The 9 Best Bassoon Books

5 min read

The bassoon is a beautiful and powerful instrument, capable of producing an impressive range of tones. For those looking to become more proficient with the woodwind instrument, there are plenty of helpful books available. This article provides reviews and recommendations for some of the best titles from leading experts in the field – perfect for any aspiring or experienced bassoonist!

  1. Practical Method for the Bassoon

    Practical Method for the Bassoon
    J Weissenborn
    Published in 2022

    Julius Weissenborn’s Practical Method for the Bassoon is an ideal tutorial book, suitable both for novices and more experienced musicians. It offers comprehensive instruction from care of your instrument to 26 practical exercises progressively increasing in difficulty. Additionally it contains daily studies, various chords and scales along with diagrams for fingering as well as a chromatic scale. This hardcover edition is extremely useful; providing warm up lessons combined with valuable practice material allowing one to develop all levels of skill on the bassoon – perfect even for children wanting to advance their abilities!

  2. The New Weissenborn Method for Bassoon – Volume 2

    The New Weissenborn Method for Bassoon - Volume 2
    Douglas Spaniol
    Published in 2019

    The New Weissenborn Method for Bassoon – Volume 2 is an instructional book that provides a modern, easy-to-use edition of Julius Weissenborn’s advanced teaching material. It includes well organized lessons and supplemental materials such as Double tonguing and triple tonguing exercises by Arban and Sight reading/rhythmic etudes by Bona, along with fingering charts. The spiral binding allows the book to lay flat on stands while its 190 pages give it lightweight portability; perfect for carrying in music pouches! Additionally, all Major and Minor Keys through seven sharps and seven flats are covered with long tones, scales, arpeggios in two keys each (the key originally intended plus the published version). This must-have resource has been praised by many publications like “The Double Reed” which calls it “a must for all young bassoon students”. All these features make this volume essential to mastering the art of playing bassoon at an intermediate or advanced level.

  3. Rubank Elementary Method – Bassoon

    Rubank Elementary Method - Bassoon
    Joseph E. Skornicka
    Published in 1989

    Rubank Elementary Method – Bassoon is an exceptionally comprehensive and well-rounded learning tool for any student musician. It contains a wealth of material ranging from scales, arpeggios, technical studies, articulation studies to solo pieces and duets that are tailored to the specific needs of bassoons. The book features a pull-out fingering chart at the start as well as exercises that are carefully graded in difficulty so they can be scaled up or down depending on skill level. Additionally, its traditional content dates back over eighty years which proves it has been trusted by generations of musicians around the world. All in all, this timeless resource provides everything any aspiring or even experienced bassoonist could possibly need!

  4. Essential Elements for Band – Bassoon Book 1 with EEi

    Essential Elements for Band - Bassoon Book 1 with EEi
    Hal Leonard Corp.
    Published in 1999

    The Essential Elements for Band – Bassoon Book 1 with EEi is an ideal resource for those who are just starting out in the world of music. It offers sound pedagogy and catchy tunes, both familiar songs and specially designed exercises to encourage musicianship progression. The book also comes complete with a CD, as well as access to online learning tools through Essential Elements Interactive (EEi). This program allows teachers and students to use technology-based teaching methods within the classroom or at home. Furthermore, this series has a follow-up book available so learners can continue on their journey after mastering the basics. Overall, it’s an excellent choice for parents looking to introduce their children into playing bassoon while having fun along the way!

  5. W21BN – Standard of Excellence Book 1 – Bassoon

    W21BN - Standard of Excellence Book 1 – Bassoon
    Bruce Pearson
    Published in 1993

    The Standard of Excellence Comprehensive Band Method Book 1 for Bassoon is a must-have book for beginners. Written by renowned composer and educator Bruce Pearson, this comprehensive 600+ page work offers an unmatched performance-centered approach with music theory, history, ear training and more. The full color drawings and coded text create an engaging environment while the FOR … ONLY exercises provide idiomatic solutions to each instrument’s unique challenges. For added reinforcement students can make use of the Excellerators (advanced supplemental exercises) or electric bass book. All in all, there are enrichments from over 20 countries encouraging multicultural study as well as Achievement Lines and GO FOR EXCELLENCE! tests that ensure assessment accuracy – making it a useful resource for any budding musician!

