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General Tuba-Euphonium Blog

  1. Recording Options for Good Quality

    People often ask how I make the YouTube videos of my playing. I have two methods, and choose which one depending on conditions.

    The best results are with a quality stereo microphone, a digital recorder, and a digital camcorder. Here is equipment similar to what I use:

    Audio-Technical Stereo Microphone

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    Zoom Audio Recorder, 4 Channel

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    Canon Camcorder

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  2. Alone Yet Not Alone - Video

    The is a re-mastered video that I originally posted a few years ago, but its aspect ratio got distorted when YouTube changed its tagging rules. The song is from the movie of the same name, which was an inspirational story about faith in God. The composer is Bruce Broughton (who was a euphonium player many years ago). He is an Academy Award winning composer (think Silverado for starters). The tune works well without the words, but I had the words project on our church's screen - that is what the ...
  3. Review: Hercules Tuba/Euphonium Stand

    I recently received an early Christmas from Tom, one of my students, and I was encouraged to open it before Christmas. Inside the sizable package was a Hercules Tuba/Euphonium floor stand! I had been considering getting one of these for a while, although I had not yet sorted through what was a good fit for my use among the brands available. Tom saved me the trouble, because he had chosen well.

    There were two basic types of instrument stands that I had used. One is an upright stand with ...
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  4. Marcus Bonna Case Zipper Pulls

    I recently used a product from the electronics world to make my Marcus Bonna (Adams) euphonium case more convenient to use. The older Bonna cases had zipper pulls with an extra leatherette tab for each zipper pull. These were handy because when you are closing the case, the 2 zipper pulls are behind the case and out of your line of site. The leatherette extensions made the pulls easy to find by touch.

    But the new Bonna cases have a zipper tab that is a custom design. It's attractive, ...
  5. Four Videos for Independence Day

    The 4th of July is a national holiday in the USA - today is the 241st anniversary of the signing of our Declaration of Independence.

    Let's start with a piece by the iconic American composer John Philip Sousa: Nymphalin. It's a nice little parlor piece with a rather sweet sound.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9uKuq0uKRk

    This is the University of Iowa's Hawkeye Marching Band playing "American the Beautiful." Sorry I don't have a real video because there are heralding
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  6. Listen to the Angel and Devil on Your Shoulders

    When I was growing up I used to love Looney Toons cartoons. One of the visual themes that was used in various ways was a person with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. The two mini characters would try to convince the main character to do something bad or something good. That was an effective tool for the stories, and its use dates back millennia (in somewhat different forms!). An early Disney Pluto cartoon used it as well. It continues to be useful to today's audiences, as shown ...
  7. Starter Pieces for Euphonium-Tuba Quartet

    I was just asked for a list of pieces suitable for an amateur quartet. The particular question in this case was about using them at an OcTubaFest, but these suggestions should work for several situations. Note that all are available as printed music or immediate download.

    The title of this post mentions "Starter" but these are not for raw beginners. I'm referring to tunes to help get your group's repertoire started, although I have tried to stay within a fairly easy realm. If you can ...
  8. The Basics: Scales and Arpeggios

    Would you like to be able to sight read better? Would you like to be able to improve your technique? Would you like to relax more when playing music so you can focus on the music instead of the notes? Then keep reading!

    I have always emphasized that students and advanced players should be doing scales and arpeggios every day. You should know them well enough to incorporate them in your practice without needing music in front of you. That step may take a while, but it is not too difficult
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