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middle school tubas: bloke theorum - 3-for-3

Postby bloke » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:42 pm

- three middle school 4-valve full-size (not cheap, either) tubas
- three seized (lime) 4th valves (two rotary / one piston)

If you're a middle school band director and need some tubas, you may (??) wish to have a heart-to-heart with yourself re: one four-valve tuba vs. two 3-valve tubas.

another bloke-servation:

Band directors tend to spend MUCH MORE money on acquisition of the instruments that they personally play than on acquisition of other instruments.
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Re: middle school tubas: bloke theorum - 3-for-3

Postby Voisi1ev » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:59 pm

bloke wrote:- three middle school 4-valve full-size (not cheap, either) tubas
- three seized (lime) 4th valves (two rotary / one piston)

If you're a middle school band director and need some tubas, you may (??) wish to have a heart-to-heart with yourself re: one four-valve tuba vs. two 3-valve tubas.

another bloke-servation:

Band directors tend to spend MUCH MORE money on acquisition of the instruments that they personally play than on acquisition of other instruments.


"On the Job" for 12-years. I've never really seen the point of 3-valved instruments. Hard enough to teach them to use the 4th valve when they start with it, can't image switching them. Then again, I play the tuba and probably have bought nicer tubas than other horns. Your last point is super true. Also based on experiences of asking clarinet players what bass clarinets they used with their groups.
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Re: middle school tubas: bloke theorum - 3-for-3

Postby Voisi1ev » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:03 pm

I Should add we have a Yamaha 321 that the previous teacher bought, a new 2341 that was donated, and a couple 186s in great shape that we bought surplus cheaper than the previous 2 horns! So I guess I'm in a weird spot.

I haven't had any rotar issues with the kids yet that I've heard can happen, my kids tend to take great care of stuff though.
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Re: middle school tubas: bloke theorum - 3-for-3

Postby Mark Finley » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:09 pm

If I was teaching at a school that asked students to play on a 3 valve tuba beyond their beginning year, I would quit and find a better school to work at.
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Re: middle school tubas: bloke theorum - 3-for-3

Postby Donn » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:12 pm

Voisi1ev wrote:Also based on experiences of asking clarinet players what bass clarinets they used with their groups.


Do they spring for Low C instruments? That's kind of an extreme example parallel to the 4th valve question: significant hit to economy and durability, for the sake of a couple notes they won't normally play. I don't know what the current equivalent would be to the Vito polypropylene low Eb of 20 years ago, but that's what belongs in a school band - fairly bullet proof with a simple mechanism that doesn't cross the neck joint.

I guess bloke's message is intended for people who 1) would believe it's important to buy a 4V tuba for school band, and 2) wouldn't care to do what it takes to get the students to use it. If anyone like that is reading here.

I personally have mostly played 3V BBb tubas, but had a 4V Miraphone for a while in the '90s and a 40K. For me, switching to using a 4th valve doesn't require a lot of intensive retraining, and I'm no youngster. Everyone's different, I guess, but I would think a kid with any potential who graduates to 4V would likely be as good on it after a couple weeks as if he or she had started that way.
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Re: middle school tubas: bloke theorum - 3-for-3

Postby Three Valves » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:25 pm

This Three Valve snobbery is unseemly!!

:tuba:

My middle school (1973) BD got me a Fender Jazz Bass, Bassman head and cabinet.

This supplemented the new full size Engelhardt and vintage aluminum Kay bass we already had.

He was a bass player.
Who needs four valves??

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Re: middle school tubas: bloke theorum - 3-for-3

Postby proam » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:09 pm

Interesting observation. With only my experience having my own children in school band programs, I would tend to agree with bloke. And my experience is also with Tennessee band programs, just 500 miles east of bloke.

Mark says that he would be disappointed if the band program does not have kids on a 4-valve instrument by their second year of playing. Our middle school band wasn't bad but I am afraid it was no where near that level.

My experience is mostly in the trumpet world and I'm pretty sure none of the middle-school trumpets were using their first- or third-valve adjustment slides before they left middle school. It is difficult enough to get them to use those in high school. I didn't really push my own child to worry about the fine adjustments until later.

My euphonium son had a 4-valve Yamaha 321 from the school. When he started taking lessons in high school, we got him a used, compensating Yamaha 642, I think. My daughters had access to good, Holton double horns from middle school on, though they may have been borrowed from the high school. (Horn players were always given encouragement to stick with it.) And my other son had access to my own trumpet collection.

