Topic: Unstable C# in the staff

I have been struggling to make reeds for my "new" bassoon.  (It's an older Heckel.) The C# in the staff has been a very troublesome note.  It is very unstable; it will sag even when E is fine.  I'm familiar with fixing sagging E's, but I've never had to deal with C#'s. 

I'd like to try making reed adjustments before trying different bocals.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

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Re: Unstable C# in the staff

Hi Melinda:

If you feel comfortable, remove the key for the C# and see if there is any dirt in the hole.  I have seen that and clearing the dirt out stabilizes the C#.  Good luck and please let us know if you find anything and if it worked.  Kent

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Unstable C# in the staff

I notice with my same C#, that the trill key makes a much nicer note than the regular left hand thumb key.  Should I be worried?  It's a new bassoon........

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Re: Unstable C# in the staff

Hi Nancy:

Hmmmmm.  In what way is the regular C# not as good, pitch or tone or both?  Or something else.  What brand of bassoon is it?  Thanks, Kent

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Unstable C# in the staff

Try adding one of your F# keys to stabilize the C#.   
As Kent says, your c# could be partially plugged or the wrong size.   

Mark

Mark Ortwein
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
OrtweinWoodwinds.com

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Re: Unstable C# in the staff

Is the ring key mechanism on the butt joint  fully closing when no keys are depressed? If not notes in the B - D area are likely to be unstable.

Ian

Re: Unstable C# in the staff

The C# with the trill key is a nice, clear note, whereas the C# with the thumb key(s) is airy and sounds unrelated to the rest of the notes above and below it.  It's a Moosmann 100A.  I haven't tried the F# key with it, or the other suggestion, but will do that tonight.

I should add that the upper C# (just above the staff) is fine.

Last edited by NancyDuncan (2007-04-09 12:04:29)

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Re: Unstable C# in the staff

Hi Nancy:
That is a tough one without actually seeing or trying it out.  Do you have a teacher who can look at it.  Is it the same with all of your reeds?  What is troubling is that you say the upper octave is fine.  I assume because the upper octave is good that you must be using the low D key as Christopher suggests.  A couple of other things to consider.  Is the C# pad being raised high enough.  Also, I am not too familiar with the Moosmann bassoons but what is the LH ring finger key like.  Be sure this is closed.  I have seen some bassoons where the ring key is really narrow and the person's finger is small so the key is not staying closed.  This might account for an airy sound.  Best would be to take it to your teacher or someone with experience who could help you.  If you don't have a teacher, maybe you can get a bassoon friend to try it and narrow it down that way.  Let us know what you find.  Kent

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: Unstable C# in the staff

I have been remiss about following up on all your suggestions but definitely will look at them all tonight - I suspect I AM putting down the low D key as it is rather difficult to thumb the C# and whisper key without also involving the low D key, but will check that.  As to the ring key, will have to get someone else to look at me to see whether this is closing properly.  I don't have a teacher (but probably should have) because after having played in my youth and not played for decades, I felt like too much of an old greybeard starting all over as I have done.  I must say, these forums are an invaluable help to new and old players alike, and I applaud those people who take time to answer questions.

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