Tuba tactics and false news. Bookmark and Share

The bulk of the musical talk

Tuba tactics and false news.

Postby 2ba4t » Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:50 pm

The more I study this the angrier I get - on our behalf. A great scientist player worked for Boosey and Hawkes in the 1970's. I just quoted him from 1977 in another post on Bell size. Basically, he proved absolutely scientifically - that trombone bell material, plating etc made no difference - blindfold. But when we see a bright copper, goldbrass, silver, raw brass bell - our minds seize up and mouths and pockets open. Similarly, this venturi nonsense needs answering. Every trombone has a moving venturi at the end of the inner slide stockings. That is two per bone - and they move relatively as the slide goes in and out. Surely we must invent a gadget to solve this problem no one had noticed since 1400s. Those poor sackbut players.

This applies absolutely to tubas. Obviously contrabass sound broader than bass and huge instruments sound 'bigger' but do they make any difference in a full orchestral passage - if absorbed by basses, bones and others? Yes, in an exposed passage we can hear a broad, organ-like sound. But was this the sound the composer wanted? Only Russians etc and 20th century. I think we have become, as I posted elsewhere, string bass players forced to play cello parts.

Against every tubist and manufacturer in the world, I am convinced that large bells and huge bore tubas are deceptive. Arnold Jacobs called them his ‘amplifiers’. But that is how we hear them close up or without the effect of string basses and timpani. I think we were influenced by the Sousa bell, ‘bigger is better’ and those monster instruments really made for commercial reasons in the old days.

Go ask a recording engineer.

If we feel better ‘heard’ then that is no harm. But think - what cuts through the orchestral texture more – the bass trombone,(not blasting) cimbasso (not blasting), euphonium (Planets, Heldenleben, Quixote], narrow bore F tuba, old really narrow bore BBbs or our beloved humangeous, weight-lifters’ monsters.

I would be grateful to be (yet again) put right. I know hundreds of players will swear that in a particular performance a great player on a modern monster tuba was incredible and drowned the orchestra etc [not, of course, that anyone approves of that.]

I suspect that a clever tubist can make himself heard and felt through tactics, rather than breathing exercises, sheer volume or size of bell or bore.

We all know the two tricks: in a loud, tutti passage you first conserve your energy but bang out only those notes (if any) that are not swamped by other instruments and secondly, on those long notes when you are just blasting ffffff beneath ‘bones with basses and timps, you simply play very gently mp at first and then as they all run out of breathe and the loudest front edge of the chord peters out slightly, you crescendo really hard. You force through the tuba’s voice. The effect is that the audience hear - at the very end of the chords - this huge organ like tuba sound (which they presume was there all along). Obviously, I utterly distance myself from such appalling and unprofessional behaviour, completely disassociate myself from even contemplating it and would never advise it. Horrifically, it often earns an approving nod from conductors and annoyed questions from people like, ‘What mouthpiece do you use?’ ‘You don’t look that big.’ Or just ‘Shut up.’
2ba4t
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:42 pm

Re: Tuba tactics and false news.

Postby the elephant » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:08 pm

?
Image

For all you do, this " target="_blank's for you.
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14111
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Tuba tactics and false news.

Postby bort » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:49 pm

Handmade B&S PT6
User avatar
bort
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 10087
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 11:08 pm
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Re: Tuba tactics and false news.

Postby Mark » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:32 pm

the elephant wrote:?


Don't you mean :?:
Mark Wiseman
User avatar
Mark
6 valves
6 valves
 
Posts: 3074
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 7:21 pm
Location: Sammamish, Washington

Re: Tuba tactics and false news.

Postby Donn » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:25 pm

It's kind of a grab bag of thoughts, and for a topic of discussion it might better have been split up, but don't be dismissing it just because so much of it is counter to convention.

I personally find the comments pertaining to red brass bells etc. to be perfectly sensible, so I'll leave that alone, but as for large tubas --

2ba4t wrote:I think we were influenced by the Sousa bell, ‘bigger is better’ and those monster instruments really made for commercial reasons in the old days.


OK, so how about those commercial reasons? No longer apply today?

I don't think anyone would claim that a larger instrument makes no difference, indistinguishable to the listener. A lot of that is tone, which makes it hard to evaluate the effect on volume alone. I'd like to just put a possibly novel idea out there for your consideration, that
1) the instrument contributes only partly to the sound, tonal quality, whatever, and the rest is the player, and
2) players are very different, so
3) good choice of instrument is naturally different.

(2 is only true when it's true -- maybe there's a tuba player norm that accounts for 90% of players who all sound about the same, I don't know, but I'm quite sure it isn't 100%.)
User avatar
Donn
TubeNet Sponsor
TubeNet Sponsor
 
Posts: 5561
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:58 pm
Location: Seattle, ☯

Re: Tuba tactics and false news.

Postby michaelrmurrin » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:17 pm

I didn't find the "?" comment to be dismissive (though I didn't actually watch the "okily dokily" clip nor hear the tone) - but I imagine they are more confused than anything. I was. Meaning, I was a little confused as to what the original post is actually saying and what is the point of it. But there were some statements in the post, that I agreed and disagreed with.

Different players will sound different on the same instrument. People play the tuba differently - they use their air differently, they have different sized lips, different shaped mouth, different tongue size/shape, different lung capacity, different mental concept of what sound they want, different habits, different training - all these things affect the sound. But despite all this, some of the physical specifications of the instrument affect the sound as well.

Bore size and wrapping of the instrument have a significant effect on the sound. Mouthpiece affects the sound.

Bell size, I don't know. I imagine that the shape of the bell flare and the overall size of the bell have SOME effect on the sound - but how much effect, I don't know.

Plating and finish, I don't know. I have played great brass instruments that are lacquer-plated, silver-plated, raw brass, rose brass - I'm not partial to any type and I don't know how the plating affects the sound. I just try instruments and the instrument is either good or bad - and I've found good instruments of all 4 of the above plating types. There's a saxophone forum where people get into the most toxic arguments about plating - who knows why.

I imagine thickness of the metal affects the sound, though that's not really what's being discussed.

Regarding the "tactics" of orchestral tubists - I don't have experience in professional orchestras, so I can't comment on that.

I guess I'm still unclear as to exactly what the original poster said they were angry about, but those are my thoughts on some of the statements made.
michaelrmurrin
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:15 am

Re: Tuba tactics and false news.

Postby eutubabone » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:38 pm

You are not supposed to give away tuba tonal secrets. Playing the tuba is really hard, much harder than bass trombone. Much more important than bass trombone. Let the arguments begin.
eutubabone
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 230
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Stone Mountain, Georgia

Re: Tuba tactics and false news.

Postby bloke » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:53 pm

Was the scientist he played a Bb scientist or C scientist ?
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 43655
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Tuba tactics and false news.

Postby Kpen » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:12 pm

so what other tactics can we use other than the two that you mentioned?
Tuba Peformance Undergrad at EMU
Eastman EBB 431
User avatar
Kpen
lurker
lurker
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:57 pm
Location: Grand Traverse area, Michigan

Re: Tuba tactics and false news.

Postby MN_TimTuba » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:17 pm

[quote="2ba4t"]The more I study this the angrier I get - on our behalf.

Thanks, but no need to get angry on my behalf. I'm mostly happy, even with my large-bell tuba.
MN_Tim

Holton BBb 345
User avatar
MN_TimTuba
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:20 am
Location: Wadena, MN

Re: Tuba tactics and false news.

Postby tbonesullivan » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:32 pm

I'm just angry that some companies (like Bach) charge extra for things like a gold brass bell or nickel outer slides, which is just dumb. For some reason the Conn 88H, made by the SAME COMPANY, has all three bell options (Rose, Thinwall Rose, and Yellow) at the same price point. Yamaha also does not charge extra for that. I'm fairly certain that there is little to no difference in labor required for the different materials, and that from a material cost, it is negligible.

I remember reading at the old TTF that Frank Holton had also done bell material experiments, and also found that shape was more important than anything else.

HOWEVER, these things also fail to take into account that there are things that cannot be measured easily, such as non-linear characteristics of the medium. In other words, when the instruments are really pushed, that is when the differences start to become more apparent from a construction standpoint. A thicker bell will be able to withstand higher volumes, but at the same time will in some ways be deader "feeling" than a thinner one.
Sterling Perantucci 1065GH Euphonium - Hammond 11L
User avatar
tbonesullivan
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:30 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: Tuba tactics and false news.

Postby bloke » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:15 am

What's wrong with choosing those things because people like the COLOR?

I'm quite sure that there is a certain percentage of people (as I've suggested more than once) who choose 6/4-size tubas for their appearance...as with different-shaped solid-body electric guitars...and most every guitar store (have you ever notices) features full-length mirrors...

...and fwiw...80:20 brass, 90:10 brass, and nickel silver won't red-rot, whereas 70:30 "yellow" brass will.

A thicker bell will be able to withstand higher volumes, but at the same time will in some ways be deader "feeling" than a thinner one.


If you believe this, this is your reality.
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 43655
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Tuba tactics and false news.

Postby Donn » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:36 am

Musicians are after all entertainers. Engineers can tell us a lot about how things work, but you don't want to take their advice on how to look.
User avatar
Donn
TubeNet Sponsor
TubeNet Sponsor
 
Posts: 5561
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:58 pm
Location: Seattle, ☯

Re: Tuba tactics and false news.

Postby hup_d_dup » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:53 am

bloke wrote:If you believe this, this is your reality.


That's definitely true, I guess.

Hup
Facebook is your friend, your friend your friend your friend your friend your friend your friend your friend your friend your friend your friend your friend your friend your friend your friend
hup_d_dup
4 valves
4 valves
 
Posts: 733
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:10 am
Location: Tewksbury, NJ

Re: Tuba tactics and false news.

Postby pittbassdaddy » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:35 am

Perhaps look at it this way:
An instrument is a tool that we use to make music. Just as different construction jobs need different tools, different music needs different instruments. One wouldn’t recommend a sledge hammer for installing trim or a trim hammer for demolition. One also wouldn’t recommend a travel tuba for orchestra work.

The more specialized the job, the easier it gets with specialized tools. Most professionals realize this too and have an array of tools that work well for them for the scope of work that they perform.

Some music needs more volume and others more color. So long as you are able to produce an appropriate sound to fit the music, the tools don’t really matter to anyone else.

Some believe one size and key of tuba can do it all. I say good luck with your crescent hammer.
pittbassdaddy
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:55 pm

Re: Tuba tactics and false news.

Postby the elephant » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:26 am

Donn: "?" does not imply dismissiveness. It means "Damn, boy, that was some serious word salad. This post reads like a drunk text to an ex-girlfriend made at 3:00 a.m.
Image

For all you do, this " target="_blank's for you.
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14111
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Tuba tactics and false news.

Postby bloke » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:47 am

I - for one - am SICK and TIRED of all the nose-pickin' (now: not just computer viruses, but rhinovirus as well) that goes on here, along with other lack of decorum - which, among other things, includes PWWP (posting without wearing pants).
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 43655
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: Tuba tactics and false news.

Postby Donn » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:07 am

One "?" isn't cause for any concern, it's when they start to pile up, or "pile on" maybe. Tubenet can come off like a gang of adolescent boys sometimes.

I personally thought the "large bells and huge bore tubas are deceptive" argument was way off the mark,

the "trombone bell material, plating etc made no difference" likely correct for the audience, and

"this venturi nonsense" we're innocent - that's trumpet players, isn't it?
User avatar
Donn
TubeNet Sponsor
TubeNet Sponsor
 
Posts: 5561
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:58 pm
Location: Seattle, ☯

Re: Tuba tactics and false news.

Postby the elephant » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:15 am

I just hate careless writing. I hate intellectual laziness in general. I guess the partial anonymity of the Internet still affects some people so that they don't care about details. That says a lot about them as people, though.
Image

For all you do, this " target="_blank's for you.
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 14111
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: Tuba tactics and false news.

Postby The Brute Squad » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:10 am

the elephant wrote:I guess the partial anonymity of the Internet still affects some people so that they don't care about details.


The Greater Internet (bleep)wad Theory still holds true 15 years later.
Joe K

Player of tuba, taker of photos, breaker of things (mostly software)

Miraphone 181 F
BMB J-865
User avatar
The Brute Squad
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:57 pm
Location: Middleton, WI

Next

Return to TubeNet

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot], Steve Marcus and 28 guests