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First post alert! :mrgreen:

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!
 

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Get yourself a method book, turn to the fingerings page and just start with Exercise One.

No secret to it. After you master the first exercise, proceed to Exercise Two. Repeat until you're comfortable. But, like anything new, you have to do it everyday or nearly every day.

Bass clef will become natural over time. Likewise, some of the fingerings will seem bizarre at first but once you wrap your mind around them, they will fall into place.

And lest it be said, getting a teacher will be the best thing you can do. You don't want to develop bad habits early on.
 

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I'm not a bassoon player, but I sit next to one in concert band. The whole process/ritual of making cane reeds work (not to mention making the reeds themselves) appears to be a crazy-making endeavor. The Legere reed might be worth the investment so that you can focus on learning to play the bassoon. Once you achieve some playing proficiency, you can add the reed making and maintenance--it's a separate skill set.
 

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I gave it a go some time ago and then my hands surgery was the last straw.

As for the reeds.

Chedelville (and Runyon) made (or make?) bassoon and even oboe single reed mouthpieces

 

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I'm a selftaught "bassoon player", means I can play not too heavy parts in the highschool orchestra (I'm a teacher there), basso continuo parts etc..
I did it like jaysne adviced allone with a method book. It worked for me to a certain degree and should work for you since you have lots of experience on woodwinds. Alone reading the fingering charts gave me headaches first. The fingerings are really odd in some regians of the bassoon.
I have a legere reed (it was a present from theit boot at the Frankfurt music fair, very nice gesture!!!!!!) and I played it for at least 5 years. Now it's (of course!) worn and I have good working cane reeds here , but it made things definitly easier at the beginning and sounds good.
I will take some lessons in a few weeks, because I have a (for me) major woodwind concert this year and like to be prepared.
Let's see, if I how I think about this selfteaching approach after that.
Good luck and have fun!
 

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I know reading bass clef fluently is going to be the biggest hurdle!
Wait until you get the parts that go into tenor clef! I end up writing down what the notes actually are instead of trying to learn.

I play a lot of bari-sax and sometimes there have been times when transposing from bass clef where something misfires in my brain and I play the bassoon fingerings. Having said that, because the bassoon is in bass clef, I think it does help create a mindset in terms of fingerings. I am not sure how I feel about starting on the Legere reeds.
 

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I taught myself the bassoon from scratch to a reasonable level (ie have been paid money for playing it a few times now!) The tutor book I used was the new Weissenborn Method, updated by Douglas Spaniol

https://www.halleonard.com/product/viewproduct.action?itemid=842426

which has a lot more "how to" information than the original edition of the Weissenborn, and doesn't waste any space teaching stuff like note durations that you'll already know if you're coming from another instrument. I would certainly recommend getting at least a few lessons from a good bassoonist - it is quite different from the other woodwinds in some respects.
 

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You'll want good kindling, nice and dry if possible, about a bushel or two should be plenty. Some tinder like newspaper or pine needles under the kindling will make things easier. If you have some lighter fluid (naphtha) or charcoal lighter you should be all set. Do not use gasoline! Think about it: One gallon will propel 4,000 pounds of steel down a highway 20 or 30 miles!
Oh yeah, the metal parts will need to be melted down in a pretty hot furnace/forge or similar arrangement.
Hope this is helpful.
 

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You'll want good kindling, nice and dry if possible, about a bushel or two should be plenty. Some tinder like newspaper or pine needles under the kindling will make things easier. If you have some lighter fluid (naphtha) or charcoal lighter you should be all set. Do not use gasoline! Think about it: One gallon will propel 4,000 pounds of steel down a highway 20 or 30 miles!
Oh yeah, the metal parts will need to be melted down in a pretty hot furnace/forge or similar arrangement.
Hope this is helpful.
Got me laughing out loud at work. Nice job. The contrabassoon in the above video reminds me of Close Encounters of the Third Kind at times.
 

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I will take some lessons in a few weeks, because I have a (for me) major woodwind concert this year and like to be prepared.
Let's see, if I how I think about this selfteaching approach after that.
I had two lessons already. My teacher didn't find it too bad how I played. But she forced me to do scales in staccato which I seldom did on bassoon before. Some strange unstable notes in the low register appeared. After my lesson I looked carefully for possible leaks - and found, that on the upper flicking key the pad was missing completely - likely since I have the instrument.
I fixed it for myself with a little bit of cork, and voilá - staccato and the whole low register work much better. I would never have dicovered it without a teacher....
 

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I would highly suggest finding a bassoonist for some lessons. Every instrument has certain idiosyncrasies and a teacher can provide tips and tricks, alternate fingerings, etc so you don't go about reinventing the wheel. A decent teacher can save you a lot of time in trying to figure it all out as they have likely already done so. A teacher would also have great knowledge of equipment.

As far as reeds, while that is an art in itself and can take years to really master, there are pros that I play with who pay others to make reeds for them. One player I know switched to Leger a couple of years back and says that he is thrilled with them and will never go back to the world of cane.
 
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