High F usually requires an extra key, but I've been able to play it with just an E key.
o o o | o o x Ab
Comes out as a high F on some horns. Very hard to get the note out without first playing the E though (pinky moves from the "d" flick key to the "a" key)
For F# I use:
x x o | x o o
Again, very hard to just come in on this note. Really firm air support and just the right wind speed required.
x o o | o o o
Obviosly related to the F# fingering listed above.
Now, for Ab, the only fingering I've had work is a total parlor trick, and not something you could ever do in practice (as if any of these are practical in any way). Play the G as stated above, then bring your right hand above your left hand and press the "c" and "d" flick keys down. On my horn it raises the G up about a half a step, although it's a bit low.
I don't know a fingering for high A, although I know that there is a chart on IDRS online that has it.
The highest note I've ever seen in a bassoon piece is the C above that (C two ledger lines above the treble clef staff). There wasn't anything leading up to it, so it was more for show than anything. The score had a suggested fingering that said something like "use your teeth on the reed and tilt your head to the left" or something else equally absurd.
The guy in the video (he's active on this forum but he rarely gives out his secrets) plays a German system bassoon. He states that he modified it in some way to make high notes easier. I don't know if that means he put keys in different places or if he added extra holes in the bore to accommodate those notes.
(the following is my negative opinion of ridiculously high notes, don't get mad, it's just how I feel)
I'm all for expanding the capabilities of the instrument, but the old fogie in me (at the ripe age of 26) says that the bassoon is not a soprano instrument. It's at best a tenor instrument, and versatile as a bass instrument. The only thing that will come out of these sorts of experiments is that composers will write music that uses these notes! Why when we have the oboe? I dunno, silly "virtuosity"...
Last edited by Trent (2007-09-05 19:40:51)
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