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Fingering Scheme for Bassoon

The fingering scheme below describes the text and key images used to represent fingerings in the fingering charts.

 

All Keys Pressed and All Holes Covered

Heckel-System (German) Bassoon

Bb B C D d b a C# W 1eb23Eb Db|Bb E F# G# C#12Bb3F F# G#

Heckel-System (German) Contrabassoon

Bb B C D d b C# 12eb3Eb Db|Bb E F# 12Bb3F F# G#

 

Left Thumb Keys

Bb Low Bb key

B Low B key

C Low C key

D Low D key
These four keys form the lower row of left thumb keys and are used for the lowest notes of the bassoon range. The Bb key is the uppermost key in the row, followed downward by the low B, low C, and low D keys.

d D flick key

b B flick key

a A flick key
The three flick keys are the upper three keys in the upper row of left thumb keys. The D flick key is located at the top of the row, followed below by the B and A flick keys. These keys are used to improve response of A3, Bb3, B3, C4, and D4 in slurs by depressing them and then releasing once the note has responded.

C# C# thumb key
The C# thumb key is the fourth thumb key in the upper row of left thumb keys. The key is used primarily for playing C# in the lower and middle registers.

W Whisper key
The whisper key is located at the lower end of the upper row of left thumb keys. The key is used as a vent for notes in the lower middle register.

Left Hand Main Holes and Keys

1 First finger hole (E)

2 Second finger hole (D)

3 Third finger key (C)

Left Hand Sliver Keys

eb Eb sliver key
The Eb sliver key is located between the first and second finger holes of the left hand and is used to play Eb5.

e E sliver key
The E sliver key is located above the first finger hole of the left hand.

Left Hand Little Finger (Pinky) Keys

Eb Eb key
The Eb little finger key is located next to the left hand third finger key and is used to play Eb2, Eb3, and several upper register notes.

C# C# key
The C# little finger key is located below the Eb little finger key and is used for trills involving C#.

Right Hand Thumb Keys

Bb Bb thumb key

E E thumb key

F# F# thumb key

G# G# thumb key
These keys are the four right thumb keys, listed from top to bottom. The Bb and E keys are used to play Bb and E as well as several other notes. The F# and G# keys are used primarily for playing F# and G#.

Right Hand Main Holes

1 First finger hole (B)

2 Second finger hole (A)

3 Third finger key (G)

Right Hand Sliver Keys

Bb Bb key
The Bb key is located between the second and third finger keys of the right hand and is used to play Bb2 and Bb3.

Right Hand Little Finger (Pinky) Keys

F Low F key
The Low F key is the middle key of the group of three right hand little finger keys. It is used primarily for playing the lower register and for various other notes.

F# F# key
The F# key is next to the low F key and is adjacent to the right hand third finger key. It is used primarily for playing F# in the first two octaves.

G# G# key
The G# key is the key located farthest from the left hand keys, next to the low F key. It is used as an alternative to the thumb G# key.

Main Keys and Venting

1 : Cover index finger tone hole.

2 : Cover middle finger tone hole.

3 : Depress ring finger key ring (applies to LH 3 only) and cover tone hole.

- : Leave tone hole open and key ring not depressed.

0 : Depress key ring but leave tone hole uncovered.

¼ or : Cover only a small part of the tone hole. If used for LH 3, also press the key ring.

½ or : Cover only half of the tone hole. If used for LH 3, also press the key ring.

¾ or : Cover most but not all the tone hole. If used for LH 3, also press the key ring.

Other Symbols

| separates left hand keys from right hand keys.

Trilled Keys

Holes and keys to be trilled are indicated in red boldface text and by red key images (e.g., ).

For a fingering involving more than one trilled hole or key, the trilled holes and keys are to be trilled simultaneously unless specified as alternating in the fingering description. Alternating trill holes and keys are also indicated by a combination of red boldface text and red boldface italic text.


 

 

 

 

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by Timothy Reichard
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