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Learning to Play a Musical Instrument-The Bassoon The Clown of the Orchestra

Updated on June 1, 2014

The Bassoon Playing One Is Fun

Learning to Play a Musical Instrument-the Bassoon. When I was in elementary school I joined the band, I wanted to play a bassoon. However, when you first sign up for music lesson the bassoon is not one of the choices. I played a musical instrument called an alto saxophone, it was old and belonged to my brother when he was in the band. At Christmas that year I was given a new saxophone which was a tenor. A tenor is a much larger musical instrument and required more effort to play and was heavier to carry to school everyday.

The years passed and I still felt like I needed to play a new the bassoon. Finally, in high school my band director said he had a couple of bassoons in storage and gave me one to take home to practice. It was one of the most exciting days I can remember in high school. The bassoon is a double reeded musical instrument and requires hour of practice to learned to play. I practiced several times a day and took private lesson until I was good enough to play it in the band. You can see my reed case in the photo, sometimes I buy my reeds premade and other times I make them myself which is a very tricky process that requires special skill. It requires special premade blanks, that need to be carved and sanded to a specified thickness. The two piece of reed are first wired together on a special tool and wrapped with string and painted to hold it in place.

I am a person that when I put my mind to something I stick through it. When I finally learned to play the bassoon with the correct fingering techniques and keeping my mouth in the correct position on the reed, playing was easy. Since I already knew how to read music and played in the band for so many years the transition for me only lasted about six months.

Thing you need if you have music in your heart

Vento 901-VEBB8813 800 Series Bassoon
Vento 901-VEBB8813 800 Series Bassoon

A beginners model for student learning to play this musical instrument.

 
Mendini by Cecilio MAS-L+92D+PB Gold Lacquer E Flat Alto Saxophone with Tuner, Case, Mouthpiece, 10 Reeds and More
Mendini by Cecilio MAS-L+92D+PB Gold Lacquer E Flat Alto Saxophone with Tuner, Case, Mouthpiece, 10 Reeds and More

This saxophone comes with everything you need to learn how to play like an expert.

 
Levante LV-CL5101 Bb Bohm Clarinet
Levante LV-CL5101 Bb Bohm Clarinet

May you would prefer a smaller musical instrument like the clarinet.

 
Conductor Model 200 Bb Trumpet w/ Case, Mouthpiece and 1 Year Warranty - ON SALE - SAVE OVER 50
Conductor Model 200 Bb Trumpet w/ Case, Mouthpiece and 1 Year Warranty - ON SALE - SAVE OVER 50

The trumpet is a brass instrument that is easy to maintain and rarely requires repairs.

 
Hisonic Signature Series 2210L Bb Brass Slide Trombone with Case
Hisonic Signature Series 2210L Bb Brass Slide Trombone with Case

The trombone is a favorite of many beginning musicians.

 

Learning to Play the Bassoon

Learning to Play - The Bassoon

Learning to play the bassoon was a difficult process in the beginning. The first step was learning how to put the bassoon together. Then I needed to learn the proper technique for blowing air between the two reed. The vibration of the reed on my lower lip was easy since I already played the saxophone I was used to it. It was the vibrations on my upper lip that took some time to get used to it.

I had taken on a challenge that also required me to read music in the treble clef. This was new to me since I already played the piano, but thinking about the note in treble clef was a bit confusing at times. If you can't remember what a bassoon sounds like, it has a nasal sound.

In the orchestral piece Peter and the Wolf, the bassoon portrays Peter's Grandfather. As the music rings out of the bassoon you get a visual idea of how the grandfather walked and moved. The bassoon is often called the "joker" of the orchestra, with it's nasal staccato lending to visual images. The bassoon piece above is the except of the grandfather. You can see all the sharps, staccatos and just how intricate the bassoon part can be.

Marching Band at a Football Game

Marching Band at a Football Game
Marching Band at a Football Game

Symphonic Band-That's me on the saxophone

Symphonic Band-That's me on the saxophone
Symphonic Band-That's me on the saxophone

The Bassoon Has A Nasal Sound

In this photo you can see how the bassoon looks up close. A good quality bassoon is made from very fine wood, with silver keys and rings surrounding the holes. The bocal (neck) of the bassoon is made of metal and usually most player have several. This allows them to change them for the conditions of the room where it is played. The sizes and lengths are slightly different which allows the player to tune the instrument to hot or cold rooms.

You can see the wood in the bassoon is frequently red, although some manufacturers have slightly different color variations as well as black. A bassoon can also be made of plastic, usually one that a beginner plays. The wooden ones are preferred because the wood resonates a high quality tone and timber. An experience player can tell the difference between the tones of various brands and often prefers one brand over the other.

The bassoon is pricy instrument models can range from about $1000 to $25,000 for premade model. Where custom model are more costly depending upon the desires of the musician. The first one I played was a wooden beginner model and when my band director saw how serious I was, he purchased two Puchner bassoon he said cost the band booster's club $18,000 each. At the time I was in the orchestral band we were an award winning operation. Our director saw to it that we were treated like royalty. We traveled throughout the state, the country and Mexico for competitions and shows.

The Oboe is also a double reeded

The Oboe is also a double reeded
The Oboe is also a double reeded

An English horn is also a double reeded musical instrument

An English horn is also a double reeded musical instrument
An English horn is also a double reeded musical instrument

My Bassoon notice the bocal (neck) this is were the reed attaches

My Bassoon notice the bocal (neck) this is were the reed attaches
My Bassoon notice the bocal (neck) this is were the reed attaches

A Bassoon for Serious Musicians

Fox Renard Bassoon - This is the Ultimate Bassoon for Serious Musicians

Fox Renard Model 240 Bassoon (Standard)
Fox Renard Model 240 Bassoon (Standard)

An outstanding Bassoon chosen my musicians from around the world.

 

Did You Ever Learn to Play a Musical Instrument? - Please Leave a COMMENT

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    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      5 years ago

      My son played the alto sax, I played the violin and another one of my boys played the cello. Nice lens.

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