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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby Matt Walters » Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:51 am

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

Postby bloke » Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:24 am

A friend of mine - who had a massive heart attack, has an aneurysm, and collects disability (former operator of auto-repairs/build-racing-engines/sell-used-cars shop) - is supposed to lift no more than five pounds.

He still dabbles in all three of the the above, but only at the dabbling level, and not when its over 80 degrees F. in his shop (unless his big evaporative cooler will do the job).

As far as "only lifting five pounds" is concerned, he tells me, [insert rich southern gentleman accent] "This aneurysm is going to burst in five minutes or five years whether I lift five pounds or five hundred pounds. I'm going to take it easy, but I'm not going to sit on the couch and wait."

I suspect that - when my hips/knees/back get back (if/when they do)...and (miraculously) I can still play (...and - if I still want to play...), I'll likely park in the handicap place, unzip the bag, pull out the tuba, and walk in with the (same as now) 20 - 25 lb. tuba (without the 15 - 20 lb. bag) on my shoulder.

bloke "The big box stores sell 25 lb. bags of concrete (next to the 80 lb. bags) for old men, too."
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby bisontuba » Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:55 am

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

Postby swillafew » Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:06 am

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

Postby bloke » Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:27 am

bisontuba wrote: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.....


Mark,
Read posts more carefully. The post, clearly, is about "if/when".
Otherwise, stop trolling, or I'm going to have to report you.

Anyway...I could buy a big ol' sack of potatoes three times a week, gain another hundred pounds, and qualify for a tag right away.
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby Three Valves » Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:49 am

The handicap parking tag scam was only the precursor to the medical marijuana and support animal scams!!
Who needs four valves??

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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby bisontuba » Sat Mar 02, 2019 1:26 pm

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

Postby Stryk » Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:53 pm

Matt Walters wrote: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.


Matt
Very good point, there does come a time where you have to give up control (of sorts) and turn it over to others! As I said, my Amati is my usual player because of it's lighter weight. I also have a 184 that I bought new some 35 years ago, slightly lighter than the Amati, that will likely be my final player in my old age - if I make it that long. It is a 4 valve and ok for church orchestra, and I guess it also can contribute to the community band. I know Bobo played one in the LA Phil, but I'm not Bobo. :tuba: This ties into another thread I asked about just how important is a 5th valve, because they do add weight to a horn.
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby Stryk » Sat Mar 02, 2019 3:05 pm

bisontuba wrote:You have a handicap tag? If so, fine. If not, you can get a MASSIVE ticket! I


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. There seems to be no rhyme or reason, or any apparent triggers. It just is what it is. I only park in a handicap spot when I am having one of those days, or when trying to transport my tuba. BTW, in Florida it is up to a $500 fine for parking in a handicap spot without the tag.
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby jperry1466 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:44 pm

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

Postby DonShirer » Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:21 pm

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

Postby nworbekim » Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:32 pm

For those looking at carts... I selected this one as the most versatile.

https://www.sweetwater.com/c963--Rock_N ... 2059b790ba" target="_blank
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby Stryk » Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:52 pm

jperry1466 wrote: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.


21 years? WOW! I lost one kidney to cancer 20+ years ago, and my remaining one decided to try to shut down about 6 years ago. Some folks just don't understand that you can look fairly normal and be disabled. So glad you were able to get a transplant! One moment at a time, my friend!
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby acemorgan » Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:07 pm

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

Postby roughrider » Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:44 pm

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

Postby Tubachin » Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:18 pm

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

Postby JCRaymo » Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:48 pm

Sold my Willson 3050 a dozen or so years ago when money was short. I miss it and would love to own a large BBb. Reading this thread and looking at my age and deteriorating back I think I am going to just stick with my Eb tubas and try to stay in good enough shape to transport them.
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby Stryk » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:29 pm

Tubachin wrote: 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.


Not sure what normal F horns weigh, but my Chinese (Dalyan) is about the same weight as my Mirafone 184 C tuba.
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby bloke » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:54 pm

Typical B&S production 5-valve F tubas today weigh about 20 lbs., I'm thinking.

My sheet metal Iron Curtain era B&S 6-valve weighs about 18 lbs.
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Re: Age and Horn Weight

Postby hrender » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:54 pm

This thread is timely. When I got the Martin, I thought it would be good to get hard cases for the body and bell to protect it from further dents (it has some serious denting in the outer bows). Now, I found out that with the cases the thing weighs a combined 75-80lbs. With my aging knees, I'm thinking I need a cart as well. The rock-n-roller look like a good option.
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