How to hold a tuba? beginner's question Bookmark and Share

The bulk of the musical talk

How to hold a tuba? beginner's question

Postby RobC » Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:12 am

Hi-
I am a trombone player interested in doubling on tuba. To find out what it is like I have managed to borrow a B&H Imperial BBb 3 valve (old enough to have a euro shank receiver) which sounds lovely but requires a lot of air (not surprising).
My problem is working out how to hold it, and I'd love some advice. It is much too heavy to play standing up (I am reasonably old) so I sit down. I've seen photos of people playing and they have the tuba resting on their thighs. If I do this the mouthpiece is about 10cm above my mouth (or if on an angle too far to the side).
So I rest the tuba on a stool in front of me which works but doesn't feel at all secure and it is hard to keep my trunk upright.

Can anyone give me any suggestions apart from getting a smaller tuba? I'm sure people play tubas that are even bigger than the Imperial.

Thanks-

Rob.
RobC
lurker
lurker
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:52 pm
Location: Canberra

Re: How to hold a tuba? beginner's question

Postby bloke » Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:58 am

I play the Eb version (most Saturday mornings, in a lounge...on a ship).
I rest it up high on my left thigh. It fits there quite well for me.
fwiw, The vertical distance from a chair seat to my own mouth opening is somewhere around 28" - 29". I do also own a BBb version, which I have used on outdoor concerts (such as the concert that I just played this last weekend). I find myself "sitting up" slightly more when I play it, but I hold and play it in the same manner. If this absolutely doesn't work for you, you might find an alternate mouthpipe (bent differently) from an old detachable bell version of the same model. Those mouthpipe tubes necessarily swing around lower.
Some of the really old Besson tubas feature a brass ball on the bottom. Mine never had one. Well over 99% of players remove that brass ball.

Image
Last edited by bloke on Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:05 am, edited 4 times in total.
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 37866
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: How to hold a tuba? beginner's question

Postby MedicineMan » Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:00 am

You might consider a tuba rest. Probably a bit more sturdy than your stool, as well as height adjustable. My son uses one from Baltimore Brass (http://www.baltimorebrass.net) that works very well for him.
Miraphone 186 BBb
MedicineMan
lurker
lurker
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:08 pm
Location: Western Iowa

Re: How to hold a tuba? beginner's question

Postby tuben » Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:01 am

Welcome to the tuba!

The British styled BBb tubas seem to have been built for Yorkshire giants, as being 6'1" I've never sat to play one that didn't have the leadpipe in my forehead.

You can rest the tuba on your legs, or spread wide and rest it on the chair (if your belly doesn't prevent it). Use your left hand to help balance the instrument, and pivot the bell towards your right knee until the mouthpiece is in a comfortable playing position. Ultimately, a tuba stand for playing might be your best bet.
tuben
 

Re: How to hold a tuba? beginner's question

Postby MusicSmiths » Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:53 am

My Besson BBb still has the ball on the bottom. Fits well into the hole in the middle of the Hercules tuba stand and keeps it from going anywhere. I'm not necessarily a fan of the tripod legs though. Gives you some options when playing concerts and the provided folding chairs are either small or the seat is slanted towards the back of the chair.
David Smith
Wessex Eb Gnagey
John Packer 374T Bb Euphonium
Besson BBb 3 valve comp.
User avatar
MusicSmiths
lurker
lurker
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:16 pm
Location: Round Rock, Texas

Re: How to hold a tuba? beginner's question

Postby SteveP » Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:47 pm

You might want to consider the DEG tuba rest. They're light, fold up into a small package that will fit into your tuba's bell and can be easily adjusted to any height you want (while sitting). I use one and am quite happy with it. They're available online (google "deg tuba rest") for under $100.
Steve P
Lake Havasu Regional Orchestra
Lake Havasu Symphonic Winds
User avatar
SteveP
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 162
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:08 pm
Location: Arizona Desert

Re: How to hold a tuba? beginner's question

Postby sloan » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:55 pm

A tuba rest is essential. There are two decent models currently sold - pick one. If it's good enough for Pokorny, it's good enough for a beginner.

Yes, you can hold a tuba any number of other ways. But...why?
Kenneth Sloan
User avatar
sloan
On Ice
On Ice
 
Posts: 1817
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 11:34 pm
Location: Birmingham, AL

Re: How to hold a tuba? beginner's question

Postby bloke » Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:18 pm

sloan wrote:A tuba rest is essential. There are two decent models currently sold - pick one. If it's good enough for Pokorny, it's good enough for a beginner.

