The seat strap is best for a beginner bassoonist to use. The neck strap is not good for finger and hand position because all the weight of the bassoon is on the left hand first finger. It does not support the bassoon well and the bassoon tends to fall forward.
The seat strap allows for a relaxed position because it takes the weight of the instrument off the player's neck, and anchors the bassoon at the bottom rather than the center. This prevents it from swinging back and forth from a center pivot point, and usually prevents the player from leaning or slumping toward the instrument.
On a rare occasion, you may also see some professional bassoonists with a leg hook. The leg hook advantage, is that you can position how close or how far away from your body the bassoon can be, eliminating tension in the right arm, wrist and shoulder. The disadvantage is that it is bulky and cumbersome to travel with.
Utilizing the crutch achieves good finger and hand position. To stabilize the right hand, many bassoonists use an adjustable comma-shaped apparatus called a "crutch", which mounts to the boot joint; players use a thumb screw to secure the crutch and vary the distance that it protrudes from the bassoon. Players rest the curve of the right hand where the thumb joins the palm against the crutch. The crutch also keeps the right hand from tiring and enables the player to put the finger pads flat on the finger holes and keys.
The bocal is a very important part of the bassoon.
Get a good bocal, as it will effect your intonation and tone.
A number 2 size bocal is best for students.
Have your bocal repaired or buy a new one if it is dented, bent, or does not hold vacuum.
You shouldn’t have to pull out the bocal to tune.
The bocal gives players another balance point, so it makes the bassoon feel more secure.
Types of Bassoons
European: Kolert, Adler, Sonora, Puchner, and Moennig
American: Fox, Selmer, Conn
The Fox Renard is recommended as the best student model for beginner musicians.
Fascinating Facts of the Bassoon
Instrument Name: Bassoon French - Basson German - Fagott Italian - Fagotto Russian - Fagot Spanish - Fagot(e) "Fagotto" in Italian means "bundle of sticks" In total, the bassoon is over 9 feet long (2.7 metres). Instrument Relatives: Tenoroon, Contrabassoon, Dulcian, Oboe
Developed Into The Modern Model: Late 17th Century to early18th Century It Is Used In: Symphony Orchestras, Wind Symphonies, Operas, Musicals, Television and Movie Soundtracks, Small ensembles.
Most Significant Contributor To The Modern Day Design: Carl Almenräder (1786-1843)