The Stay at Home Bassoonist
Here's a list of productive things you can do to pass the time while staying at home
- Clean your tone holes
- Clean your bocal
- Clean the dust off your bassoon
- Vacuum your bassoon case
- Check your bassoon for leaks
- Clean sticky pads
- Refresh your pads
- Make reeds
- Adjust your reeds and check their tuning
- Make sanding tools
- Schedule a re-pad overhaul or restoration service for your bassoon
- Practice warm up exercises
- Practice the dreaded double tongue
- Create your artistic vibrato
- Practice your scales
- Practice your trills and turns
- Practice Nasty Passages
Click here for instructions.
Our goal is to demystify the reed, the bassoon, and the player's problems. In 2015 we introduced a valuable reed tuning method and reference material called the Quick Guide to Bassoon Reed Tuning. It is the result of nearly 50 years of research, innovation, professional reed making, major symphony orchestra performance, recording and teaching. Every bassoonist from the novice to the professional will benefit from new insights to help tame “the unruly beast.” From those who have previewed and helped in making this publication possible, it has been described as an “Incredible work. The more I look, the more I learn.” The universal comment has been “WOW!”
Guide to Contrabassoon Reed Tuning
A new step-by-step method for tuning contrabassoon reeds. Includes a contrabassoon fingering chart and information about contrabassoon reed shapes and reed designs.
Quick Guide to Bassoon Reed Tuning... Second Printing!
The Quick Guide is available for purchase from double reed specialty shops and on Amazon. Click for more information!
Thanks to a strong worldwide response, "Quick Guide" had its second printing in 2017. Mark Eubanks has created a step-by-step recipe for tuning and adjusting bassoon reeds based on decades of research expanding upon his previous publications. The Quick Guide to Bassoon Reed Tuning is packed with information to help the bassoonist go to a problem, test it and fix it. This publication presents a new, proven method to check the tuning of every note on the bassoon. It also includes a synopsis of bassoon reed design elements that affect tuning, and additional tuning factors, including bocal and instrument adjustments and tone production issues. The 2017 printing contains a few minor tweaks from the first printing thanks to your questions and comments to us. We will continue to update material on this website as we develop new tests and procedures.
In addition, we continue to develop new material for the comprehensive future publication, The Unruly Trinity: the Reed, the Bassoon, and You.
Here are six tests that you can do in five seconds or less (for each test) that tell you a lot about your reed:
- The flip test
- The ear test
- The wire test
- The tap test
- The crow test
- The corner-of-the-mouth test
Click here for the Quick Tests and Answers
Teacher's Supplement to Quick Guide
Even a beginning student would benefit from learning reed adjustment techniques right from the start. Click for more information
What's New / Ongoing Research
We apologize that we did not include the F-G trill test in the Quick Guide, and find that it is a very valuable test. Learn more...
We recently developed a new testing method for the fine tuning of the middle register notes. Learn more...
New research is being done on "fixed chamber" reeds and other ongoing experiments with cane evaluation, etc.. Learn more...
How to perform the ear tests for the right hand notes.
From "The Double Reed" Vol. 40, No. 3, 2017 IDRS
Mark Eubanks’ Quick Guide to Bassoon Reed Tuning removes speculation from the final stages of reed finishing. This reviewer used the Quick Guide herself, guided two students through the text, and had both a graduate and and an undergraduate student work through it independently with multiple reeds. In all cases, the results were impeccable and long-lasting.
Eubanks’ Quick Guide offers advanced, complicated concepts in an easy-to-follow format with clear digitally printed, color illustrations. The print material is waterproof and, at 15 pages, intentionally small enough to carry in a bassoon case. The content provides twice as many tuning tests as the 1986 edition (and subsequent 1991 supplement), each containing more thorough
and numerous solutions.