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Emergency Bassoon Repairs

Below our bassoon experts have come up with fixes for the most common 'emergency' bassoon repairs. These repairs are for use when you really need to use your bassoon and are only temporary fixes. They should not be used for extended periods. After carrying out the temporary repair you should see a bassoon repair specialist to have the repair professionally carried out.

DISCLAIMER - Although all of these methods have been tried and tested we advise that you should see a specialist bassoon repairer. We do not take any responsibility for any ill effects that may occur from using the advice in this guide.

Pad has Fallen off Key

I’ve still got the pad

What you need:

  • Cling Film
  • The pad
  • Screwdriver (optional) 

Great! – Hold the pad in the cup shaped part of the key (where it should snugly fit) and wrap cling film around it several times. This should hold the pad in for a while! If you need to take the key off to put the pad back in place make sure you take note of where the spring that is resting on that key is as you will need to put it back once you’ve re-attached the key.

I’ve lost the Pad

What you need:

  • Cling Film
  • Soft Material i.e. Cotton Wool
  • Screwdriver (optional)

Fill the shaped part of the key with the soft material so that it is raised a about 2mm above the metal work – try and keep the material as even as possible. Then wrap with cling film several times. If some notes still don’t work / the makeshift pad isn’t sealing completely re-start the process and put more of the soft material inside the cup.

Cleaning Swab Stuck in the Bassoon

It’s in the Boot Joint (bottom of the bassoon)

If you are using a specialist bassoon swab it should have a piece of string on both ends. Using the string on the opposite end to the direction the swab was going in try to gently ease the swab loose. If this doesn’t work pull of the metal cap at the bottom end of this joint (it just pulls off, it might be stiff from where it isn’t taken off regularly). Once removed you will see two tall screws that need to be unscrewed. Now you can pull off what we call the u-bend (the curved metal pipe work). You should then have access to the swab and be able to pull it out. Once removed place the u-bend back on (there are usually metal pins in the bottom of the bassoon that only allow you to put this on one way), then the screws in and lastly pop the metal cap back on. Do not pull the swab hard as this can make the swab get even more stuck and can potentially lead to a major bassoon repair… see a specialist bassoon repairer.

It’s in the Wing Joint (middle of the bassoon)

If you are using a specialist bassoon swab it should have a piece of string on both ends. Using the string on the opposite end to the direction the swab was going in try to gently ease the swab loose. Do Not pull hard as this can make the swab get even more stuck and can potentially lead to a major bassoon repair… see a specialist bassoon repairer.

It’s in the Crook

Do Not do anything yourself. If you try it is very likely that you’ll break the crook as it is extremely fragile. Take it straight to a specialist bassoon repairer.

Cork Fallen Off Crook or Bassoon Joint

What you need:

  • Dental Floss

Wrap the crook or bassoon joint as evenly as possible with dental floss. Every now and then, before cutting the dental floss, try fitting the crook or joint back into the bassoon until it fits. Once it fits tie a knot and cut the excess off. (Some professional bassoonists use dental floss on their crooks all the time!)

Spring has Broke / Come Off

This is hard to fix without having a new spring and will vary greatly depending on which key the spring has broken. The best bet is to find a spring and try and attach it so that it pulls the key in the same direction as the spring would have. This should be a really temporary fix and will need urgent attention.

Matthew Petrie

 

Bassoonist at Crook and Staple

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