Bassoon

CommentsTopPopularNewest

I play oboe. My friend plays bassoon. Oboe is up on that list, and for good reason, but I think bassoon is harder. They have to deal with all of the wooden instrument humidity problems and double reed issues, but along with all of this, they have thumb keys. Oboe just has the six main holes and about ten keys that play all of the notes. Bassoonists have to push different keys with their thumbs. I don't really want to know how difficult that is, seeing as I'm still figuring out which of the four keys on the bottom of a clarinet is which. They also need to have a seat strap to keep their instrument up and must hold it a certain way so that the weight of the instrument doesn't injure their hand. According to my friend, at a rehearsal, a fellow bassoonist broke her hand from the pressure the instrument was putting on it. All oboists have to do is worry about never putting the instrument down if it might be stepped on or fall, which bassoonists also need to consider. Coming from a fellow ...more

I have played the bassoon for a year now. I taught myself through music books because none of my band teachers knew how to play it. I also play piano, guitar, violin, cello, and saxophone, and I can say that the bassoon is by far the hardest instrument of those. The double reed and complex fingerings make it difficult to not only play the right note but play in tune as well. The double reed requires a firm embouchure that's hard to maintain without slipping. Each note has a completely different fingering that can be altered by how much you cover the hole. Producing a good quality sound from the bassoon requires every finger to be spot in place, your mouth to be tight, and a strong stream of air that will die down quickly. Even then, the note will be out of tune even if everything is perfect, so you adjust. Each note has a different feel. Overall, it's a heavy tree trunk that can't seem to produce a decent sound. Definitely the hardest instrument by far that I've come across.

As a violinist, a pianist, and a guitarist, I can promise you that none of these are even a fraction as the bassoon. How violin got number one, I will never know. A bassoon is a double reed instrument, meaning it has two reeds fused together, like an oboe. These instruments are twice as hard to play as the single reeds, not to mention the fact that double reed players have to make their own reeds. The bassoon is also considered an "imperfect instrument", because of its odd design. Like other woodwinds, it has a small hole drilled in the back of it, but it has one significant difference your thumb has to cover different sections of the hole during different notes. Sometimes 1/3, other times 1/2. The bassoon also has a massive weight, making it bit like the tuba of the woodwind section, which almost doubles the difficulty of playing it. Although I myself am not a bassoonist, I can promise you it far more difficult than any of the string or brass instruments combined.

This is my 8th year playing oboe, (which is an extremely difficult instrument as well) but Bassoon is on a level by itself.
First, you have the double reed. Issue by itself. Very annoying. I had a couple of reeds where the strings just slid right off (they *might've been ancient)
Second, Thumb keys. there are 9 thumb keys for one had to play, and more for the other hand.
Third, The bassoon can go between bass clef, tenor clef, and into treble clef. That's a lot of notes to know.
Fourth, the fingerings are really weird. Coming from oboe, some were similar and so that made the transition easier, but they were still a pain.

I think bassoon is at least one of the hardest instruments. Even though I am only 16, I've learned how to play (in order): The oboe, flute, piccolo, and bassoon. (I have tried self-teaching piano, and I have gotten one drum lesson and they are decently difficult too) So I do actually have something to compare to.
But I wouldn't go back and not ...more

Over the past 10 years I have played piano and violin to a high level and had experiences on the clarinet, trombone and guitar however, since picking up the bassoon 2.5 years ago I have decided that it is definitely the hardest. I decided to play it because my school was lacking bassoonists and I wanted to break away from the competitive field of violin and piano and I am so glad with my decision. It is a lovely instrument although it's taken a lot of work for me to get to where I am today. Since it is my third main instrument, the musicallity and all of that stuff comes rather naturally so when I was learning I was simply learning the technique and the art of the instrument. The fingering confuses me so much that even after this time I still am double checking myself in runs. In addition to this, the amount of variability in the reeds and pitch is horrible, meaning if you don't have a good ear you have no hope in playing it. Also when going up octaves there is not 1 octave key but ...more

Bassoon poses a number of issues irrelevant to many others, wind control for pitch dynamics and tone colour, embouchure for these things and playing the different registers, key holes which can have adjusted amounts covered for each note and which are delicate in exactly covering the notes you want, illogical fingering in the higher register, similar to clarinet. The thumbs are in high demand as well on bassoon and it can get quite difficult if fast passages require you to use your thumbs a lot. Violin is hard, yes, and I don't think bassoon is the hardest but nor is violin. just to compare them a bit more, you need to be aware of climate and conditions constantly because simply adjusting your instrument doesn't cut it when it comes to tuning a bassoon, you have to constantly monitor it with your ears, breath and mouth. there are also issues with muscular and aerobic stamina. If you cannot consider these things worthy of calling difficult, go play the electric guitar because that's ...more

I am a bassoonist, pianist, violinist and percussionist and I have achieved my grade 8 on all of them and the bassoon is easily the hardest. The violin and piano have probably the hardest repertoire but the bassoon requires a lot of patience to get a nice sound and play it in tune. It also has the most thumb work more than any any other instrument with 9 keys only accessible to the left thumb and it is often required to press two and sometimes three keys done with the left thumb. The reed is also determines the sound the instrument produces often making the instrument out of tune. It has probably more exposed and orchestral solos than any other instrument which can put a huge amount of pressure on the first bassoonist but it has probably the best overall sound than any other classical musical instrument.

