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Thread: Tuba-Euphonium Doublers

  1. #11
    started on euphonium, majored in trombone. I have two tubas, one I bought so I could sub with a brass band on tuba (E-flat) and one I bought mostly for noodling around but also for musical cross-training in the low register and for getting big breaths, and with which I've been able to do a few gigs (CC).

    I find the CC fingerings to be easy. I started thinking of them as just a step away from B-flat fingerings and after a week or so of practice I really didn't need to think about them at all any more.

    The E-flat fingerings I initially equated to alto trombone positions in my head, but as I got better I didn't need to do that anymore. In a brass band I just use "trumpet fingerings" as the music is in transposed treble clef. But I do get crossed up from time to time. I find the CC fingerings a heck of a lot easier to deal with, perhaps just because I've practiced them more.
    --
    Barry

  2. #12
    I find it interesting the different roads musicians take to where they are now. I played CC tuba for a couple of years but ended up back on BBb as I preferred it. I have only played Eb for a couple of years as well and definitely not comfortable with the fingerings. My sight reading suffers on Eb! Thanks for sharing.

    Quote Originally Posted by bbocaner View Post
    started on euphonium, majored in trombone. I have two tubas, one I bought so I could sub with a brass band on tuba (E-flat) and one I bought mostly for noodling around but also for musical cross-training in the low register and for getting big breaths, and with which I've been able to do a few gigs (CC).

    I find the CC fingerings to be easy. I started thinking of them as just a step away from B-flat fingerings and after a week or so of practice I really didn't need to think about them at all any more.

    The E-flat fingerings I initially equated to alto trombone positions in my head, but as I got better I didn't need to do that anymore. In a brass band I just use "trumpet fingerings" as the music is in transposed treble clef. But I do get crossed up from time to time. I find the CC fingerings a heck of a lot easier to deal with, perhaps just because I've practiced them more.
    John 3:16

    Mack Brass Euphonium
    Conn Victor 5H Trombone
    Yamaha 354 Trombone
    Mack Brass 200S BBb Tuba

  3. #13
    Euphonium is my primary, but I play tenor, bass, and alto trombones, as well as BBb tuba. I find the tuba double is the easiest to maintain, but if I play too much tuba, it makes my euphonium sound too dark and dull.

    I find Bass Trombone to be the most similar blow to euphonium.

    Don Winston

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Intermountain West in USA
    Posts
    56
    Interesting conversation.

    I have been thinking of getting a tuba, either a small 3/4 size 4 valve Bb or a 4 valve compensating Eb. It may actually be a little to early in my come-back to add another instrument, but I am intrigued with the possibility.

    I found a place that has a small non-compensating Bb tuba with 4 rotary valves that has good reviews for about $1,000. It is a Chinese clone of a major brand. I am tempted to get one because it could be within my budget, and, being a smaller instrument (with a small bore I might add) it might fit my lung capacity better than a larger instrument.

    Are most of the fingerings of a 4 valve Bb the same as bass clef euphonium? I say "most" of the fingerings because the tuba is non-compensating, and my euphonium is compensating. I know treble clef on the euphonium, and I am learning bass clef on the euphonium, so not having to learn a new set of bass clef fingerings could make it easier. I am aware of the trick for reading Eb as if it were a treble clef instrument with a shift in key signature, so maybe it's a toss up when it comes to fingerings (Eb vs. Bb). What do you think?

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by massmanute View Post
    Interesting conversation.

    I have been thinking of getting a tuba, either a small 3/4 size 4 valve Bb or a 4 valve compensating Eb. It may actually be a little to early in my come-back to add another instrument, but I am intrigued with the possibility.

    I found a place that has a small non-compensating Bb tuba with 4 rotary valves that has good reviews for about $1,000. It is a Chinese clone of a major brand. I am tempted to get one because it could be within my budget, and, being a smaller instrument (with a small bore I might add) it might fit my lung capacity better than a larger instrument.

