Age and Horn Weight

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JESimmons
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Post by JESimmons »

Weight lifting. Do an online search for Mark Rippetoe. I’m 70 and am able to carry a tenor and bass trombone plus tuba along with music/stuff bag, two trombone stands and music stand in one trip to church rehearsal. I couldn’t have done it a couple of years ago.
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Post by paulver »

I'll be 68 next week, and I've had surgery on both shoulders and both knees. At times, when lifting my tuba/gig bag to carry it, I "feel the pain the and weight"! Not quite there yet, but on occasion, after lifting my tuba out of the car trunk, I've thought about alternatives. Right now, I just stand it up and slip the straps over my shoulders and start walking. but, at some point I'm gonna have to come up with another idea. I love my 186, so I figure that I'll invest in a dolly/cart of some sort and design a way to attach it that will be quick and easy.
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Post by Matt Walters »

Terry,
Yes. You will need to downsize. I get phone calls from guys in their 70's plus some in their 60's and 80's that say, "I can still play the tuba but I have problems getting it in and out of the car." That is the "to and from rehearsal" for most of us that will also include stairs. Playing mostly CC, I took my insight from so many phone calls over the years and jumped at buying a great shape used Conn 2J that is going to be my "Old Man Horn". Also my 1917 vintage 3 valve top action King BBb is very light. I have custom made, great fitting gig bags for each of those horns so I won't have to fling a heavy and/or bulky case in and out of the car.
Just as a typical 70 year old man can't keep up with a 20 year in physical jobs like digging ditches and thowing hay bales, etc., you may no longer be able to balance a 60 member community band as the sole tuba player. But you will still know how to play with more wisdom. Keep an eye out for a smaller lighter tuba that plays well in-tune and know that for many more years you can still contribute to the success of the ensembles you play in. Let someone else step up and do the Heavy Lifting.
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Post by bisontuba »

You have a handicap tag? If so, fine. If not, you can get a MASSIVE ticket! In NYS, even to get a handicap temp tag, you now have to have a doctor sign a statement saying you need a cane/crutches/walker/wheelchair, etc. No he/she has trouble walking/bad knees/bad back, etc. You must be using a 'device' to be able to get a handicap tag.. It wasn't always the case but it is now.....
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Post by swillafew »

I got ahead of this problem by getting rid of two big horns and getting a big F to complement the little F. If I had been a CC guy I would have gone with a small CC and only had the one. The little F was used for 3 dates in the first 3 months I had it, because the ensemble had no place to put anything bigger (church pew seating, a river boat, a theatre pit). I have only been pleased with the plan. The little F has been used in parades, blues bands, brass choir, quintet. The bigger F does business as a BBb in brass band, the 'tuba' in orchestra, etc.
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Post by Three Valves »

The handicap parking tag scam was only the precursor to the medical marijuana and support animal scams!!
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Post by bisontuba »

Hi-
Stacy Baker from Moorhead State used a cart like this on the recent New Sousa Band gigs in Chicago. I have one--see below-- that I use for shows and my presentations when loading my tub full of ephemera, antiques, projector, etc.
In Chicago, I just used a luggage cart, but Stacy has modified the cart shown with padding on the handle, a 'moving ' type locking strap to keep things secure, etc. She said she can transport her CC and F in their gig bags on hers. She really is way ahead of the curve transporting horns ( especially in someplace as big as the Chicago Convention Center!).

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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Post by jperry1466 »

Stryk wrote: I do have a Handicap tag. Not for my weight, or my bum knee, but because I have kidney failure. If the kidneys don't filter your blood optimally, it can't carry sufficient oxygen, and you can't do what you should be able to do. It is a day by day thing - some are good, some are not and I don't know which until I wake up in the morning.
Oh man, I feel for you. I suffered with kidney failure for 21 years before I was able to get a transplant. My friends thought my skin was naturally gray, and there were lots of other symptoms and side effects, as you well know. With that surgery, plus a colon resection last year, there are places where the abdominal muscles are interrupted by scar tissue and a golf ball size scar under my belly button. And then I wonder why I don't have the support and air I used to play with. Hang in there, Stryk. I admire you for not taking advantage of situations with that handicap tag.

