I'm ready to go!
We're almost there. Let's get the thing set up first. Here's a step-by-step breakdown of how to assemble your instrument and get ready to play.
In all of the following steps, gently twist each piece into the other with an alternating, very slight twisting motion. Hold each piece by the wood, not by the keys. They bend very easily.
Step 1: Twist the wing joint into the boot.
Step 2: Twist the long joint into the boot.
If your bassoon has a body lock, attach it.
Step 3: Twist the bell onto the long joint.
Hold down the key on the bell to align the linkage.
Step 4: Twist the bocal into the wing joint.
Posture and holding the instrument
All of the same general principals you are probably used to about posture are going to apply to bassoon posture as well: no excess tension, abdomen free to expand, etc., but we're going to make a couple minor tweaks to what you're likely used to.
First, put your hips all the way back in the chair so that your entire back is supported by the back of the chair. Feet are flat on the floor.
Next, double check that your seat strap is on the front 1/4 of the chair. The bassoon should lean on your right thigh, creating half an X across your body.
Adjust the height of the bassoon by adjusting the length of the seat strap. When you're looking straight ahead, the reed should touch the space between your lower lip and chin.
Your face should be looking slightly downward when you play the instrument.
Ready to move on?