2. Cleaning your instrument after playing

After playing, moisture should be forcibly blown out of the reed from the round end through the tip, moisture wiped from the blades of the reed with thumb and first finger and the reed left to dry out completely in the air with reed case opened over night, so that no mould can develop on the cane. Moisture should be forcibly blown out of the crook from the large end through the tip, finger prints removed with a soft cloth and the crook left out to dry over night in the air. Three or four times a year the crook needs to be cleaned inside with a special crook cleaning brush, to remove the built up sediment.

Plastic and wooden bassoons must be dried out after playing using a pull through cleaning cloth; either one made of silk which fits through both boot and wing joints or two separate pull-throughs, one each for boot and wing joint. In either case, the cloth should go in through the large hole and out through the small hole. To dry the boot joint, hold it upright and drop the cloth’s metal weights down the wider bore. Then, holding firmly, flip the joint upside down so the weights fall around the U-bend at the bottom of the instrument, and pull slowly out through the narrow bore. Fingerprints must be removed from key work with a soft cloth every time after playing to ensure that the key work remains clean and shiny. When in its case the wing joint should always have the soft cloth wrapped around it to stop damage occurring to the long joint by the inevitable movement of these two joints against each other during transport.

Three or four times a year dust should be gently removed from under the key work using a small (approx.1cm wide) paint brush. To stop any moisture in the bottom of the instrument running back and ruining the lower boot joint pads, the bassoon should never be lowered beyond 45 degrees while playing or rested on a chair horizontally, until moisture has been tipped out of the small bore side of the boot joint.

A bassoon should never be laid on the floor or propped up on a chair with the boot on the floor, or stood up in the corner of a room with a wooden floor as inevitably an accident will occur, possibly causing serious damage.