How to Play the Yamaha Recorder

Recorder image by Ellanorah from

Things You'll Need

  • Fingering chart
  • Easy recorder music

A recorder is a woodwind instrument. It's one of the easiest instruments for a beginner to play and used as an introduction to music in many schools. Yamaha, in addition to the numerous other products it manufactures, produces high-quality recorders made of wood or plastic. Yamaha recorders come in a variety of price ranges and are ideal recorder instruments for someone looking for a quality, affordable way to begin playing the recorder.

Select the Yamaha recorder you want to play. Yamaha has a variety of recorders, including bass, soprano, alto and tenor. A good starting recorder is a soprano or alto in the key of C.

Familiarize yourself with your Yamaha recorder. There are eight holes. Seven are for your fingers, located on top of the recorder. One is a thumb hole, located under and near the mouthpiece of the recorder. Two of the holes (located near the bottom of the recorder) have two smaller holes. Combinations of these holes covered or uncovered produce specific notes.

Purchase a fingering chart or find one online at no charge (see Resources). A fingering chart shows you which holes to cover to obtain the notes on your Yamaha recorder. The notes on your Yamaha recorder are made in the same way as notes are played on any recorder. Dark holes indicate you will cover holes on your recorder. White holes indicate the holes are played open. A hole with half dark and half white means you will cover only half of the hole. Depending upon your type of recorder, fingerings will vary. Keep your fingering chart with you until you have memorized all of the hole combinations.

Practice simple recorder music. You can purchase recorder music books that notate songs using a recorder fingering chart method, but if you want to play a recorder seriously, it will pay to learn how to read basic music notation. Learning to read music notes can take time, but a beginning recorder book can help you identify the basics you'll need to read simple sheet music. You can also find instructions online at no charge (see Resources).