Category Archives: Music / Bassoon
this is number 11
Refurbishing a mid 90’s Fox Model IV polypropylene bassoon
I have been on the lookout for a Model IV “plastic” bassoon for over 10 years. The reason to have a non-wooden bassoon is for outdoor gigs where you’re sitting in the hot sun – and also of course as a spare should you need to send yours in for service. However I wanted to […]Read More
Wiseman “Classic” Bassoon Case – Storage Mod!
The Wiseman bassoon case is a wonderful product. Super light, ultra compact and way cooler than a standard case. BUT, it really lacks storage for things like reed tools, music clips. The company provides an optional leather pouch which buckles around the case, but this adds time to put on and take off whenever you […]Read More
The Low A Extension for Fox Contrabassoon
Elegant, stylish, and sound enhancing – presenting a removable low A extension for contra made from recycled materials. Want to know more? Please reach out! THE DESIGN: Having completed a few different low A bassoon extensions (see here, and here), I decided to tackle the same thing for my Fox 920 contrabassoon. The design I […]Read More
Alternate Low A extension design
A few years ago, I tried this low A extension concept which worked well. Then during the pandemic, I was inspired by a picture of the Moosmann low A extension I saw on Kristian Ronnes‘ website. This approach involves creating a longer bell joint for the bassoon that has additional keywork and tone hole for the lower […]Read More
Contrabassoon in a Funk Band!
I never would have guessed that my first “rehearsal” post-Covid would be playing in a Funk band, but I got an invite to sit in with the horn section of Sinister Dexter for their rehearsal that was scheduled next door. Made great use of the “solo peg” so I could stand up while playing and did my […]Read More
Contrabassoon – “Solo Peg”
When I had my Mollenhauer contra, I made an elongated peg out of aluminum so I could play recitals and small ensembles standing up. For my new Fox 920 contra, I fabricated one out of wood which looks way nicer. The material is oak for extra strength, and the metal rod is stainless steel for […]Read More
Bassoon “Low A” Extension
Update: This was the first design attempt. An alternate approach to creating a Low A extension is detailed here. The Low A “Insert”: The important thing about this extension is that it does not effect the intonation of your instrument. Shoving a cardboard or plastic tube in your bell to lengthen the bassoon is a […]Read More
The Google Orchestra – making music with my coworkers!
One of the unexpected pleasures of working at Google was the ability to make music with my coworkers. I’ve assisted the group since they were incarnated back in May 2016 and watched it grow from a small chamber orchestra with about 30 musicians, to a full fledged ensemble with over 65 performers. Here we are […]Read More
New Instrument in my Collection: a 110 year old Mandolin Zither
I have just finished restoring a “Mandolin Zither”! It dates from 1900 but despite its age and the interesting history behind the instrument, its not worth very much. Even so, the curious reader or woodworker might enjoy the story below: This type of instrument was actually invented by Friederich Menzenhauer a German who patented it […]Read More
Letter from Heckel – 1994
I recently discovered a letter I received from Heckel about a contrabassoon I was playing at the time. I was impressed at the time that they took the time to write me back since this was well pre-email. I remember the instrument to be pretty basic and a bit clunky with the huge metal bell. […]Read More