My problem with the weight of the tuba is dealing with the arthritis in my hands when carrying it. With rotary valve spatulas it doesn't affect my playing too much. I'm looking at downsizing from my 4/4 to a 3/4 if I can find a CC I like in that size. Otherwise may go back to a 3/4 BBb.
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Post by DonShirer »

Lost considerable energy because of illness, so I switched to a very light horn, found it had insufficient bass, saved it for quartets, etc. Found a slightly heavier 5 valve with good bass, and use a handcart.
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Post by acemorgan »

I am 64 and have a 186 with a recording bell. I don’t usually have too much trouble transporting the tuba, but a couple months ago . . .

Our city’s Tuba Christmas gig takes place at a huge holiday craft and culture festival at an enormous shopping center. We had to park nearly half a mile—literally—from the band shell. And afterward, schlep it all back again. It felt like being back in marching band.

The best (short list) thing about a recording bell is that it comes off. With the bell gone, the rest of the horn fits perfectly in my old army duffel bag. With its wide backpack-style shoulder straps and latching top, it holds the tuba beautifully. This leaves free hands for music, stand, bell, etc. This really beats the typical recording bell tuba transportation-container-system-premise. I just can’t use the word “case,” because it implies practical considerations.

My age is more of a factor in simply playing the thing. I have an arthritic left shoulder, and cannot keep my arm elevated for more than a few minutes at a time. The other good thing (as I said, short list) about the bell is that I can rotate it 90 degrees to the right. This lets me cradle the tuba in the crook of my left arm, and the bell provides ballast to lighten the weight. Also, the bell angle is then more harmonious (visually and aurally) with the rest of the ensemble. Okay, it’s more like a mirror angle to the rest of the front-action tubas, but it works. From my vantage point, I like the sound better as well.
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Post by roughrider »

Matt Walters wrote:Terry,
Yes. You will need to downsize. I get phone calls from guys in their 70's plus some in their 60's and 80's that say, "I can still play the tuba but I have problems getting it in and out of the car." That is the "to and from rehearsal" for most of us that will also include stairs. Playing mostly CC, I took my insight from so many phone calls over the years and jumped at buying a great shape used Conn 2J that is going to be my "Old Man Horn". Also my 1917 vintage 3 valve top action King BBb is very light. I have custom made, great fitting gig bags for each of those horns so I won't have to fling a heavy and/or bulky case in and out of the car.
Just as a typical 70 year old man can't keep up with a 20 year in physical jobs like digging ditches and thowing hay bales, etc., you may no longer be able to balance a 60 member community band as the sole tuba player. But you will still know how to play with more wisdom. Keep an eye out for a smaller lighter tuba that plays well in-tune and know that for many more years you can still contribute to the success of the ensembles you play in. Let someone else step up and do the Heavy Lifting.
Thank you! This is a terrific post!
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Post by Tubachin »

I too, am looking for solutions to my heavy CC tuba. Carrying it along with a stand, etc. to and from rehearsals is not yet a bother, but will be as I become an older tuba player. I am thinking about getting a F tuba as it is lighter and takes less air (my observations), which are both advantages as I age.

Any one else thinking about a similar solution???
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Post by bort »

Tubachin wrote:I too, am looking for solutions to my heavy CC tuba. Carrying it along with a stand, etc. to and from rehearsals is not yet a bother, but will be as I become an older tuba player. I am thinking about getting a F tuba as it is lighter and takes less air (my observations), which are both advantages as I age.

Any one else thinking about a similar solution???
At one time when I lived in NYC, I had a large Marzan tuba. I would commute 1 hour each way (walking and standing on the subway) with the tuba, a playing stand, and a music stand. It was unreasonably heavy and even as a healthy man in my early 30s, it was just not sustainable or enjoyable. I sold that tuba and bought a Miraphone 188 (and eliminated the need for the stand). Everything was immediately more enjoyable, easier, and more fun with the 188.

