Tube - The rounded back half of the reed partially wrapped in thread with three wires (only two are visible, and these two are used for adjusting the reed as needed)
Thread - Colorful string tied around the tube of a bassoon reed. The fancy ball of wrapped thread covers the third wire that helps to hold the bassoon reed's tube in the correct shape.
Tip - The thinnest and flattest part of the reed where the two reeds part and create an opening
Wires - 1st, 2nd, and 3rd wires, counting from the tip of the reed toward the end of the tube
Start the reed soaking as you begin assembly. Don’t just soak the reed in the mouth. There are 4 surfaces on a bassoon reed--the outsides and the insides of each reed--and soaking the reed in the mouth only moistens the outsides. Acids in saliva will break down the cane of the reed and reduce its lifespan.
Try not to overuse cork grease, but be sure to use it when you need it. Rub grease into the cork. Some tenons have thread or string—you can grease that too.
Always rest the bassoon on the floor, starting with the boot joint with pancake key facing you.
Start with the wing joint (with inner curve toward the middle, watch bridge key between wing joint and boot), then long joint. Small rotations pushing straight down. Engage locking pin.It is possible to put both joints together with the locking pin before pushing them into the boot. This method is acceptable, but it does not allow any twisting motion to help get the corks into the receivers. If the corks do not fit easily, this method is more trouble than it's worth.
Watch bridge keys, ESPECIALLY the whisper key pad when inserting bocal. Don’t jam the “nib” into this pad. Press down pad for bridge to bell. Watch the bridge key between the wing joint and the boot joint.
Grasp bocal by its curve (crook). The bocal goes all the way in, lining up the small vent hole ("nib") with the whisper key pad. Use #2 given the choice (length). The bocal is not used for tuning. It needs to remain fully inserted into the bocal well to function best. Put the bocal in the bell when moving from place to place to avoid damage.
Keep the reed in your mouth until ready to play (dries out easily, so the moisture helps, and the reed stays safe from chipping)
Seat strap (Two styles: Hook style and Bucket style): Place the seat strap
Putting the reed onthe bocal doesn’t feel like a saxophone mouthpiece going on the neck. A correctly-made bassoon reed only goes on the bocal about 8mm, but it's important that once it's on it doesn't wiggle. Use a bassoon reed reamer to adjust the fit of a reed to the bocal. Photo: Rieger Bassoon Reed Reamer