Playing with One Hand/Adaptive Recorders


Resources for playing the Recorder Single-Handedly

Dolmetsch Gold adaptive alto recorder in rosewood 

Link with more information -

Fingering chart (click to view PDF) 

A tool that could be a great help to one-handed players is an electronic reader with a foot pedal to facilitate page-turns. (See May, 2017 ARS Nova e-mag articleYour Personal Electronic Music Library”)


Sarah Jeffery’s video blog on adaptive recorders can be viewed here:

An older Team Recorder video on adaptive instruments can be found here


For more information about enabling one-handed musicians to play, go to the UK-based OHMI website:  

Aulos adaptive recorders, and can be purchased at West Music here

Yamaha one-handed recorders

Mollenhauer adaptive keys:



phone: +31-30-2316393; e-mail:

**Aafab also carries adaptive soprano, alto, and tenor recorders for one-handed players by Mollenhauer, in both Canta and Denner models. A bass model has recently become available. Contact Aafab or Mollenhauer for information.



phone: +49-661-94670; email:


Peter Worrell makes instruments out of blackwood, but also does custom keywork on all wooden (and plastic) recorders.

Meet Peter in this video:


For an article of appreciation about A. Dolmetsch’s contribution to the Recorder Renaissance, see this 2016 Guardian News blog post by Tom Service:


Available Adaptive Recorders

To modify existing recorders, Mr. Worrell first plugs the top three holes and re-drills them on the back of the middle joint at the same distance they were positioned from the top of the joint so the tuning will be correct. The thumb hole remains in place, as do the double holes on the foot joint. However, for a left-handed player, the size of little holes for holes 6 and 7 need to be reversed, with the larger one on the same side as the hand. This change is what makes an instrument “right handed” or “left handed”. For altos or larger he has crafted a big, beautiful thumb rest which hooks around the thumb to help the player balance the recorder without having to grip tightly. There is also a neck strap loop for added support.

Mollenhauer uses Mr. Worrell’s key and thumb rest design, but makes the middle joint without the three top holes on the front and drills them on the back so the keys can be fitted as for the modified instruments. Here is their model 1042 ER right-handed soprano:


Yamaha’s one-handed recorders have been engineered differently and are not modified. They have all of the holes keyed, including the 6th and  7th. All the keys are on the front including one for what would be the thumb hole, and the keys are accessed from the center of the instrument. Here is their model YRA-900R: