Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all! I have just become a user here, but I have been browsing for a while, and I had a question that I thought I would come and ask. I have been playing sax for about six years now, and I am really loving it! Over the past three years I have also learned clarinet and flute.
I have just gotten an oboe from the school to get into double reeds, but I have always wanted to play bassoon since hearing one in Fantasia as a kid. I would play one at school but my school doesn't have one or I would be playing it already.



So, after going through my life story, I have done some research and I cannot decide what to do to get into bassoon. I am by no means planning on being a professional, I am really wanting to do some serious amateur playing in a community orchestra though.When it comes down to purchasing a bassoon, I am all for saving and buying one, but I need some opinions on what I should do. First off, I really don't want to spend more than ten thousand dollars but I am willing to spend up to 12,000.

I know about some of the bassoon brands, and here in the states Fox seems to be the most readily available and most liked horn, followed by the Moosman. When looking on Ebay I can find both of these plus Schreiber and Sons, Selmer USA, and Kohlerts. So should I buy just a cheaper Schreiber or Kohlert since I would be an amateur? Or should I go for the Fox or Moosman? Any help would be much appreciated.

Also, how does a bassoons sound work? Is the majority of the sound based on the horn, or is it like sax and the player is the majority of the sound?


Thank you to any and all responses and your help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
I am a double reed teacher.

If you are willing to spend up to USD12,000, avoid Schreiber. Many of them have intonation problems that cannot be corrected. A sagging 1-finger E comes to mind.

You should consider (new) Adler as well. Their bassoons are as good as Moosman's but a little cheaper. My student just got one and is very happy.

If you want to buy uses, an old Püchner is a good choice also.

The player, the reed and the bassoon all contribute to the sound.
 

·
Distinguished Member, Forum Contributor 2008
Joined
·
3,884 Posts
Go for a Fox, or Renard. You really can't go wrong with them. I play as a professional theatre musician on a Fox Model III
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
34,745 Posts
I'll echo Merlin. I played bassoon through college - had a scholarship to UT on it about a half century ago. I also know several players that own Heckels, but also own the Fox Model III. I'd suggest the III - it'll deliver everything you need, and still save you a few thousand dollars (that you can spend on lessons and reeds).

I often "channel" bassoon when I play tenor sax in classical quartets. It's a sound that will never leave me.

Enjoy the path.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
As someone currently stuck in your situation but reversed, I play on a Fox Renard 240 with a Heckel V CD 1 bocal. The bocal will make a huge difference in how the whole instrument plays, it's vital that you get an upgrade to the stock one. Secondly, find a teacher and get them to both make you reeds and teach you how to adjust them. Reeds can go bad very quickly and playing on them without adjusting them will ruin your playing and make you want to quit.

The sound of the bassoon is produced like all other reed instruments, where the reed vibrates a standing wave into the instrument throughout its bore. The body also acts as a resonating chamber but in a lesser way. Your embouchure will depend on your reeds, your air flow, your tongue position and the part of the range you're playing in. There's numerous guides to how to voice notes on bassoon and unfortunately the places your tongue has to be at are not logical or easy like the saxophone. Overtones aren't really a thing and you will benefit best by going to a teacher and forgetting everything you knew except how to blow air. Your top lip won't have any finesse in control, your corners will need to be brought into use and it's going to be a long, long journey until you're making the "right" sound, in tune, on demand and with musicality.

Doubling down on the reed issue, if you have a good reed, it will "crow" the most overtones it physically can while blowing into it normally. If it's too hard, it will only crow the higher overtones, and vice versa for too soft. There are guides online for finding tools to adjust reeds, and introduction to the tools and what they do, and an introduction to what using them on certain places of the reeds does. That's the easy part. The hard part is identifying what needs to be adjusted, if it "needs" to be adjusted, adjusting it so that it fixes the issue without causing other issues, and fixing the next one. And they all change every single day because of the humidity. And each reed will have different issues. And they'll all seem like the one thing that's stopping you from making music, because they are, but if it was easy everyone would be playing it.

For inspiration, look to Sergio Azzolini, Klaus Thunemann, Robert Ronnes and his son Kristian Oma Ronnes, Stefan Schweigert, more if you keep looking to the major orchestras. There is also a French system bassoon that has a very different sound, unfortunately it is becoming rarer and rarer as time goes on. Much of the major French literature for bassoon was intended for this sound and certain passages and notes are much easier on it than vice versa.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
421 Posts
I'm a bassoon player who has recently taken up the sax, and I agree with the above comments.

1. Fox bassoons are good quality and easy to play. I have a Fox and I love it. Moosman also have a good reputation. My first bassoon was an Adler, so I can recommend them too - I preferred Adler to Schreiber. Yamaha bassoons are good but expensive. Nowadays it might be worth checking out Chinese bassoons, but I have never played one, so I can't say anything about them.
2. The crook makes a big difference. It is common for players to use a different crook to the one supplied with the bassoon, like saxophone mouthpieces. Buying an expensive crook is the cheapest way to upgrade a bassoon. The best crooks I have tried are Fox and Heckel (I use a Fox crook with good projection for orchestral playing and a sweeter Heckel for chamber music.)
3. Reeds are a constant issue for double reed players. In particular, I don't expect to be able to buy a reed and it will just play. You need to learn the basics of reed adjustment.
4. Bassoon fingerings are very complicated compared with the saxophone. The bassoon has a 3 1/2 octave range, and the fingerings for the top octave are very odd. (And they are not optional - you will need to learn them.)
5. Fingerings for some notes vary from instrument to instrument to get the note in tune, so you will need a teacher to help you find the right fingerings for your bassoon. When I changed bassoon, I had to learn new fingerings for two or three notes.
6. When I started saxophone, I found that I could not play sax and bassoon one after the other one because playing one ruined my embouchure for the other. That seems to have got better now.

Order of importance for sound: 1: player; 2: reed; 3: crook; 4: bassoon. But in my experience, some bassoons are easier and nicer to play than others, so you need to think about more than just the sound.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top