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Wed, Feb. 28th, 2007, 07:37 pm

Hey bassoonists. I'm having some trouble with my whisper key. Its sticking down, and I can't seem to fix it. Its definitely NOT that the pad is super sticky, and its definitely not the whisper-key lock. The mechanism is well-oiled. The problem has something to do with the spring. Its not tense enough or something, because it just isn't forcing the whisper key back when I lift my thumb.

Does anyone know how I can fix this, or perhaps know another reason that could be causing this?

It's very urgent that I fix it, because I have a concert this weekend (and my whisper key sticking down is totally messing up my upper register). Unfortunately, my private teacher is out of town until next week, so I can't talk to him about it. And more unfortunately, I'm in college and I don't live around here, and neither does my bassoon repair guy.

If anyone has any ideas, I would be so greatfull to hear them!

Thu, Mar. 1st, 2007 07:07 pm (UTC)

Holy crap, the humidity thing is TOTALLY the issue! Its gotta be. The ring on the end of my bell is loose too, which is clearly a result of the season. I didn't think to consider that a lack of humidity could have an effect on rods. Right now, all I have is a few cigar box humidifiers (the little cheap ones) in my case, and they aren't doing much good. Do you have any recommendations for keeping my bassoon humidified? When I'm at home I actually just keep a big humidifier in my room, but obviously I can't do that when I'm away at school.

I get what you're saying with the rubber band thing. I'll give that a shot today.

Thanks a lot!

Fri, Mar. 2nd, 2007 01:45 pm (UTC)

Yep, my bell ring is loose, too. It's a pain. I keep a home-made little humidifier in my case (small pill bottle with lots of holes drilled in it, filled with some bits of sponge I keep damp) but it doesn't take care of all the problems unfortunately. I don't think there's a total solution, but spring is coming!

I was thinking about the advice I gave you when I was practicing yesterday and realized that on my bassoon, it wouldn't work to put the rubber band where I said. Oops! But the general idea could be useful - find a place where you can tie a rubber band that will force the whisper key pad open. On my bassoon, it's actually up on the wing joint near where your thumb goes. There's a lever there that if you force down, it will keep the whisper key open. Tying a rubber band around the whole wing joint can cause problems because it won't fit properly against the long joint, but maybe you could tie the rubber band to something else on the wing - like another rod nearby. Something to experiment with...

Hope it works!