Low notes... :(
 

Low notes... :(

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Low notes... :(    11:47 on Sunday, May 15, 2011 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

theoboist
(19 points)

OK so I have been playing bassoon for a few months, not very seriously, just enough to be able to play a piece for MPA. I play oboe primarily.

I started learning my second piece for my spring concert and it has lots of very very low notes. I can't get anything lower than... (treble to bass clef conversion failing) the note below the note on the bottom line of the staff. And I need to go way lower.

My band director said that it is probably an embouchure issue, but can't tell me the type of embouchure I should be using. So, what do I have to do to get low notes out?

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Re: Low notes... :(    12:26 on Sunday, May 15, 2011 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

contra448
(692 points)

That wasn't very helpful of the BD!
Low notes can be tricky - especially for someone coming from the oboe with it's smaller reed. You need a looser embouchure than oboe & plenty of air support although the quantity of air required is greater but with less pressure than oboe. Also the reed might need opening up a bit - try squeezing it gently from the sides.
The other thing is that there could be a problem with the instrument - it's worth getting a good player to give it a try or take it to a repairer who knows about bassoons to check out.

Good luck

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Re: Low notes... :(    15:46 on Sunday, May 15, 2011 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Drew
(366 points)

Yes, I agree with contra - either you need to try and loosen up on those notes, or get another bassoonist to try them to see if it is not leaky pads or something similar. Or both

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Re: Low notes... :(    15:10 on Monday, May 16, 2011 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

theoboist
(19 points)

I was looking over the bassoon today and found out that one of the springs is shot for the right hand pinkie key you use on low notes (sorry, I know I'm not being descriptive). However, I don't think that affects me being able to play them, because the key w/the bad spring(and all the keys it lifts/lowers) just don't come back up after you press it. The pads all are fine, from what I can tell.

No local bassoonist. Or oboist, for that matter. I'm going to work on loosening up, though. Thanks for the help!

BTW, do you guys soak your reeds? I used to soak my oboe reeds but I've realized that I like a harder reed so I don't anymore.

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Re: Low notes... :(    11:37 on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Drew
(366 points)

A dry reed won't vibrate, and this is what makes the sound. I use a fairly stiff reed but ALWAYS soak plenty. I don't know how you could possibly get low notes on a dry reed.

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Re: Low notes... :(    17:58 on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

theoboist
(19 points)

I will try soaking then! I used to soak my oboe reeds before I played every time, but like I said, I don't anymore, and since I can play the full range on oboe, I just applied that practice to bassoon. I suppose that's why teaching yourself how to play an instrument is sometimes an issue

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Re: Low notes... :(    19:16 on Saturday, May 21, 2011 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
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Re: Low notes... :(    11:44 on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

superior15jags
(45 points)

ok the embosoure u should be using is ur lips should be curled in ...and what type and strength reed are you using ....it could also be an issue with the bassoon like in the boot or the long joint


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Re: Low notes... :(    20:58 on Wednesday, July 06, 2011 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

calvindef
(5 points)

For a while, low notes (notes below the bottom bass clef line) were the bane of my existence. I just couldn't get them to come out without having to play loudly (that's the only range in my experience that can get pretty loud). One thing I found out that helps to get those notes out is to kinda 'sing' into the reed. Do a low almost-hum, but still blow into the instrument. It's easier to do than explain, so excuse me for the lousy explanation. Another thing is that you have to loosen your lips and embouchure a lot. I've been able to play Bb1 (the lowest note possible on bassoon without an extension)with my lips not even touching the reed. So loosen the lips, sing into the instrument, and make sure your reed is wet. Stiffness is only good in the high, HIGH range of the instrument.

   

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