Topic: High C# to E

Hello Bassoonists,

I was wondering with the standard bassoon keywork (high E above LH index finger) how you make the slur between high C# and E smooth, like the opening of Ravel Piano Concerto in G.  Alternate fingering?  Magical motions?

Thanks,
Russ

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Re: High C# to E

I use my normal/usual fingerings for that.

C#:
X O X | X O X
d

E:
E O X Eb | O O X Ab
d              Bb

First finger of the left hand has to "roll" up to the high E key, which isn't anything particularly difficult (clarinet players do this particular motion all the time).  Obviously the bocal/reed/embouchure/air support all need to work right for the notes to be in tune and responsive.  I tend to take a good deal of reed in the mouth but the embouchure needs to stay round or the pitch will get weird.  I also find different people have their own little differences on these two notes for pitch issues related to their particular horn and bocal.

Last edited by Trent (2010-03-20 10:20:51)

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: High C# to E

Does anyone use anything else?  I only ask because I have a student who's high e key is poorly placed, higher than usual, and a little elevated.  It's a school horn, I don't think key modification is an option.  I showed him the old German fingering for high e, which is, for many, a difficult fingering.  Any other options?  Maybe he just needs to make do?

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Re: High C# to E

'high e key is poorly placed, higher than usual, and a little elevated.'

Depending on the design of the touchpiece it ought to be possible to align it so that it's closer to the LH1 tone hole & also closer to the body to make this 'roll' easier without resorting to major surgery. A competent repairer will be able to advise on the possibilities.

Re: High C# to E

Yeah, I think his key might be bent, I have tried some other horns now where the roll works fine.  My own setup is offset, so I figured there was a different fingering people use.  I will suggest the horn be looked-at.

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