If you're a new bassoonist just starting off playing the bassoon, it might make a lot of sense to rent an instrument!
Some local music stores have bassoons available for renting. A lot if times schools may also have bassoons available for students to borrow if they are really interested in playing that instrument.
Because the bassoon is a unique instrument, sometimes there aren't a lot of choices for students looking to rent. However, if your local music store or school does happen to have a few instruments to choose from...you're really lucky! Make the most of that! :)
Here are some tips on picking the best one: 5 top things to examine if you're renting or borrowing a Bassoon!
#1. The Keys
Take a close look at all the keys, looking for whether or not they are all there and whether they are relatively straight and in the right positions.
#2. The Pads
Check to see that all the keys have padding on them. Are they smooth or soft when you touch them, or dry and hard?
#3. The Body
Examine the body to see if there may be any cracks or defects. Also a good idea to remove the end cap on the bottom of the boot joint when examining the instrument.
#4. The Bocal
Is the bocal shiny? Or does it look old and have dents in it?
#5. Pressure Testing
Test each of the joints for pressure and leakage. Separately for each joint, close any and all keys and open tone holes, put your hand over one end of the joint and blow. If you are able to hear any air leaking, then it may be one or more pads are too old or are not affixed properly. Air leaks can affect the playability of the bassoon.
If you find a bassoon that kind of looks like this...this might be a tiny clue to consider looking for another instrument...
Of course, one of the best ways to figure out if the bassoon is good is to simply play on it! If you're just starting off for the first time, however, and don't yet feel confident playing one I would recommend asking a bassoon teacher or another bassoonist to help try it for you. That could make a difference.
If you are thinking about renting a bassoon, there may not be many choices on which on to pick. But if you happen to be lucky and there are choices, definitely make the most of it! Going through the above steps can help you pick out the best bassoon, whether it's from at a local store or school. Have fun with your first bassoon!!