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Lazar's Early Music

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Bill Lazar

425 N. Whisman Rd., Ste. 200

Mountain View, CA 94043

(650) 938-5367

(866) 511-2981

(408) 705-1960 fax

LazarsEMS@gmail.com

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This page has links to a series of YouTube videos by Sarah Jeffrey for beginning to advanced recorder players.  She is upbeat and humorous and has great suggestions and demonstrations on technique, practicing, warmups, choosing instruments, etc.

Be sure to check out the 'Show More' section under the video to see additional information, supplemental links and lists related to the video.

Playing In your Recorder, and Maintenance

How do you play in a new recorder? How should you look after it during your daily practice? How do you deal with condensation, clogging up, stuck/loose joints? Does it need to be played in again if you don't use it for a while?

OIling and Cleaning your Recorder

Published on Jan 26, 2017

How do you clean your recorder, and how do you oil it? Which type of oil is best, and where should you apply it? How do you clean the block, and how do you knock the block out?!

 

How to practice

One of the most fundamental questions for musicians of all levels: how to practice? And how to make that practice efficient and effective, with time constraints and concentration and pesky alternative fingerings and awkward keys... So I've distilled all my years of grappling with practice in five simple tips! 

Recorder Hand Position

The absolute foundation of recorder playing is having a good hand position! Sounds simple, but improving your hand position will literally make everything else easier - from playing fast notes to ensuring you don't injure yourself..

Warm up for musicians:  1. Body

BODY, breathing/air, fingers and tongue. You can do the warm ups along with me in this video!

As a musician it's so important to warm up physically before you practice. This not only helps prevent physical problems, but aids concentration and gets you in the right frame of mind. Not only is the recorder our instrument, but our bodies too!

-- disclaimer: I'm not a trained professional sports person, I'm a musician! So if anything feels bad-weird or hurts, please stop. Also, if you have nice stretches you like to use, please let me know about it in the comments! ---

Warm ups for musicians:  2. Breathing and sound

BREATHING/SOUND. You can do the warm ups along with me in this video!

In this video, I will give you a whole bunch of easy to follow exercises, designed to warm you up and improve your breathing, tone production, and quality of sound. These exercises can be easily adapted so you never get bored and can invent your own!

Warmups for musicians:  3. Fingers

It's warm-up time! In this video I show lots of exercises and tips for warming up your FINGERS, and most exercises can be done along with me in the video! So grab your alto recorder and let's get started :)

Warming up before you practice is really important - it means you can practice to the best of your abilities. This video is aimed at recorder players but could be adapted for other wind instruments as well!

Warmups for Musicians: 4. Tongue

It's warm-up time - for your TONGUE! The tongue is a muscle, and your practice will benefit from warming it up - for single, double and triple tonguing.
The exercises can be done along with me in the video, So grab your alto recorder and let's get started :)

Warming up at the start of your practice is really important - it means you can practice to the best of your abilities. This video is aimed at recorder players but could be used for any other wind instruments as well!

Self-care for musicians

Self care is so important for musicians: just because we love what we do, doesn't need we don't also need rest and care! In this video I give ideas and tips for how to look after yourself, how to avoid burnout, and how to stay energetic and creative.

How to play fast

Have you ever wanted to know how you can get your fingers to move faster, so you can play fast and difficult passages like they're a breeze?
Here I give a range of exercises designed to get your fingers relaxed, strengthened, confident with difficult note changes and running fluently! This tutorial is especially suited to the recorder, but would fit any wind instrument. And some of the exercises would fit any instrument!

How to transpose

Recorders come in a range of different keys, and for recorder players that means: TRANSPOSING! Or, learning a new set of fingerings and reading the music in a different way, depending on the recorder you are playing.

But how? Why? Which keys will I encounter? How can I tackle this seemingly monumental task? I will try and explain everything and give you some hints and tips for easier transposition!

Note: Recorders come in different tunings too (442 Hz modern pitch, 415 Hz baroque pitch etc) - and these do not need to be transposed, they will just sound higher or lower :) 

How to memorize/play by ear

Do you want to learn how to memorize music, and to perform it by heart? This video will give you loads of exercises, advice and tips, so you'll never forget your music on stage!

