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contrarian ?

Postby bloke » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:49 am

How can I improve my sound?
tubenet - air, air, air, and air
bloke - Assuming everything else is good and that you are producing enough sound, work on your embouchure, and the way it vibrates.

How can I get my valves to stop sticking?
tubenet - this/that/the other synthetic/magic oil
bloke - clean the interior of your instrument so as to remove any sludge and little pieces of trash, and to dissolve lime from the surfaces of the valves and their casings. Most of the time, home cleaning jobs do not accomplish any of these.

How can I get my rotary valves to quit being so noisy?
tubenet - linkage conversion
bloke - dress the bearings to remove vertical play

How do I play in tune?
tubenet - Good tone = good intonation.
bloke - Good tone = good tone. Good intonation = good intonation.

How do I play high?
tubenet - Practice playing low. You have to play low to play high.
bloke - Practice playing high. You have to play high to play high.
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Re: contrarian ?

Postby windshieldbug » Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:30 am

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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Re: contrarian ?

Postby DCottrell » Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:44 am

You're not a contrarian, I am.
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Re: contrarian ?

Postby 58mark » Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:49 am

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Re: contrarian ?

Postby groovlow » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:44 am

I Practice in the smallest space I can fit inside. 0 x -2
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Re: contrarian ?

Postby rodgeman » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:31 am

That is one of the reasons I come here. Dissenting opinions are always a good thing.
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Re: contrarian ?

Postby iiipopes » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:47 pm

Bloke is one of the few people who, if he had been alive back then, would be one to recognize the world is round when everybody else in a prior age, including the Church, maintained it was flat. These are not "contrarian" viewpoints. They are "myth-busting" truths.

I will add a contrarian comment to the "how do I play louder" discussions, from my experience, at times being the only tuba or sousaphone for bands from anywhere from a dozen to fifty or more:
Tubenet: get a "Loud" brand mouthpiece, larger bore horn, more air, more air, more air
iiipopes: every player has a physiological limit as to the amount of air the player can put through a horn, and a physiological limit as to how efficient the player's embouchure will work. So at a particular point, no matter how hard the player tries to push more air through the horn or work on buzzing the embouchure, a player cannot play any louder. So instead:
1) focus on proper breath support
2) focus on proper articulation, intonation and phrasing, especially dynamics (When playing a soft passage as soft as it should be, it will cause the subsequent loud passage to seem that much louder; likewise, when appropriate, a true marcato will sound louder due to the space between the notes, rather than a blurred articulation; and carrying out a phrase to its end rather than either breathing in an incorrect spot, not giving proper "shape" to the phrase, or not playing through the end of the phrase will give the impression of a "fuller" sound, if not louder; and an in-tune note will feel more substantial than one out of tune.)
3) remember that due to many aspects of the physics of sound, a discussion of which goes way beyond the bandwidth of this forum, bass seems louder out front than the player thinks it is sitting under the horn (yes, even as the sole tuba supporting 50 other horn players, at times I have gotten "the hand."
4) Proper attention to the above will do more to support an ensemble of whatever size, more than just a number on a dB meter.
5) The player is still just one person. If the conductor wants more, then the conductor should recruit additional players.
Last edited by iiipopes on Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: contrarian ?

Postby roughrider » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:52 pm

Well Done Bloke!
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Re: contrarian ?

Postby bloke » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:48 pm

What are the lips doing when I play?
tubenet - Jamming your lips together and making a fart sound (popping the lips against each other at various frequencies) is the way to make a sound in a tuba. again: AIR !!!
bloke - The lips vibrate individually and at the same frequency - just as with a double reed. *The resistance of the instrument sets off the vibration (assuming the vibrating surfaces are ready to vibrate, i.e. a well-made bassoon reed, or a well-formed and well-trained embouchure) and those two reeds or lips vibrate sympathetically with the length of the instrument. Variations in tension exerted on the vibrating surfaces encourage the two vibrating surfaces to vibrate faster or slower at the desired pitch and (again) sympathetically with the length of the instrument and with one of the overtones defined by that length.
___________________________________
*When the instrument-and-mouthpiece and their resistance are removed and the player leaves their lips exactly in the same position, under the same tension, and with the same air flow as when the instrument/mouthpiece were in place, the lack of the instrument-and-mouthpiece supplied resistance will - most of the time - cause the lips to stop vibrating. If the lips continue to vibrate, mostly likely the player - on-the-fly - changed from "the lips vibrating individually" to "pressing the lips together and making a fart sound (popping the lips against each other)".
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Re: contrarian ?

Postby Donn » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:03 pm

You'd be right, if
1) you weren't so determined to bring the incorrect assumptions about the bassoon reed into it. You could use the clarinet reed instead as your example, which can be and is played without striking the opposed surface.
2) the "tubenet" position really were as you imply that the sound is generated by lip contact. Someone may believe that, I don't think there's any evidence it's a widely held belief. Most people who have looked at the slowed-down video seem to be convinced that there is lip contact. Which certainly might affect the sound, as double reed beating affects the characteristic double reed sound.

I suggest that the weak point is that we don't have any reason to believe that brass player lips always beat, as clarinet/saxophone reeds do at some dynamic levels and not at others, and I think we don't have any videos of tuba players. My casual impression is that the more I consciously separate my lips, the better my sound gets - pitch is clearer, etc.
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Re: contrarian ?

