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Thread: Tuba to practice low notes

  1. #1

    Tuba to practice low notes

    I play trombone(s) and Besson Euphonium with local community bands. I am looking for a way to develop embouchure for low notes and wondered if playing a tuba might help. My instructor said it might. I wondered what brand might be best. I am not looking for top of the line and maybe I can go for used if the horn is not in bad shape. I would like a 4-valve compensating if possible. Any suggestions if it would even help and if so, what might be a horn to look at. I can see spending a few thousands (whatever that means)!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Summerfield, Florida
    Posts
    1,618
    I have a tuba that I might part with. It is a Wessex Eb, 4 valve, compensating tuba. In like new condition. And I just moved to Florida, about 80 miles north of you in Summerfield. PM me if you are interested. It won't cost many thousands, perhaps a couple or so...
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Kingdom of the Sun Concert Band, Ocala, FL (Euphonium)

  3. #3
    Yes, I am interested. What is the difference between an Eb versus Bbb Tuba in terms of reading music (fingering)? I actually know little about Tubas.

    And welcome back to Florida!

    Rich Gorscak

  4. #4
    Oops, I should have said Welcome to Florida!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    NYC metro area
    Posts
    458
    Quote Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post
    I have a tuba that I might part with. It is a Wessex Eb, 4 valve, compensating tuba. In like new condition. And I just moved to Florida, about 80 miles north of you in Summerfield. PM me if you are interested. It won't cost many thousands, perhaps a couple or so...
    Hope you enjoy your new digs, John. Time to update your signature regarding ensembles you belong to!
    Dean L. Surkin
    Mack Brass MACK-EU1150S, BB1 (DE 101XTG9 mouthpiece in the drawer)
    Bach 36B trombone; Bach 6.5AL mouthpiece (pBone on loan to granddaughter)
    Steinway 1902 Model A, restored by AC Pianocraft in 1988; Kawai MP8, Yamaha KX-76
    See my avatar: Jazz (the black cockapoo) and Delilah (the cavapoo) keep me company while practicing

  6. #6
    John, I did research on Eb and think it would be perfect for me. I sent you a private message to see if we can get together. I hope you get it. I am not adept with this site the way I should be.
    Last edited by rgorscak; 05-08-2022 at 02:45 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Summerfield, Florida
    Posts
    1,618
    Quote Originally Posted by dsurkin View Post
    Hope you enjoy your new digs, John. Time to update your signature regarding ensembles you belong to!
    Yep, you are right Dean!! I did update my location at least!! It would be a heck of a commute to keep playing in the groups I have listed. I will fix that shortly.
    John Morgan
    The U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) 1971-1976
    Adams E3 Custom Series Euphonium, Wessex EP-100 Dolce Euphonium, 1956 B&H Imperial Euphonium
    Adams TB1 Tenor Trombone, Yamaha YBL-822G Bass Trombone
    Kingdom of the Sun Concert Band, Ocala, FL (Euphonium)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    2,073
    I'm at the point where I wish I had a Bombino instead of my Champion. Not that the Champion hasn't been wonderful.
    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 (with std US receiver), Kellyberg
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

  9. #9
    If the Eb doesn't work out, I would also recommend looking at a 4/4 BBb with piston valves like the Eastman EBB534, Wessex "Dragon," or something similar. In my experience, playing tuba doesn't do much for my euphonium *embouchure* but it does wonders for my *air*! High and low notes both feel like a breeze on euphonium after a good practice session on the tuba because filling the horn up feels so effortless when I switch back.
    Sean

  10. #10
    I got the Eb (Wessex Bambino) a couple of days ago and finally took it out today for a short time. I can tell that the different fingering will mess me up playing songs from memory because I am used to the Euphonium, but I am sure reading music will not be a problem given I know treble clef and I can add the sharps as needed. I never touched a tuba before and the first thing I realized I did not know for sure which Eb I was playing. I feel I am playing low, so I guess the one below the staff. It was very hard to go down from there more then maybe 4 to 5 half tones. I did not yet look at the fingering chart yet. I feel I need to get some lessons to get the feel for it. I did notice that only playing notes for about 20 minutes and then a couple of hours later trying to play my small-bore trombone, I was messed up on control. It took about 10 - 15 minutes to get back to normal. I see that I better not play the tuba the days of my upcoming concerts!!! At least not until I get used to it. I looked up the other horns out of curiosity, but given I already have 11 horns in my home office, I do not think my wife would appreciate me getting number twelve. Besides, I am not looking to be a tuba player. I do hope it develops my air. I thought it might also help me loosen up my embouchure for low notes although you do not think it does for you.

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