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Lessons from the world of automobiles

Postby Mark » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:26 pm

In most of the United States, 70 mph is the maximum legal speed limit on the highways. So, if you do a lot of highway driving, should you buy a car that will only go 70 mph flat out?

How does your answer apply to tuba playing, including dynamics, range, technique, etc.?

:tuba: <-- BTW, I was the one that submitted this to TubeNet. I had no idea at the time what emojis were.
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Re: Lessons from the world of automobiles

Postby bloke » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:01 pm

I probably wouldn't enjoy being musically tailgated.
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Re: Lessons from the world of automobiles

Postby windshieldbug » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:59 pm

My lesson was: Don't drive your racecar into any mountains. They don't bounce very far. :shock:
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Re: Lessons from the world of automobiles

Postby Mark » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:53 pm

So, if the highest note a tuba player can play is middle C, should that tuba player be playing tuba parts with lots of middle Cs?
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Re: Lessons from the world of automobiles

Postby PaulMaybery » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:37 am

Do you then need a CDL to drive a BAT?
Are there any "hybrid" tubas out there?
(Players seem to not have an issue with blending alcohol)
What about "bio diesel"
Does a euphonium or tenor tuba need "recreational gas?"
How fast from pedal CCC to c?

These and other questions are now raging through what little mind I have left after inhaling so much gas.
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Re: Lessons from the world of automobiles

Postby circusboy » Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:16 pm

As to your first question, no. Even if the speed limit is 70 and you were generally law-abiding, you would occasionally want/need to exceed that speed to pass another car or even to avoid an accident. Furthermore, you wouldn't want to run your car 'flat out' all the time. Unless the car were specifically made for that purpose, it would likely damage the engine.

As to the second question, I would say it does apply--not so much in the need to exceed 'the max,' but more in terms of overall capability. So, for instance, if you never needed to play a note above high-C, I would think that a horn on which you could easily reach a high-G would be a lot easier for you to reach that high-C.

It's akin to buying a stereo receiver (OK, I'm old): You may never use those 200 watts, but the fact that it's built for 200 watts makes what you hear from 2 watts sound that much better.
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Re: Lessons from the world of automobiles

Postby bloke » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:37 pm

Sometimes, when playing electrifying tuba music, there's no place to recharge.
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Re: Lessons from the world of automobiles

Postby lost » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:47 pm

Mark, maybe some background would help make this thread a little clearer.
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Re: Lessons from the world of automobiles

Postby The Big Ben » Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:12 pm

Top speed in a car is as fast as it will go. I think most all available cars and trucks (consumer) today will top out between 90-100 MPH. Some faster. I think they last longer and are more efficient when going somewhere between 50 and 80 MPH.

You could drive a 1 ton truck with huge tires everywhere all of the time but there would be many incidents where something a little smaller would be easier to use. If you had to drive in a large city with three and four lane roads and tight parking lots and travel by yourself, the truck would take a lot of effort and there may be places where it couldn't go. If you had frequent reasons to transport eight to ten people, a big passenger van would be more appropriate than a Prius.

A tuba player could use a CSO York-style horn for everything. The best of them are known to throttle down nicely if played throttled down. But, if never used to be the bottom in a 75 piece orchestra and frequently used in quar/quintets in small churches, something smaller might be more appropriate. A nimble Eb or F might be better for solo work. If you are part of a tuba section in a concert band, a 4/4 horn might be better or, just to be flashy, a shiny silver Yamayork would be pretty cool if not really necessary.
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Re: Lessons from the world of automobiles

Postby southtubist » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:13 pm

Where I live the speed limit is defined as n+7mph, where n is the posted speed limit. Actually, some local highways are so straight and empty that I'll do a lot more than 70 and still get passed by a lot of people, cops included. Too bad my governor cuts in at 99mph, but big pickup trucks probably aren't safe to drive much faster than that anyway.
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Re: Lessons from the world of automobiles

Postby dwerden » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:48 pm

In a presentation by John Fletcher many years ago he discussed the tendency to want larger and larger tubas. He actually used the car comparison himself. As I recall he said something like this:

People say they want a car with lots of power...not that they need it often, but just so it is there when they DO need it. The problem is that once you have all that power you tend to use it most of the time. It's the same with really large instruments.
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Re: Lessons from the world of automobiles

Postby Three Valves » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:18 am

There is no replacement, for displacement!!
Who needs four valves??

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Re: Lessons from the world of automobiles

Postby TheGoyWonder » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:00 pm

bigger leadpipe = SICK INTAKE/CARB/INJECTION
valve modification/MAW/bigger bore = SICK HEADS
bigger bell = SICK EXHAUST
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Re: Lessons from the world of automobiles

Postby Donn » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:24 pm

I FEEL SICK ...

The problem with the analogy, for me, is that when I drive my car, I just depress a pedal, working against a return spring, and the car does the real work involved in "go 70". When I play my tuba, it does amplify my sputtering lip noise quite a bit, but it's hardly pulling that load like my car does - ramping up to fff isn't just twisting a wrist or flexing an ankle, it's a lot of huffing and puffing on my part, and getting a new tuba isn't going to change that a whole lot.
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Re: Lessons from the world of automobiles

Postby TheGoyWonder » Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:00 am

yeah I was just saying if you dabble in car culture you'll see the parallels. and all go-fast-parts are SICK/MONSTER
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Re: Lessons from the world of automobiles

Postby Snake Charmer » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:03 am

and buying a more powerful car doesn't make you a better driver...
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Re: Lessons from the world of automobiles

Postby ken k » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:52 pm

Snake Charmer wrote:and buying a more powerful car doesn't make you a better driver...



what he said.....
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Re: Lessons from the world of automobiles

Postby iiipopes » Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:52 pm

Donn wrote:I FEEL SICK ...

The problem with the analogy, for me, is that when I drive my car, I just depress a pedal, working against a return spring, and the car does the real work involved in "go 70". When I play my tuba, it does amplify my sputtering lip noise quite a bit, but it's hardly pulling that load like my car does - ramping up to fff isn't just twisting a wrist or flexing an ankle, it's a lot of huffing and puffing on my part, and getting a new tuba isn't going to change that a whole lot.


That's the way my little car was before I added a low-restriction intake and exhaust and a larger intercooler. Now it runs smoothly with more predictability and no wheeziness.

That's the way my tuba was before I had my tech realign the paddles, and found a good mouthpiece with the right blend of characteristics for my playing and a bell that projected my tonal ideal. Now instead of fiddling with valves, mouthpiece safaris, etc., I just play.
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Re: Lessons from the world of automobiles

Postby Donn » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:02 pm

Just play, and no additional effort between f and fff, because you bought a tuba that goes to fff? I don't think so.

The musical component equivalent of the automobile is the electronic amplifier. (And I sure do not need one that goes to 11!)
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Re: Lessons from the world of automobiles

Postby iiipopes » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:16 pm

Donn wrote:Just play, and no additional effort between f and fff, because you bought a tuba that goes to fff? I don't think so.
The musical component equivalent of the automobile is the electronic amplifier. (And I sure do not need one that goes to 11!)

You know what I mean: I can concentrate on the music and put the required physicality into it in a manner that is not materially obstructed by the tuba or any quirks of response or intonation (although all musical instruments do have their individual ideosyncracies), but rather facilitates the music, so that the effort is efficiently applied, just like certain modifications that help a car drive better.
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