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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby DonShirer » Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:28 pm

I used a handcart with my 5-valve+hardcase but it eventually got too clumsy so I switched to a soft case and carried it for almost 10 years. But this season my aching joints warned me that I wasn't getting any younger, so I switched to a lighter compensated 4-valve model with soft case so hopefully they may last a few more years.

(I posted this yesterday but it disappeared.)
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby bloke » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:36 pm

DonShirer wrote:I used a handcart with my 5-valve+hardcase but it eventually got too clumsy so I switched to a soft case and carried it for almost 10 years. But this season my aching joints warned me that I wasn't getting any younger, so I switched to a lighter compensated 4-valve model with soft case so hopefully they may last a few more years.

(I posted this yesterday but it disappeared.)


(gotta hit "Submit" before you doze off, your nose hits "ALT" while your forehead hits "HOME", and you automatically go to "aol.com". :P )
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby royjohn » Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:27 am

We all have different lives and different problems, so I can't suggest that my situation duplicates anyone else's. I only play for my own amazement, and I'm a beginner. I had to stop playing for a while because of medical issues, but I got clearance to start back recently. It was quite a chore to lug the Conn 20J and the Miraclone the seven steps out of the basement (split level house) to set up again. It's also a breathless experience to bring in a 40 lb bag of dog food 40 feet from the driveway and up two steps into the house. I'll be 69 this summer and have been having trouble with my knees for several years after nary a joint problem in my life. I'm also 80-90 lbs overweight, mostly from eating too much and sitting at a computer too much. I lost 60 lbs about a year ago with exercise, but gained it back after stopping.

What all this tells me is that I'm not ready for a slippery downward slope yet. I hate to consult docs, but I will be seeing an orthopedist and probably also a physical therapist, if some new regular appointments with the recumbent bike don't improve things. I still want to be able to take that Conn out to the car to see how it sounds at Church from time to time. I also have a long awaited trip to Italy planned for the fall, and the small town my grandfather is from is built into the side of a very steep hill, as are a lot of other towns we want to visit. No elevators there.

Just sign me as "not done yet." :D :D :D
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby Donn » Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:14 am

Since you mentioned exercise - walk. Guitar player in one of the bands I play in just turned 70, and he's leaner and in better condition that he was at 60 - not surprising since he walks several miles a day, sometimes over 10 miles. He got in with some other people who do it, and he seems to be having the time of his life. I expect you'll see some pretty fit older people in Italy, and no recumbent bikes in sight. I'm hopeful, as I'm only 8 years behind you and I recently about doubled my tuba load, in weight and bulk.
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby bloke » Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:38 am

to Donn's comment:

I'd wager that most of us (older players...and quite a few younger players - regardless "no health problems" or "several health problems") are overweight, and by at least 20 lbs. me...?? I'm overweight by MULTIPLES of 20 lbs. Currently, I'm having no problems picking up really heavy stuff (I'm kinda like my Dad...a big old ox), but for those of us who ARE having trouble picking up heavy things, WHAT IF we LOST about 30 lbs...?? Then, how much LESS stress would it be on our bodies to pick up a tuba in a bag that weighs 28 lbs or so..??

:arrow: ...or maybe, I have no idea what I'm talking about...(??) :oops:
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby royjohn » Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:39 am

Thanks for the kind words and tips, Donn...I agree with walking in general...there's a guy at my Church who hikes in the Smokeys every week and he is 85 and looks great. The problem at present is that walking is painful most days and the bike, recumbent or not, is not, probably due to its being a non-weight bearing exercise. I am hoping that with weight loss and perhaps some kind of physical therapy and medical treatment walking and maybe even jogging are not out of the picture completely. :D :D :D
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby Zypher » Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:27 am

I'm excited to see the future of new materials in "brass" instruments. There are so many possibilities in material science. There just has to be a market for it.

Any place in the Midwest US have the Tiger or new Coolwind to try?
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby pjv » Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:17 pm

For the record, I'm in very good health, exercise regularly and have a fairly slim build. At 53 my shoulder isn't alway happy with some of my tubas. That's my body and I deal with it. Playing a lot of sousaphone probably doesn't help.
I've done some downsizing and can say the following;

My old Alex is a rather lightweight horn (if compared to, say a Miraphone) and has more than enough horsepower for the kind of work I do. This typical German model is a fairly compact build if you compare it to many American style tubas.

It could be wrong but I believe that the Kanstul's are also fairly lightweight. If you like this kind of tuba then it could be what you need.

