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 Holding a bassoon
Author: FrankM 
Date:   2010-06-09 12:34

I've wanted to get my hands on a bassoon for years but the $$ has been a deterent. Through a fortuitous accident, I am now in possesion of a freshly overhauled Linton bassoon which is fine for my needs at this time. As a long time clarinet/sax player I'm having a blast with my new toy.

My only really pressing issue right now is holding it comfortably while playing. Neck straps make the bassoon feel unbalanced to me and the time honored seat strap doesn't feel much better. Is there a commercially available stand that can hold a basson in playing position? I have a stand for my bass clarinet that holds the bassoon very securely, but not in a position anywhere near playing.



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 Re: Holding a bassoon
Author: Pete_K 
Date:   2010-06-09 23:58

Forrests carries some stands that might meet your needs. They also have other types of neck straps/harnesses that may work better for you. I've never used any of these myself, so I can't make a specific recommendation. Forrests has very good customer service, so I think they would be glad to answer any questions.

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 Re: Holding a bassoon
Author: Ian White 
Date:   2010-06-10 08:44

Another thing is to fit a balance hanger which raises the balance point of the bassoon & thus reduces the pressure on the left hand.
I do recommend getting away from a neck strap - either use a shoulder strap or full harness which both take strain off the neck.
As Pete says there are all sorts of arrangements out there many of which are listed by Forrests.

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 Re: Holding a bassoon
Author: FrankM 
Date:   2010-06-10 16:01

Thanks to both of you for your responses. I think a hanger type thing would "fix" the balance to feel more comfortable . Actually that Forrests catalog has a leather type gizmo which appears to do exactly that...and it also appears to have a stand which holds a bassoon high enough to hold while playing...Decisions!!!

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 Re: Holding a bassoon
Author: Ian White 
Date:   2010-06-11 08:12

For more details for the BHEN stand go to the maker's web site -

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 Re: Holding a bassoon
Author: FrankM 
Date:   2010-06-11 13:43

Thanks...That Bhen thing looks very interesting and much more clearly illustrated on this website. Have you tried it? Know anybody who has?

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 Re: Holding a bassoon
Author: cairngorm 
Date:   2010-06-11 19:53

Back to the seat strap - are you sure you have placed it properly on the seat? It should be way forward, not toward the back of the seat. I usually place mine about 4 inches back from the front of the seat. This balances the horn quite differently than if you have it too far back.

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 Re: Holding a bassoon
Author: Ian White 
Date:   2010-06-12 09:18

A good point by cairngorm. The only thing there is that, depending on your height & initial shape of the crook, you might need to get it reshaped so that the reed still enters your mouth at a good angle. Also doing this will lower the bassoon so that your hands are at a more comfortable height. All this applies to a floor spike as well.

I've tried the Bhen - the instrument does seem a bit unstable to begin with but you get used to it. It takes a bit if time to adjust the height & positioning of the stand for best results. I also feel that the length of the arm the bassoon hangs from needs to be a bit longer.

I have also tried the leg rests - not the one Forrests sell but the Dutch ones - but never managed to really get comfortable with it although a lot of players find them very good - having a chair the right height so that my upper leg could comfortably be horizontal (A rare occurrence!) helped. One danger with the Dutch type is that they can be mounted too tightly round the upper ring of the butt & distort the sockets although Maarten Vonk does a version that fits lower down the butt but is more tricky to fit. My other reservation is the possible long term effect of the weight of the bassoon (especially of the Forrest LegHook from the look of it) being exerted over a small area of the leg.

Another stand which I like is by Maarten Vonk - - very good but it cannot be used with all chairs.

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 Re: Holding a bassoon
Author: Merlin_Williams 
Date:   2010-06-13 18:03

Look for a Vonk leg rest. Difficult to get fit properly, but unmatched in terms of making fast instrument changes on a show.

Jupiter Canada Artist/Clinician
Stratford Shakespeare Festival musician
Woodwind Doubling Channel Creator on YouTube

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