Topic: Looking for pp high D fingering that won't go sharp or multiphonic

My normal fingering:

d    Eb
O O X  |  O O X Ab

Pretty typical. No matter the bocal, unless the reed is only set up to play as such, when I try to play high D (Rite range) at a pp dynamic it will be one of the following ways:
multiphonic (ghost G4)
no longer pp

It's great and in tune if I'm at mp or higher, but problems at really quiet dynamics.

1/4 hold 2nd finger doesn't really solve the problem. I've also tried adding the high C key with the rest of the fingering, and that prevents the multiphonic but won't respond particularly well.

Any other ideas?

Edit, I should note, I can get by in the Rite excerpt just fine by using the 1/4th hole 2nd finger (usually more like a 1/16th hole!) but for real special effect use it doesn't work.

Last edited by Trent (2012-03-26 19:57:59)

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon professor at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire
Maker of the Little-Jake electric bassoon pickup and Weasel bassoon reeds

Re: Looking for pp high D fingering that won't go sharp or multiphonic

Try this either with LH2 1/2 hole or not.

d    Eb
O O X  |  O O X F

Associate Professor of Bassoon, University of North Carolina School of the Arts
Principal Bassoon, Winston-Salem Symphony
Bassoon, Zéphyros Winds
Associate Editor,

Re: Looking for pp high D fingering that won't go sharp or multiphonic


Pascal Gallois recommends half-holing (or some fraction thereof) the first and second fingers on your left hand in addition to your fingering in his book The Techniques of Bassoon Playing. (This is a great book for advance techniques.)

Toplansky and Cooper's Essentials of Bassoon Technique has lots of alternate fingerings; too many to list here.

My personal utilitarian high D is similar to yours: I leave off the B-flat and G keys on the right hand, and quarter-hole the second finger on the left hand.

Lastly, you might try leaving more material in the heart and spine of a reed, or slightly increasing the length of the shoulder. You might end up sacrificing some responsiveness in the low register, but it should help with your high notes.

"It's not my job to give you the pulse! It's your job to figure it out!"
-An Allegedly Professional Conductor