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Short lead pipes and playing with a bit

Postby lost » Mon May 15, 2017 9:22 pm

I've heard all of the 2xJ's were designed to play with a bit...so I normally do with my 25j. However I have some other vintage 6/4's that have a short lead pipe about the same length as a Conn which I usually use a bit as well since the pitch is acceptable and the clarity better and again, the lead pipe is about the same length.

I have seen no evidence these "other" big American 6/4's were meant to be played with a bit, but putting one in is much better (for me). Why is this? Did Conn discover something the others didn't? Are the tuba police going to come after me for using bits when they weren't meant to? Or were all the old piston 6/4's meant to be played with bits?
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Re: Short lead pipes and playing with a bit

Postby Dan Schultz » Mon May 15, 2017 9:33 pm

There is plenty of main tuning slide on the 2XJ tubas and they tend to play pretty well in-tune with or without the bit.

That leads me to believe that using a bit coincides with my personal experience that it was furnished for ergonomic reasons.
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Re: Short lead pipes and playing with a bit

Postby opus37 » Mon May 15, 2017 11:02 pm

I have a friend who plays a Conn 12J that will not be in tune unless he uses a tuning bit. If he doesn't use a bit the tuning slide is not long enough to get down to 440.
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Re: Short lead pipes and playing with a bit

Postby bloke » Mon May 15, 2017 11:50 pm

What to do about that F, though...

It's flat, but just a bit.
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Re: Short lead pipes and playing with a bit

Postby Tubajug » Tue May 16, 2017 2:08 pm

Shave and a haircut...

Sorry, that's two bits. :)
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Re: Short lead pipes and playing with a bit

Postby TUbajohn20J » Tue May 16, 2017 3:31 pm

I think the tuba police are going to come after you! But I think they are for both ergonomic and tuning. From my understanding, Conn's had short leadpipes specifically for you to put the bit in and bring it to pitch while being able to adjust it to the most comfortable playing position for you. My Conn plays in tune without it though so I don't use one usually. The main reason is because my front action valves are a stretch to reach with the extra length from the bit. It's uncomfortable. I would use one all day long on a top action 2XJ though!
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Re: Short lead pipes and playing with a bit

Postby Dan Tuba » Tue May 16, 2017 7:46 pm

I play my Conn 25J fairly regularly. I experience the normal intonation tendencies either with or without the bit. From my experience, after consistently practicing the Conn 2XJ tubas the past few years, the "flat" F isn't really an issue. Also, the Eb, E, and F in the staff can be high, so I use 1&3, 2&3, and 1&2. The Conn 2XJ tubas definitely take some work to play, however they are definitely worth the effort if you're are looking for "that" type of sound.
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