Topic: Our famous flat "D"

I am wondering what people do about bringing the "D" just above the staff up to pitch when you need resonance. I've been trying the fingering LH 1 2 + RH 2 3 & Low F key for more volume when needed. On a Fox 601 it feels pretty good, but I'm wondering what others are doing. This fingering is included in the Cooper -Toplansky Book, so I'm hoping I'm not too far of the mark with this idea. What do you other bassoonists in cyberville think about this ???

Vincent Ellin

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Re: Our famous flat "D"

I tried it and got a gorgeous sound, but it didn't match with my other notes!

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Re: Our famous flat "D"

Tried it again the other day on some Dvorak #8 D's  and it sounded great.  Go figure!  Maybe it was just my reed that day.  Now if I'm going to be heard on that note and have time (to remember) I use that fingering.  Thanks........

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Re: Our famous flat "D"

The main problem with adding Rh 2,3,4 to the shorter L1,2 is the difference of timbre.
I find that the best way to "bring up to pitch" is the use of increased air pressure achieved by raising the tongue and lowering the soft palate as in the french vowel "eu". Normally that will raise the pitch without creating jaw "bite" pressure which tends to strangle the tone.

Neville

Neville Forsythe
Christchurch New Zealand
Bassoonist / Teacher / Conductor

Re: Our famous flat "D"

It was Turkovic that originally mentioned that fingering to me when I was studying with him in Vienna. I played the passage with the new fingering and he said oh go back to the regular "short" d. That was on an early 13000 series heckel that was very finicky. On the Fox 601 that I'm playing on now its a much better fingering.

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Re: Our famous flat "D"

I will try the "eu" thing, Neville.  However, it's amazing how the reed can affect different notes, despite all one tries to do with "aw" and "eu" and all the other contortions we bassoonists have to master!

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Re: Our famous flat "D"

There are two possible solutions I use, depending on the severity of the D in question:

1)  If the D is really wild and flat, it is most likely the reed, and I scrape right in the middle, about 3-4 mm from the tip where the spine begins.  This helps a bit, but if it's really out, there may be an issue with th eoverall reed construction.

2)  If the D is just a bit under, but still has good tone quality with its neighboring pitches, I add the RHThumb Bbkey.  This will raise the pitch along with the oral adjustments suggested by Neville.

Good luck!

Scott Pool

"The Ornaments look pretty, but they're pulling down the branches of the tree." - Cake

Re: Our famous flat "D"

I do find the long fingering has its uses: especially if I don't "trust" a reed to slur up cleanly to the short D, but like Vincent I (in my case having always used the long D) was advised to use the short fingering as it better matched the timbre of the adjacent notes. Other applications of long D include trills e.g. C#-D, C#-D#.

Neville

Neville Forsythe
Christchurch New Zealand
Bassoonist / Teacher / Conductor

Re: Our famous flat "D"

Try adding the LF pinkey Eb to the short fingering.  That's my standard fingering & it adds resonance as well as lifting the pitch very slightly.

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Re: Our famous flat "D"

About D4: in addition to the fingerings already suggested, try adding the RTh B-flat to the x x o | fingering; and/or try holding down the high D key (if you have one). Vince's LH 1 2 + RH 2 3 & Low F key fingering I've heard called the "long" fingering - similar to the long fingering for the c-sharp below that D. Regards to all, Chris

Christopher Weait,
Principal bassoon, Toronto Symphony (1968 - 1985)
IDRS Honorary Member; Emeritus professor Ohio State University
www.weaitmusic.com

Re: Our famous flat "D"

allthumbs46 wrote:

Try adding the LF pinkey Eb to the short fingering.  That's my standard fingering & it adds resonance as well as lifting the pitch very slightly.

Chris Millard taught this to me years ago and it is my standard fingering also.  He uses it on the Eb above as well and I do this in soft passages only.  It took me about ten minutes to get used to the sound of this D (and I liked it immediately in orchestra, much better than a lifted regular flat D) and about six months to get it into my standard fingerings smile

Matthew Harvell
Richmond Symphony Orchestra

Re: Our famous flat "D"

This note has been a problem for me since I started playing on my Moosmann 200AP.  I also have difficulty with the C and short C-sharp below and the E-flat above.  This was never a problem when I played on a Renard 222, however the E-flat and D tended to be sharp on that instrument.  My biggest problem is with the short C-sharp and the one an octave below that.  Other than this area, my bassoon is very consistent throughout its range, especially since I started using Gene Carter's reeds smile

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Re: Our famous flat "D"

Kevin Harris wrote:

This note has been a problem for me since I started playing on my Moosmann 200AP.  I also have difficulty with the C and short C-sharp below and the E-flat above.  This was never a problem when I played on a Renard 222, however the E-flat and D tended to be sharp on that instrument.  My biggest problem is with the short C-sharp and the one an octave below that.  Other than this area, my bassoon is very consistent throughout its range, especially since I started using Gene Carter's reeds smile

I had the same problem on my Moosmann 222A.  I was unsatisfied with the pitch mostly on Eb, E and F above the staff.  When I met Bernd at IDRS this summer I brought my horn and played it for him, demonstrating where the pitch was.  He agreed it was low on those notes, so to test he had me play C and D4, which he agreed were flat compared to the notes going up the scale.  So his solution was to ream out the E and D tone holes (where your second and third finger of the right hand cover) right there on the show room floor!  My intonation in that register was improved as a result.

(don't try this at home kids!)
http://trentjacobs.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/ream1.jpg

Of course, D is always a little flat, so when I need it I will also add the Eb key, as has been suggested above.  I don't use it as my standard fingering, but I know it's there if I need it for cushion.

Last edited by Trent (2008-09-29 21:48:40)

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: Our famous flat "D"

Christopher Brodersen wrote:

Trent--nice picture of Bernd! I might be the one playing just to the left. Lord knows I spent enough time at the Moosmann booth this year.

Ha!  Was it you that said "Here, I'll distract him while you [Bernd] do that."?

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: Our famous flat "D"

Here it doesn't speak of contrabassoon. 
am there contrabassoonist? 
do you know the Teacher Inconis?
Zanin

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