I’m told my reeds are quite narrow, but they seem to fit in pretty well with Lou Skinner’s reed design. If you haven’t already checked out The Bassoon Reed Manual: Lou Skinner’s Theories and Techniques by James McKay, do so. It’s been invaluable, especially for contra. It turns out I’ve been using his Five Tests for years now and never knew it because they’d been shown to me by another bassoonist. My instrument before this was a Schreiber and I remember thinking that my Moosmann 200 felt very similar in key structure and sound. I think Fox Bassoons tend to respond better to a wider reed design, which may be part of why I didn’t appreciate the sound of those I tried. Anyway, here’s his diagram straight from the book:
Now You Know that when I park my bassoon in our front living room where the swamp cooler is, it swells so much that I have to grease the corks to get it put back together.
Now You Also Know that when I park my bassoon in the back room, where there is a window AC unit, I have to keep a humidifier in the case to keep the corks on the bocals from drying out and separating.
Now You Further Know that I am prepping for a 3rd bassoon/contra audition in two weeks. This is part of why I have been practicing so hard and have been flighty and a bit off the radar. Talking about it makes me nervous so please, don’t bring it up. Those of you in town may be coerced into listening to my audition so I can have some practice with an audience. Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat..
He flat out asked me if I was taking the audition and I couldn’t lie. We spent the whole time working on the Mozart and Bolero. I am nervous now where before I was not, but I hope it will be a good thing. I had become used to hearing my Fs and my Es flat. I’m not in tune with myself. *scream* I’ve been practicing in a vacuum and it seems that all it does is gear me up to be out of tune and still nervous for the audition. An hour or two a day is not enough practice. I have to do more. It’s going well, but for the Mozart to still be shaky after having it around for so many years is not good. For me to be freaking out right now is not good either. I am a great musician. I just need to let it out and remember to have fun with it.
New fingering for Bolero should help, but it will take a good chunk of time to get used to it. I feel a little guilty that I am considering leaving the kids at Kidco again today so that I can practice, but that is why we signed them up for it. They’re bored but safe, and I should accept it and do what I need to do. Really don’t have any desire to go to playgroup today. Want to stay home and practice and practice and practice until it’s all rock solid and indestructible.
Don’t get distracted by the contra. It is secondary. They will write you off before you even get to it if you screw up on the Mozart.
Found on iTunes in the last week:
Freelance bassoonist and carpenter of the reedy persuasion in Tucson, AZ.
Habits of Musicians
Have Bassoon Will Cook
The Pedantic Bassoonist
Double Reed Ltd.