Topic: Intermediate bassoon repertoire? Good bassoon reeds?

I suddenly have a new bassoon student, and I have a lot of ideas for her, but I would like some input from other bassoonists. I'm mainly an oboist, although I played bassoon almost as much as oboe all the way through middle school and high school, and played with the bassoon ensemble in college. I never had a steady bassoon teacher though, so I don't know all of the usual bassoon repertoire.

This student seems to be at an intermediate level. She owns some quite advanced music, but I don't think she's ready to play it yet. She reminds me a lot of myself at that age (15)--easily bored, plays multiple instruments, very interested in the technical difficulty but tends to overlook details and musicality. I gave her the Weissenborn bassoon method to borrow, and she's going to buy a copy as soon as she can. We worked on a few exercises in the beginning of the book, and I think she was surprised at how much there was to learn, even though the notes were easy. We worked on things like articulation, staccato, dynamics, phrasing, and expression. I think she would benefit from having pieces to work on outside of the method book. What are some good intermediate bassoon pieces that could give her a good workout with some of the various aspects of musicality?

I also want to learn more about the various brands of bassoon reeds, as well as where other bassoonists get handmade reeds if you don't make them yourself. In my own experience, Emerald reeds aren't very good, and Jones is about the best of the factory-made reeds that you can commonly get. I'm currently playing on some handmade reeds from Germany, but I don't remember exactly where I got them. I make my own oboe reeds and know enough to be able to scrape on a bassoon reed to fix problems, but I don't know how to make bassoon reeds. What would be a good reed to recommend for her? She's currently playing on a Jones, but I think she really has potential, and I would like her to be playing on the best reed possible. Also, what would be a good reed for me to look into getting, as an advanced player who's a bit rusty?

Thanks in advance for any and all advice! I really wasn't expecting a bassoon student...but I'm glad to have her!

Re: Intermediate bassoon repertoire? Good bassoon reeds?

Congrats on the new bassoon student.

One suggestion for a method book: Oubradous. It's not cheap, but it's worth it.


Re: Intermediate bassoon repertoire? Good bassoon reeds?

Do browse the topics in this Forum; quite a number address the questions you ask. For instance  "Bassoon Scheme Beginner to High School Graduate" has a representative list for the first 5 years of high school level study. The topic can be located half way down page two of this "Teaching" Forum.
If you have any questions regarding any of the works do ask. The Galliard Sonatas analysis also gives an idea of the suitability of each movement of each of the 6 sonatas - I tend to start to introduce them in year 3 or 4 and try to cover all 6 sonatas by the end of year 5 (high school graduating year in NZ).

Best wishes to you and your student.


Neville Forsythe
Christchurch New Zealand
Bassoonist / Teacher / Conductor