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  1. Help for Left-Handed Euphonium Players

    The wait is over. A major manufacturer has finally begun to design products for players who are left handed. The first such example is based on the popular Wick/Mead SM3 mouthpiece, shown below in its standard form:

    Standard Right-Hand Model

    Of course, the smooth other surface and tapered shape may have been difficult for left-handers to pick up and handle, but that has now been solved with the SM3-LH:

    New Left-Hand Model
  2. A Great Way to Clean Out Your Horn

    I have finally found a really good cleaning swap for my compensating euphonium! Every brass player knows it can be hard to get the inside of the horn swabbed out. The traditional swap has a coiled metal "snake" with a pad or brush on each end. You need to run it through the tubes to clean them inside. However, the metal can scratch the horn if you are not careful and the pads or brushes don't do a very good job of cleaning. Worst of all, the thing gets caught in the horn sometimes and ...
  3. Night in the Tropics - Orchestra Piece with Euphonium

    As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently played a series of eight concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra. Any of you who have heard the orchestra perform know that it is a truly fine group. But what might be hard to tell from listening is that they are nice folks who seem to genuinely like each other. Several pieces on the concert did not use full orchestra so I had some time to hobnob with many players. It's a wonderful group to work with, and I was reminded again how lucky we are to have them ...
  4. Backstage at the Minnesota Orchestra

    Once again I had the opportunity to perform with the Minnesota Orchestra this week. I'll discuss more about the musical side in a future post, but I noticed a few interesting bits of trivia while I was there.

    First, as an electronics hobbyist (in my past), I found this really unusual electronic tuner for instruments. It is of the type that sounds one of 12 tones for the player to match. It appears to have a fine-tuning control.

    The next interesting ...
  5. Instrumental Pop Songs?

    Have you heard any top 20 pop songs that were all instrumental? Have you noticed that many popular songs don't even use instrumental interludes? There is an interesting article on Slate discussing and documenting this:

    Words, Words, Words

  6. Music by the Decimal System

    It's pet peeve time! I have played a lot of band music and some orchestra music where the rehearsal numbers are placed every 10 bars. That's logical in one way and it is certainly easy for computers to support, but it does not look right to musicians. That type of system means that many natural phrase points and theme changes occur in the middle of a span of rests.

    I used to copy music by hand and even took a course from a music calligraphy expert. In later years I started using ...
  7. Staff of Car Talk

    OK, this is WAY off the tuba-euphonium topic, but a person needs to laugh now and then. If you ever listen to the NPR show Car Talk and heard the end credits, you may have already gotten a chuckle from the clever names they come up with for their staff. A few examples are:

    Dyslexic Rock and Roll Music Critic: Roland Rock

    Elvis Impersonator: Amal Shookup

    Emergency Preparedness Director: Ron Lykell

    Creative Director: Drew A. Blank

  8. Aaron Tindall Website Now Online

    There is a new tuba/euphonium site online now, made for the tuba and euphonium artist Aaron Tindall. Aaron is currently a Doctoral student in Tuba Performance at Indiana University. His site is early in its evolution, but there is already some great content in the audio section. Here is a list of the MP3 files available for playing:

    John Stevens: Salve Venere, Salve Marte for Solo Tuba (tuba)Steven Daverson: Mangled Snarl [World Premiere, RNCM Commission] (euphonium)Martin Ellerby: ...
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