Bassoon chirp–maintenance?

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Home Forums Instruments and Tools Instrument Questions Bassoon chirp–maintenance?

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    Susan Bawden

    I have a student who has a Fox 240. Just recently, she has been dealing with an annoying chirp when playing high Bb slurred down to F above the bass clef staff. I thought there was a leak, and found a sluggish F key pad cup– freed that. Chirp still there. I added a bit of dental floss around a loose wing tenon. Chirp still there. We tried different reeds, her other bocal, and my bocals. Chirp still there. When I play it, the chirp can be lessened but not destroyed by loosening my lips quite a bit, but pitch is not good, then. We have tried more air, less air, tighter embouchure, looser lips, etc. No change.

    Any suggestions?

    Unfortunately, the closest repair tech that I trust is about 3 hours away, and this is a college student who needs the instrument now. Where should I look to help the poor beast of a bassoon? Just deal with it until the end of the school year?


    This is a normal problem on bassoon, similar to “wolf” tones on a string instrument. The worst one is slurring from high Ab to the Eb below. Don’t know of a fingering that will help the Bb/F, maybe finger the Bb with the low E key in place of the low F key. Ab/Eb can be helped by finger the Ab with the F and Bb keys instead of the G key. A lighter reed will also help.

    Good luck!!

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