Including:
- utilizing different types of memory
- memorizing solo vs. chamber music
- how to play by heart in a group
- stories of how I FORGOT my music and lived to tell the tale
- and loooots of other useful stuff.

How to improve your sightreading

How to improve your sightreading! Exercises and tips for how you can prepare:
- in the week before
- a few minutes before
- and 30 seconds before playing a piece for the first time.

How to sound good on a soprano

Do you want to get a better sound on your soprano/descant recorder? It's a high instrument and the sound can be piercing - but with these tips, tricks and exercises you can find a beautiful sound that is right for you!

I concentrate on breath support, fast and slow air streams, and tuning. You are going to sound amazing!

How to hit the high notes

One of the trickiest things with recorder playing - how to hit those high notes! In this tutorial I give you tips on the following areas:
- thumb position
- air stream
- articulation
as well as some theory and exercises. Then you'll be treating your neighbours to some lovely high notes!

How to hit the low notes

Published on May 11, 2017

How to hit the low notes on your recorder! Avoid squeaks and reach a clean and sonorous tone. I give you tips on your instruments, your fingers and your air stream to make sure you can achieve a rich sound!

 

Double tonguing

Calling all recorder players! This short tutorial teaches you the basics of double tonguing, using the articulation 'did'll'. The exercises in this video can also be applied to any other kind of tonguing. 

How to play soft

In this video I will show you how to play soft notes on the recorder - or give the impression that you are playing soft... You can actually perform or suggest all manner of dynamics on the recorder, and here are some techniques and tricks how!

How to play loud

In this video I will show you how to play LOUD notes on the recorder - or give the impression that you are playing loud! You can actually perform or suggest all manner of dynamics on the recorder, and here are some techniques and tricks how!

Including advice on: sound production, vibrato, alternative fingerings, crescendo, singing and playing, spacing, amplification and more...

Playing duets

How to plays duets! In this video we get into questions of tuning, timing, listening, and how to count in. This can apply to any instrument! Thanks to my lovely mum for being the special guest star!

Flutter Tongue and Rolling your Rs

Want to use flutter tongue in your playing, but can't roll your R's, or roll your throat? Or can you do it, but you want to know how to improve/practice it? Looook no further, team recorder!

This video can teach you how to:
- roll your R's (broken down into lots of easy steps)
- roll your throat (the 'guttural' flutter)
- implement both types of fluttertongue with the recorder
- and some extremely fun exercises to practice it all!

This is especially useful for native English speakers - both the guttural and tongue flutter can be difficult for us, so I've broken it down into simple steps. If I can learn to do it, so can you!

How to play folk ornaments

In this video I explain how to play folk music on your recorder! Applying Irish/British/Celtic folk styles and ornaments from tin whistle playing. Plus some tips and resources for further development!

Recorder sound effects

This tutorial shows you how you can make sound effects with your recorder - birds, raindrops, a telephone, whatever else - with absolutely ZERO experience necessary. Then I give you a whole bunch of ideas for how these sound effects can be used in musical games and compositions. Especially useful for music teachers, and parents with small children starting on the recorder! 

How to stretch for big recorders

In this video I show you how to stretch your hands, so you can play even the BIGGEST recorders! Whilst staying safe and avoiding injury, of course ;) Plus an EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT!

We get into the voiceflute, tenor and basset recorders - and even the C bass and F contrabass! And my hands are tiiiiiny so if I can do it - you can do it too!

Play two recorders at once

Playing two recorders at the same time?! Believe it or not, this has been around for many centuries, with double flutes appearing in countries and cultures all over the world. Today the ol' two recorders at once technique is used by loads of composers in contemporary music, as well as players performing early music.

But how do you do it? In this video I will show you how!
 

How to learn circular breathing

Have you ever wanted to learn how to circular breathe? Learn how in a series of very simple steps! This tutorial is from the point of view of a recorder player, but these techniques can be applied to any wind instrument. 

