Anonymous asked:

my sister needs a bassoonist in a woodwind quintet she's doing for a solo and ensemble contest, but we're the only double reed players in our band and we both play oboe. i volunteered to try picking up bassoon, but i'm kind of nervous. do you have any tips for switching from oboe to bassoon like that?

Blue Moon Bassoon Answer:

That’s awesome that you’re willing to switch over and help out! There are definite similarities between the double reeds that should make the switch easier for you.

A few noticeable differences between the two: bassoon requires a more relaxed embouchure and greater volume of air, we play in bass clef and obviously all the fingerings are different.

Below are a few things to help you get started!

Fingering Chart: All the fingerings I recommend for bassoon.

Music and the Bassoon: an awesome website with free videos and exercises specifically geared toward people who are learning how to play bassoon on their own. Since you can already read music, this will help you learn bass clef (if you need to) quickly and also get comfortable with the new fingerings. It has great information on flicking (a technique unique to bassoon) and vibrato etc. plus tips on how to play any particular note that might be challenging.

And if you get really into it, check out Making Reeds from Start to Finish by George Sakakeeny which will tell you all about the history of the bassoon and especially how to make a beautiful sound and how to form your embouchure. (Bonus: it will also teach you how to make and adjust bassoon reeds)

Let me know if you think of any other questions as you make the switch and I hope you guys have a great time performing together!

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