Recorder Time with Recorder Karate!

  • Recorder Time! On this page students will be able to find the esesntials to playing and reading music on the recorder. Recorder Karate gives students many different songs to learn and practice that will help them earn their white belt, through their black belt, and even past their balck belt to book three to earn their gold belt. There are visual and interactive fingering charts, techniques on how to play, trouble shooting, song to read, songs to play along with, quizes to earn their belts, and videos that will help students be able to learn and be succesful on their recorder. Let me know if you would like more resources and I would be happy to add them to the page. Have fun and enjoy!    


  • Proper Techniques to Remember When Playing Recorder




    Use your left hand to cover the top holes:

        ∙ The recorder is built for the left hand on top, right hand on


        ∙ The recorder belongs in the woodwind family, and all

                woodwind family instrument are played with the left

                hand on top, right hand on bottom.


    Use warm and soft air:

        ∙ Warm air - like fogging up a window in the wintertime.

        ∙ Soft air - like blowing 1 humungous bubble.


    Use your tongue to separate each note:

        ∙ Think "too too too too" or "doo doo doo doo" while you blow into the recorder

                softly.  You don't actually say this into the recorder, but your tongue moves as 

                if you are.

        ∙ The job of the tongue is to interrupt the flow of air to stop a note and start a new


        ∙ If it squeaks, then try blowing softer.


    Use your fingerprints to cover the holes:

        ∙ Don't cover any holes you don't want covered.

        ∙ Covering holes will change the pitch of the note produced by the recorder.

        ∙ If it squeaks when you play and you are using warm and soft air), check your 

                thumb to make sure it is completely covering the back hole.  Check other fingers

                as well.


    Reading a Recorder Fingering Diagram





    If a circle is filled in, it means to cover that hole.


    If a circle is not filled in, it means to leave that hole uncovered.


    As you cover holes from top to bottom, you force the air to go further down the length of the recorder, which in turn produces a lower note.  (music principle:  longer = lower)


    The circle on the upper left outside the rectangle represents the back hole for the thumb.  It is marked "B" not because you are playing the pitch "B", but because you are playing a recorder modeled after a "Baroque" style recorder.  Baroque is the name given to a time period when music was being standardized, pretty much how we see and read it today.


    The 3 circles in the top rectangle represent the holes covered by the left hand (pointer, middle and rings fingers - no left pinky is used to cover holes).  The 4 circles in the bottom rectangle represent the holes covered by the right hand (pointer, middle, ring, and pinky).


    Below is the chart of all the recorder fingerings you will need to complete all 4 books.  We will use a lot of these fingerings through to the end of 5th grade.


    Click on the links below to access interactive fingering charts that students can use to learn and double check their work. 




Recorder Karate Belts

Baby Shark!