Postby bloke » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:19 pm

Donn,

You are SO wrong and so INCREDIBLY easy to troll. :P :lol:
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Re: contrarian ?

Postby iiipopes » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:24 pm

The lips vibrating and making a tone has nothing to do with whether or not they actually touch. Any touching is merely incidental. The vibrations of the embouchure, which are processed through the embouchure and eventually manifest as a pitch, are a function of Bernoulli's principle: As air is expelled over the embouchure, with the lips having a smaller aperture than the windpipe, throat and mouth, the velocity of the air rises. As velocity rises, pressure decreases, causing the lips to come closer together, if not actually touch, which it doesn't matter if they do or not, so long as it is regular. This narrowing of the aperture slows velocity and raises the static pressure of the breath being expelled through the embouchure, which opens up the aperture back up. If controlled properly by the embouchure muscles, this sets up a form of simple harmonic motion which gets translated into pitch.
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Re: contrarian ?

Postby peterbas » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:41 pm

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Re: contrarian ?

Postby iiipopes » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:44 pm


FINALLY!!!
A chart that shows what I am talking about with velocity and pressure going back and forth!!!
Including defining the "Bernoulli term"!
THANKS!!!
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Re: contrarian ?

Postby bloke » Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:17 am



...just as I agreed that they do when someone is making a "fart sound", and not playing an instrument. When some pulls an ~instrument~ away from their face, and truly continues to "do what they were doing", the vibration stops.
The people in those videos were not playing into instruments, but were blowing against open spaces.

It's OK to practice that...or hitting baseballs...or running...but it's not the same thing as playing an instrument.

I epoxy-ed a thin piece of T-shaped plastic (curved sides on ends of the cross-part of the "T" to meet up with the curved sides of the mouthpiece cup) into a crappy mouthpiece, and played some low notes. I was able to do it with the plastic between my lips, because my lips did not touch. The only interference was that the piece of plastic (being thin) occasionally tried to begin to vibrate as well.
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Re: contrarian ?

Postby peterbas » Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:43 am

They're not blowing in open space. It's an especially made mouthpiece with the throat on the side. You can see and hear him playing the trumpet in the second video.

Pulling away the instrument and keeping the same vibration will be very difficulty since the abrupt change of the impedance. It is very good possible that this is compensated with making "fart sounds". It could be tested with a random removal of the instrument so the player doesn't get the chance for compensating.

The lips always start open, you keep them open or you blow them open, when you start a note; Then they close, open, close..., the piece of plastic doesn't do much of anything as long it isn't too large I guess.
I think you see the vibration from the wrong side. The lips vibrate in a forward/backward (fish mouth) motion not up/down (smacking on each other). We blow the lips open and the back pressure of the standing wave closes them again. In the second graph you can even see that the airflow is negative for a very small amount of time.
They also mention that when playing soft the lips don't close completely, this gives a sinusoidal wave (like a flute), playing louder makes them close an so generate more harmonics.
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Re: contrarian ?

Postby bloke » Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:02 pm

How can a flute or jaw harp make a sound, with nothing hitting anything ?

At the slowest possible speed offered, I never see their lips completely close in the center until they stop playing or change pitches...assuming (??) the slow-mo video is properly lined up with the regular-speed audio.

Why is there no video of a really fine tuba player playing a four-ledger-lines low F at fortissimo?

Nearly all players are down streamers. When the lips come very close to each other (as with higher-pitched brass instruments) the lips will appear to close when they are vibrating in straight-on photography. With a tuba "low F" though - and very loud, the down-streaming effect cannot disguise the fact that the lips never touch.
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Re: contrarian ?

Postby peterbas » Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:39 pm

Flute is just the same but different. The player provides energy = air stream to the edge of the tonehole. The build up in pressure makes the air change direction, pressure goes down, everythings starts all over again.
All you need is energy, you can even create a standing wave in a tube by holding a torch too one side, but I can't find video anymore.

How would I know?

Now you are just being argumentative again.
In my third link the graphs and photos are from a trombone player playing a low Bb. You can find a link for that study at the bottom of the page. This is an academic study with high standards about how it is executed, not like glueing some plastic in the mouthpiece and then conclude that the lips aren't touching.
Just below that is a video of a digeridoo embouchure which is probably more tubalike. The motion of the lips are clearly visible in this video.
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Re: contrarian ?

Postby bloke » Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:47 pm

I can force my lips to hit each other when playing (as when making a buzz with no mouthpiece), but - when I do that while playing - my sound is like that of someone attempting to play the instrument for the very first time (and/or someone who has never been shown how to maximize their vibration). When I pull my lips back apart, I again produce a sound that is commercially marketable.
I sold a tuba a couple of weeks ago to a young man who was making that sound (yet the parents were purchasing a semi-expensive tuba). I felt obligated to show him how to space his lips apart so that he could begin to develop a sound that instrument is capable of producing. He made immediate progress, the parents' eyebrows went up, and hopefully he'll continue down that path.
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Re: contrarian ?

Postby peterbas » Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:02 pm

You "force" your lips, that means you are using your muscles. The has nothing to do with the closing of the lips through the pressure vatiations by the standing wave in the instruments.
I'm with you on the importance of the embouchure versus air. Being myself a victim of the tubenet "more air" adagio which doesn't work if you haven't got a half decent embouchure.

Long time ago I've seen Patrick Sheridan on a cd presentation where he gave a small lesson on how the blow. He said it is easy to teach how to blow but it is hard to teach how to make a good buzz.
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