Setting Yourself Up For Success When Learning The Bassoon

Starting on bassoon can seem overwhelming, but have no fear! With these three steps you will be on your way to some great bassoonery,

1.) Find a Teacher

This is definitely the most important of the three tips. Having a private lesson teacher, if only for a few lessons, will help kick-start your success. These teachers can answer any questions you have, correct problems you are having, and motivate you to actually practice (we all need some of that). In addition to these, your teacher will have access to music that is appropriate for your skill level and your specific needs. Having a teacher is more important on bassoon than many other woodwinds since the fingerings and techniques are much more complex than the others.

2.) Find a Reed Maker

This is extremely important! If you are playing on reeds sold at your local music store you are shooting yourself in the foot. These reeds are made by machines and are very inconsistent and a lot of the time are the cause of your biggest problems. If you have already completed step 1, then you are on the right track since most bassoon teachers make reeds for their students. If you don’t have a teacher, ask your band director about someone in the area that plays bassoon and sells reeds. If you don’t live around a reed maker there is another option. clarkreeds.com is a great resource to have high quality reeds shipped to your door. It is quite pricey averaging around $25 per reed after shipping costs, but you will immediately hear a difference. I recommend going with the style A reeds to start.

3.) Don’t Give Up!

Bassoon is definitely not the easiest instrument to learn. It will take a lot of consistent practice to really succeed and feel comfortable on the instrument, but it is such a rewarding experience! I love playing bassoon and have loved it for a long time, and I hope that you will too.

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