Beginner Problems?

Beginner Problems?

Beginner Problems?    02:50 on Friday, January 13, 2012          

(1 point)
Posted by silverWINGS

Hey there,

I recently (as in, maybe two months ago? Less?) changed to bassoon from oboe. I'm need a few in depth questions answered, if possible. :D

1. How often do I need new reeds? With my oboe, I went through a reed within a month-two months at best, and I was told with bassoons, you need maybe 4. I've gone through two already, not sure if that's because of how I was using my mouth, so yeah. Also, any tips on keeping mould off the reed? It's kinda grossing me out. ._.

2. I'm a little worried with my decision about switching instruments. I hated the solos of oboe, and I hated the competition, so I thought bassoon was the better choice as there's less solos. However, I'm the only bassoonist in the school, so it's troubling me. ._.
3. I'm having a little trouble with the upper octaves... I've got the lower octaves (ironic, coming from an oboist. xD) but when I use the four upper keys, it takes a couple of tries to get it... Help please? :D I'm on school holidays, so my teacher can't answer these questions...

Just one more, the last player of this instrument lost the little key thing that goes in to hold the long joint and wing joint. What can I use in replacement?

Thank you very much. <3

Re: Beginner Problems?    05:55 on Friday, January 13, 2012          

(758 points)
Posted by contra448

Welcome to the world of the bassoon.

1. How long is a piecs of string? Ignoring them getting damaged, some last only a few days & others go on for months. Having a number of reeds & using them in rotation will help increase the life, also this avoids the panic of suddenly discovering you haven't got a working one. Mould - the primary thing is oral hygeine. Always brush your teeth, or at least rinse your mouth out with water, before playing. Definitely no sugary drinks! Rinse the reed through after playing. Use a reed case with holes in to provide ventilation.

2. That's life. While it is good to have another bassoonist with you much of the time I expect other instruments will be playing the same as you so so you won't feel too exposed. In time hopefully you will enjoy having the occasional solo to show off the wonderful sound of the best instrument.

3. There are various possibilities here - The reed might be a bit soft, which is great for the low notes but not so good for the upper registers. You need to use more breath support as you go up higher. Do this in preference to using more lip pressure as this can cause you to produce a thin, restricted sound. Another possibility is that the holes in the A & C 'octave' keys are blocked.

As quick replacement lock pin a bent nail or other piece of metal rod, preferably a reasonably close fit in the holes, works well. The real ones are available from specialist bassoon shops & repairers but are crazy prices these days. It is easy enough for a competent repairer to fit a post on the bassoon to prevent the pin falling out - doing this is cheaper than buying a manufacturer's replacement pin!

Good luck & enjoy the bassoon.

Re: Beginner Problems?    10:02 on Saturday, January 28, 2012          

(371 points)
Posted by Drew

You can also use an Allen wrench of the right size to pin your two instruments together. They are just the right shape. Google these to see what I mean.


I meant "to pin the two joints together."

Re: Beginner Problems?    21:57 on Tuesday, May 29, 2012          

(2 points)
Posted by bassoonplatoon

It's common for a new bassoonist to have trouble with higher octaves since a lot of breath support is needed. Your lungs will get used to it as you continue to practice. You should invest in a private teacher, once I did my playing ability skyrocketed! They can also answer any questions you may have. Welcome to the bassoon family! :D

Re: Beginner Problems?    13:12 on Wednesday, May 30, 2012          

(1 point)
Posted by Claddaghgirl

i also switched from oboe to bassoon about 6 months ago n im just now needing a new reed... also im the only bassoonist at my school too and i LOVE it! the only person who can tell u what to do is the director i hate when other students act superior *gag* and im the opposite on the octave things all i can tell u is to pretend ur a singer (singers make the best instrumentalists) n go into ur "head voice" (im gonna assume ur a boy bc of this problem n btw im a girl)


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