Perhaps that's just the difference between a good and mediocre middle school band program.
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Re: middle school tubas: bloke theorum - 3-for-3

Postby roweenie » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:59 pm

I didn't play a 4 valve tuba (O/S King 2341) until I was a junior in high school (and I bought it [not mom & dad], against my teacher's wishes [refer to arrow below], not the school).

It didn't seem to hold me back too much, but that was almost 40 years ago, and those were different times (I suppose).

:arrow: Three valves also didn't seem to hold back Mr. Butterfield too much.
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Re: middle school tubas: bloke theorum - 3-for-3

Postby bloke » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:21 pm

The music educators' responses (though this post may - ?? - annoy them just a bit) make one of my points.

bloke "whose middle/high school owned *no 4-valve tubas...and which - during my tenure there - spawned four players who ended up playing completely for a living for partially for a living...and yeah...who all were judged to be best in the state - either their senior years, or - one of them - for four of those years: during that person's grades 9 - 12. (music-making triumphing over additional gadgetry, apparently) 'Learning what a 4th, 5th, or 6th valve are for is not rocket science."
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https://cderksen.home.xs4all.nl/images/36K19xx.jpg,
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Re: middle school tubas: bloke theorum - 3-for-3

Postby Donn » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:36 pm

roweenie wrote:but that was almost 40 years ago, and those were different times (I suppose).


They are, but there are also different places. Last week I was listening to a couple people exclaim over the stuff their kids were doing in "gymnastics". I remember seeing a high school biology quiz that was far past anything we'd have been exposed to in high school - in part because some of that stuff was unknown to science at the time, but also because it was a relatively rural school, and those were different times. To get sort of personal here, I've read accounts of instrument purchasing by school band programs in urban areas of Texas, that seemed bizarrely expensive, but then I imagine their band programs are more ambitious than average in every way. Ours was off the scale in the other direction, we had a bass drum and a piano, maybe some other stuff.
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Re: middle school tubas: bloke theorum - 3-for-3

Postby bloke » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:22 pm

Something else that is different now:

There doesn't seem to be much value placed on young people really concentrating on something...ONE thing (self-motivated, not parent coerced) and seeing just how much they can accomplish in that disciple (whether in an art, or in a science). Athletic events, seemingly, are a common exception.

four valve tubas...??
Cost as little as *$1600 for new, full-size, playable ones.
:arrow: Many parents can buy four valve tubas.
________________________________________________________
*adjusted for inflation, the same as $300, when I was in high school :|
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Re: middle school tubas: bloke theorum - 3-for-3

Postby roweenie » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:37 pm

bloke wrote:four valve tubas...??
Cost as little as *$1600 for new, full-size, playable ones.


Wow - IIRC, I paid $1800 for that King (new) in 1979.

I had to clean a health spa (can you say "disgusting"?), clean a church, mow a lot of lawns, and deliver a lot of newspapers to make that happen....
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Re: middle school tubas: bloke theorum - 3-for-3

Postby opus37 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:28 am

I think the "that was then, this is now" comment made earlier is close to the truth. My wife and I just visited our grandsons' school for grandparents day. Maybe this school is special, but we noted that the classroom is much more free form (bordering on chaos) than we remember. They just have tables, not individual desks like we had. No rows of students sitting up straight and disciplined for getting out of line (the norm). We were taught to take care of things. There seems to not be that kind of instruction in this school. I'm not saying it is bad, it is just different. In this school of 1200 kids, there are 500 in a music program. I've not seen their tubas (if they have any), but based on our observations, there seems to be no "take care of it" sense in these kids. So this begs the question, are kids less likely to take care of a school instrument now days? This leads into a 3 valve versus 4 valve tuba for middle school. I am of the group that believes a 3 valve instrument is adequate for middle and most high school students. I don't think they need it musically and care wise, a waste of money.
Last edited by opus37 on Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: middle school tubas: bloke theorum - 3-for-3

Postby ken k » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:30 am

same goes for 4 valved sousaphones...
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Re: middle school tubas: bloke theorum - 3-for-3

Postby Mark Finley » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:38 am

Even I think those are ridiculous
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Re: middle school tubas: bloke theorum - 3-for-3

Postby bloke » Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:32 am

Of ALL types of school-owned tubas, 3-valve front-action are the most difficult (apparently...??) for students to tear up, and the least expensive to keep in working order.