My rather old Arion, though not light weight, is very small and compact. It's not just the weight of a tuba that can be taxing. They are cumbersome. A compact tuba is just easier to maneuver. I seem to remember picking up an Cerveny Opera not so long ago (very similar) and that felt lighter than my Arion. (felt; I didn't weigh it)

The gig bag. Many people are against it. For me it's a back saver. I vary rarely ever use a hard case. Why should I? To protect my tuba? I'm the one who has to protect it by being a responsible adult. Sure accidents can happen. But the only dents I've ever made was when the tuba wasn't in a gig bag. And what good is a perfectly protected tuba if my back is thrashed from lifting hard cases?
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby Bill Troiano » Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:59 pm

Back in NY and after I retired from my teaching gig, my doctor told me to get in shape and lose some weight. Join a gym, he told me. So, I did and I never did anything like that before. I only ran, swam laps and did push ups as a conscious effort to exercise in the past. After joining the gym, at around 57 yrs. old, I got hooked into having a trainer and he got me into weights and strength training. I got hooked on that. I would do some cardio, but I mainly worked out for an hour a day, 4-5 times a week. I dropped the trainer after 2 months - more expensive than what I got for teaching tuba lessons. Without a trainer, I was left to watching other guys (and girls) at the gym, talking to them and reading about working out. I did well and dropped about 15 lbs. I've since put some of that back on, but I'm only 4-5 lbs. over weight now, at the most.

From that time since I joined a gym, I suffered various injuries, due to my workouts. Most were shoulder injuries. I would take some time off and get back at it. My wife would constantly get on me for using too much weight, but I figured I had to work the muscles to failure, or what good is it. Fast forward to now here in Austin where I belong to another gym. I continued to work out the same amount of time each week, taking time off for sickness or injuries. I continued to beat my shoulders up to the point where I can't hardly raise my arms over my head. Plus, I injured my lower back 2 years ago doing squats with heavy weight and it hasn't healed itself yet.

What's my point? Especially as an older person (I'm now 64), be especially careful if you choose to do strength training as a form of exercise or to get into shape. Joints and tendons aren't what they used to be when we were younger. However, strength training is a great way to tone up and lose weight. Vigorous strength training can burn more fat than cardio. But, other parts of your body can suffer. After a recent injury with my right shoulder and pain extending into my neck, I decided f@uck this strength stuff. I haven't been to the gym in over a week. I am now determined to feel better before I do it again, in moderation with less weight. I'm doing a lot of stretching, mostly shoulder stuff.

I mainly say this because I do have difficulty putting a tuba into a top loading bad, getting it out of my trunk, slinging it onto my shoulders and getting both shoulders through the straps. It's especially difficult with my 1292 and Miraphone bag. It makes me want to play my 621CC more, but it isn't adequate in a large ensemble. Yes, I would like a 4 valve 196X, 186 CC. It's about as heavy as my 621CC. I really don't want to get rid of my 1292, although I don't use it much anymore playing mainly trad. jazz, but I'm planning on getting my body feeling better to make using it easier.

If you're overweight and beyond 60, tuba playing can become a pain. Both diet and cardio (not one or the other) should help you lose weight and feel better and perhaps make managing a large tuba easier. If you choose strength training, circuit training is a combination of both. That's where you move quickly from one exercise to another with less than 20 seconds (or so) rest in between. You do 4-5 different exercises and then rest a minute or so. Then do it again, maybe 3 sets. You would use less weight than if you were doing straight strength sets and you're also doing cardio, as you keep your heart rate up by moving quickly between exercises. This is what I will do, if and when I return to this form of training. In the meantime, I will go to the gym again, beginning tomorrow, and do cardio machines and shoulder stretching exercises.

Of course, as you would read or hear anywhere, consult your doctor before attempting any form of exercise if you're not used to doing this. And, use LIGHT weights - something you could lift 20-30 times before fatigue. Bench pressing your weight is impressive, but who cares!
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby waterotter12 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:47 pm

Back when I was a small 6th grader I had to get my tuba to an honors group I was in, which of course was in the basement of a local high school, which for some reason was down two flights of stairs. So I completely understand your trouble. I definitely agree that wheels are a big help. I don't know if anyone else has this issues, but I've always found it hard to control when I use the wheels built into my case. This probably isn't a great solution, but I found that there are strangers who are amazingly kind (and honestly stronger). For a while I refused the help of the parents who offered, but then I changed my mind, and it was so helpful.
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby bloke » Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:15 pm

BT's post (two up) makes some good points.
When out in the woods, I'm (now) cutting up tree-trunks (to be dropped into washes, too large to be worth messing with for firewood, as wood is over-plentiful) into SHORTER pieces with my chainsaw than in the past, because (simply) I was picking up chunks of wood that were (likely - even when I was 35 years old) just too heavy.

Thank goodness, my knees are "pretty good", but - when I pick up hunks of wood (pieces of tree trunks) that are too large, I'll wake up several times each night, and will have to "pop" each knee...so I can go back to sleep. (That's dumb.) ...so (again), I'm avoiding picking up 200+ (etc.) lb. hunks of wood "just because I only have to carry it over there"...

