Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 21 to 30 of 30

Thread: Buying a tuba tomorrow

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,990
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    I've had enough back trouble lately that it limits my tuba playing - carrying it and even moving it between floor and my lap is rough on my back.
    I'm facing my own back problems now -- though so far they aren't having an effect on carting the tuba around or playing. However, I have thought that if the time comes that I can't handle something like the Wessex 981 clone and still want to continue with tuba, the thing to look for would be a medium to large bore "vintage" American Eb tuba -- either front or top action. In that case, I might prefer 4 valves; but a lot of those horns have excellent ghost tones and so you really don't need 4. They are MUCH lighter than the British compensating horns. And they're typically relatively VERY inexpensive.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  2. Some years ago, I played in a community band with a gentleman who played the same King model. The rounded Bach cup mouthpieces he tried to use gave the tuba an edgy or grainy tone, especially in the lower register. He switched to a Conn Helleberg 120S - the deeper of the two models Conn makes (the other being the moderately deep cup 7), and his tone improved dramatically throughout the range.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,990
    Yeah, but I've never been able to use a 120S. It's one mouthpiece that just seems to suck the life out of me. You can get great "organ like" tone, but for me it's like trying to blow into the vacuum side of a vacuum cleaner (when the vacuum cleaner is running!). Too big. Too open. Similarly for the large PT mouthpieces. I manfully used a PT 89 for a year, but then gave it up for something I could actually control fairly well.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  4. Quote Originally Posted by ghmerrill View Post
    Yeah, but I've never been able to use a 120S. It's one mouthpiece that just seems to suck the life out of me. You can get great "organ like" tone, but for me it's like trying to blow into the vacuum side of a vacuum cleaner (when the vacuum cleaner is running!). Too big. Too open Similarly for the large PT mouthpieces. I manfully used a PT 89 for a year, but then gave it up for something I could actually control fairly well.
    It is interesting to me that the Conn 120S seems to take more air for you. It actually has a moderate throat, as tuba mouthpieces go. It is the standard mouthpiece that most high school tuba players use. It is plausible that due to the deep funnel, it provides no "compression feedback" that other mouthpieces do, which helps a player regulate air.

    Remember, a mouthpiece is like an automobile carburetor functioning according to Bernoulli's principle, so if the geometry of the cup, throat and backbore, as a system, do not match the physicality of the player's vital capacity and delivery, then it will either feel like everything is so stuffy it's like blowing through a soda straw (like it did with me trying to play a piccolo trumpet), or on the other extreme, like heaving into a barrel.

    It truly is like an automobile carburetor. If the carburetor is too large for the manifold, then the proper velocity of air/fuel mixture can't develop, and there is uneven idle and sluggish response, all or nothing. Likewise, if the carburetor is too small for the manifold, then at higher rpm there will be mixture and delivery issues that prevent the motor from developing maximum horsepower.

    If it feels like the mouthpiece is taking all the air, then the two options are to narrow the throat and backbore, or decrease the depth of cup. But the 120S is already a moderate throat and backbore for a tuba mouthpiece. So to go anything tighter in the throat than an "P" drill bit, or .323, impedes response. Therefore, on Tuba, the option is to go to the Conn 7, with its slightly shallower cup, which provides the compression feedback to the player to help manage air, or a mouthpiece that has a more rounded cup, like the Kanstul, Blessing, or Kelly versions of the 18 (or other mouthpieces of similar construction, as my Sellsmanberger Imperial model with a modified rim spacer), as the Bach has a larger throat, defeating the purpose. If the person goes to the tighter throat, then that can impede air flow and the lower register loses response, and the upper register goes flat.

    These aspects should be studied with regard to euph and bari mouthpieces. Most everything has been about the euph getting bigger and broader over the last few decades, which like the muscle cars of the '60's and '70's, got larger engines and larger carburetors, a quicker quarter-mile, but all at the expense of handling and efficiency.

    In short, everyone is building euphs for Mr. Werden, Mr. Mead, and everyone else who is a professional who has the air to give them, and nobody is building euphs and mouthpieces for the high-amateur, community band, student, and occasional player, as the older Imps and New Standards were. And mouthpieces must be redesigned accordingly in the next generation as well so there does not develop a dichotomy between student and proficient player, and the inherent and inevitable discontinuity of transition between the "student" instrument and the "professional" mouthpieces and instruments.
    Last edited by iiipopes; 01-03-2017 at 12:42 AM.

