Dr. Kirsten Nelson

Return to Tips for Bassoon


by Dr. Kirsten Nelson
SFA Assistant Professor of Music
Bassoon & Theory
SFA School of Music
[email protected]


The tongue should strike the bottom blade of the reed, and contact should be made at about 1/4 of an inch back from the tip.  Be sure that the tongue moves in an upward motion to strike the reed.

Common faults are tonguing straight into the tip of the reed with the tip of the tongue or striking downward on the top blade of the reed. These motions block the air stream and inhibit the speed of the tongue.

A "T" or a "D" syllable is most commonly used depending on the articulation style.  If you experience response problems in the lower register, use a long tongue, "Doo," regardless of the written articulation to help the notes to speak cleanly.


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