The Bassoon Resource

The purpose of this page is to provide a resource for educational information concerning the bassoon and the contrabassoon. Discussion will focus on the instrument, its evolution, bassoon makers, how to make and adjust reeds, tone production, fingerings, bassoon repertoire, and links to much more information, makers and vendors.

Bassoon Fingering Charts

A list of all available fingering charts for Heckel-model (German) basoons. The fingerings apply to both bassoons and contrabassoons. Each fingering chart is split up by acoustic octaves, whose ranges are notated and clickable. Trills are arranged in order by the lower, principal note.

Bassoon Reed Adjustments

Before being able to adjust your bassoon reeds you must first decide what is wrong with the reed, it is no use simply saying the reed is 'bad'. Some issues you may find with reeds can include: finding it hard to tongue fast, low or you may find high register is hard to play, the reed is too 'dark', the reed can't play soft enough, it has a sharp low register, etc. You then need to try and solve these issues one at a time!

The Orchestral Bassoon

The Orchestral Bassoon, a digital resource for bassoonists that focuses on the history, performance, and pedagogy of the instrument's most prominent orchestral excerpts. The Learn section contains overviews of the Pedagogy discussions, Harmonic Analyses, Fingering Charts and Autograph Facsimile Scores, while the Recordings section is an easy way to browse and discover recordings that feature French and early bassoons.

The Orchestra: A User's Manual is a free resource and will remain so. It still receives between 8,000 and 16,000 unique visits per month from all over the world. See the testimonials. Thanks to all the donations, I have been able to create this responsive re-design. But the movies and sound clips recorded in 2004 do show their age. I would really like to re-record everything and add many more techniques, especially for solo and ensemble writing. I estimate this will cost around £30,000. If you know a source of such funds, please contact me: a.hugill [at]