I've been playing bassoon for 5 years now and I have to say that it's the hardest instrument to learn. I switched from clarinet, but I also play piano, guitar, and saxophone. When I first started bassoon, I had to teach myself because there aren't many good players around to help me and my own band teacher had never fully learned herself! After 5 years, I've started giving lessons and it's reminded me how difficult it was to start. My student struggles daily with switching octaves, stretching her fingers, remembering the fingerings, and especially not sounding "honky". I still haven't mastered the bassoon, but I can assure you it's the hardest instrument because it takes years to figure out simple things such as fingerings and breathing.

I'm going in to my second year of playing Bassoon, and I'll be in Symphonic Band (the highest band in the school). This only happened because of the lack of Bassoons, and that only makes it harder. It gives more work and practice, because Bassoons and Oboes usually get a LOT of Solos an Duets due to the instrument. The Reed needs to be soaked for about 2 minutes, and forgetting to soak it can ruin a song or even a CONCERT. When you sit down at concerts, my reed water spills. It happens at EVERY Concert. And worst of all, nobody likes me because of the fact that I accidentally hit people in the head with my instrument. I don't TRY to, but everyone hates me for it. Bassoons have it difficult.

Not only is the bassoon such a rare and unique instrument, it is also extremely difficult to learn and that much harder to master. The bassoon is so different from all the other instruments in that it is such a new skill for any experienced musician to learn and therefore is very easy to give up on. One of the downsides to the instrument is the price; not only of the instrument itself but supplies and maintenance to keep the instrument in tip-top shape. The bassoon is not only extremely fragile, it is also very valuable and underused. - RyanMusician

The hardest instrument to play it is double reed instrument which means you must make your own reads in order to not get a vibration sound and to get a nice smooth and flowing and resin that Rich sound out of it. It also has a tricky fingering you must use all 10 fingers like in the piano but I would but it's very hard costs hard to cross the musical bridge. And to make reads it cost up to $400-$500 as you must see in the article but the bassoon is very pretty and all of it is worth it as a bassoonist I love playing the bassoonist it wouldn't trade it for the world.

I played the flute throughout my elementary years but I wanted to play something else. When I was in middle school, I got up the nervous to ask my band director and told her that I wanted to play the saxophone. Immediately, she said no... And told me that she wanted me to played the Bassoon. I said what a Baboon... She said a Bassoon. She brought it out and I looked at her and said, "this thing" I was in the 8th grade at that time. She gave me this weird thing to take home as well as the reed.. I took it home and tried to play it. My mother said, take a break...it sounds like you killing a duck... It did but when I finally made the distinctive sound from the bassoon... I was in LOVE with the instrument.

I know how to play flute, trumpet, piano, guitar, and of course bassoon. I honestly believe that bassoon is the hardest instrument to play, not only because of how much oxygen you need, but because you have keys all over the place. It is really heavy and my neck always hurts after playing. To play the bassoon you need long fingers and if you don't have that then your out of luck. I need to adjust my mouth piece all the time, which is really annoying. I either play with the trombones, tubas, bass clarinets or/and the baritone. So you have to have a keen ear.

I have been playing bassoon for the past 4 ish years after switching from my original instrument of clarinet. I am currently a senior in high school, and I started playing music in general in fourth grade. I would consider myself a die-hard lover of all things bassoon, and although I will not be a music major, I cannot help appreciating good music when I hear it (classical, not the junk pop we hear so much today). Overall, I would say in my humble opinion that bassoon is perhaps not the hardest, but definitely in the top 5, instruments to play. There are a total of 13 keys for both thumbs to operate on the back of the bassoon (the 13th being an optional high D key), making it a truly unique challenge to even the most accomplished musician. Besides the intricate keywork involved with the bassoon, the temperament of the reed make this instrument very pitchy either sharp or flat, depending on the instrument. For the uninitiated, the bassoon also has a staggering range of up to almost 4 ...more

The bassoon is by far a complicated instrument to play! The amount of technique needed to make this instrument sound beautiful is extraordinary! Not ony are the fingerings complex and hard to memorise but also the time and effort taken in to adjust the reed so that the sound is round and full before playing. Unlike some instruments you can not just pick up a bassoon and play but more preparation is needed to make a sound! The reed must be moist and soft so that the sound can vibrate through the reed and through the instrument! It may not be the hardest instrument to play but it does take a lot of practice a dedication for someone to learn the bassoon!

