Beginner Tuba Poll Bookmark and Share

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If you taught beginner tuba, on what mouthpiece would you start your students?

Poll ended at Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:30 am

Bach 24 AW
24
31%
Bach 18
24
31%
Bach 28/32
2
3%
Conn Helleberg
10
13%
Conn Helleburg 7B
7
9%
Schilke Helleburg II
2
3%
Other
9
12%
 
Total votes : 78

Beginner Tuba Poll

Postby David L Allen » Sun Mar 21, 2004 11:30 am

Feel free to explain your poll answer. If you chose "other" please indicate model # in responce. If you have more than one answer, please pick your instinctive "first choice" and list the others below with explanation please.
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NO HELLEBERGS!

Postby DerMastaBoss » Sun Mar 21, 2004 1:47 pm

Personally, I believe that a bach/king 24AW is a fine choice for a beginner mouthpiece. I would however STAY AWAY from the conn hellebergs. I believe that people become too dependant on them and the mouthpieces themselves force the player to apply too much pressure to the lips which is NOT a good habit for a beginner to develop.

JEffé
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Postby LV » Sun Mar 21, 2004 3:46 pm

I use what ever fits the student's face (lips, teeth, contours) best. Usually the smaller Hellebergs or something along those lines work well.
LV
 

Postby Paul M. » Tue Mar 23, 2004 4:40 pm

Hi,

As a beginning tubist, I have a mouthpiece question. My Conn 5j came with a "UMI 2" mouthpiece. Is this the same as a Conn Helleberg?

Paul M.
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I have started a few...

Postby Matthew Gilchrest » Tue Mar 23, 2004 5:29 pm

I hav efound that the 24AW works well, but should be moved away from quickly if it allows the players to used too much pressure.

I do not like the Conn Helleburg as a beginner mouthpiece. It is usually too much for a young player to handle.

Other good mouthpieces are the Miraphone C4, the corresponding Schilke 67C4, if the players are a bit older, a Bach 18 or 12 might be appropriate. I have started a young girl who played on a 24AW who would have been better suited for a Bach 32E due to her size and the size of her chops.

When I was teaching, I kept an arsenal of some of the different units. I found that we would try a few and go by the initial feel and sound that came out. After they progress, if they feel the outhpiece is limiting, we can go through the process again.

Again, this poll greatly depends on age. I have started players in the fifth grade. For these students, you need something fairly small so that they simply don't fall into the mouthpiece. If I were to ever have a student younger than the fifth grade, I might even be tempted to have the parents rent a baritone and have the student play on a 12C for a short period of time to get down some basics. You can have them read the music with the same fingerings and whatnot, sort of like an inverse of the cello - bass relationship. Plus, this way they can get used to blowing through a horn they have to hold onto and just buzzing in general. If they are still interested and things are going well, then they can move to the real deal. Still, I would slowly increase the size of the mouthpiece in relation to their muscular development and physical chop size.
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beginner tuba mouthpiece poll

Postby Guest » Tue Mar 23, 2004 11:22 pm

Given the choices, I chose the 18, a "medium everything" size tuba mouthpiece.

To me the 24AW is the "French horn Bach 11" (not a compliment) of tuba mouthpieces...

a difficult-for-many-to-play shape that seemed, until about twenty or so years ago, to unfortunately be a consistantly band director recommended choice... ' simply too much metal against the face at the great expense of cup width...and too dang large of a throat diameter, particularly for a beginner.

If the cup is going to have a smaller diameter, why not give the kid a "break" and hand 'em a Bach 25 (etc.), so at least the (normal width Bach 25) rim won't be jammed up against their little kid-sized nose above their kid-sized upper lip.

The W "cushion" rim (I always thought??) was designed for marching and little else - to distribute the pounding that the face took from the gopher holes more evenly around the embouchure.
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Postby Schlepporello » Tue Mar 23, 2004 11:31 pm

Careful Joe, Sean just might do it. :lol:

I've got an "odd" sized tuba mouthpiece. It's a Besson 13 and it has a very small cup. I've actually tried to use it and fortunately can't. It came with a "junker" Conn 10J that I picked up at the flea market. Anybody got any ideas as to wht this mouthpiece might have been good for other than fodder for a wrist rocket?
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Besson 13 mouthpiece function

Postby Guest » Tue Mar 23, 2004 11:59 pm

Why not shove it in a junker Conn 10J and go sell it at a flea market?

:twisted: :wink:
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Postby Schlepporello » Wed Mar 24, 2004 12:21 am

Then I'd miss the way it whistles when it comes sailing out of my wrist rocket. And when it hits! Oh Boy! :D
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Postby Matthew Gilchrest » Wed Mar 24, 2004 12:26 am

I say to use it as a decorate pencil holder.

Thanks for reminding me of the Bach 25, Joe. You're right, it probably is better for young folks than the 24AW.

I'm not a huge fan of the 24AW, but it always pops up in band rooms and the back rooms of music shops. Because a lot of parents don't always understand that this hunk of metal can cost $80 for certain models and only $35 for others and there are no moving parts to make 'em fancy, I didn't move 'em from what they came with to their first lesson until I saw problems like purple lips when they stopped playing.

I personally think the best "starting" mouthpiece may be the 67C4 or Miraphone C4. They have a wide enough rime to be comfy, small enough bore to yeild backpressure, and a shallow enough cup to let the students get a little "edge" on the sound, which isn't always bad. However, Band Directors think Schilke is too fancy of a name even though they don't cost much more than a Bach.

I also think that the deep cup that takes a lot of edge out of players sounds is the reason the 24AW is so popular with band directors. It reigns in a lot of tone issues that they don't want to spend time fixing.

Of course, now that institutions of higher education are turning out "better" music ed majors, a lot of new band directors think every student should start on a conn helleberg. Not even the 7B. While the rim size isn't too out of control, the mouthpiece doesn't yeild much information back to young players and the rim contour isn't all that inviting either, but it seems to make cleaner articulations and also muffle begginers' sounds, making a lot of directors happy and content.
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Postby ArtH » Wed Mar 24, 2004 1:29 am

I like to start students with something like a 24AW. If I find they are having a hard time with high notes I try a 25. If the low register needs more help then I would try a 22. I think the 18 is big for most beginners.
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Re: Besson 13 mouthpiece function

Postby Chuck(G) » Wed Mar 24, 2004 2:08 am

Joe Sellmansberger wrote:Why not shove it in a junker Conn 10J and go sell it at a flea market?


...or cut off the rim and use it as a thumbring.

I had one and turned it into a visualizer by cutting away most of the cup.
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Postby Lee Stofer » Wed Mar 24, 2004 8:50 am

My understanding is that this is concerning a good mouthpiece for a beginner. Maybe the beginners are larger kids where many of you are! I personally play on huge mouthpieces, but the 6th graders I start out here are small-enough that I wouldn't think of initially putting them on a 67, Helleberg or 18. Most of my beginning tuba students are able to do better much sooner, playing on a 32E. The local middle school band director has been quite pleased with the development of the low brass players there over the last two years.
As they develop, I try to move them towards the appropriate size and shape mouthpiece for that point in their development.
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