Tenth Bassoon Lesson, Part 1


Tenth Bassoon Lesson, Part 1. Comments on the Ten Lessons. Playing C3/Db3. By Terry B. Ewell. BDP#201. www.2reed.net/bdp.

<Intro Music: “Home Sweet Home” from A Tune a Day, lesson 29 number 6.>

Well, this is lesson 10 and we are coming to a conclusion in this series. Let me just say a few brief points before we go onto the lesson material. These ten lessons should not be viewed as a rigid mandate. Rather, I have put in order the sequence of pedagogical ideas that I think are best timed for your progress as a student. These concepts I present in the ten lessons are foundational, absolutely vital to good bassoon performance technique. I hope that you seriously consider them and work on them daily. These are so important as principles that I often repeat them with my college students. When I play, I think about these principles as well to coach myself into being a better performer.


When I wrote the article “Teaching the Beginning Bassoonist” in 2000, I incorrectly identified the Weissenborn Bassoon-School as Opus 8 number 1. Apparently there is no opus number for this work. The Opus 8 number 1 is a different collection of studies. The edition of the Bassoon-School that I use is published by Rob. Forberg, distributed by G. F. Peters Corporation.

As you progress in your studies you may need to know additional fingerings. Please see aware that I supply for free standard fingering on the bassoon on 2reed.net. You may download and print it out this pdf.


Now let’s move to the lesson 10 materials. In a prior video I introduced the difficult fingering Eb3. In this lesson I will have another difficult fingering--C#3or Db3.


I recommend to you again the website by Professor Kristen Wolf Jensen. She has videos on playing C#3 that are excellent and can be companions to what I give in this video.


In the English language when we say that someone is “all thumbs” that is usually a comment on how clumsy they are with their hands. However, on the bassoon the thumb must be thee most agile member of your fingers. Particularly the left thumb has incredible things that it needs to do. You have already learned about the flicking that the left thumb needs to do. Now you will learn about what the left thumb has to do with the C# key.

To produce C#3 the left hand thumb must depress three keys. Often the music moves step wise to C#3 so you must also learn to roll the thumb to open the correct keys. For example, let’s take a look at the Weissenborn Bassoon-School on p. 14.

Weissenborn, P. 14

Notice how I keep the whisper key depressed. I don’t lift it in the first measure. Instead I roll my thumb back and forth. Similarly in measure 3 I don’t lift the thumb. Here it is again.

This will take a good deal of practice to master this technique. But it is absolutely essential if you are going to play smoothly to and from C#3.

<Closing Music: “Home Sweet Home” from A Tune a Day, lesson 29 number 6.>




Copyright (c) 2016 By Terry B. Ewell. All rights reserved.