    Are most of the fingerings of a 4 valve Bb the same as bass clef euphonium? I say "most" of the fingerings because the tuba is non-compensating, and my euphonium is compensating. I know treble clef on the euphonium, and I am learning bass clef on the euphonium, so not having to learn a new set of bass clef fingerings could make it easier. I am aware of the trick for reading Eb as if it were a treble clef instrument with a shift in key signature, so maybe it's a toss up when it comes to fingerings (Eb vs. Bb). What do you think?
    The fingerings for a Bb tuba are the same as for a euphonium. The difference being that the tuba is written an octave down from the euphonium. So for a euphonium bass clef C in the staff, that would be fingered 1&3 or 4, whereas that same note in that same position on the staff for a Bb tuba would be fingered 1 (you could play it 1&3 or 4 also) like the euphonium C right above the staff. As for the compensating vs. non-compensating, the fingerings are still the same, just that the compensating horn will be better in tune on those notes that use the compensating tubing (notes that have fingerings that include the 4th valve).
    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
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Intermountain West in USA
    Posts
    56
    I read this thread a few times, most recently today, and I wonder if there are any more comments about a euphonium player taking up tuba as a second instrument. I am especially interested in hearing more discussion about the choice of BBb vs. Eb tuba. (For sake of discussion, assume 4 valve non-compensating BBb vs. 4 valve compensating Eb). Also, what sorts of ensembles provide the best fit to a BBb vs. Eb tuba? Also, my vital capacity may play a role as well. For example, for a BBb I guess as a 70 year old the vital capacity issue would push me toward a smaller (3/4) BBb instrument or maybe an Eb instrument. I did find and Eb compensating tuba that sells for about $1700, which would be a stretch for my budget, but not out of the question if/when I decide to pull the trigger on a purchase. As I mentioned in another post, I also found a small BBb instrument for about $1000.

    And so forth....

  7. Get one while we're still young.
    You are unlikely to regret it.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by massmanute View Post
    I read this thread a few times, most recently today, and I wonder if there are any more comments about a euphonium player taking up tuba as a second instrument. I am especially interested in hearing more discussion about the choice of BBb vs. Eb tuba. (For sake of discussion, assume 4 valve non-compensating BBb vs. 4 valve compensating Eb). Also, what sorts of ensembles provide the best fit to a BBb vs. Eb tuba? Also, my vital capacity may play a role as well. For example, for a BBb I guess as a 70 year old the vital capacity issue would push me toward a smaller (3/4) BBb instrument or maybe an Eb instrument. I did find and Eb compensating tuba that sells for about $1700, which would be a stretch for my budget, but not out of the question if/when I decide to pull the trigger on a purchase. As I mentioned in another post, I also found a small BBb instrument for about $1000.

    And so forth....
    Picking a BBb vs an Eb I would think is pretty dependent on what groups you plan/want to play in. If you were going to play in a symphony orchestra or a large wind ensemble/concert band, then I would probably pick a BBb tuba. For orchestra, I would actually pick a full sized or larger BBb or CC tuba. And for the large concert band or wind ensemble, a full sized or larger BBb tuba. BBb and CC tubas have more gravitas and I think are just better choices than Eb or F tubas for big groups. But, if you were to play in a Brass Band, then a BBb or Eb tuba would be equally good choices, as those groups have both of those instruments specifically (usually 2 of each). For much smaller groups, like a brass quintet, I would probably choose an Eb tuba. Or I would pick a small sized CC perhaps. Or an F. One of the brass quintets I played in recently had a tuba player using a BBb (I was on trombone in that group). He could clearly blow the rest of the group away if he chose to.

    Use me as an example. I smoked for many years and finally quit 8 years ago. That for sure messed up my lungs. It doesn't seem to be getting worse, but I clearly don't have the full lung capacity that I would have if I never smoked. I am almost 73. So, I play an Eb tuba. It is a Wessex, Bombino, a 3/4 sized, 4 valve, compensating Eb tuba. I seem to be able to get around on it pretty well and don't have air issues that I know of. I probably have more air issues when I play bass trombone and a composer decides to have the bass trombone play a really low note at triple forte for two full measures in moderate 4/4 time to finish a piece. It also finishes me! I have to breathe half way through, no way I can make it on one breath. And, the younger (40's) 2nd trombone player sitting beside me, who is a really fine bass trombonist (I am sure he is just awaiting my demise so he can grab my chair), told me he would have to breathe in between also, so I felt maybe 20 percent better with that news.

    So, to me, its all about what you want to do with a tuba. I suppose even if I just wanted a tuba to noodle around on with no real intention to play it anywhere, I would choose an Eb. Several world class tuba virtuoso players use an Eb tuba. And of course others use other types also. It can be difficult to choose an instrument sometimes, but isn't it delightful that there are so many choices to be had!!??
    Last edited by John Morgan; 10-06-2020 at 12:31 PM.
    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
    Wessex TE-360 Bombino Eb Tuba
    Rapid City New Horizons & Municipal Bands (Euphonium)
    Black Hills Symphony Orchestra (Bass Trombone), Powder River Symphony, Gillette, WY (Tenor Trombone)
    Black Hills Brass Quintet (Tuba)

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Intermountain West in USA
    Posts
    56
    Quote Originally Posted by John Morgan View Post
    Picking a BBb vs an Eb I would think is pretty dependent on what groups you plan/want to play in. If you were going to play in a symphony orchestra or a large wind ensemble/concert band, then I would probably pick a BBb tuba. For orchestra, I would actually pick a full sized or larger BBb or CC tuba. And for the large concert band or wind ensemble, a full sized or larger BBb tuba. BBb and CC tubas have more gravitas and I think are just better choices than Eb or F tubas for big groups. But, if you were to play in a Brass Band, then a BBb or Eb tuba would be equally good choices, as those groups have both of those instruments specifically (usually 2 of each). For much smaller groups, like a brass quintet, I would probably choose an Eb tuba. Or I would pick a small sized CC perhaps. Or an F. One of the brass quintets I played in recently had a tuba player using a BBb (I was on trombone in that group). He could clearly blow the rest of the group away if he chose to.

    Use me as an example. I smoked for many years and finally quit 8 years ago. That for sure messed up my lungs. It doesn't seem to be getting worse, but I clearly don't have the full lung capacity that I would have if I never smoked. I am almost 73. So, I play an Eb tuba. It is a Wessex, Bombino, a 3/4 sized, 4 valve, compensating Eb tuba. I seem to be able to get around on it pretty well and don't have air issues that I know of. I probably have more air issues when I play bass trombone and a composer decides to have the bass trombone play a really low note at triple forte for two full measures in moderate 4/4 time to finish a piece. It also finishes me! I have to breathe half way through, no way I can make it on one breath. And, the younger (40's) 2nd trombone player sitting beside me, who is a really fine bass trombonist (I am sure he is just awaiting my demise so he can grab my chair), told me he would have to breathe in between also, so I felt maybe 20 percent better with that news.

    So, to me, its all about what you want to do with a tuba. I suppose even if I just wanted a tuba to noodle around on with no real intention to play it anywhere, I would choose an Eb. Several world class tuba virtuoso players use an Eb tuba. And of course others use other types also. It can be difficult to choose an instrument sometimes, but isn't it delightful that there are so many choices to be had!!??
    Great info. Thanks.

    I envisage three possible scenarios: 1) Playing in a community band composed mostly players of modest skill level. I am currently playing euphonium in the band. We have one tuba player in the band currently (BBb), though his attendance is somewhat spotty. The band is currently not rehearsing due to covid-19 pandemic. 2) Playing at home for my own enjoyment. 3) Joining a traditional jazz band, though I doubt if my skill level would be good enough. 4) Joining a German-style oompah band. There, I said there were three possible scenarios at first, but then I listed four. It sounds like most of my anticipated scenarios would not require a high sound volume, so a big BBb or CC instrument might not be necessary.

    By the way, I found a guy on youtube, Kenneth Amis, who plays an Eb compensating tuba. Here's a link where he takes some solos in "Ain't Misbehavin'" . It's with the Empire Brass performing with the US Air Force Band. I found his web page and sent him an email, and he graciously replied almost instantly with some encouraging words. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVmZ_op-9Fw

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