"Music is well said to be the speech of angels." ~ Thomas Carlyle 1795 - 1881
The alto recorder is probably the world's simplest instrument to learn and perfect for the beginning adult who has never touched a musical instrument before. It is a larger version of those familiar plastic soprano recorders that are often handed out in 4th grade music classes. But unlike those shrill, screechy instruments often used by kids, the alto is longer and has a deeper, more mellow and pleasing sound. The spacing of the holes is farther apart and perfect for adult fingers. Recorders are fully chromatic instruments, that is, they contain all of the notes including all the sharps and flats over a range of about 2 octaves. Other simple wind instruments such as harmonicas and penny whistles are made in certain keys and only contain the notes in those keys. The alto recorder can be used to play any song as long as the notes don't go below the F on the bottom of the Treble Clef. If there are notes below low F, then the song must first be transposed up higher to play on the alto recorder. The alto recorder can be used as a solo instrument or in groups and play either the melody or the harmony parts.
1. The Alto Recorder has a hauntingly sweet, mellow tone. It is easy to make pleasing sounds, even on the first day.
2. The Alto Recorder is the perfect size for the adult hand. It is easy to carry around. It comes in 3 pieces and can be slipped into a pocket, purse, backpack, or glove compartment.
3. Recorders have a mouthpiece that makes the wind way for you, so that you don't have to learn special lip control to make a whistle sound like on a transverse flute.. You just put your lips on the mouthpiece and blow. You will make notes on the very first try.
4. Plastic recorders are inexpensive. An Halo Brand Alto recorder sells for under $ 18. So it is not a big investment if you change you mind later and don't play it.
5. Plastic recorders are practically indestructible. They can be dropped or sat on without breaking or distorting and still play perfectly afterwards.
6. Alto recorders aren't too loud or obnoxious, so you can them play anywhere: in an apartment, in your backyard, at the park, or at the beach..
7. Recorders are fully chromatic instruments. They contain all the notes including all the sharps and flats.
8. You can only make one note at time, therefore you never have to worry about chords. They are simple to play and you will begin making melodies on the very first day.
9. Recorders have no dynamics (changes in volume), so it is one less thing to worry about as you learn an instrument for the first time.
10. They are so inexpensive and portable that you can have one at home, one in the car, one at work and be ready to play at a moment's notice. Having your instrument handy and ready to play, encourages you to practice more.
Ten Reasons Why I Picked the Alto Recorder as My First Instrument.