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BSN Maintenance | Paula Brusky, PhD

Keeping your instrument in good working order must be a priority.  Bassoons are complex enough instruments that things can go wrong, but simple enough instruments that you can do some precautionary things to lessen the risk of a malfunction on stage.

Learn your instrument (this mainly takes time).  Know what tendencies it has.  Like do certain pads get stuck more frequently than others?  Does water come out of any tones holes or get stuck and gurgle in others?  Do any of the rods that hold on keys get loose?  By knowing this type of basic information you will be able to trouble shoot sooner if something goes off.

CLEAN your instrument.  EVERY TIME.  No exceptions.  The bassoon is made of wood.  Wood will rot if you let water sit in it.  When you play, condensation (water) builds up.  ALWAYS swab out your wing and boot joints after playing.  You can also protect the wood by oiling the bore occasionally.

A QUIET bassoon is a happy bassoon and a quiet happy bassoon creates an un-distracted by key noise audience.  The bassoon has a lot of keys. By oiling the keys on your bassoon you can minimize that amount of noise each key depression makes.  Oiling the keys also makes the bassoon keys move smoother.