Yes, you can hold a tuba any number of other ways. But...why?


...I know someone who just unloaded about 90% of their stuff...
(Do you know that guy?)
A stand is "stuff". There are other ways that work out well for some folks without stuff.
Each person's solution to a problem or situation seems obvious to them, but not necessarily so for others.
As just one example...
Look at the mouthpipe tube on this version of your tuba pictured below...
Imagine finding one of these bodies (ex: no bell / no valves / JUNK / CHEAP) on eBay...This is NOT a particularly rare occurrence, fwiw. This mouthpipe would put the mouthpiece down where a 5-foot-something person would like it, and they could then rest the tuba on their left thigh and play the tuba without - you know... - stuff. :D


Image

You (thread originator) are a trombonist. I would think that it's a better-than-even wager that you don't use one of these...and if not, why not ?
After all, without a stand such as this one, a trombonist must suspend their instrument up in the air and play it, as resting it on one's thigh(s) is out of the question when playing the trombone...

Image
User avatar
bloke
musician/technician/innovator
musician/technician/innovator
 
Posts: 37866
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:04 pm
Location: western Tennessee

Re: How to hold a tuba? beginner's question

Postby timothy42b » Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:46 am

As a trombone player you are probably already aware of this, but just in case.

Trombone players can move the horn slightly to facilitate changes in register. So do trumpets, etc.

Tubas and horn players have a less mobile horn, so they move the head.

What ever solution you come up with should allow one or the other approach, or you might struggle in some ranges that should be easy.
timothy42b
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 189
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:57 pm

Re: How to hold a tuba? beginner's question

Postby Eflatdoubler » Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:12 am

I use shelf liner across my lap so that I can hold my tuba at a height and angle that works best for me without any fear of movement.
Eflatdoubler
bugler
bugler
 
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:00 am

Re: How to hold a tuba? beginner's question

Postby MaryAnn » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:23 am

I ended up with a "youth" tuba stand because it had the height I needed for my small size. However, I don't know at what angle you play trombone, that is, angle of the mouthpiece with respect to your face. Tubas are much less flexible in changing the angle than any other brass, and it's something to consider if you run into problems. I always find what angle is natural for mouthpiece buzzing, look in the mirror, and then fix the way I hold the instrument so I get that same angle. That angle, for me, is not straight out; the mouthpiece has to angle down quite a few degrees. This is hard to do with a tuba designed to point straight out; I have to both bend my neck and get the tuba stand as far underneath the chair as possible, so the tuba is tilted out somewhat. It's not perfect but I'm not going to move the leadpipe, because there is no one anywhere near here whom I trust to do such surgery on my beloved.
User avatar
MaryAnn
Occasionally Visiting Pipsqueak
Occasionally Visiting Pipsqueak
 
Posts: 2651
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 10:58 am

Re: How to hold a tuba? beginner's question

Postby swillafew » Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:37 pm

How to hold that big BBb? Hold gently above a sturdy shelf and let it down slow enough to not dent it. Then find a horn you can play without struggling. A sousaphone in a sousaphone chair would probably play better. When I was 15 I picked up euphonium as a double just to get my hands on a better instrument than I could otherwise at the time.
MORE AIR
User avatar
swillafew
4 valves
4 valves
 
Posts: 877
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:20 pm
Location: Aurora, IL

Re: How to hold a tuba? beginner's question

Postby the elephant » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:17 pm

Three days later, after all these responses, OP still only has a single post.

Troll?
In the multiverse there is a TubeNet where we talk about how we greased our cat with toothpaste and hot sauce so it would fly better in the rain. Even then someone would ask whether the cat was lacquered or silver plated.
User avatar
the elephant
Papa Legba
Papa Legba
 
Posts: 12621
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:38 pm
Location: 404 Not Found

Re: How to hold a tuba? beginner's question

Postby RobC » Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:01 am

Goodness. Sorry to be so slow in responding.
Lots of good ideas here, but it sounds as if what I need is a smaller horn- apart from anything else I can hardly carry the Imperial around.
MaryAnn's comments are particularly useful- with a trombone all that angle stuff is much easier (but still very important, of course).
I have to be very careful with double buzzing on the tuba both with the large mouthpiece and the difficulties with angles.
Tuba stands sound like a great idea, but I don't want to get one just for a borrowed tuba.
BTW Tommy Pederson's "Elementary etudes for bass trombone" sound very nice on tuba.
Cheers
RobC
lurker
lurker
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:52 pm
Location: Canberra


Return to TubeNet

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 22 guests