Sousaphones are the exception, as they are very large, feature un-braced/exposed detachable mouthpipes, and are thrown around outdoors.

The first time I was hired by the Memphis Symphony for a set of rehearsals and subscription concerts (age 17), I used my high school's three-leaky-valves King 1240. It worked well. Had there been funding/knowledge-of-resources to rebuild the valves, it would have worked amazingly well. (That having been said, the leaky valves, likely, assisted in pitch-bending and legato playing, but - obviously - did not assist in breath control.) I also used it in the Tennessee all-state band, with Arnald Gabriel conducting. Down the section from me were a Marzan piston C, a couple of Miraphone 186's, a Meinl-Weston 20, and a King 1241. The consecutive FOUR years previous to me leading that section, my own high school's section mate (a year older than me) presided over the Tennessee all-state band's tuba section with a Conn model 36K fiberglass sousaphone. He also auditioned (end of his senior year) into "Pershing's Own" (during the Vietnam War) using that Conn 36K fiberglass sousaphone. After I walked away from my job at KU (late 1970's) the following year I made really good (equivalent to "full-time") money playing the tuba (freelance) in Memphis. Most of my income was made (at a German bar) with a 3-valve 36K sousaphone, and (in a happy hour jazz band at a seafood restaurant - this gig: ending minutes before the German bar gig down the street began) with a three-leaky-valves unknown-make stencil Eb sousaphone.
Last edited by bloke on Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: middle school tubas: bloke theorum - 3-for-3

Postby edsel585960 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:55 am

Three Valves wrote:This Three Valve snobbery is unseemly!!

:tuba:

My middle school (1973) BD got me a Fender Jazz Bass, Bassman head and cabinet.

This supplemented the new full size Engelhardt and vintage aluminum Kay bass we already had.

He was a bass player.

We 3 valvers must unite or be overrun by the unwashed hordes of 4 valve players! :lol: Seriously, I have 3 and 4 valve horns. Depends on the gig what I use. Paying more for 4 valve horns for beginners is a waste of resources. Most schools down here don't have enough horns for the kids that want to play. Have to agree with Joe. 2 3 valves trumps one 4 valve for the school on a budget. :tuba:
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Re: middle school tubas: bloke theorum - 3-for-3

Postby the elephant » Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:51 am

The fact that low C is 4 and low B is 24 was impressed upon us from day one. In fact, it was kept a complete secret that you could play them 13 and 123. We never knew this until high school when we came into contact with our first ever three-valved tubas in marching band, where we had to lean the alternates for the correct fingerings that you had to use on sousaphone to make it work. Very effective teaching...
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Re: middle school tubas: bloke theorum - 3-for-3

Postby bloke » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:17 am

Don't get me wrong.
We would have had a bunch of fun with 4-valve not-worn-out (good) tubas, and - of course - we knew they existed, and we knew what the 4th valve accomplished.
That having been said, (I've attempted -??- to demonstrate that) the lack of them did not hold us back.
Again, 40 - 50 years ago (and further back) we did not tear up instruments; rather, we slowly wore them out...
...and (even though worn out) our schools (single) "concert" tuba was the ~ideal~ 3-valve tuba: a King 1240.

fwiw, I just sold a very-good-condition 25-year-old King 2340 (three valves) to a school known for it's fine bands.

band director:
I need an full-size tuba.
It needs to cost under $XXXX
me:
That's a challenge. :roll:
band director:
It just needs to be good.
me:
Does it need to be a piston valve tuba?
band director:
nope.
me:
hmm...Does it need to have four valves?
band director:
nope, but it needs to include a hard case.
me:
BINGO !!!

pre-fixed-up-by-bloke picture:
Image

...and - just fwiw - I often sigh when selling tubas to local schools, because I know that - soon - I'll be getting them back: all torn up, and burdened with the responsibility of putting them back the way they were.
I will likely never see that King 1240 tuba again. The behavior standards at that particular school are exceptional.
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Re: middle school tubas: bloke theorum - 3-for-3

Postby Voisi1ev » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:26 pm

I know I was sort of baiting the hook for you there. All situation are different, we have 6-12 in the same building all using the same set of gear with good funding, so I've gone overkill on a few things. Like I said, my kids are also pretty good with stuff.
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