Introduction to the Bassoon Bassoon Fundamentals Assembly Holding and Posture The bocal The reed Embouchure Phonation Whom to pick? Special bassoon skills Assembly Boot- Long joint Tenor joint Bell Bocal Seat strap OR harness (only when standing) Holding the Bassoon Comes across the body Body should not be twisted towards the bassoon Bring the bassoon to you, not the other way around. The bocal Each bassoon wants its own bocal. You can’t just order one. Critical part of the instrument-they cost several hundred dollars each. Often the one that comes with is not the best one. Most bassoonists trade them around. Longer ones are better than shorter. Carry them in the wing hole when transporting. The reed Best place to get them around here: Miller Marketing Co. ( http://www.millermarketingco.com. ) Student ones are very good. Reeds do not come ready to play—ever. They need to be adjusted. Sandpapering will often take care of that. Reed storage—get a large Altoids box. Empty, poke holes in it for ventilation. Line with Kleenex. Do NOT use the plastic tubes to store reeds. The reed & phonation, cont. Good crow sound is near E-F. Embouchure is modified overbite. Use the pucker muscles, not smile muscles. Most adjusting comes from the breath, not lips. Do not bite. The bassoon is out of tune on every note. Use the breath to help get it in tune. Whom to pick? Students with very good ears. If they are not sensitive to pitch, they should not play this instrument. Best students to transfer are those who do NOT play instruments with exceptionally rigid embouchures (like clarinet). Saxes can transfer much easily, as can some of the brass instruments ( I have found that, personally, higher brass transfers better—but this also depends upon how long the student has played). Special Bassoon techniques Half-holing Flicking What to watch out for Some of the classroom methods books do not have the best fingerings. The best thing to do is to find full and appropriate fingerings from the beginning, even though they are more complex. Most of the quickie fingerings in the method books are actually trill fingerings. Resources IDRS: International Double Reed Society: ( http:www.idrs.org ) My bassoon webpage links (http://faculty.kutztown.edu/trolling/bassoon) There are many available online—just search for what you need.
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