Hi, MedicineMan, it means a lot to me that you are enjoying your Coda! You are an inspiration. I direct this post not just to you but to all you guys who are taking your first steps with Coda.
It's so hard to describe the "simplicity" of Coda's fingering because there is a definite learning curve, as with any instrument that is different than what we have played before. And Coda isn't quite like any instrument you've played before.
Below, you'll notice that I use the word "BUT"
a lot in order to try to give a balanced description of the learning process.
You'll make quick progress, and many of you will play simpler songs right off the bat, BUT I'm guessing that it will be a few weeks (or months, depending on one's skills) before you REALLY begin to soar on Coda and feel comfortable improvising freely.
To me, the basic fingering is so much easier
than that of, say, a double ocarina. There is just ONE set of toneholes instead of TWO, and the lower octave C scale fingers like the upper.
BUT it takes some practice to get used to the proper fingering position to cover the bisected (Uni-phi) toneholes with the pads of your fingers. At first, sometimes you won't seal those holes completely. Your hands may fatigue easily at first. It takes getting used to.
Yes, you'll make quick progress, and when it feels completely natural to you (because it will eventually), you'll look back and possibly forget that it was ever awkward. BUT consistently sealing toneholes is the first challenge.
Blowing into the left side of the mouthpiece for the lower octave and into the right side for the upper is another challenge. You can do it right at first, BUT it takes a while before it starts to feel natural and you forget that you are doing it.
Someday, I hope you'll think it's cool that you can play with great expressiveness by varying your blowing pressure on the lower or upper chambers without fear of accidentally jumping into or falling out of the upper octave. But for now, just realize that switching chambers eventually
comes to feel very natural.
If you want to take things one step at a time, you could just stick with the lower chamber for a while. There's plenty of range to play a lot of music. Or you can jump in with both
The overlapping middle notes (B, C, C#/Db, and D) will someday be your best friends. They'll allow you to play fast and challenging passages more fluidly. BUT, at first, they just confuse you! (If Coda was intended as a learning instrument instead of as a musician's life companion, I would have left those notes out!) You'll ask, "Should I play this middle C on the lower chamber or the upper?" I'm sorry to put that early stumbling block in your path! BUT someday you'll love those overlapping notes, and you'll develop an intuitive sense of when to use the upper or the lower chamber.
The sharps and flats are a challenge at first, BUT if you are patient and learn them one at a time, or through the Coda book, you'll get them before too long. Silent fingering exercises, which I recommend so often for the early stages of playing Coda, can help you become confident with the chromatic notes more quickly.
So, I'm thrilled to hear of your early success, BUT I guess I should end this post because it is getting too long (again).
All my warmest wishes on your new adventure!