Thumbrests, Slings, Crooks, Keys? | Recorder solutions

How can you help your hands when playing the bigger recorders? In this video I get into thumb rests, thumb/neck slings, crooks, bent necked instruments and keys. What works, and what doesn't? 

REMEMBER: stay safe, and if something in your hands/fingers/wrists etc starts to actually hurt, STOP! My aim is to have you playing the recorder in a safe and healthy way. Not every solution works for everyone. 

2 min practice, tricky trills, recorders under $750

Hi recorder players! I'm always happy to receive lots of questions from you guys - on youtube, facebook and twitter - so I thought I'd make my first Q&A video so everyone can hear the answers!

In this video we dive into: 2 minute practice, how to practice silently, which recorder to buy under £500, tricky low trills, and... what exactly does a professional recorder player do?!.


Guide for parents: YOUR CHILD'S FIRST RECORDER

Is your child about to start their first recorder lessons? I can help you get the most out of them! This short video will tell you all you need to know about which recorder to buy, how to take care of it, and how to help with practice!
This video is aimed at the parents of young children who are starting on soprano/descant recorder for the first time. It's also useful for music teachers who have to teach recorder, but aren't necessarily trained in it.

Recorder books for adult beginners

Which book to buy?! There are so many methods for the recorder out there, and it can be difficult to know which is right for you. I went along to Broekmans & van Poppel sheet music store in Amsterdam, and reviewed A LOT of recorder methods for you!

In this video I concentrate on methods for alto recorder. Would you like to see a similar video for soprano/tenor recorder? Let me know! And of course, I couldn't feature every method ever made - if you have one you like to use, leave it in the comments :)

My sheet music collection

In this video I give you a tour of my sheet music, how I have it all organized, and mention a few of my favourite pieces ;)

We always think of being a musician as being able to play all the notes and play beautifully, but did you know that just as big a part of music making is the ability to GET ORGANIZED? There's nothing worse than heading out the door to a rehearsal and frantically searching for your sheet music in a big crumpled pile. (Well, there are a few things worse, but for the purposes of this little intro let's leave it at that!)

 My favorite recorder books

Hi recorder players! There are loads of books out there, and it can be overwhelming to know which one to buy! In this video I'll take you through my favourite recorder books for technique, featuring all the exercises and studies you could ever wish for....

Tour:  Paetzold square bass recorders

Meet the Paetzolds! Giant, square recorders? What do they sound like, how do you play them, and why do they even exist?!

I love playing my two Paetzold recorders - my great bass in C, and contrabass in F. In this video I'll explain a little about their history and special sound properties.

Tour: Our Renaissance recorders

By popular demand - meet our Renaissance recorders! These are a custom made set of seven recorders, all handmade from one block of wood, and designed to be played together. Built by recorder maker Peter van der Poel, for my trio aXolot!

Tour: The big recorders

After my last Q&A the questions kept on flooding in - so here you go! I answer the things you wanted to know about the bigger instruments - tenors, bassets, Paetzolds... 

Tour: My recorder collection

Welcome to a tour of all my recorders! As a professional recorder player I have to build a big collection of instruments, so that I can perform on all the different sizes and models of recorder.

Humor that only recorder players understand

Hi everyone! Yep, these are questions every recorder player has heard at some point... eeeggghh. What questions have you had to field? Leave them in the comments!

Closing the END HOLE of your recorder! How? Why?

Published on Feb 16, 2017

There is no convenient title for this video - hey ho, here we go! How to close the end hole, or the hole in the bottom, or the bell, or 'hole 8'. And whyyy? Well, it enables you to play lots of notes muuuch higher and lower, extending the range of your recorder! As well as achieving dynamics, and multiphonics...

PLAY ALONG! Telemann Canonic sonata nr. 1

Published on Apr 27, 2017

Play along with me in this video! Grab your alto/treble recorder (modern pitch), and join in as we tackle the Telemann Canonic Sonata nr. 1!

We are going to play the first sonata in Bb, with three movements - vivace, adagio, allegro. This sonata was originally in G, and is transposed up into Bb for the recorder.