Topic: Alternative Lefreque Band

I'm using the Lefreque attached to the bocal and wing joint. I cut the original silicone bands in half as suggested in Barrick Stees's blog, but ran out of them eventually. They just get old and break after a few months. I got some of the new bands for bassoon. They seem to be made out of something like aluminum foil. I don't like them at all. They break really easily and can scratch the silver plating if you're not careful.

Has anyone found an alternative to these bands? I was thinking about silicone o-rings, but they're probably too stiff. I also looked into just a plain rubber-band, but they seem too flexible to do an adequate job.

Thanks for your input.

"It's not my job to give you the pulse! It's your job to figure it out!"
-An Allegedly Professional Conductor

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Re: Alternative Lefreque Band

I use the Lefreque on a regular basis in my orchestra work.  I'm not a fan of products that require the purchaser to regularly replenish parts in order to keep using the product--that's a big complaint of mine about the accessory.  Not only is there a cost involved in having to replenish the bands but you're also putting your trust in the company that they will continue sell the bands years (decades) into the future.

What I have done is substitute rubber bands for the silicone bands.  Specifically, I use #10 rubber bands for the top of the wing joint (the Lefreque that connects from the bocal to the top of the wing joint) and #16 rubber bands for the long joint.  I have to remove the whisper key rod and the low-B rod to fit the bands around the wood but that's really not much of a hassle.  I always put 4 rubber bands in each location--they will eventually wear out and break so having 4 at a time will allow a longer time between having to install them again. 

The rubber bands are very inexpensive to purchase --I have a 1/4- pound box of each, a supply that will seemingly last me forever.  You can purchase them online at a variety of places...check ebay or amazon.

Richard Ramey
bassoonhipster@gmail.com
bassoonbonanza.com
javalinapress.com