I've played it since the 6th grade until my senior year of high school. It was always a challenge and diligence played it's role. Countless nights, practices, rehearsals, and mentorship was involved during my Bassoonist journey. Now that I reflect back on it, I enjoyed playing it in grade school and it's been 5 years now since I've played. Maybe I'll make my way back to it, only time will tell. However for those who are now starting out, continue to give it your best and see it through. Who knows, you just may become a great Bassoonist one day.

I play bassoon, and I can say it is definitely a hard instrument. It goes into three different clefs, starting in bass clef, traveling through tenor, and ending in the treble clef. It is difficult to learn all the fingerings and memorize then (There are nine buttons just for my left thumb) and since the range is so great it is difficult to get some of the extremely high notes out. Most people don't even know what a bassoon is, or what it is supposed to sound like. I don't think it is necessarily the hardest instrument, but it is harder than some on that list.

I am a bassoon player myself. And this is.. Like, hard, with a capital H. Some talented ones might say that bassoon is very easy, but when you play it, you can see that the sound of each note changes every time you play it, and you have to work really hard for the best note to come out. Did I mention that bassoon is very heavy and leaves you breathing heavily after being played ONE time? Also, you have to stretch your fingers very far. Go figure.

This is indeed the hardest instrument to play, let alone master! Bassoonists have to constantly worry about the weather, as this affects the reed and therefore the intonation. It requires a lot of thumb speed and strength as the majority of the keys are oly accesible by either the right or left hand thumb. A strong core and lips are bloody good idea if you want to even think about playing bassoon. A chiropractor wouldn't be a bad idea either

I played Alto and Tenor Sax before being asked to take on the Bassoon. I had no idea something could be so challenging. With many instruments there are basic fingerings, etc but the bassoon adds all the difficulty of a double reed (having to maintain a certain pressure while tonguing, etc. , too much and you will squeak or close. Add to that the half hole fingerings and holding pitch. The thumbs are as busy as the fingers!

I have read that bassoon, oboe and French horn are three of the hardest instruments because of their unconventional yet required adjustments while playing- French horn hand cupping/notes, etc. Another big indicator of what is really hard is to look at what are the most introduced instruments to children and the most played by people. Those would NOT BE the most difficult overall or many would not be able to play them. At the time I was asked to play. My teacher set me up on it because there were only three bassoon players in the entire state university system ...more

The bassoon is EXTREMELY HARD! WHAT MAKES YOU THINK A VIOLIN IS HARDER?! I love playing the bassoon because it's a challenge. It's HUGE! It's over 4 feet tall! A violin is no match to this huge thing. It has keys, flick keys, holes and is extremely complex. The worst part about band is when the clarinets are complaing about nothing compared to what we have to do. It takes loads of air and the right temperature. You have to use A LOT of fast, cold air for the high notes and EVEN MORE slow,hot air but not too much or you'll make a very noticeable squeak. The fingerings are so complex like "finger b flat and now take your finger off of the whisper key and flick the top key, not press it". The clarinet is SO EASY and the saxaphone is normal. Now I know the French horn is super hard but I think the bassoon might even be harder. It has so many keys and is very low. The bassoon is definitely the best and definitely the hardest.

The main problem I have with string instruments being included in this list is that they're just so different. String instruments will always be harder to play then winds, since they don't give a constant sound based on what key you press. Of course, there's embochure for every instrument, but as long as it's set you're fine. The only reason Bassoon isn't at the top of this list, is in my opinion, because not many people know about it. They know what it is, but don't realize how many keys a bassoonist has to deal with, or how much air they need just to pull off a single note, or how much harder their double reed is to control

I switched from trumpet to bassoon which was very difficult because of the change if mouthpiece to reed. Bassoon is very difficult and deserves the place of number one, unlike violin which is very easy. Bassoon us large with many keys and requires a constant flow of air. I gave been playing it for three months, and have still been unable to master it unlike piano or trumpet which were very simple.

Personally, as someone who plays several instruments ranging in difficulty, the bassoon is definitely the hardest I have come across. This is because there aren't many teachers out there and the fingerings are terrible to remember, specifically in the higher registers. Also, playing 3 to 4 octaves in one piece as well as having the clef change multiple times on you in one piece is never easy!

I usually play the oboe, I am trying to learn bassoon with my band teacher (he has little idea of how to play it as well) so right now I am just crowing on the reed, if oboe was difficult to learn, bassoon will be even harder, I have looked at some fingering charts and they just look complicated. Fingers crossed, but the bassoon should still make the top ten, or some form of double reed instrument.

P