  6. The Way of Cane

    The Way of Cane
    Eric Arbiter
    Published in 2020

    Eric Arbiter’s The Way of Cane is an essential guide for bassoonists of all levels. It details the intricate craft and specialized machinery involved in crafting a reed to produce optimal sound. Drawing from decades of experience as both musician and reed-maker, Arbiter provides comprehensive yet accessible instruction on changing the dimensions and topography of the blades to achieve one’s desired sound quality. This book features step-by-step guidance, detailed photos, audio recordings, and informative videos that elucidate each aspect of this complex process. Allowing musicians to create their own high-quality custom reeds with ease, The Way of Cane emphasizes harmony between instrument and performer while delivering beautiful musical results. An invaluable resource for any bassoontist looking to take control over their instrument sounding capabilities!

  7. Rubank Intermediate Method – Bassoon

    Rubank Intermediate Method - Bassoon
    H. Voxman
    Published in 1989

    This book, Rubank Intermediate Method – Bassoon, is an essential resource for any student musician. It provides a comprehensive and well-rounded approach to learning the instrument that covers scales, arpeggios, technical studies and musicality exercises as well as articulation practice and more. The material provided within this series offers substantial value in terms of depth and breadth of content. Furthermore it also includes solos, duets and specific pieces dedicated to each instrument’s unique requirements. Therefore this text can rightly be seen as a great investment for anyone keen on developing their bassoon playing skills both technically and musically. All in all its wide selection of topics makes it ideal for individual or group classes alike; making sure every pupil has access to what they need whether at home or in class!

  8. Bassoon Reed Making: A Pedagogic History

    Bassoon Reed Making: A Pedagogic History
    Christin Schillinger
    Published in 2015

    Christin Schillinger provides an informative account of the pedagogical history surrounding reed-making for bassoon. This book begins in 1687 with a publication addressing bassoon pedagogy, and it ends by examining contemporary methodologies developed by renowned woodwind teachers. Bassoon Reed Making: A Pedagogic History is unique in its scope and breadth; no other book exists that covers such a wide range of topics related to this craft. It is especially valuable for practitioners and instructors alike as it offers insight into techniques used throughout the centuries which have had an impact on modern performance. Thoroughly researched yet eminently readable, this text also delves into important aspects regarding the instrument’s development and history which provide much needed context when discussing methodology. An essential reference guide every aspiring musician should own, this book offers readers invaluable knowledge about one of music’s most intricate fields – reed making!

  9. Master Solos Intermediate Level – Bassoon: Book with Online Audio

    Master Solos Intermediate Level - Bassoon: Book with Online Audio
    Linda Rutherford, Leonard Sharrow
    Published in 1999

    This Master Solos Intermediate Level – Bassoon book is an excellent choice for both band directors and young bassoonists. Inside are personally selected solos by renowned artist and educator Leonard Sharrow, with piano accompaniment on the accompanying audio track. Alongside classic pieces like Two Sketches (Siennicki), Chanson Triste (Tchaikovsky) and Arioso & Humoresque (Weissenborn) there’s also Boismartier’s Three Baroque Dances, Galliard’s Sonata No. V, Beethoven’s Menuetto as well as two Impromptus from Siennicki. All of this can be accessed online utilizing a code inside the book that allows you to stream or download files featuring PLAYBACK+, multi-functional audio player allowing adjustable speed without changing pitch, set loop points and more! This collection will definitely help players develop their skills in preparation for tougher works such as Phillips’ Concert Piece or Bordeau’s Premier Solo.

Additional resources

If you’re looking for more information about the bassoon, check out the following websites for helpful resources:

  • Stee’s Bassoon Blog is a blog featuring articles on bassoon performance and music.
  • Bassoon Blog offers educational resources, instructional videos, and tips on bassoon playing.
  • D.M. Pierce’s Blog is a blog by a bassoonist and composer, detailing his musical and artistic journey.
  • T.J. Bassoon Blog contains articles and tips related to bassoon playing, as well as reviews of bassoon-related products.
  • King Kristopher is a blog by a professional bassoonist and teacher, offering tips, resources, and insights into the art of bassoon playing.

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