F tubas are fun, and have their musical purposes... but I would not seek one out as a replacement for a CC tuba. I would just choose a smaller or lighter CC tuba instead. I tried using an F tuba only one summer, as part of a large tuba section. I figured that I'd take it easy, and let the others do the heavy lifting. It was a great idea, except for the rehearsals where none of the other tuba players showed up, and it was just me with a small F tuba! As 1 of 7, it worked nicely. As the only tuba player -- no way!

Of course, now that I live in Minnesota, I drive everywhere I need to go with my tuba. One reason I bought a 6/4 tuba to use at this point in life was because I know I'm driving everywhere, and because I'm young enough to still handle it. Weight is not the reason I'm looking to sell it though.
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Post by bort »

One other bit of context -- my youngest son just turned 19 months, and weighs a little over 30 pounds. It's more difficult to pick him up than it is to pick up the PT-7. :)
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Post by Charlie C Chowder »

It is amazing to me how much difference it feels to pick up my 31 lb. canoe and my 32 lb. tuba. Maybe it is the visuals as my canoe is 17 ft. long as appose to my 4.33 ft. tuba.

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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Post by Charlie C Chowder »

Yea, I got that problem too!

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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Post by euphomate »

This may be too personal a question, but what did you start at, and what is the target finish point. Remember that the tuba should never be heavier than it's owner. :D
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Post by Matt Walters »

Dear Friend Joe,

I think it is great that you are loosing this weight and I truly hope you have found what works for you that you can keep it off. Keep it up.
Last edited by Matt Walters on Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Post by Bill Troiano »

At 67, I'm getting up there. I do exercise 4-5 days a week and I keep my weight around where it should be (except from late Nov. - mid Jan.) My issues are more about arthritis and joint degeneration. I've posted regarding lighter tubas in the past. My shoulders, knees and mid lower back ache a lot. My Jupiter/Stofer CC sousaphone weighs 26 lbs. with the brass bell. I played 2 long gigs with it this weekend where I strolled around and I felt the discomfort Sunday and Monday (no gym). I ordered a fiberglass King bell that should arrive tomorrow. Maybe, it won't sound as good, but it will reduce the overall weight by about 5 lbs. That's my old man sousaphone, that I play a lot. Regarding tubas, I use an old 186 5U CC that is under 20 lbs. I have a 4 valve Gnagey CC that is under 20 lbs. My BMB F, that I rarely play, is around 17 lbs. and my Yamaha 621CC is around 15 lbs. Those are my old man tubas. I rarely play the Yamaha these days, but I know as I age, I will use it more frequently. Although I don't own one, a Piggy would be a great all around old man tuba, if you find a good one.

Like Matt said, diets don't work to reduce body weight permanently, but diet and exercise can, if you incorporate both on a regular basis - a conscious lifestyle change.
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Post by bort »

The exercise issue is interesting -- most jobs that people have these days involve a whole lot of sitting, and using computers. No physical activity whatsoever.

Years ago, my wife asked me why I always stay up until 2 or 3 am. I thought the answer was simple -- because I didn't do a damn thing today to exert any energy. (Meant as a joke, but partially true.) I've got my own sleep issues though, and hoping to get those addressed while I'm still pretty young. Sometimes though, my "cycle" seems more like 36 hours than 24 hours, and that's not so convenient.

Generations ago, the workforce had far more physical jobs, and didn't "need" exercise as a separate event, the way we do now.

My grandfather was a butcher, and he had huge rock hard arms. A very strong man, and never exercised a single day, I'm sure. Of course, he also smoked for 50 years, drank heavily, and died of a massive stroke... so there's that part of his life too.

I think we can all do better with how we live a healthy life, but stay realistic and know that things aren't going to go perfectly.

There was an old line in an episode of The Simpsons which sums it up for me:

"I can't promise I'll try, but I'll try to try."
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