Bassoon fingering chart

I made this chart a long time ago but never posted it to my website. Mostly these fingerings are considered standard in the USA, although we all have our own ways of doing things. Especially in the highest register there are multiple options so experiment and consult with a qualified teacher on how to best play notes above B-flat 4.

I made three reeds in under an hour in a livestream

I needed to change my profiler blade, and I needed to test a 2-camera setup for filming my reed making station for online lessons and digital summer camps coming up. The full stream was an hour and I made 3 reeds, although some time was wasted at the beginning getting the stream set up and my first piece of cane turned out to be damaged (I discovered after shaping and profiling). This is not my usual method of making reeds, but it is a very useful method for making something quickly. The only thing that’s missing from the reed is a wrapping, which you can’t do effectively when the reed is this soaked.

The video can be viewed here:

On communicable diseases and buying reeds

With the current hysteria level related to COVID-19 coronavirus, and two cases reported in my home state of Minnesota, I wanted to write up a little on my process for handling reeds in general. I hope this alleviates some concerns some customers might have about buying reeds from me. I have a compromised immune system myself, so I am hyper-aware of the concern for spreading disease.

First, I NEVER take reeds back from a customer once they have been sold. I would not play on a returned reed myself, and would not expect anyone else to. So rest assured, any reeds you get from me have only ever been handled by me, and me alone. Nobody assists me in my reed making.

I do play test the reeds before I sell them. This means they have been in my mouth. It’s the only way any professional reed maker can confirm that the reeds they sell to the customer are any good! This does mean I take some precautions though, to make sure my customers are safe from anything potentially communicable. I never work on reeds (even handling cane) for my customers when I am feeling any symptoms of illness. Every new step of the reed making process has fresh water in a cleaned container, so there is little chance of cross contamination.

After I have finished a reed it goes into a bath of water and high concentration isopropyl alcohol. The sonic cleaner runs for about 2-3 minutes. This effectively sanitizes the reeds as much as I can without ruining the cane. I wash my hands before rinsing these reeds and putting them on the drying rack to dry overnight. I also wash my hands before I pack the reeds in their tube vials.

These are steps I have always taken when preparing reeds for customers, not any kind of special treatment now due to the global outbreak of COVID-19 or this season’s very high levels of influenza cases.