GARETH TWIGG plays the bassoon.
Few young pupils take up the bassoon, because it is a relatively large instrument and needs big hands to be able to operate all the keys – not the size of hands most young children have. It is also quite a heavy instrument, so it can’t be played unsupported as an oboe or a clarinet can. Having a greater length of tubing, it also needs more air, and thus more developed lungs.
So it is not surprising that Gareth didn't begin playing the bassoon until he was in his teens. Most bassoonists have started learning another instrument before they take up the bassoon.
The bassoon is primarily an ensemble instrument, being the most common bass of the woodwind section in either an orchestra or a wind quintet. In the 17th and 18th centuries, it was also commonly used as a continuo instrument, where it doubled the left-hand part of the keyboard (harpsichord or organ).
Gareth Twigg, now 25, has been playing the bassoon for 13 years – as he explains...