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Thread: Double Buzzing note involving 3rd valve

  1. #1

    Double Buzzing note involving 3rd valve

    I was asked to move from Euphonium to Tuba in community band and was given a 3 piston Schiller to use. I have played the Baritone/Euph since 5th grade, now 74 years old and never experienced double buzzing. It only happens between C and F on the staff and is really bad on any combinations involving the 3rd valve and when the note is attacked. I have tried a few different MP. I get different tone quality but the buzzing is still there. I'm confident my accuracy will improve in time but I'm not sure it will eliminate the double buzzing. Just to make sure we are talking about the same thing, when it happens I can tell the smooth flow of air at the MP is interrupted and there is a rapid pressure change that is clearly felt by the lips.

    After trying all the suggestions I have read, the only thing that makes a change is the angle of the MP. I need it to tilt more up and put less pressure on the top lip. However, I cannot put the horn in any playable position to do that. I will put a pillow on my lap for the short run but would like to find a more permanent solution. If I'm not mistaken a short Sousaphone bit might work unless there is a better solution someone could offer. The bore is around 0.555 and it plays about 30 cents sharp with all the slides in. There are so many variations for sale I'm not sure where to start. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Valley City, North Dakota, USA
    Valley City Community Band
    Valley City State University Concert Band

    Larry Herzog Jr.

    All things EUPHONIUM! Guilded server

  3. #3
    Is there another tuba you could use? If a different instrument has the same issue, I'd guess it's your embouchure, however, maybe it has something to do with the tubing on the instrument you have?
    Shires Q41s
    Alliance DC3/K&G 4+

  4. #4
    And to make it more puzzling this does not happen when I first start playing when the horn and MP are cold.

  5. #5
    It sounds like your chops may be causing the problem, mostly (I assume) because you have built up muscle structure and perhaps a callous around the smaller mouthpiece. With careful warmups, this may go away.

    The first thing each day is to start with your tuba mouthpiece alone. Play a pitch on it that is very comfortable. Hold it, and work on getting the best tone from the mouthpiece (sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it?). Then choose different pitches above and below where you started. Give that 5-10 minutes and then go to normal practice. See how it goes.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
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    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  6. #6
    I had a double buzz when I added the tuba to my performance mix. My understanding is that a double buzz is caused by the upper and lower lips vibrating at different frequencies. I conquered mine by slow, long note practice... really working on centering the pitch and hitting it dead on at the start. Over time I noticed fewer and fewer episodes of double buzz as I got used to the tuba mouthpiece and peculiarities of starting notes on the instrument. A colleague suggested starting a note without using the tongue... just by using breath. I did some of that, which may have helped as well.
    Sterling Virtuoso Euphonium, Denis Wick 4AL


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