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Bassoon Topic


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#1 Sergeant_Chronos

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 19:46

Well, I've seen a lot of clarinet, Saxophone, flutes, and **** even oboe topics on this forum but I barely seen a bassoon topic without having to use the search engine. Now maybe its just me not looking hard enough, but I would like for at least one topic to be on the front page and hopefully it will be this one. This topic pertains to anything even remotely involved with the bassoon, contra bassoon, and the people who play those instruments. Any and all questions are allowed here, from "is the bassoon hard" to "is flight of the bumblebee possible on Bassoon" which, btw, it is >.>. So anyways, people lets start discussing.
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#2 magicflute

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 19:55

I know we all seem like we're flautists and clarinettists but there are some other bassoonists around!

If it's any help I love the bassoon!
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#3 mattrattley

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 09:22

hmm, the upper wind do tend to hog the woodwind board glare.gif but us bassoonists are around - we just need some questions to answer or some opinions to voice happy.gif

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#4 sarah-flute

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 10:24

I do like the sound of the bassoon! Friend of mine was a fine bassoonist (scholarship to Chet's after 2 years' playing ohmy.gif and went on to RAM)

I'm sure it's not "against the rules" SC biggrin.gif

I wish I could contribute more...... mellow.gif unsure.gif
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#5 Sergeant_Chronos

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 13:07

QUOTE(mattrattley @ May 15 2007, 04:22 AM) View Post
hmm, the upper wind do tend to hog the woodwind board glare.gif but us bassoonists are around - we just need some questions to answer or some opinions to voice happy.gif


ah, lol. I didn't know that tongue.gif

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#6 Singing Fiddle

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 13:56

Ooh, okay then..you can answer all my questions biggrin.gif

I'm starting bassoon next year (and can't wait!!). I already play violin and sing, so I can read music well and have good aural skills etc.

Anyway, I have heard that playing double reed instruments is more about air pressure as opposed to capacity...is this true? And how does this affect the difficulty? I know it's not an easy instrument. Another thing is reeds, they look easy to use, but are hard to get a sound out of...any ideas?

Any other help advice or information for a beginner would be greatly appreciated! blush.gif
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#7 snhs

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 15:57

QUOTE(Singing Fiddle @ May 15 2007, 02:56 PM) View Post

Ooh, okay then..you can answer all my questions biggrin.gif

I'm starting bassoon next year (and can't wait!!). I already play violin and sing, so I can read music well and have good aural skills etc.

Anyway, I have heard that playing double reed instruments is more about air pressure as opposed to capacity...is this true? And how does this affect the difficulty? I know it's not an easy instrument. Another thing is reeds, they look easy to use, but are hard to get a sound out of...any ideas?

Any other help advice or information for a beginner would be greatly appreciated! blush.gif


The air capacity bit is definitely true, especially for double reeds where you sometimes have to think about exhaling before inhaling etc.
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#8 mattrattley

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 16:09

yep, double reeds are more about air pressure - or rather, air support - as opposed to just blowing really hard. blowing really hard is great for playing ffffffffff - but otherwise it's not a very nice sound, and anything below mf isn't really possible.

by air support, i mean that you shouldn't be just blowing from your lungs - your whole torso should be involved to support the air column. much like singing actually - you can't just sing from your chest, you've got to get your whole diaphragm involved, keep your throat open etc. - and with reeds your embouchure is only there to direct the air, not to grip onto the reed with (ie tightening to play up high etc.).

reeds are a bit odd to begin with but they quickly (ie a week or two) they become second nature. with double reeds the attack is the key to the note - you need to get the reed started when you play a note, and the release of air pressure behind your tongue when you articulate a note does just that. keeping it going is a lot easier though.

tips? don't get stressed with it, it's totally counterproductive. reeds will drive you mad once you become more discerning but that's always a problem. there are lots of thumb keys but they all do totally different things, you can't really get them mixed up. be prepared to theive cello music every now and again.

AND ENJOY IT!

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#9 lizbun

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 16:24

I found it hard to get a sound out of my oboe reeds at first, but when I did, it was easy, just as mattrattley said.

Well, the Bassoon is a great instrument. Enjoy it!
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#10 Basil

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 17:32

The bassoon is a great instrument to play once you've worked out how to hold it so that you don't knock everything off the mantel piece every time you turn round or poke yourself in the eye with the crook when you look down to remind your self which thumb key you're aiming at.

Thumb keys ... well! No doubt coordination comes with time but I've had my bassoon for 4 months now and key flicking is still far from instinctive.

The double reed isn't much of an obstacle at all. It might feel a bit buzzy but you don't get agonising squawks like people sometimes get on saxophone and clarinet. I think the embouchure is supposed to be firm but relaxed if that makes sense - certainly not tight. It's the production and control of airflow that seems to be important and, as someone else on a forum said, we practice breathing all the time.

Fingerings are less logical than on clarinet and saxophone (I don't know anything about flute or oboe) and there are a variety of alternative fingerings for many notes, particularly higher in the range. Not all alternative fingerings will work well on every bassoon and this is probably due to the wonderful thing about bassoons .... they're unique. You can hardly forget that the 4 foot (or so) of wood that you're trying to make a lovely sound with was once alive in a forest somewhere.
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#11 Sergeant_Chronos

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 21:47

I agree with most of the post here, I haven't been playing my basson much actually. I need a seat strap but luckily, I just ordered mines today. Does anyone have any cheap at home methods for playing the bassoon correctly without messing up or having too much pressure on my left hand.

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#12 Alison

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 08:32

I have always wanted to play the bassoon...
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#13 mattrattley

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 11:18

QUOTE(Sergeant_Chronos @ May 15 2007, 10:47 PM) View Post
Does anyone have any cheap at home methods for playing the bassoon correctly without messing up or having too much pressure on my left hand.


the left hand in theory shouldn't have any weight at all, if you adjust your seat strap just so then it will just sit there. however we live in the real world and the left hand always ends up holding the instrument up! something like a bit of foam or something should make it more comfortable although after a while it won't be a problem, you just kinda get used to it.

@basil: bassoons are ~9 feet long, once you take the bend out. i didn't realise until very recently that it's all one piece of wood, just... well, bent round. but yeah, it's great, isn't it biggrin.gif


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#14 Sergeant_Chronos

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 21:26

QUOTE(mattrattley @ May 16 2007, 06:18 AM) View Post
QUOTE(Sergeant_Chronos @ May 15 2007, 10:47 PM) View Post
Does anyone have any cheap at home methods for playing the bassoon correctly without messing up or having too much pressure on my left hand.


the left hand in theory shouldn't have any weight at all, if you adjust your seat strap just so then it will just sit there. however we live in the real world and the left hand always ends up holding the instrument up! something like a bit of foam or something should make it more comfortable although after a while it won't be a problem, you just kinda get used to it.

@basil: bassoons are ~9 feet long, once you take the bend out. i didn't realise until very recently that it's all one piece of wood, just... well, bent round. but yeah, it's great, isn't it biggrin.gif



Without a seat strap I mean.

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#15 Sergeant_Chronos

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 00:11

Ok, I'm having a problem. The two keys, right by the 3rd tone hole on the long joint is messed up. Everytime I press the buttons when I let go the button slightly stays tucked under the other one causing the note to seems off, what should I do?.
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