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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A method book on steroids!
The Recorder Guide (c. 1965) bills itself as an instruction method for soprano and alto recorder "including folk melodies from around the world".

It's 128 comb-bound pages long, the longest "method book" I have by far. Its print orientation is "landscape". There is lots of white space and sometimes the layout seems a bit amateurish, but the printing is clear...
Published on November 13, 2010 by Laurence Gillespie

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less than perfect print
This review refers to the version published in 1992. The book itself is excellent and highly regarded, but this version appears to be a less than perfect photocopy. Some of the staff lines are faded, causing errors in reading the notes. And some of the fingering markings aren't filled in fully. I can't tell whether a hole should be pressed or not.
I have the...
Published on August 7, 2012 by Anner


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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A method book on steroids!, November 13, 2010
By 
Laurence Gillespie (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Recorder Guide: An Instruction Method for Soprano and Alto Recorder, Including Folk Melodies from Around the World (Plastic Comb)
The Recorder Guide (c. 1965) bills itself as an instruction method for soprano and alto recorder "including folk melodies from around the world".

It's 128 comb-bound pages long, the longest "method book" I have by far. Its print orientation is "landscape". There is lots of white space and sometimes the layout seems a bit amateurish, but the printing is clear and in fairness the layout works when it comes to trying to play music from the book. No piece is over a page long.

Much of its length derives from being a method book for both C and F class recorders. This is unique in my experience. It also includes a lot more than the barebones songs. There is a short introduction to the mechanics of music, numerous notes on musical theory and recorder technique and fingering charts. Many of the songs are presented in both alto and soprano (F&C) versions, or arranged for duos or trios (SA and SAT) (although there is always a clear melody line for either the soprano or the alto). Some songs are also presented in basic and more advanced versions later on. Guitar chords are included for many of the songs and lyrics for some of them. There are also several old illustrations.

This is by far my favourite recorder book of the several dozen that I know. You may have heard of "desert island disks", well this would be my choice for a "desert island method book", provided I had both a trusty alto and soprano with me, and had already learned the basics of recorder somewhere else. It has so many great songs and it is so beginner-friendly.

An important caveat: I am not really in a position to evaluate it as a systematic course in the recorder, since I had already learned the basics elsewhere, and have never gone through it systematically lesson by lesson for any sustained stretch (although I took several lessons structured around sections of this book). I use it more as a resource, a handbook, and a source of great tunes. It was, however, instrumental in my figuring out the alto after several years of being stuck on the soprano. It was a tune from this book that "cracked the alto code" for me and after that there was no looking back. But my experience is not that of someone who had to learn the recorder from scratch on it. I am not able to say how clear its explanation of basic concepts would be to a beginner and in particular how carefully "graduated" it is.

I can say that I have had it for 10 years and still have not come close to exhausting this book. Each year it yields another new interesting piece or two. The compilers of this book were clearly true recorder lovers and had a great ear for great tunes, and a great skill for making them very beginner-friendly (or advanced-beginner friendly as the book progresses).

Some of its remarks about the contemporary recorder scene may be staledated now and some might take issue with its emphasis on totally mastering a piece before moving on to the next one.

Although it might seem an incredible waste of space to have alto versions of songs side by side with the soprano version, lesson after lesson, it was handy for me once I started on the alto to have the familiar soprano version right at hand when I needed to quickly check how the song was supposed to sound. And it's ideal for those who like to practice their altos and sopranos at the same time. I think it is also encouraging for those soprano players agonizing about whether to go alto to know they don't even need to turn the page to find an alto version of their favourite soprano song.

There are many great songs in this book, including The Tailor and the Mouse, Henry Martin, The Wraggle Taggle Gypsies O, Nonsense Song, Dance to my Daddy, Flow Gently Sweet Afton, Early One Morning, The Crow in the Cradle, She's Like the Swallow, Bonaparte Crossing the Rhine, Charlie is My Darling. Some are arranged as rounds. There are also numerous scales and other exercises.

