How to Assemble Your Bassoon
The Parts of Your Bassoon
Your bassoon has five parts, the boot joint, the bell, the wing joint, the long joint, and the bocal.
The long joint and bottom of the wing joint have cork around a section called the ‘tenon’. Some bassoons have thread wrapped ends instead, but this does not change the process of assembling the instrument.
1. Make sure your case is on a steady surface as you’re opening it up and assembling your bassoon. It’s also a good idea to be sitting down.
2. Put your reed in your cup to soak in room temperature water.
3. Take the boot joint, and rest the protector cap on the floor whilst holding the strap ring.
4. Apply some cork grease to the tenons if it feels difficult to put together. You won’t need to do this every day, just when it feels difficult to twist the joints together.
5. Insert the wing joint into the smaller opening, twisting gently until there’s no gap between the wood and the joint.
The concave side of the wing joint should line up with the larger hole. Some bassoons will have scratches on the joint that help you align the parts.
6. Taking the long joint, insert it into the larger hole next to the wing joint. Line up whichever locking mechanism your bassoon has to keep the two parts in place. There should be a small gap between the keys on the long joint and the keys on the wing joint.
7. To insert the bell, depress the key and gently twist it onto the long joint, making sure to align it with the key on the long joint.
8. If you have a hand rest, screw this in.
9. The bocal is very delicate so you need to hold it on the curve as you insert it into the wing joint to make sure it doesn’t become bent.
Make sure the whisper key isn’t depressed as you do this as the pad may become damaged. Make sure the pad is aligned with the tone hole on the bocal.
10. Insert your reed into the bocal, which has been soaking for a few minutes.
Now you are ready to play! When you are moving your bassoon around, make sure to remove the bocal and reed and put them somewhere safe, like your case.