Topic: LeFebvre quintet

Working on the Suite No. 1 by LeFebvre - in the 2nd movement trio there is an arpeggio up:Gb-Bb (top of staff)- Eb;  down: Bb-Gb-Eb; then another up: Gb-Bb-Eb.  I am having trouble finding a fingering that doesn't have my thumb frantically searching.    (I cannot reach the pinky F# key so use my thumb all the time)  Thanks for any fingering ideas.

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Re: LeFebvre quintet

Hmm.... sorry, the only answer I can think of is to use the pinky F# key... I can't think of any other way around this passage. "Forked Bb" has never really worked for me at all.

I have never met anyone without a disability that couldn't reach the F# key at all. Are you using a hand crutch that is too big?

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: LeFebvre quintet

Probably

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Re: LeFebvre quintet

A repair shop can extend the RH pinky keys; has worked for others...

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Re: LeFebvre quintet

Thanks.  I probably do need to have a shorter crutch - was sort of vaguely aware that they came in different heights and sizes but never paid much attention.  I just tried one off my other bassoon this past week and the stem wouldn't even go into the hole.

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Re: LeFebvre quintet

You could just file the rod on the crutch down, make it shorter that way, if its threaded you will need to clean up the threads.

Principal bassoonist, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, A Coruña, Spain. Bassoonist, bassoon dad, bassoon husband, bassoon uncle, bassoon brother and bassoon son.

Re: LeFebvre quintet

I haven't used a crutch in 40 years.  I do have a C# trill guard that I rest my right first finger on when I play.  If you don't use the little finger F# you are asking for a lot of trouble whenever you have Bb-F# combinations in your music.

Bob Williams

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Re: LeFebvre quintet

Bob -  What do you suggest for those of us with short fingers?  I can hardly reach little finger f# and I don't use a crutch.  I've been using thumb f# my entire playing career.

Bryan Cavitt
Bassoonist; Bassoon Dad

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Re: LeFebvre quintet

I have never seen anyone with hands so small they couldn't play front F# without a crutch at all... If you lobbed my pinky off at the second knuckle I could still get there with no crutch. The rest of my fingers would be crammed though. My right pinky doesn't extend all the way due to a childhood injury and I have no issues on my bassoon reaching the front F# with a rather large crutch. I don't have particularly big hands to begin with.

I'd be very curious about your hand position.

I'm aware of many top notch players using the C# guard as a finger rest on the right hand. I'm quite against the practice though. I switched to using a crutch a few years ago and it freed up my index finger technique, now that half of the finger isn't occupied with controlling the rotation of the instrument. To each his own, I suppose.

I think a big problem is that the plastic crutches provided by Fox for their student instruments are made incorrectly, and as a result many hundreds or thousands of players shun the crutch their entire careers.

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: LeFebvre quintet

I have to say I am pretty crutch dependent ( I actually {big sin} installed one on one if my Buffets), but my wife doesn't use one and she has great technique and she plays on a horn from Sol Schoenbach, (it didn't come with a crutch, I don't that he used one either). My wife  has small hands. My kids on the other hand hate a hand crutch and don't use one, my sons hands are larger than mine. A friend of mine has a fairly new Heckel with a low metal hand rest, more like a contra one that also seems quite practical, a contra palm rest might be great for small hands, the F# problem could be solved by cutting away ( actually sanding down maybe so the keys work together), a small portion of the F key and soldering a thin L from the F# right on or next to the F key, (between the F and G keys). Just an idea.

Principal bassoonist, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, A Coruña, Spain. Bassoonist, bassoon dad, bassoon husband, bassoon uncle, bassoon brother and bassoon son.

Re: LeFebvre quintet

I've always used a crutch, and a few years ago I had Terry Ewell's adjustable mount for the crutch put on my 5xxx Heckel. It makes a huge difference being able to adjust the angle of the crutch!

David Bell
Alexandria, VA

David Bell
Alexandria, VA
amateur bassoon and contra bassoon

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Re: LeFebvre quintet

Come to think of it, I think my Dads Heckel has a F# extension thingy between the F# and Ab keys, I never understood why, factory made.

Principal bassoonist, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, A Coruña, Spain. Bassoonist, bassoon dad, bassoon husband, bassoon uncle, bassoon brother and bassoon son.

Re: LeFebvre quintet

My Heckel is tuned so that both F# are in tune for the mid-staff F# -- that makes the pinky one quite flat in the lower octave.  Hence, I almost always use the thumb F# in both octaves.  For the arpeggio you're talking about, I slide my RH ring finger to the alternate Bb key (there's a roller on my G spatula to assist -- there are pictures of it (#9980 before key replating) on the serial number web page).  With a little practice, it works quite well going up -- not quite so well on the downward path.  One of the repair guys who I consulted about plating had a good laugh at me when I described my technique on that very arpeggio.

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