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Fingering Scheme for Recorder

The fingering scheme below describes the text and key images used to represent fingerings in the fingering charts.


All Keys Pressed and All Holes Covered


^ T 123|4567X
^ T 123|456677X

Left Thumb

T / t Thumb Hole
The thumb hole is the only hole located on the lower side of the recorder. T indicates that the hole is to be covered, and t indicates that the hole is to be about half-covered. Use a smaller thumb opening for A5/D6 and higher.


^ Labium
The labium is the vent hole on the mouth piece. Third-octave G/C calls for this hole to be covered by the right hand.

Left Hand Holes

1 First finger hole

2 Second finger hole

3 Third finger hole

Right Hand Holes

4 First finger hole

5 Second finger hole

6 Third finger holes

7 Fourth (little) finger holes
Most English and German models have two small holes for the right hand ring (6) and little (7) fingers, but some inexpensive beginner models have only one . A subscripted 6 or 7 indicates that the lower small hole is to be covered in double-hole models and that lower half of the hole  should be covered in single-hole models.

Main Holes and Venting

17 : Completely cover tone hole.

- : Leave tone hole open.

¼ or : Cover only a small part of the tone hole.

½ or : Cover only half of the tone hole.

¾ or : Cover most but not all the tone hole.

Other Symbols

| separates left hand keys from right hand keys.

X indicates that the foot end of the instrument should be closed. For piccolo, use the right hand little finger.

Trilled Holes

Holes to be trilled are indicated in red boldface text and by red hole images (e.g., ).

For a fingering involving more than one trilled hole, the trilled holes are to be trilled simultaneously unless specified as alternating in the fingering description. Alternating trill holes are indicated by a combination of red boldface text and red boldface italic text.





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by Timothy Reichard
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