How To Play The B Note On Recorder

b note on recorder

Are you wondering where to start on the recorder?

Do you want to play the recorder with the right fingerings for the first note?

I’ve started literally 1,000s of students of all ages (8-80) on the recorder, and none of the notes is as easy to start with as the B note on recorder. 

When looking at how to play B on recorder, you need to cover the thumb hole with your left-hand thumb and cover the first of the top finger holes with your left-hand index finger. 

Let’s dive into the first note of many! 

How To Play B On Recorder

This is the first note most teachers, including myself, start on. 

It’s important then to make sure everything is right to ensure a solid foundation for later playing. 

Step one is to hold the recorder the right way. This is with the mouthpiece up toward your mouth and face the window or rectangular opening out. 

If you wish, you may want to review the parts of the soprano recorder.

From here, use your left-hand thumb to cover the thumb hole on the back.

This thumb hole needs to be covered for most of the notes on the recorder. 

Next, take your left-hand index finger and cover the top hole on the front (not the rectangular opening near where your mouth goes). 

This is it! It’s all you need to play B on the recorder. 

Common Problems To Avoid

If you notice something doesn’t sound right, there are a number of easy fixes to look for. 

When you sound squeaky, check you’re blowing soft air.

If the sound is airy or wimpy, you may miss part of the top holes. Make sure it’s covered all the way.

When one of your notes jumps up higher, chances are your thumb isn’t covering the thumb hole all the way.

For more help on making notes sound good, check out our guide on how to play the recorder.  

You may also want to check out the First 50 Songs To Play On Recorder book for more song ideas. 

Final Thoughts

Playing the B note on the recorder is pretty simple, but it’s important to get it right. 

This note provides the basis for all other notes on the recorder. 

After this one, it’s time to move onto the A note on the recorder. 

You may also want to check out the soprano recorder fingering chart at the link prior. 

Zach VanderGraaff

Zach VanderGraaff is a K-5 music teacher with Bay City Public Schools in Michigan. He's a Past-President of the Michigan Kodaly Educators and Executive Secretary of the Midwest Kodaly Music Educators Association.

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