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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I have a question about some fingerings (F#, G#, Bb):

Is there a general rule, in which context or keys the fingering with the right pinkie or the right thumb are used (F#/G#)? Same question for the various fingerings for Bb.

I'm learning autodidactic, which works ok, but the book, I'm learning with says nothing about this problem.

Thank you very much for your advice!
 

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Most fingering charts will offer the "preferred" or "normal" fingering first - alternates next.

For some fingering with many choices there are a couple of things to consider: What fingering presents the best pitch and tone, and what fingering works best in the context of the music (ie, which sets up the easiest move to/from adjacent notes in the score).

G'luck. Bassoon was once my favorite distraction and preferred voice - all the way through high school, several theatre pit orchestras, and for my undergraduate college years. Enjoy!
 

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For Bb, I usually use the thumb key. The RH3 key is a trill key, and not on all models. For F#, use the thumb for the low octave, and the pinky (might be a stretch) for the high octave (in the staff). Otherwise the low F# will be flat, and the high note sharp. It doesn't matter which Ab fingering you use, though the pinky is easier to use most of the time.

Most fingering charts in books show the easiest fingering for students, not the one that has the best sound/intonation.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for your helpful answers so far!

How would you finger, say an E-major scale from the lowest e two octaves up?

If you finger F# with the thumb, would you then slide with the thumb or the pinkie to get G#? How would you finger it an octave above?
After that, would you slide with the left thumb for a? Are you very exact with the change of the half hole to the wisper key?

It would be helpful for me to know, how an experienced basson player would handle these questions.

Yes, basson is a lot of fun. First, it gave me real headaches to read the fingering charts and to realise, how much fingers you have to move to get a simple melody played in an odd key. But now I'm advancing every day.
Could be my first instrument when I grow old :bluewink:
 

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I've not noticed any noticeable intonation difference in my thumb/pinky keys. I'd say though, when you're in a situation like E major, use which ever is most comfortable to you, and whichever has the most fluidity. Coming from oboe, I have a pinky that slides very easily, and depending on what mood I'm in, I'll use thumb or pinky. A lot of times for E major, I'd start off with Pinky F# and thumb G#, and I'll usually switch for the top. If I get a bassoon that has rollers on the low E to F# keys, I'll probably switch that.

One thing that my oboe teacher always taught me though, is how to get out of a sticky situation. Like landing on the wrong side of the instrument for such a fingering and having to get back. These are good to practice as well, and they strengthen the dexterity of your fingers, and make you a little less nervous when you accidentally hit Pinky F# instead of Thumb.

Glad you're enjoying bassoon! It's a fun instrument to play, although a bit challenging sometimes!
 

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A lot of folks (myself included) use the thumb for the low F# (F#2) and the LH pinky for the F# in the staff (F#3). F#3 is often a sharp and bright note on many bassoons, and the front F# is more covered in the keywork (and often slightly lower in pitch), while the (more open) thumb fingering can help the lower F# project a little better. There are instances in technical passagework where it is advantageous to use front or back regardless of the octave, but for scale practice I use the system described above.
Have fun!
 

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How would you finger, say an E-major scale from the lowest e two octaves up?
Lower octave I would slide R thumb from low e key to f# key and then pinky g#. Upper octave pinky f# to thumb g#.

All great answers here. One thing I've done to R3 b flat key is add cork so it doesn't go down so far thus limiting how high the pad rises. Comes in handy for ppp passages where the pitch for the b flat can go up.
 
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