How to Play Recorder Music Notes

Updated April 17, 2017

The recorder is a musical instrument belonging to the woodwind family. It is an easy instrument to learn in a relatively short time. Practice notes in the order that you learn them. It will provide quicker memorisation of where to place your fingers with more control. Recorder songs can be found in music stores or online.

Pick up your recorder and hold it vertically with your left hand. Gently blow through the mouthpiece. Keep the flow steady. The first note to learn is B. Cover the back hole on the recorder with your left thumb. With your left index finger, cover the first uppermost hole under the mouthpiece. Your right thumb supports the back of the recorder for balance. Now blow evenly. Practice B several times until you are confident about where to place your fingers.

Apply the same principle to the next note, which is A. Holding your recorder vertically, put your left thumb on the back hole as before. Position your left index finger on the first hole and your middle finger on the second hole. Steady the recorder with your right thumb on the middle backside of the recorder. Now, gently blow through the mouthpiece. Try alternating the B and A note until you can do it without pause.

Follow the lesson with the next note, G. Rest your left thumb on the back hole of the recorder. Next, place your left index finger on the first hole under the mouthpiece. Your left middle finger follows. Situate your left ring finger on the third hole. Your right thumb should support the recorder at the back. Take a breath and blow evenly. Practice the three notes you have learnt.

Attempt the C note next. Your left thumb covers the back hole again. Your left index finger does not touch the first hole but should be over it ready to play. Put your left middle finger on the second hole. Blow through the mouthpiece. Keep the main body or body joint steady with your right thumb. Practice all four notes until you can place your fingers on the appropriate holes without hesitation.

The last note to learn with your left hand is D. This is an easy note to learn. Only the middle finger of your left hand is positioned on the second hole. To keep the recorder steady, position your right thumb at the back and keep your left hand in position to play other notes without covering the holes.


Keep fingers at the ready, hovering over the holes. You will need them to be ready to cover to play songs. Practice notes using a recorder fingering chart. A chart can be found online, in music stores or it may come with your new recorder.

Things You'll Need

  • Recorder
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About the Author

Dawn Renée Levesque has been a writer for over 30 years. Her travel and fashion photographs have been exhibited in Europe and the United States. As a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Levesque is the author of "Women Who Walk With the Sky" and co-author of "Wisdom of Bear." She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography.