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Thread: Switching to Tuba from Baritone and Euphonium- Confused!

  1. Switching to Tuba from Baritone and Euphonium- Confused!

    Hi!

    I'm new to this forum but basically when I was 10/11 I learnt the baritone. I then played that for a good few years. I then switched to Euphonium for a few years which is what I'm currently playing now. I'm now looking at getting a tuba very soon. I'm really confused though. When I learnt baritone I played and learnt in treble clef. When I switched to Euphonium I carried on in treble clef and the exact same fingerings. I have never learnt bass clef (or indeed much theory at all). I'm confused because all the fingering charts I've been looking at were all saying completely different notes were completely different fingerings than I'm used to! I then realised they were all in bass clef. Forgive me for saying this, but my theory really is terrible (I am planning on starting some theory lessons. Is Tuba (Bb) still the same fingerings as what I'm used to- If I get any music i play in treble clef or transpose it? Are the differences in fingerlings purely because of bass clef. And treble clef? Also, is it worth me learning bass clef? Lastly, does anyone recommend a plastic tuba. I can't seem to find many differences between plastic and brass tubas, except the plastics ones are a lot cheaper and lighter! I can get a brass one if necessary though! Thankyou so much!

  2. #2
    Welcome to the forum!

    I'll let others answer about the tuba question, but I can say you will want to learn bass clef. The fingerings are different because bass clef treats the horn as a concert-pitch instrument, which treble clef acknowledges that it is really a B-flat instrument and transposes the parts, just as is done for Bb trumpets and clarinets.

    Here is a blog post that may help you:

    http://www.dwerden.com/forum/entry.p...Clef-Euphonium
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
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    1,996
    We don't know where you live. This makes it a little difficult to answer some of your questions about treble clef vs. bass clef. If you live in the UK and will be playing in British style brass bands, then you CAN play tuba in treble clef with the same fingerings as your baritone in treble clef. For the rest of the world, it's best to learn bass clef because all your tuba music will be written in bass clef.

    To do this, just bite the bullet, get a fingering chart, and sit down for a couple of weeks and learn to read bass clef and play with those fingerings. Don't try to use any "transposing tricks".

    Plastic tubas are crap. Depending on what sort of ensemble you intend to play in and what your aspirations are, it's possible to get a decent, playable, but probably not very pretty, tuba (either Bb or Eb) for a reasonable amount of money. Don't mess with the plastic ones.

    Be aware that when playing in bass clef as a "non-transposing instrument", the fingering for a BBb tuba, CC tuba, F tuba, and Eb tuba will all be different.
    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. #4
    Thanks, Gary! I should have mentioned above... my suggestion about the blog post is for learning to read bass clef for euphonium, where I think transposition can be useful.
    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

  5. Quote Originally Posted by ghmerrill View Post
    We don't know where you live. This makes it a little difficult to answer some of your questions about treble clef vs. bass clef. If you live in the UK and will be playing in British style brass bands, then you CAN play tuba in treble clef with the same fingerings as your baritone in treble clef. For the rest of the world, it's best to learn bass clef because all your tuba music will be written in bass clef.

    To do this, just bite the bullet, get a fingering chart, and sit down for a couple of weeks and learn to read bass clef and play with those fingerings. Don't try to use any "transposing tricks".

    Plastic tubas are crap. Depending on what sort of ensemble you intend to play in and what your aspirations are, it's possible to get a decent, playable, but probably not very pretty, tuba (either Bb or Eb) for a reasonable amount of money. Don't mess with the plastic ones.

    Be aware that when playing in bass clef as a "non-transposing instrument", the fingering for a BBb tuba, CC tuba, F tuba, and Eb tuba will all be different.
    Thankyou so much! That's really helpful. I'm in the UK by the way.
    I've found a very old Tuba that I have. It needs a lot of work doing to it and I'm happy to spend the money on it. I took some pictures of it, but I don't seem to be able to post it! I was wondering if anyone on her might know if it might be worth looking at fixing up to use! It needs a little soldering and there is a missing slide a long with a few other things (all stuff that I'm willing to sort, or pay someone else to!). Just below the bell it reads:

    'Elgin City Band

    >22<

    Class
    A

    50 medals of honour

    B (But a symbol).

    BESSON & Co

    'Prototype'

    198 Euston Road

    London

    England

    And then a symbol of a star'

    Obviously it's all displayed a little differently than that and I can't expect anyone to know if it's a good instrument or not! But just from that is there anything that either shows it's a bad/good instrument?

    Thankyou so much! I really appreciate it

  6. Thankyou! I'll have a look at the post!

  7. #7
    Being in the UK you should be able to find tuba music in treble clef (mostly brass band stuff) which you would play just as you do the baritone (same fingerings). DO NOT PURCHASE A PLASTIC TUBA. They are a novelty at best, they are not worth your time. The tuba you seem to have is either Bb or Eb. To determine that, play a scale. Use the same fingerings you would for a Bb scale on your baritone. Use a tuner. If you get an Eb scale on the tuner, you have an Eb tuba. An Eb will be easier for you to learn the fingerings because they are the same as your baritone, almost. The almost part has to do with the key signature. The horn is already Eb so you have to mentally take 3 flats off the key signature in base clef and then play is you would your baritone. For example, the fingerings you use for no sharps or flats in treble clef on your baritone are the same fingerings as 3 flats in base clef on an Eb tuba. Incidentals can be a bit tricky, but generally, this works. I use the same trick in reverse when I play baritone, because I am Eb tuba player and have that in my mind. If you have a Bb tuba, you'll just have to learn new fingerings when you are in base clef.
    Wessex BR140
    Bunch of Eb tubas

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,996
    I think there is some confusion here ...

    Quote Originally Posted by opus37 View Post
    An Eb will be easier for you to learn the fingerings because they are the same as your baritone, almost.
    If you're playing as a transposing treble-clef instrument in British brass band style, the fingerings for ALL the tubas are THE SAME (that's the point of taking the transposing approach).

    If you are playing as a non-transposing bass clef instrument, then the fingerings for a BBb tuba are closer (almost identical, modulo differences for octave considerations) to a baritone/euphonium, but see below.

    The almost part has to do with the key signature. The horn is already Eb so you have to mentally take 3 flats off the key signature in base clef and then play is you would your baritone.
    This is REALLY confusing, and I don't know exactly what's being suggested here. I won't even speculate, since that would make it MORE confusing. If you want to play as a non-transposing instrument in bass clef, then just learn to play it that way.

    For example, the fingerings you use for no sharps or flats in treble clef on your baritone are the same fingerings as 3 flats in base clef on an Eb tuba. Incidentals can be a bit tricky, but generally, this works. I use the same trick in reverse when I play baritone, because I am Eb tuba player and have that in my mind. If you have a Bb tuba, you'll just have to learn new fingerings when you are in base clef.
    I am an Eb tuba player and don't use any "transposing tricks" (except when I'm doing something like playing a baritone saxophone part). When I play Eb tuba (bass clef), I just play it. When I play Bb euphonium (bass clef), I just play it. I don't "think" about a different key signature (which will slow you down and drive you mad). There are actually strong similarities in the non-transposing bass clef fingerings for euphonium and Eb tuba -- to me, it's about the same degree of difference as with a BBb tuba because of different tuba/euphonium fingerings forced by the fact that the two instruments are an octave apart and so the overtone series are different.
    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)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,996
    Quote Originally Posted by BaritonetoEuphoniumtoTuba View Post
    I've found a very old Tuba that I have. It needs a lot of work doing to it and I'm happy to spend the money on it. I took some pictures of it, but I don't seem to be able to post it! I was wondering if anyone on her might know if it might be worth looking at fixing up to use! It needs a little soldering and there is a missing slide a long with a few other things (all stuff that I'm willing to sort, or pay someone else to!).
    It's not possible to determine via divination on the internet whether this tuba you've found is repairable and whether such a repair would be prohibitively costly or relatively inexpensive. The horn has to be examined by someone who can determine the extent of needed repairs. The most troubling thing you mention is the missing slide since THAT could prove to be very difficult to find. But, in the case of a Besson in the UK, it might not be difficult to find. Whether it leaks, the valves would need replating, etc. just can't be determined except by someone who can put hands on the horn and make that evaluation.
    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)

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