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Thread: Can't hit C3, B, and B flat on my new Yamaha YBB 105 3/4 tuba

  1. #1

    Can't hit C3, B, and B flat on my new Yamaha YBB 105 3/4 tuba

    I bought a like new Yamaha YBB 105 3/4 tuba. I "played around" on a normal size tuba before and was able to hold my own. I used to play the trumpet. Amateur level on all. I have had the Tuba for about a month and play it nearly every day but for the life of me, I can not get a C3, B or Bflat below C3 to come out of this horn. I can play notes below and above. I can't imagine it's my technique since I've been struggling for weeks. Please help.

  2. #2
    Welcome to the forum!

    I'm not a BBb player, but I play an Eb. I find notes in that same general region are very difficult for me. However, I had one of the CG Band's tuba players try it and they said there was no problem at all. So it was clear that in my case the problem was in my, not the horn. It does get better if I practice tuba regularly (hardly the case now).
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC4)
    YouTube: dwerden
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  3. #3
    Converted trumpet player here. I'd start looking at the problem by noticing where your jaw position is on the notes immediately above and below the trouble notes. Odds are, your jaw is moving forward as you get higher and back as you get lower. Once you know what your jaw is doing, play around with jaw positioning on your trouble notes and see what it takes to get them to speak.
    Adrian L. Quince
    Composer, Conductor, Euphoniumist

    Kanstul 976 - SM4U

  4. Also a converted trumpet player. Get a funnel mouthpiece, like a Conn Helleberg 120S or similar. Think slow, big, easy air with the oral cavity relaxed and as large as you can get it without the jaw forcing the embouchure apart.

    Work on long, soft tones starting around open F. Then as you get comfortable over the next few weeks with straight open tones, half-way through the long tone, soften the dynamic, think a little lower pitch, and add a valve to go a half step lower. For example, play open F for half as long as a breath, then back of the dynamic, think the lower half step into your embouchure, and quickly push down the second valve (but not so quickly you disrupt the horn) so there is as little air disruption as possible, and focus into the lower half-step. Repeat. Make it a part of your warm-up routine. Work your way down as you feel comfortable, even if it takes a week per note change. Then when all that is comfortable, you can start working on intervals, starting with whole steps.

    This is how I became comfortable playing the near-pedal tones on my tuba, which wanted to fly off or not intonate at all until I practiced this routine.


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