Topic: E5 fingering without high E key

So im playing saint saens bassoon sonata and i was wondering what fingerings there are for the E5 at the end of the second movement without the high E key. thanks

Last edited by TylorT (2010-06-30 00:46:11)

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Re: E5 fingering without high E key

Here are a few to try.  http://www.idrs.org/resources/BSNFING/note/hecke5.htm

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: E5 fingering without high E key

I think the standard is similar to the fingering for G

1/2 X X | X X X
c#

Works rather well on almost every bassoon I've played.  There are many variations on this fingering to adjust intonation and tone color depending on what you want or need.

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: E5 fingering without high E key

Try

LH ThA b   1/2  2  3   RH 1  2  3

or ThA b    1/2  1/2  3       1  2  3

ThA (low D) Th b (C#)

Note although similar to C# fingering you do not want the bocal key (LTh a) to be closed.

A "cheat" way to get it started is to put your teeth directly on the reed - that way you can establish if the note is possible and then work at producing it with normal embouchure (i.e. lips over teeth). The secret is a firm reed, a firm "bite" (but not too firm) and especially a critical placement of the bite near the wire.

A Leitzinger titanium bocal (costing NZ$1000) has upped my success rate from 80% to 90% but is no magic bullet. I have seen hardened professionals apologise in advance for the possibility of a "miss" and on odd occasions a re-routing of the last few bars of St Saens' Sonata 2nd mvt down the octave.

If someone has the 100% guarantee we will flock to their method / reed / bocal / instrument / special key.   All for the holy grail which is sought but once or twice a year for some. Not even that often for most.

A real cheat is to have the cor anglais player join in for a few notes (e.g. Ravel Pno Concerto in G), as a safety strategy - it might cost a drink.  But you can't get a cor too cover the St Saens!

This sits alongside the often used practice of using a bass clarinet for the low "bassoon" solo in Tchaik 6 - something I have heard even Russian orchestras do in recordings.

I have yet to hear of a mini bassoon being used for altissimo orchestral passages.   smile

Neville

Neville Forsythe
Christchurch New Zealand
Bassoonist / Teacher / Conductor

Re: E5 fingering without high E key

Here's an off-topic observation.

NevilleForsythe wrote:

This sits alongside the often used practice of using a bass clarinet for the low "bassoon" solo in Tchaik 6 - something I have heard even Russian orchestras do in recordings.

Neville

True. For my taste, though, I actually prefer the sound of the bass clarinet in this one passage.

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