Bassoon Rentals: for Beginners and Intermediate Players

Renting a bassoon is a great option for beginner to intermediate players. It allows accessing quality instruments for a fraction of the cost you would pay when buying a new or a used bassoon.

For starters, it allows them to join and keep playing in the band while keeping the expenses low.

It could also be the case that they come in handy when your bassoon is being repaired and you need a second option for your next performance.

Unfortunately, bassoons are among some of the most expensive music instruments, and are not as popular as some other instruments, so renting one can be more difficult than renting a typical band instrument.

Depending on where you live, or where you look from online, it could be a hard task looking for rentals, as the supply is quite low and in some shops or websites, the waiting lists are quite long (expect waiting periods of months, depending on the time of the year). 

 Tip:  avoid months before or while the school year starts as these are the most difficult times to get a rental (limited supply for a significant demand).

Despite that scenario, when researching and looking carefully, you will generally be able to rent it through different rental options sooner or later (even considering several months as a timeframe).

Your rental options will vary in price, quality, policy rental, and what is included with the instrument (bocal, case, seat strap..)


Options for Renting a Bassoon

The different options of bassoon rents are normally related to the timeframe you are looking to have the instrument for, the rental policies, and if you choose to own the instrument at the end of the contract or not. 

Rentals can vary from a few days, months, or to one year or more.

Some places offer monthly rental plans where the renter pays for the use of the bassoon over time, while others charge by the day or week.

It will always depend on where you rent it from.

To find a good option for renting a bassoon, you will need to do some research around the web, ideally into different stores in your area, and checking for the prices and rental policies that they offer. 

Make sure to ask for the help of a local professional or teacher, bassoon advanced player, fellow band members, or friends, whether they know or recommend any nearby places that rent such instruments.

Fox Renard Model 51
The Fox Renard Model 51 Student Bassoon

Rent-to Own Bassoon

Apart from the normal kind of rental contracts where you pay weekly or monthly for a short or long-term bassoon rental that you need to deliver back the instrument at the end of the contract, most places offer as well rent-to-own options.

In this type of rental, you have the option of owning the contracted bassoon at the end of the contract and generally have the following conditions:

  • Month-to-month rent contract, paying an agreed price each month
  • If continuing to the full term of the contract, the instrument will be yours
  • You can return the instrument without any penalty before the end of the contract
  • Initial deposit needed (returned upon the bassoon condition or if you opt to continue to the end of the contract)

A real example of the costs with a rent-to-own contract could be the following for a Fox Renard Model 51 (a great option as a student model:

  • Monthly rental: $125 for 40 months = $5,000 in total (around 3 years)
  • Initial deposit: $250 (refundable)
    • Total costs: $5,250

Note that such rental option models are normally of new instruments, or at least used but that are like-new.

Short or Long Term Rentals

Short-term contracts generally last between weeks to months, while long-term bassoon rentals can go from few months to more than one year.

In such contracts, you might be paying around the values below for intermediate or student level bassoon models (normally not including other accessories like bassoon cases)

Bassoon parts laying on a floor

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Bassoon?

Prices can vary between $70 to $250 monthly. Such costs will differ depending on various factors as the length of the rental, the brand, type of bassoon, maintenance fees (when applied), or rental policies

BassoonWeekly RateMonthly Rate
Intermediate Models$85$175-200
Student Models$60-70$135-150
*Average values for one of the most commonly chosen and reputable bassoon brands: Fox Products

Places to Rent a Bassoon From

The first place you should check for a rental option is your local school or university. If available, such rentals are normally cheaper.

However, the bassoon’s condition needs to be considered as most of the time it could be that you are getting a used instrument that isn’t in its best condition.

If such an option isn’t available or the instrument isn’t in the best condition, then consider checking your closest music shop or the following organizations:


Advantages of Renting a Bassoon

There are many advantages to renting a bassoon:

The first is that it saves you the time and money of having to buy an instrument upfront. Especially the price part when comparing to buying a new or used one, where you won’t find a decent instrument for less than $1,000.

If you know that your child will not be playing for long, then it can make sense financially to rent instead of buying. 

Kids learning to play the bassoon
Beginners learning to play the bassoon

Another advantage is if your child needs a different size than what they normally play. This is because some places allow the renter to swap out instruments for others in their inventory so they do not have to pay any extra fees.

Also, the places or institutions that rent instruments, will normally play-test before renting as well as provide periodically routine maintenance services, during the contract (especially in longer-term rents), enabling that the bassoon is working in optimal conditions for you to play it.


Disadvantages of Bassoon Rentals

The main disadvantage of renting a bassoon is that it might cost you more in the longer term.

If you are committed to the instrument in the long run, then if you can manage a line of credit, for example, that could be more cost-effective as you will be able to buy a new instrument like some of the most in-demand student models like the Fox 41, 51, 220 or 240 without paying as much as long-term rentals or rent-to-own options.

Bassoon side view

Unfortunately, as already pointed out, Bassoons aren’t that popular of an instrument, and the supply and options for renting such instruments are scarce.

If you are looking for renting one right away it might not be possible and you might need to wait for months and to get the first one available, rather than the bassoon you were looking for.

Also, they normally don’t come up with warranties.

So if your child breaks the instrument, they are liable for the cost of repair or replacement.

This can be mitigated by taking care of their instrument and making sure that they understand how to maintain it properly.


Final Considerations for Someone Looking to Rent a Bassoon 

It seems like there are many reasons why renting a bassoon may make sense for you and your family instead of buying one outright from an equipment retailer.

The financial considerations will depend on the instrument’s age, condition, and rental policies, but it is worth comparing these costs to those of buying a new or used bassoon.

Two bassoon side by side during a performance
Two bassoon side by side during a concert

Despite not being one of the most popular music instruments out there, bassoon rentals are becoming more popular for beginner players or parents looking for rental options.

They are looking into which options exist for renting a bassoon, the costs of such an option vs. buying a new or used bassoon, and where they can rent them from.

We’ve covered in this article all of those questions and hope to clarify them for you before you can opt to choose for a rental or to buy your next bassoon.

If rental options aren’t available and you are pursuing a longer-term commitment to the instrument, we highly recommend you consider applying for both grants and music scholarships. Check our specific guides regarding those subjects, that can help you understand and apply for such financial aids.

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