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Bassoon Care


To keep your instrument in the best possible condition, please consider the following information.

Use the instructions on the back of this page to properly assemble your instrument.

Use cork grease as little as possible, but make sure you use it when you need it. To apply it properly you must rub the grease into the cork. Do not use chap stick. Use an absorbent (cotton) drop swab to clean out the moisture from each section before you return it to its case. The drop swab should be inserted into the bass (bigger) side of the boot joint and come up the tenor (smaller) side. This helps prevent moisture from rotting the wood on the bass side; the tenor side is lined and less prone to rotting. Wooden instruments must be swabbed every time they are used. Drop swabs are crucial to clean the U-tube on the bottom of the bassoon. A straight brush style swab does not remove the moisture from the U-tube. These straight swabs can also damage the U-tube if inserted with too much pressure. The most common cause of bassoon rot is inadequate swabbing.

Please do not use lotion silver polishes on your instrument. The lotion can make a mess and harm your instrument. If you use a treated polishing cloth for any finish make sure it is for the proper finish. An example of why not to use the wrong cloth is that raw brass cloths can scratch and harm lacquer. One of the best ways to keep your instrument finish looking nice is to wipe off your fingerprints after every use. A clean non-treated cotton cloth works well for this.

When a wooden instrument has loose socket rings it is an emergency. Do not attempt to assemble the instrument until they are repaired. You can crack your instrument by assembling it with loose rings.

A long pipe cleaner and mild dish soap can be used to clean out your bocal every six months or so.

It is recommended that an instrument is taken to a professional repair technician at least once a year for general maintenance and cleaning. Doing so may prevent costly repairs that arise from lack of professional repair attention. A qualified technician can often discover a problem that you have learned how to overlook, play through or are not aware of.

Place the case on a flat, stable surface before opening case and attempting to remove instrument.

Do not set anything on top of an instrument in its case. This means sheet music! Damage occurs easily when items are set on the instrument and the case closed. Woodwind keys bend easily when anything is set on the instrument when the case is closed.

Make sure the case is secure. Check all the hinges, latches, and handles to see if they are solidly fastened to the case and they close the case securely. Make sure that the instrument does not move around inside the case.

Please do not sit, rest feet on or otherwise apply pressure to the outside of an instrument case. This can damage your case so that it does not properly protect the instrument.

Carry the case so that if it does open, it will open toward your body, not the ground.

In an emergency, please avoid any adhesives. Use dental floss, Teflon (plumber’s) tape, or something that will be easily removed when the instrument is properly repaired. Super-glue will make a mess if a solder joint breaks. Tape adhesive can create more of a mess than the temporary repair is worth.

Also a word of caution, rubber bands can eat silver plate, so it is best to avoid any use of rubber bands on instruments with silver parts.

Never use pliers or hammers on your instrument. Improper use of household tools is a common cause of unnecessary damage to an instrument.

This information is provided for the benefit of your instrument by:

Windy’s Winds
Brass and Woodwind Repair
Windy and Benjamin Shaffer
559 West 200 North
Cedar City, UT 84720-2406
Toll-free (888) 773-0104