  5. I wanted to give an update on my Tuba experience.

    As last posted, I had decided the Tuba was not for me. I was either going to sell it, or keep it to loan to folks who needed a Tuba to play in the Brass Ensemble I've started at church. I was getting pretty frustrated as I just didn't seem to be able to play in tune or even play the right note even though I was using the proper fingering. Then, it occurred to me it may be the horn and not me. I took it to the local tech and, sure enough, the valves were "way out of alignment." A mere $45 later I had a new horn. All of a sudden, I'm a Tuba player.

    This past Sunday, my 8 person Brass Ensemble played an arrangement of mine. It was a 4 part brass arrangement of one of my favorite Renaissance pieces "O Magnum Mysterium." I have a very accomplish French Horn player (decades in the Houston Symphony) in my choir who suffers from focal dystonia. We had discussed the possibility that a larger mouthpiece might help him play again. So, he played my King 2280 euphonium that Sunday. I was left to play the Tuba part. The piece is one of those slow counterpoint pieces that starts one part at a time. After 9 measures of 3 part counterpoint in the top 3 voices, we Tuba players came in. What a glorious sound the ensemble had with the added foundation of the Tubas.

    Bottom line, I'm now a Euphonium/Tuba player and enjoying both.

    As far as selling my 3/4 King Tuba -- yup, I'm going to do that. That's because I've got the itch to buy a larger/better Tuba.

    Thanks all for your help.

    KKORO

  6. #26
    I'm glad to hear this all worked out, and for only a few dozen dollars! I really enjoy my occasional encounters with my tuba and it's a wonderful double for euphonium. Besides, it's just plain fun to plant the bottom of the chord/ensemble.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  7. Thanks Dave! I'll be playing the Tuba often as we don't have a Tuba player for the ensemble. For this last service I had a friend who is an accomplished tubist play with me. But normally, I'll be it as we have others covering the Euphonium part.

    KKORO
    Last edited by KKORO; 05-19-2017 at 07:07 AM.

  8. Glad to hear it's working out for you! I've been having a blast playing both my euphonium and tuba since purchasing the tuba about five months ago. My lower euphonium range has improved quite a bit after playing the tuba, and when I've played the euphonium more, it seems to help my upper tuba range.

    I also have a compensating three-valve baritone horn that I play sometimes for a nice change of pace (much easier than the euphonium, but a different sound) and I just added an Eb alto horn (what they call a "tenor horn" in the UK), which is a lot of fun. This may be a setup for a "jack of all trades, master of none" situation, but if I could ever find a British-style brass band to play in, it would make me pretty versatile.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by Koukalaka View Post
    Glad to hear it's working out for you! I've been having a blast playing both my euphonium and tuba since purchasing the tuba about five months ago. My lower euphonium range has improved quite a bit after playing the tuba, and when I've played the euphonium more, it seems to help my upper tuba range.

    I also have a compensating three-valve baritone horn that I play sometimes for a nice change of pace (much easier than the euphonium, but a different sound) and I just added an Eb alto horn (what they call a "tenor horn" in the UK), which is a lot of fun. This may be a setup for a "jack of all trades, master of none" situation, but if I could ever find a British-style brass band to play in, it would make me pretty versatile.
    I seem to be taking the same path. I've ordered a British style baritone that should be here sometime in June or July. That will give me a tuba, euphonium and baritone. I've wondered about "tenor horn." Can you tell me what size mouthpiece they use. I'm assuming it'll be quite a bit smaller.

    John

  10. Quote Originally Posted by KKORO View Post
    I seem to be taking the same path. I've ordered a British style baritone that should be here sometime in June or July. That will give me a tuba, euphonium and baritone. I've wondered about "tenor horn." Can you tell me what size mouthpiece they use. I'm assuming it'll be quite a bit smaller.

    John
    The alto/tenor horn mouthpiece is quite a bit smaller than that for the euphonium/baritone. At first glance it almost looks as small as a trumpet mouthpiece, but it's a lot deeper and a little wider. I struggle with the trumpet despite having played it as a kid, but the alto horn seems to be a relatively easy transition from euphonium.

    Call me crazy, but I bought my alto horn for $319 from China on eBay. It has a rose brass bell and is really quite pretty, so I figured, why not, I'll take a chance. It plays quite beautifully for that price, better than an antique alto horn I used to have.

Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •