Best tubas for a High school band program Bookmark and Share

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Postby tubop » Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:13 pm

iiipopes wrote:
My director dealt with all of the above in this manner: when a student came into band as a Freshman, he/she was assigned an instrument for the duration of their playing in high school band,




Now THAT is a great idea!
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Postby tubaman90 » Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:00 pm

tubop wrote:
iiipopes wrote:
My director dealt with all of the above in this manner: when a student came into band as a Freshman, he/she was assigned an instrument for the duration of their playing in high school band,




Now THAT is a great idea!


yeah it is, thats what we do, until we get a new horn, then the top guy gets it and his (in our case mine) is passed to the next guy, whos horn simply isnt used anymore cause its a st pete, but it will next year cause 5 tuba playing freshman are coming in.
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Postby iiipopes » Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:14 pm

tubaman90 wrote:
tubop wrote:
iiipopes wrote:
My director dealt with all of the above in this manner: when a student came into band as a Freshman, he/she was assigned an instrument for the duration of their playing in high school band,




Now THAT is a great idea!


yeah it is, thats what we do, until we get a new horn, then the top guy gets it and his (in our case mine) is passed to the next guy, whos horn simply isnt used anymore cause its a st pete, but it will next year cause 5 tuba playing freshman are coming in.


Yes, but read the caveat in my next sentence. You are already demonstrating the problem with even a one-time hand me down: you are discounting the St. Pete. It will die a premature death that not even it deserves.

If it had been turned around for me with a new souzy purchased by the school as my director had asked for volunteers to play souzy on the field, I would have gotten the new souzy, as the seniors and other upperclassmen had already been assigned their horns.
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Postby Leland » Mon Apr 02, 2007 8:07 am

tubop wrote:
iiipopes wrote:
My director dealt with all of the above in this manner: when a student came into band as a Freshman, he/she was assigned an instrument for the duration of their playing in high school band,




Now THAT is a great idea!


Agreed. Was it also made clear how much money repairs would cost?
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Postby Richard Brown » Mon Apr 02, 2007 8:50 am

Stick with the old indestructable warhorses: Conn 24J and King 2341. Even if you find a bell front horn, folks like Dan Schultz and Lee Stofer can make new upright bells for them and you'll still be ok moneywise as opposed to new, less durable choices. You will also never run out of parts.

I would also add older Besson 3V compensating BBb's. Same indestructable characteristics, and these horns have a great sound and play extremely well in tune, just make sure you get the right Wick mpcs for them: Wick 1 for big kids, Wick 2 for smaller-both have the smaller English shank you'll need for those older Bessons.

Just my two cents thrown in!

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Postby iiipopes » Mon Apr 02, 2007 8:54 am

tubashaman wrote:Your top band and responsible tubas should have the 186, or the king would be a good choice since it is a full size

A lower band would need yahamas or jupiters

STAY away from st petersburgs, they have the worst intonation, they break easily, and they have a bad tone quality, and really only a 3/4 size.

Im a college tuba major and played on that thing for 1.5 years and got my miraphone 1291 and i can hear such a difference


And your quote assumes the second caveat: lack of responsibility. ALL of the players were assigned the same responsibility for taking care of the instruments. There was NO favortism, and NO singling out or special treatment. We probably had a better team ethic than most professional sports teams, or any other athletic team for that matter. And the school had to build a larger trophy case just for the band trophies as a result.

As I said, the school had a reasonable budget to make sure all instruments were of quality and functioned properly, regardless of age of the horn, or age or ability of the player.

Again, the only stratification of position was as a result of your own limitations, and how you dealt with them, and the only rewards were by and for actual superiority of performance, and then by seating positions and "letter" awards. NOT by horn assignments.

Remember, this thread is about the selection, care, maintenance and longetivity of school-owned tubas, not the rewarding of talented and/or hard working students. This system results in the best overall care, and the longest lives for school owned tubas as opposed to any other system of assigning instruments to students.

Now, here's one more item for the mix: the music store in town, until the owner died, was a stable store with a high reputation region wide, and the owner was a top notch tech himself as well as a player. So he had a good working relationship with the director, and as new instruments were needed, they were purchased of consistent quality for a reasonable, if not the "cheapest" price for instruments that any high school or college music program would feel comfortable having in their inventory, including items such as King tubas, Ludwig top line percussion for both concert and field, Selmer contra clarinets in both Eb & BBb, etc. So as the responsibility for providing good quality instruments consistently was assumed and executed properly by the faculty, staff, and the music store, this also eliminated the "I don't want to play THAT horn" situation.
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Re: Best tubas for a High school band program

Postby bloke » Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:00 pm

DP wrote:...My idea, buy a couple of cheap POS tubas and be done with it. If your program has money to spend, buy the kind of consumables that the majority of students will benefit from. Or get the funds reallocated to hire a really inspirational student-teacher type, or hire soloists to perform with and also do master classes with your kids. Use the money to be pragmatic, but think about getting inspiration (isn't that part of what teaching is about?)
If a student wants a good horn, they'll buy one. And don't give me that crap about "a good horn will motivate a kid who's on the fence about being serious w/music." That may be true, but not without the kid's personal investment in the horn, i.e. if the kid wants a good horn they can work for it and buy one...


I'm going to have to agree with Dale.

Having relayed these stories dozens of times, I'll relay them again:

- My standmate (at age eighteen) auditioned into Pershing's Own during the Vietnam War (1973) with a Conn fiberglass 36K THREE-valve friggin sousaphone...and I believe he still may have the highest-ever entrance/audition score to this day.

- I played my first paid *tuba gig at 17 (Memphis Symphony Orchestra - $300 - 1974 ...enough dough, I was thinking, to buy a better guitar...) with my high school's totally fubar King 2340 (THREE valve) tuba with a PATCHED and RELACQUERED BY ME (with a paint brush :shock: ) bell. The valves were so hopelessly worn on that King, I went back into the instrument dungeon and found an old King sousaphone with not-as-worn valves to swap them out. The D#'s were so d@mn flat (because of the "compensated" lengths on the King 3-valve configuration) that I was lipping like crazy (Stravinsky -Le Baiser de la Fé)...BUT that week's work prompted me (as D.P. comments above) to start shopping for a tuba (and an etude book dealing with "shifting meters").
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Postby iiipopes » Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:15 pm

tubashaman wrote:I am going to disagree.

Many school districts in Texas, being a superb state for music education, do things this way

The high school has a certain model of tuba they buy, i.e the Miraphone 186, and every few years, they buy newer horns to complement more players.

As with a band with senority, I built my way up from a 1970's BBb 186 to a brand spanking new miraphone 186 my junior year

Also, by the senority and care factor, it causes students to work harder to try to get the nicer equiptment.

A simple explanation to the student about senority solves the whole issue of favirotism, and tell them when they are that age they can have the exact same or newer horn


And again, the horns last only a few years. You point to the fallacy of the system in your own post. Where I come from, the horns last DECADES, not merely years.
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Postby wchoc86 » Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:30 pm

Well, my school has two tubas, a yamaha 641 that i play on, and a 321 that the middle school kid plays on.

the 641 is decent, it's about a decade ood, pretty beat up, but still plays with good intonation and pitch, if you work at it. and some nice tone. but i think the 186 or the mw 25 would be better.

the 321 is ridiculously out of tune. do not buy that crap.
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Postby sloan » Wed Apr 25, 2007 2:09 am

ken k wrote:

People keep saying you gotta try them first, but obviously when purchasing a school horn that usually is not possible.


Then you need a hard and fast return agreement.

Partly based on my recommendation, my local HS purchased a bunch of 2341's. something like 1/2 of them had to be returned. The "keepers" are wonderful.

Someone I play with recently mail-ordered a 2341 and returned it. Last week he tried mine, and was amazed at the difference.

Ken "mine's a keeper" Sloan
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Postby Bob1062 » Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:08 pm

I went to a very small high school for most of, well, high school. :lol: Right before my senior year we moved to a town with a very big high school. I didn't play tuba at the big school (just euph), but I played euph, tuba, electric bass, bass clarinet, french horn,.... at the old school.

The one school tuba was an older 3 front valve King, that some idiot had "Mexican hat danced" on the bell of! Little bastards.

Anyway, we split that (and the mouthpiece, usually never washing it! yuck) between a few people in different bands.






Here I go again :roll: -

I really wish that I had had a small Eb tuba in high school. I could have covered the missing bass clarinet stuff and my euph stuff too. For one concert I was going to play euph, tuba, bass clarinet, and maybe horn (?). I ditched the clarinet because I wasn't comfortable with starting the song (big bass clarinet part) on a dry reed. I played it on euph instead, but now wish I had known about false tones (took the low concert Eb's up an octave).

With a small Eb, I could have played all the bass clarinet stuff at pitch, played most if not all of the tuba stuff, and even some of my euph stuff if I wanted. AND I would have payed less than the 700 I payed for my new Amati euph.

I also wish I had gotten lessons (got my first one at 23), but that's another story.







I realize that this is about buying tubas for the school, not a student buying a tuba, but I think every school should havea small Eb for "other stuff"- quintets, covering low reed and other low brass parts, for the small player OR the strong player.






