I bought the Maartin Vonk Dutch Leg Stand. I had wanted to try it for years (my high school teacher had one) and I finally found one. They had been out of stock everywhere for a while but now Hodge Products has them for sale.

This version is different from the ones I had seen before, the baseplate that rests on your leg is anodized black and the bar that supports it now has preset notches for the adjustment screw to slot into. The strap that holds the support onto the bassoon is made of steel and I initially thought that I would be able to install this myself, but I have nothing at the house that could cut through the steel strap!

I glued on some leather to this block since it will have so much force rubbing against the side of the boot joint. After I realized that I have nothing to cut or drill the steel, I called Sean Gumin and he did great great job installing it. On Maartin Vonk’s website there is an in depth instruction manual which shows how to measure the length between the cuts and ideas for where to place the strap based on the player’s height.

So far I found that my boot joint fits into my bassoon case exactly as it did before, I use a Bonna gentleman cut case. The position of the bassoon seems natural to me and I can still move freely, unlike when I use a peg like on contra. It also takes some of the weight off of my left hand. This might make switching between bassoon and contra faster.

John Steinmetz wrote Four Signs in 2014 and I was lucky enough to attend the SF Premier with Steve Braunstein and Steve Paulson.

This duet is special because the second bassoon part switches to contra in movements 2 & 4. John also uses a technique in the first movement where the 2 lines cross each other alternating notes, this effect doesn’t come through clearly in the recording but in a live concert hall it creates a really satisfying sound.

Buy the duet at www.trevcomusic.com

Last month I received my Bell bassoon! I had ordered it in fall of 2019 and Benson gave me the heads up that it was almost finished in February. I am VERY slow to learn new equipment and it takes me forever to get the muscle memory of new shaped keys into my technique. My experience with the new horn so far had been great and I have been playing it exclusively since it arrived. Now I wanted to play them both back and forth to get some sound/resonance comparisons. I found this really confusing because the keys are in different locations and so my Heckel playing suffered, but I think from the video you can get the sense of the differences. The playing experience is quite different, I can only really explain the Bell as being more “juicy” and the Heckel as “dry” I still have a lot of work to do to figure out the Bell further!