Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Bassoons

5. Upgrading Your Bassoon

Usually, a short-reach bassoon will not last a student forever, and as their hands grow, they will eventually need a ‘professional’ model. Student models will also need upgrading as their inadequacies in tone and key-work are exposed once a child is playing more difficult music (around Grade 5 level and beyond). The cost involved can be substantial, with fully professional models costing anywhere between six and eighteen thousand pounds. However, if a student has no aspiration to play professionally, then there is no need to buy a very expensive bassoon. Nearly all reputable manufacturers make a range of models, and often the main differences between them are involved with the key-work, for example additional rollers between close keys, thumb locks, and extra trill keys. Such additions are only rendered necessary if the player is performing professionally - simpler models are more than adequate for the keen amateur, which in many cases are lighter as a result of less metal being used, and still capable of a beautiful dark bassoon sound.

Whichever model you choose, the sound and playability will vary from instrument to instrument, whoever the manufacturer. A problem for the bassoonist though, is that the instrument is not the only factor involved in the sound produced - reeds and crooks can also be changed and this can confuse the selection process. For this reason, it is advisable to keep as many constants as you can when trying different instruments, against which you can compare the variables.

The main constant is the reed. A good starting point is to try your favourite reed on everything first where possible. If it works well on all of them - as often happens if all the potential instruments are by the same manufacturer - then you will be able to compare instruments easily as the only variant is the instrument itself. However, some instruments may respond better to a different reed from the one that works best on your old instrument. Get a small selection of reeds to cater for this, some hard and some soft - don’t dismiss an instrument simply because your favourite reed doesn’t work too well on it, as it may be that it just requires a different ‘set-up’ to the one you’re used to. Once you’re happy you have a relatively suitable reed for the instrument, try not to keep changing, as you will otherwise find that you are paying too much attention to the reeds, and not enough to the instrument itself.

Another good constant is the music that you play on each instrument. Choose a section of a piece you know well, and play it on each instrument, ensuring a direct comparison between them. Also, make sure you cover the whole range of notes, articulation and dynamics. No bassoon is perfectly in tune, but there should be no ‘wild notes’ that you really have to fight to get in tune with the rest of the instrument.

Choosing a new instrument is not a process that can be rushed, and Thomann’s 30-day money back guarantee ensures that you can always be confident that you have made the right decision. Always ask for your teacher’s help throughout the process - the fact that they know both you and the range of instruments on offer can make their advice invaluable! As with any new instrument, it is important not to play it too much at first. Start with a quarter of an hour each day, and then gradually increase the time over the first few weeks. This should avoid the bassoon ‘blowing-in’ too quickly, which can lead to the wood cracking by being exposed to too much moisture and movement - this can be a very expensive problem to repair.

The cost of a bassoon has long been a reason why it is a relatively rare instrument amongst children, but there are numerous trusts and schemes that can help to ease finances. The Internet is a good source of information, and a teacher may also be able to help.

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Terms and Conditions for participation
in online competitions

Note: Participation in an online competition runs independently from any purchase at Thomann GmbH. The following Competition Rules apply when participating in any online competition run by Musikhaus Thomann:

  1. Competition

    1. The competitions are organised by Thomann GmbH, CEO: Hans Thomann, Hans-Thomann-Straße 1, 96138 Burgebrach, Germany.
  2. Participation

    1. Competitions are only open to persons of full age.
    2. To take part in the competition you must answer all questions correctly, fill in the registration form and submit your entry to Thomann GmbH by pressing the "send" button.
      By pressing the "send" button the participant accepts the aforementioned terms and conditions.
    3. The participant is responsible for entering their email and/or postal address correctly. Entries to the competition will be logged electronically.
  3. Qualifying Entrants

    1. Staff of Thomann GmbH and any cooperation partners and their dependants are excluded from participation.
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    1. The winners will be notified by Thomann GmbH by email or in writing and their names may be published on the homepage www.thomann.de. The winner accepts this form of publication explicitly.
      Should for whatever reason the winner not claim their prize, then a new winner will be drawn.
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      The delivery is free of charge. Only extra transport costs and customs/duties must be covered by the winner. In the case that the delivery has to be made through a freight forwarding company the freight forwarding company will contact the winner to arrange delivery timings.
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      Thomann GmbH
      to the data protection officer
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Bassoons overview

