes, except that with the bottom hole you only cover half of it. You may need to experiment with the strength of blowing as well. If that doesn’t work you probably need to buy another instrument. Mollenhauer Dream recorders have a single bottom hole, but if it is a Mollenhauer I am surprised it doesn’t work.

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