A new instrument: playing, care, prevention

The wood of the new instrument tends to absorb moisture quickly, especially in the vocal fold. Yes, because of the excessive amount of moisture that gets there as a result of too long the use of a completely new, unplayed instrument, wood swells and can deform, and this will affect the sound quality, stability of intonation, as well as longevity of the recorder. To ensure uniform absorption of moisture by wood should be observed mode of playing the instrument: 20-30 minutes of playing per day, with 10- minute progression during 4-5 weeks:

  • ca. 5 minutes a day in the 1st week
  • ca. 10 minutes a day in the 2nd week
  • ca. 15 minutes a day in the 3rd week
  • ca. 30 minutes a day in the 4th week

Basic rules for owners of new tools:

  1. Before playing, warm up the instrument. The whole instrument, or at least the head of the instrument must be preheated, for example, holding it in your hand for a certain time, warming it up under your arm or by placing it in your pocket. In this way, you will avoid a build-up of condensation and possible problems with “hoarseness” or a slow response when playing.
  2. It is not recommended to immediately play the instrument in the top registers – it is better to start with the lower notes slowly expanding range.
  3. While playing, blow out the water! If water collects in the windway, hindering the sound, it needs to be blown out.
  4. After playing, the instrument must dry well. Use a cleaning rod with a cotton (lint-free) cleaning cloth. Do not forget to blow out the condensation that has collected inside the instrument. Hold the palm of your hand against the open end of the head joint, place your mouth over the labium and blow strongly – the moisture will escape at the top of the windway. After playing, keep your recorder out of its case to let it dry.Do not keep it assembled during this time, as this could result in warping or even the formation of cracks at the tenons.
  5. Treat the instrument regularly with special (non-fermented) oil to maintain sound quality and prevent cracks. The purpose of lubrication is to protect the internal channel of the instrument from excess of the moisture and to fill surface irregularities. Usually one or two lubrications per year are enough, but it depends on the wood, the way it was pre-treated, the duration and intensity of playing the instrument.