• Would you like to improve your sight reading and playing skills?
  • Would you like to improve your pupils’ sight reading and playing skills?
  • Would you like your child to be a good sight reader and skilled player?
With this series of books, called Recorder Practice Books, good sight reading and skilled playing are not only possible, they’re almost guaranteed!

The main drawback to becoming a good sight reader and competent player is the lack of suitable material to read and play. That is until now. These books contain so many pieces, at each level, that the student will be ready for the next stage before the stage they’re on is completed.

There are 27 books in the series

  • Pre-Grade 1 Descant to Grade 8 / Diploma Descant
  • Grade 1 Treble to Grade 8 / Diploma Treble
  • Grade 1 Bass to Grade 8 / Diploma Bass
All grades contain music for Descant, Treble or Bass (with the exception of Pre-Grade 1, which contains Descant music only). The music for Treble at each grade is different from the music for Descant. The Bass books contain a selection of pieces taken from the Descant and Treble books of the same Grade, transcribed into Bass Clef. The largest books are Grade 4 Descant with 372 pieces of music, Grade 5 Treble with 302 pieces of music and Grade 8 / Diploma Treble with 162 pages of challenging music. The whole series of books contains over 2,000 pieces of music and over 1,400 pages.

It would be difficult not to progress with so much material in one series of books.

The music is not only graded from one grade to the next but also within each grade. There is a slight overlap between grades meaning that the pieces at the end of one grade will be the same standard as the pieces at the beginning of the next grade, thereby giving the student confidence in the new grade. The Introduction to each book contains “rules” for tackling a piece of sight reading. If these rules are followed progress is assured.

The first three books are in landscape format and contain music for Descant, Treble or Bass. All other books are in portrait format and are separated into Descant books, Treble books or Bass books. Grade 3 Descant and Treble books are in two versions, either Descant and Treble in the same book or Descant and Treble in separate books.

The covers are 200gm card, laminated for strength, and all books are wire bound to enable them to stay open on the music stand.

The upper grades in the Descant and Treble books contain a number of Sonatas, Sonata movements and works with a keyboard part. Accompaniments for most of these pieces can be found in publications listed at the foot of the page containing such a work.

All the music in the series has been chosen for its tunefulness and suitability. It comes from a wide range of sources throughout the world from Chile to China, Norway to New Zealand and many countries between. All styles and periods have been used from simple folk songs to operatic arias, 4-bar melodies to full concertos, music from 1,000BCE to the present day, including ragtime. Many of the pieces have come from the British Library and are here published for the first time. Other national libraries have also been consulted for their collections of original manuscripts. There is something for every taste and every preference.

Each book in the series is in three sections. The first section contains the sight reading pieces with instructions in the Introduction on how to tackle a piece of sight reading, the second section consists of a number of studies or study-like pieces to improve technique with comments on how to get the most from a study, and the third section contains pieces which can be treated as more advanced sight reading, especially if the pieces at the beginning of the book were found to be quite easy, or they can be used as pieces to practice for pleasure.

The Introduction to each book also contains a section on breathing. The whole series of books contains such a wealth of material, all of which is good to play, that the player cannot fail to improve his or her sight reading, technique and general playing.

Bass Recorder Playing

There is not enough solo music available in Bass Clef. It’s all very well playing the Bass in a Group or in a Concert if you are already a Bass player, but for the tyro, Bass parts are generally boring and, without a tune to play, there is little incentive to practice.

This series of books provides more than enough material, at each level, for the player to become sufficiently skilled in reading from the Bass Clef, that ‘ordinary’ Bass parts will not need practicing.

Choose a Grade a little lower than your normal standard and see how you get on playing solos in the Bass Clef.

Sticking with the Bass Recorder and playing a lot of music in the Bass Clef is advisable until confidence and a degree of proficiency are reached. Changing back to the Treble Clef too soon is likely to create confusion.

The Bass requires more breath than smaller instruments so places will need to be found in the music for additional breaths. Try not to break phrases or upset the rhythm.

There is a tendency to believe that Bass instruments are only capable of playing slow music. Not so! The limitation is literally in the hands (and fingers) of the player. The Bass speaks as readily and rapidly as a Descant or Treble recorder. The range of the Bass is comparable to the Treble. The higher Grades in this series contain music which gives ample practice in the very highest notes on the instrument.