Star Spangled Banner #36 from the Blue Moon Bassoon Songbook
- By half holing, we release a small amount of air which raises the register of the note
- Roll your finger open to maintain contact with the tone hole
- The size of the half hole can affect the tone quality and pitch
- Some notes require more or less half hole, for me:
- A-flat requires a very tiny half hole (mostly covered)
- F-sharp requires a very large half hole (mostly open)
- G requires a moderate half hole
- Flicking helps improve response, articulation and register changes
- Venting is a technique where you hold the key down instead of tapping it. It may work better on some bassoons but may also affect pitch.
- The bassoon has many common pitch problems which are affected by your bassoon, your reed, your bocal and your air/embouchure/vowel.
- Low F Down= Sharp
- Half Hole Notes = Sharp
- High D-F = Flat
- High F# Up=Sharp
- Intonation is a collaborative listening skill
- Tuners are great but they only help you diagnose problems, not solve them
- Pitch problems may be improved by several factors
- Hear and predict what the note will sound like
- To lower the pitch drop your jaw, soften your lips, take less reed in your mouth
- To raise the pitch pull corners in, speed up your air, take more reed in your mouth, or use a more narrow vowel (like "OO" or "EE")
- Consider switching or adjusting your reed
- Try using a different bocal length
Introduction to Vibrato
- Vibrato is created by pulsing the air not using the jaw or lips
- Practice pulsing quarter notes on and off the bassoon
- Vibrato exercises help us strengthen our pulses and practice keeping the note in tune
- Why are flicking and half holing used on the bassoon?
- What is the difference between flicking and venting?
- Which notes are generally sharp or flat on the bassoon?
- How can I improve tuning on the bassoon?
- How is vibrato created?