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The bassoon is a unique double-reed woodwind instrument, known for its distinctive tenor and bass notes. This instrument plays a key role in concert bands, orchestras, and chamber music ensembles. It has a very characteristic tone color, can extend across a very wide range of notes, exhibiting a variety of different characters and styles.
Bassoons measure approximately 4 1/2 feet in length, and are usually made from either maple wood or plastic composite materials.
1. Bell Joint
2. Long Joint
3. Wing Joint
4. Boot Joint
Bassoons are part of a special group of woodwind instruments that uses a double reed. Double reeds are usually made carefully and delicately from cane reeds, although there are ones made of polymers.The double reed is made up of two reeds stacked on top of one another. Every bassoon reed sounds different, and often bassoonists have tools to adjust their reeds. Some bassoonists even make all of their own reeds.
Because the bassoon instrument is a larger, slightly heavier, and more complex instrument, many musicians starting the bassoon may be slightly older (10 yrs+) and have frequently played other instruments before.
One of the misconceptions of the bassoon is, "You will only find it played in classical music."
It is not the truth!
In reality, talented musicians are using the bassoon to play popular music, as well as jazz and modern improv.
If you are a fan of movie music, bassoons woodwind instruments play a major role in many of the movie soundtracks we are familiar with too! (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones, etc.)
A lot of musicians who play different instruments will say that the bass bassoon is not an easy instrument to play. Finding the right reed and having plenty patience to adjust it can sometimes be difficult for musicians looking for an instrument that they can easily pick up and play no matter what reed they are using.
Having said this, like any instrument, with a lot of patience, hard work and practice, the sound and pieces played on the bassoon sound can be some of the most memorable amongst any instrument.
The best way to get started is to first try it by renting a musical instrument. Professional bassoons can be expensive, and so renting is a good way to try it out first and see if it might be a good fit for you!
It is also always a good idea to find an experienced bassoon teacher. These days, while it may be difficult to find a good teacher close to where you live, a lot of really exceptional teachers with considerable teaching experience are providing lessons and tutoring sessions online.
The key is to find the right teacher for you!
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