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Best Way To Get Into Bassoon?

jesseflute

Professional Freelance Woodwind Doubler in London
Hi all! First time poster!

I'm a masters graduate of Trinity Laban Conservatoire, specialising in woodwind doubling - flute (and picc), all sizes of sax, and Bb/Bass clarinets.
I also have some level of proficiency on oboe, if absolutely necessary...

I'm interested in taking up bassoon. I love playing low end pads for musical theatre, although a common doubling is bari/bass clari/bassoon, and so far I've just been sight transposing the bassoon lines to bari sax (which has done wonders for my sight reading and transposition skills over the years!).
But of course having the bassoon to a high standard would make me much more employable, especially considering that I'm aiming for a professional career in woodwind doubling.

What's the best way to get myself going? I have an instrument (a B&H Emperor I believe? Although I can't recall off the top of my head, and I'm not in the country to check) which is in dire need of a service, so we'll just assume that I'm getting that done.

In terms of reeds, are the Legere double reeds worth the investment? I play a Legere on tenor, as I only ever play tenor when required for a show (I consider myself more a bari or alto kinda person).

I know reading bass clef fluently is going to be the biggest hurdle!

Any tips on just getting myself going with the farting bedpost greatly appreciated!
 

pete

Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Administrator
Bassoon players also have to occasionally use tenor clef. Source: me sitting next to bassoon players for years.

Off the top of my head, @Helen might have some good advice for you, as she plays bari sax, bass sax, and occasionally bassoon.
 

Gandalfe

Admin and all around good guy.
Staff member
Administrator
I wasn't willing to put the time into playing the bassoon well. If you have the time, and once you get your kit into playing order, do consider getting a friend to talk you through the key pitfalls that new players run into when playing bassoon. Sadly, I know way too many superb musicians who play bassoon poorly. Picking it up is a real time commitment, especially if you are already doubling on all the saxes and clarinets (sop, alto, tenor, bass, etc.).

One of my instructors was working with me on my overtones and altissimo. He suggested I just play one instrument for a year working out the challenges of those. He said that with so many instruments, and a day job, I would have little chance of getting the altissimo on all the saxes. Made sense to me so I just worked on the standard note ranges for the 14 instruments I was already doubling on. Now I'm down to 9 instruments that I try to keep up with. You have to have your priorities unless you are a prodigy. That's my story anyhoo, and I'm stickin' to it.
 
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