Winter bassoon adjustments

One of the things I decided to accomplish this winter (or rather, have someone else accomplish while I sat around and watched) was having my bassoon tuned up. Since there are, shockingly, no dedicated bassoon repair professionals in Saskatchewan, I made an appointment to go see Frank Marcus in Wasaga Beach while I was in Ontario for the holidays. 

I was mainly concerned about my wing joint; I had been having more trouble than I thought was entirely fair with my high B and C. Both reassuringly and somewhat disappointingly, there was nothing massively wrong with the area that, once fixed, could cause the entire high range of the bassoon to suddenly become easy. (How unfair!) However he did adjust the B resonance so that there is no delay in it coming up, which should remove some uncertainty. He also added some (clear) paint to some parts, explaining that the wood of a bassoon isi also sometimes a source of leaks, which I had had no idea of. 

When he got to the long joint, though, he stared at the pressure gauge in surprise, and said, “maybe it’s wrong.” It wasn’t sealing at all, and when he removed the keywork, it was obvious why: one of the holes underneath was neither uniformly flush with the pad, nor even circular. “It looks like a beaver gnawed on it,” Frank commented. “Benson didn’t do this.”

The end result of the long joint work was:  

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I am pleased to report that it is indeed much easier to play low notes... an inability I seem to have not noticed too much during the past few months. Whoops!