And in a related note, I won my first gig on a 3 valve Amati euph, and now play my little 3 valve Eb in it. Each has payed for itself about twice, I think. I had a $300 gig in March that had me as a featured soloist on my little beater Eb :shock:

In another related note (shut up already! :lol: ), I know a kid who's first tuba was also a C tuba (Kali Daryl Smith) in 8th grade!
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Postby wphstubaboy » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:28 pm

i am a high school student in winter park florida and we have 4 yamaha ybb 321's (1 is about 7 years old, 2 are 3 years old and the last one is brand new). we are a relativley good band program seeing as how we went to midwest this year. i dont like the upright valves that much b/c they are not comfy but the 321's are in tune and really loud when u need them to be (like in mars). i personally take care of the tuba i use which is 3 years old and i keep it in almost perfect condition( has a few dents but they are not from me). i oil the valves once every 2 days with al cas and apply slide grease once every 3 weeks and clean it with alaquer cloth every week or so. most of my section does this as well so the tubas are in great condition (excluding the 7 year old one, which is just FUBAR b/c of previous owners). personally though i wish we had MW's or Miras but beggers cant be choosers. im in the hunt for a pro level tuba for my use at home and in the youth orchestra so pm me if u see anything. oh and our marching band has 2 sets of sousas, 1 line of a mix between fiberglass and rusted metal for practice horns and 1 line of 10 conn 20k's which are preformance horns and have been in WPHS for 9 years and look like new because we TAKE CARE OF OUR HORNS.
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Postby iiipopes » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:55 pm

Hey wphstubaboy -- thanks for your post. Glad to hear it. I'm sure you're a credit to your school program. Apply that conscientiousness to everything else in life, and you will go far and high, very far and very high!

Keep up the good work!
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Postby SplatterTone » Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:16 pm

Those front piston valve Barringtons seem to meet all the pragmatic requirements listed by Bloke. The customer comments on wwbw website seem to think it is OK for a school horn.
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Postby mTaUrBkA » Sun Apr 29, 2007 12:16 am

Bill, I don't know if you are a band director at a school or what, but if you are, be sure to talk to your students...if you haven't already.
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Postby bloke » Sun Apr 29, 2007 12:56 am

look...

Linkage ain't "the deal" with rotary tubas vs. piston tubas being thrown around school bandrooms.

"The deal" is a broken valve stem when the thing hits the deck after being thrown across the bandroom. Whether or not you know ANYthing about repairing tubas, which do YOU think MIGHT be easier:

- fishing out what's left of a broken PISTON valve stem and screwing in a new one

>>>> or <<<<

- staring at a broken off ROTOR stem and wondering just how the he[ck] you're going to reattach it to the rest of the rotor, get it straight, get it spinning in the casing, and get it spinning in the casing without taking a file and some sandpaper ( :cry: ) to it...

...??

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Postby sloan » Sun Apr 29, 2007 2:04 am

bloke wrote:look...


...??

bloke "Come-on. This is a no-brainer."


Making it right down bloke's alley.
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Postby iiipopes » Sun Apr 29, 2007 9:07 am

sloan wrote:
bloke wrote:look...


...??

bloke "Come-on. This is a no-brainer."


Making it right down bloke's alley.


OK -- we're all going to "assume" you just forgot to put the "Razz" emoticon at the end of this post.
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Re:

Postby BrassedOn » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:03 am

Jason Arnold wrote:The only down side to a 2341 is that really annoying bend going into the third valve that makes it nearly impossible to drain. I have finally gotten to the point with my students where I make them take out their 3rd valve and pour it out from the front (before the lesson starts). And the only other con is the removable leadpipe assembly always seems to come loose. Happy Hunting.


I play the 2341 and here is exactly what I do. It is the honor bestowed on 2341 players (and 1240s) going back decades. Of course, rotary players with the "condensation" flowing neatly to a single evacuation key may think it a dishonor and unseemly. But if it's "spit" in a King, everyone will know you draw your tuba as a knight wields a broadsword.

After draining slides from the bottom, pull the top 3rd valve slide and tip 100 degrees to the left. For the second and first slide, tip right 30 degrees, depress the valves one at a time, and blow to get water out of that first knuckle on the back. Or, like the 3rd, I will sometimes pull the top 1st slide and tip left. For the 4th valve, there is the bottom spit key, but there is a whole 'nother loop in that circuit. This requires the classic "King Twist": Raise the horn, tip to the left 100 degrees, then tip on the other axis the valve button side up toward the sky, and then toward the player to move the water around that branch, tip right and reorient to home position, evacuate again from the bottom spit key. As an added benefit, this works your deltoids and puts fear into the woodwind players and hornists nearby; they think I'm going to toss the horn across the band. Then, as a final show of strength, I sometimes have to do a French horn spin, to spin the horn counter clockwise 360 a few turns to move some water around the bows towards the bell. For the King lover, typically, this is no burden.
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