That having been said... Yesterday, I spent a few hours ("road building" here at blokeplace) slinging/carrying hundreds and hundreds (literally: several tons) of snow-shovel loads of ground-up asphalt (loose gravel/blacktop) in an remote area on my property on a road (elevating a portion of the road several inches) that was remaining muddy, and I was growing weary of the mud. I SHOULD HAVE used a REGULAR shovel (smaller shovel-loads), because (well...) I had to deal with the knees during the night last night - just as if I had been hauling around man-size tree-trunk chunks. :roll:
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby nworbekim » Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:58 pm

i think there will be a time for each of us to make the accommodations that will enable us to continue playing as we age. i would have never believed it would happen to me, but here i am... doing exactly what has been discussed.

i'm a clydesdale... big and strong, not necessarily overweight... (although i have gained a bunch since taking medication) and muscling things around has never been a problem. In recent years, i've fallen victim to degenerative disk disease and what a doctor called erosive arthritis.

while i'm still big and strong, and can lift a lot of weight, i've begun to learn NOT to do that due to pains that follow.

i've bought a messina gig bag and a rock 'n roller cart (from amazon) and i'm good now! the bag gets rid of the weight of the case (25 lbs) and the cart takes care of transporting it. (it even converts to a 2 wheeler for going up and down stairs).

for the times i'm asked to stand and play or move about, i bought a 3/4 JP tuba (which is great btw) and a halter system.

so i should be good to go for several more years. but if that's not enough accommodation, i've been playing a good deal of euphonium and can go that way.

i can't imagine a time when i'm NOT playing... i've been playing longer than i can remember. my parents tell me they caught me picking out tunes on a little toy piano when i was a little bitty guy (i don't remember). it's an obsession...i play everyday, it may not be tuba... but something.

anyway, whatever it takes to keep playing... i'm good to go.
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby euphomate » Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:31 pm

I'm in my 70s and of short stature (5'6") so the weight and size of a horn is an important aspect of tuba playing for me. I have never ventured beyond an Eb comp tuba, and it works for me in all the settings I need to be in. If, on the rare occasion a conductor wants or needs a bigger tuba input, he is free to go and get one, be my guest. Currently I'm very happy with a Wessex "Champion" 19" bell comp that comes in a wheeled hard case. It's a little lighter than the previous Besson Sovereign I used, but still heavy enough. On most occasions I can carry the horn to the front door of the venue, then once on carpet or timber flooring I use the built-in wheels. I carry permanently in the SUV a two-wheeled handcart for the occasions that require a longer pavement walk, or if I'm not sure what awaits me until I arrive there. Sometimes I use a Wessex gig bag (not on the cart) as a compromise, but their widish bags are of an awkward shape for me to carry. A YEB321 can be handy, but only rarely for any serious section contributions.
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby bisontuba » Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:58 pm

IMHO, what many are looking for is a brass 4/4 (no Yamaha 621, Weril, Conn 2J, etc. size 3/4) or 5/4 BBb and CC tuba with 4 piston valves & 1 rotor that has a 16 1/2-18" bell, .748 + bore, 'professional' quality build, slotting & intonation, and weighs like an old 186/Alex/Cerveny (thin metal)...under 20 lbs, and probably somewhere between 16-19 lbs.
When and if that instrument is made, it will be EXTREMELY popular....
My 2 cents....
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby Stryk » Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:59 pm

bisontuba wrote: like an old 186/Alex/Cerveny (thin metal)...under 20 lbs, and probably somewhere between 16-19 lbs.
When and if that instrument is made, it will be EXTREMELY popular....
My 2 cents....


^^^^^^^^^
This is why I end up using my old Amati most of the time.
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby Donn » Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:37 pm

Cerveny 681 seems to weigh somewhere between slightly less than 20, to maybe 22, depending on key and how many valves - 5V CC is 21 lbs.
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby hubert » Sat Mar 02, 2019 5:23 am

Yes, wheels is one thing.
The instrument itself the other one. I have recently bought an 5/4 early German F of 6,1 kilo.
Especially the earlier (handmade) German and Czech instruments are often leightweights (a 4/4 Bb often 8 to 9 kg), as you will know. And even some of the modern (e.g. Alexander, Cerveny) are of modest weight. There are always nice offerings at the site "Kleinanzeigen" (unfortunately not in CC).
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby JESimmons » Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:13 am

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

Postby paulver » Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:54 am

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

Postby JCRaymo » Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:32 am

There is that company that is making carbon fiber bells for trumpets. A carbon fiber tuba bell would surely lighten a tuba up quite a bit. I'm wondering where Chuck D had his made.
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