The landscape format fits well on a music stand and the stiff cardpaper covers stand up well, although the comb binding on mine has largely broken down (but only after several years of playing, and some of that outside). Recommended.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC book!, November 9, 2005
This review is from: The Recorder Guide: An Instruction Method for Soprano and Alto Recorder, Including Folk Melodies from Around the World (Plastic Comb)
I found this book in a used bookstore & compared it with another recorder instruction book that I have (from [...] Both books teach the notes in pretty much the same order, but this book also teaches ALTO recorder, right along with soprano... if you already know how to play soprano, and want to learn Alto, it really helps to have the soprano music notes alongside the alto...

The lessons are very clear & the songs are nice...
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Recorder Book, January 10, 2001
By A Customer
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This review is from: The Recorder Guide: An Instruction Method for Soprano and Alto Recorder, Including Folk Melodies from Around the World (Plastic Comb)
This is an excellent introduction to the recorder. One need not know anything to get started. A great project to work through with your kids! It uses nursery songs and music we all know, in simple arrangements, including solos, duets and trios, for soprano and alto recorder.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful folk tunes from around the world, March 21, 2005
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This review is from: The Recorder Guide: An Instruction Method for Soprano and Alto Recorder, Including Folk Melodies from Around the World (Plastic Comb)
If you want to learn the recorder this is a great book to start with. It teaches both soprano and alto recorder and has some wonderful folk tunes from around the world. It includes a short introduction into the mechanics of music, great for those who don't already read music. I bought this book twenty years ago, and I have been playing recorder ever since. (I even had to purchase a new edition recently.)
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection of Folk Music for Recorders, April 12, 2011
This review is from: The Recorder Guide: An Instruction Method for Soprano and Alto Recorder, Including Folk Melodies from Around the World (Plastic Comb)
"The Recorder Guide" is a wonderful collection of folk music arranged for recorders. It includes music from Germany, England, Israel, France, South America, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Finland, and the Czech Republic. It also includes a round by Johannes Brahms and a Hungarian folksong aranged by Bela Bartok. These are real folktunes of various genres, including love songs, springtime songs, lullibies, folk dances, traditional children's songs, and several pieces of sacred music. I would recomend this book not only for begining recorder players, but also for more advanced recorder players who are looking for a good introduction to folk music. It would also be a really wonderful book to use with children, although it is not a children's book.

As a textbook, I would recomend using it as a supplement to one of the "Enjoy your Recorder" books by the von Trapp family. The von Trapp method is much more thorough than the method in this book (important if you are learning to play the recorder on your own) and will eventually get you to the point where you can play Baroque music (Bach, Handel, Telemann, Vivaldi) as well as very complex pieces of folk music (their books also teach you how to play trills and other embelishments). This book, however, will provide you with a lot more folkmusic to choose from, as well as with some pieces that are better for beginners than those in the von Trapp books, although still real, beautiful pieces of music. If you are still learning to play the recorder, I would recomend buying this book and one of the von Trapp books together.

I should also point out that this book is designed to be used with both C and F recorders. Many pieces are printed twice, once with an arrangement for soprano recorders (or tenor) and once with an arangement for alto recorders (or sopranino or bass). This means that you can play the melody on an alto, sopranino, or bass recorder, not just on a soprano or tenor recorder. The book includes duets for two sopranos, duets for two altos, and duets for soprano and alto. It is important to note that most recorder instruction books, including the ones by the von Trapps, are for either C recorders (soprano, tenor) or F recorders (sopranino, alto, bass), but not both.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less than perfect print, August 7, 2012
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This review is from: The Recorder Guide: An Instruction Method for Soprano and Alto Recorder, Including Folk Melodies from Around the World (Plastic Comb)
This review refers to the version published in 1992. The book itself is excellent and highly regarded, but this version appears to be a less than perfect photocopy. Some of the staff lines are faded, causing errors in reading the notes. And some of the fingering markings aren't filled in fully. I can't tell whether a hole should be pressed or not.
I have the original version published in 1965 and wanted a second copy - the difference is obvious. I'm going to try to get one of the good condition used copies that still list the publication date as 1965, and the original publisher as 'Oak Publications'. Some of them are even cheaper than this version.
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars mixed feelings, November 26, 2008
By 
the olde professor "<< the truth will... (<< everybody has to be someplace. I am under the radar or over the rainbow >>) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Recorder Guide: An Instruction Method for Soprano and Alto Recorder, Including Folk Melodies from Around the World (Plastic Comb)
I used this book in a class. The authorS were kublick and nitka not just nitka.

