Welcome, this is Terry Ewell. Weissenborn study #25 is one of the most difficult in the collection. The octave jumps present challenges for fingering and intonation. In addition, the study provides little place to breathe. Let’s discuss each of those issues one by one.

The fingering solutions for lines 3 and 4 are similar to the solutions I provided for Hummel’s bassoon concerto in my article titled “Bassoon Lessons with Arnold Schwarzenegger, or What I did on My Summer Vacation.”

The mp3 files of my live performance of the Hummel bassoon concerto are given here:

Here are my solutions: First I engage the whisper (or piano) key lock. Most whisper key locks are engaged with the right hand at the top of the boot joint.


My whisper key lock is engaged with the left thumb here.

Then I use the D key to produce the upward slurs for A4, Bb4, B4, C4, and D4. The D key has the added advantage of raising the pitch of C4, which is a flat note on my bassoon.

D Key picture

The difficult C#3-C#4 slurs are made easier by using these fingerings:


I use those fingerings on the 16th notes only in the difficult passage. On the 8th notes and 16ths in the second to last measure I use the normal C# fingerings.

The alternate Ab3 in the last line gives a smoother slur to Ab4.

Alt Ab insert

In general the intonation of the upper octave notes are helped by switching vowels. The lower notes are played with an “ah” or “oh” vowel or position of the tongue. The upper notes are performed with an “ee” vowel or position of the tongue. Thus, in addition to embouchure adjustments, the tongue is also changing position to improve the intonation of the octaves.


I have marked breaths in lines 3 and 4, but these do interrupt the timing of the 16ths. The passage can be performed with one breathe, however, this is extremely difficult as I demonstrate here:

Example one breath

One other solution is to use circular breathing on the slurred arpeggio in line 3 measure 2. If you wish to learn more about this technique, I have prepared a series of videos on circular breathing:

BDP #7, 8, 9 (English); and BDP #76 (English and Chinese)


For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load. (NKJV, Galatians 6:3-5)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights.., (NKJV, James 1:17)

Living with comparisons and competition is a part of a musician’s life. A wrongful attitude will lead you to one of two viewpoints: a boastful, inflated view of your value or a despondent lack of self-worth.

The writings here point to a different way to live. When considering your gifts and talents remember that you were given them by your heavenly Father. Compare your potential to the best you are capable of producing. Measure your achievements not against others, but against what you can do to please the Giver of your gifts. Use your gifts as a means of blessing, not as a tool for boasting. Also remember your self-worth is not the sum of your achievements but rather the value that the Father of lights gives to you