Topic: Swab for use during performance, rehearsal
Bassoonists: What do you use when you need to get water out of the wing joint quickly during a rehearsal or performance?
You know how it is. You start to hear bubbling during the first movement, and you know that it's going to make that exposed passage in the second movement sound like a documentary on scuba diving. But there's no time to take the instrument apart and use a proper drop swab. You look with envy at your clarinetist friend, who can just pull off her mouthpiece and swab out during a few bars' rest. But no... you play the bassoon.
I've been using a feather, similar to what oboists use, sticking it partway down the wing joint and rotating it before pulling it up. This often helps, but not always, and I'm afraid it will leave a bit of feather in the bore at the worst possible time. I'm wondering if there's something better available. I've always been advised to never use those fuzzy swabs that come with our instruments.
My mid-1970s Puchner has tone holes that are rubber-lined, but they don't extend into the bore. I'm not inclined to change that, given the expense and the risk of changing the instrument's characteristics.
--Peter, submerged in Seattle