Arturia DrumBrute Impact Daslight Light Rider Wifi DMX Interface Gator iMac 27" Tote Bag Origin Effects Revival Footswitch Aston Microphones Swift Cameo Studio PAR DTW Audient iD44 EQ Acoustics Spectrum 2 L5 Tile Black Universal Audio Apollo Thunderbolt 3 Card Korg D1 IK Multimedia UNO Synth Presonus Studio 1810
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Arturia DrumBrute Impact

Analog drum computer; 10 sounds: Kick, Snare 1, Snare 2, Tom Hi, Tom Low, Cowbell, Cymbal, Closed Hat, Open Hat and FM; 64 patterns with up to 64 steps each; accentuation and switchable color tone coloring per instrument and step;...

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€299
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Daslight Light Rider Wifi DMX Interface

Daslight Light Rider Wifi DMX Interface, Tablet-based DMX control, intuitive operating concept allows quick access to all functions and simplifies use, free App "Light Rider" for iOS, Android and Amazon Fire Tablet, perfect for DJs thanks to beat synchronization via...

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€277
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Gator iMac 27" Tote Bag

Nylon bag for 27" Apple iMac Good hold and protection with adjustable foam blocks and hard-panel reinforcement in the front cover, Foldable sun and dust protection, Double zipper, Cable bag inside, Outer accessory pocket for keyboard, mouse, SD cards...

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€134
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Origin Effects Revival Footswitch

Origin Effects Revival Footswitch, 2-button footswitch, add more flexibility to the Origin Effects RevivalDRIVE with footswitchable mid-boost and dry blend

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€105
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Aston Microphones Swift

Aston Microphones Swift; Universal Mic Mount without Rubber Bands; fits Mics from 40 bis 60 Diameter; two quick release spring clips; made of Aluminium, grade glass-fill nylon polymer and medical grade latex ("ShockStar" suspension); Dimensions: 145 x 60 x 170...

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€55
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Cameo Studio PAR DTW

White light LED PAR With variable colour temperature and dim-to-warm function, Professional LED PAR for use on theater and drama stages or for object lighting, Dim-to-warm function ensures a dark orange light colour in the low brightness range by...

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€325
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Audient iD44

20-in / 24-out desktop audio interface Fully metallic desktop housing, Control knobs made of solid, hand-milled aluminium, 4 Class A Audient console mic preamps, 60 dB gain, AD / DA converter of the highest class, 2 ADAT inputs and...

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€568
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EQ Acoustics Spectrum 2 L5 Tile Black

Acoustic Absorber Material of the absorber's core: 100% polyester with textile cover, Very robust, Non-allergenic and doesn't contain irritants, Odour-free, Good efficiency in the medium and high frequency ranges, Wall and ceiling mounting is possible with the flexi-system (hook...

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€163
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Universal Audio Apollo Thunderbolt 3 Card

Universal Audio Apollo Thunderbolt 3 Card; Expansion Card for Apollo Rack Interfaces; two Thunderbolt 3 Ports, 5 W bus power for all connected Thunderbolt 3 peripherals; up to 40 Gbit/s; System requirements: macOS Sierra/High Sierra or Windows 10 with Fall...

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€499
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Korg D1

Digital Piano 88 Keys weighted RH3 keyboard (Real Weighted Hammer Action 3), 5 Sensitivity curves, Stereo PCM sound generation, 120 Voice polyphony, 30 Sounds, 30 Demo songs, Key-Off simulation, Damper resonance, 3 Effects, Metronome, 2x Line out 6.3 mm...

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€575
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IK Multimedia UNO Synth

Monophonic analog synthesizer with step sequencer, arpeggiator and effects section Classic setup with 2 VCOs and noise generator, multimode filters, amps, 2 envelopes and LFO, Waveform VCOs Triangle, sawtooth and variable pulse width rectangle, Multimode filter with 12 dB...

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€229
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Presonus Studio 1810

18 x 8 USB 2.0 audio interface 24 bits / 192 kHz, 2 front combo inputs Mic / Line / Inst (XLR / jack), 2 front combo inputs Mic / Line (XLR / jack), 4 XMAX Class A mic...

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€399
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