High E-Flat, E, and F occupy an intimidating place in the bassoon range. I think this can be helped with some slightly off-the-beaten-path fingerings. Note that, like all extreme register fingerings, these don’t work equally well on every instrument. However, I’ve seen enough success with them, on enough different equipment, that I think they’re worth sharing.
Worth Keeping in Mind
- Stiffer reeds work better in this register.
- Keep your embouchure very close to the first wire, with very little overbite.
- The vowel sound in your throat should be very closed (an “E” rather than an “O”).
- These fingerings don’t respond well to heavy articulation—air attacks are generally best.
- Your air stream requires a bit of finesse in this register—you can’t overblow.
Thanks to Bernard Garfield for these fingerings and to Bret Pimentel for his fantastic fingering diagram builder.