the book is okay with a teacher. it would be hard to use to learn alone.
and not the best to continue with alone after a beginner class with a teacher.

the difficulty is erratic. one piece half way through is much harder than many following ones. totally frustrating to a student to spend weeks learning one set of awkward fingerings and more so if still learning to read music.

some of the ending pieces are much too hard for a beginning class. this would work better as beginner and intermediate class text. and possibly to start an advanced class (for new people not those already fluent in piano or other instrument - they might find it easy).

and all the notes are not learned until the material becomes too hard.
notes should all be learned first then part 2 of any method should concentrate on the musical aspects once the mechanical and note reading are perfected. and drills have built up speed necessary for perfect fingering of fast notes and oddball rhytms.

this is a common failing of all recorder methods available. they move too fast too soon.

i learned touch typing in ten hours (45wpm 100% accuracy) by using a method that is analogous to how recorders should be taught.

we learned the home keys then others on the same row.
and drilled drilled drilled until they were perfect and fluent.
then we repeated for up a row. and again for down a row.
again drilling the new letters and drilling new with old ones in various combinations.
lastly numbers and punc were done.
again with more drill on new, and new and old.

compare to first learning d c b a g and maybe f#
then say c d e f and e' and f'#
followed by bflat c# f'# g' a' and maybe b'
lastly the rest of the highest octave along with g# eflat etc
at which point anything else can be learned by the student alone

at this point the typing course proceded into special drills for speed. repeating common triads like the ere ion etc. and lastly practice on real material.
recorders should include intro drills for every 5-9 notes learned that include all scales (using those notes) all arpegios and a wide assortment of jumps to reinforce reading and fingering especially with awkward combinations.
finally complete scales and arpeggios and all jumps up to octaves from and to every other note within an octave should be practiced.

recorder methods lack the necessary drills to perfect the notes before complicating things with rhytms and keys etc.

i recommend the nine note method and the beyond 9note method by penny gardner as being a better beginner book.

i have used orr, dolmetsch, burakoff, duschenes, and the trapp family.
all have some good points. none of them are really satisfactory.

one almost needs to have them all and pick the good parts from each.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Recorder Guide, June 25, 2008
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This review is from: The Recorder Guide: An Instruction Method for Soprano and Alto Recorder, Including Folk Melodies from Around the World (Plastic Comb)
This is an excellent book! I learned the soprano/tenor recorder using Zeitlin's "Basic Recorder Lessons" (the Omnibus edition) along with a number of other good books, and was sorry to find that he did not write a similar book for the alto. I ran across this book while searching for instructional books for the alto, and I'm very glad I bought it! It teaches both soprano and alto side by side, making it a double value for your money. In addition to the usual folk tunes and dances, it also has quite a number of exercises to build up your fingering dexterity and breathing technique. Highly recommended.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recorder Guide by Arthur Nitka, January 30, 2010
By 
Crafty Lady (San Jose, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Recorder Guide: An Instruction Method for Soprano and Alto Recorder, Including Folk Melodies from Around the World (Plastic Comb)
This is by far the best self-instruction guide that I've come across for the recorder. It starts out with the basics of reading music. Then it proceeds to introduce each new fingering, with side-by-side views of the corresponding note for C (soprano) and F (alto) recorders. Simple note pattern exercises let you practice the fingering at different time intervals. As new fingerings (notes) are added, the exercises gain interest because you change notes as well as duration. While the first few exercises start out with nothing smaller than a quarter note, it's not long before you get to tackle more variety in rhythm. As you move on through the book, actual musical pieces are provided for practice, scored for both soprano and alto recorders. If you are learning with someone else, you can play duets! Recorder Guide Oak
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice Source of Simple Duets, February 28, 2014
By 
Rebecca (Madison, WI United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Recorder Guide: An Instruction Method for Soprano and Alto Recorder, Including Folk Melodies from Around the World (Plastic Comb)
I bought this book as a song supplement for teaching myself recorder. It contains a nice collection of traditional European folk music, almost all of which is arranged as duets for Soprano and Alto recorder. You can use this book to learn either soprano or alto - it teaches the fingering for both at the same time. As a person learning on my own I did not find the book that helpful, because playing only one part of the duet just does not sound very satisfying. The book is really only useful if you've got a teacher or co-learner to play the duets with.
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