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Tuba solo help

Postby TheTuba » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:02 pm

So the solo i'm playing "Sonata in F major for tuba" or "Sonata no.1 in the six cello suites" is a pretty easy solo. However, in the 2nd movement (Allegro Maestro)(I don't have it with me at the moment) there's a really fast part that is basically a slur between a D and F (High "in" the staff) that goes really,really fast. I'm trying to practice it slow, but the slur is so weird that I can't get used to it. Any suggestions?

Also, are you allowed to make minor musical changes in the music (adding slurs, dynamics, and getting rid of other dynamics) without being "prosecuted" (couldn't find a better word) for doing so?
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Re: Tuba solo help

Postby Mark Finley » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:13 pm

well you just described the only difficult part about that piece. Llp slurs are always harder than valve slurs.

Dynamics are a subjective thing. if you don't do what's on the page, do something else, the last thing you want to do is play with no dynamics

I wouldn't go changing slurs if you can help it. As a judge, I'd rather hear it a little under tempo.
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Re: Tuba solo help

Postby fourbass » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:08 am

1) Get a Buzz Aid from Wind Song Press.
2) Play the difficult passage very[i][/i] slowly and in tune with the buzz aid or on mouthpiece alone. Buzz with a piano to ensure proper pitch.
3) On the mouthpiece outline the passage by buzzing, siding, smearing on mouthpiece.
4) Practice singing the passage in tune with the piano.
5) Play the passage or parts of it at a time and hear your hard work pay off.
6) Repeat steps 1-5.

Good luck.
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Re: Tuba solo help

Postby smitwill1 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:57 pm

I agree with fourbass's approach and add one additional detail: try shaping the syllables "ahh --> eeh" --> ahh" as you slur up and down in that range. (I suggest "oh" --> "ahh" --> "oh" in lower range.)
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Re: Tuba solo help

Postby imperialbari » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:33 pm

If you had been around the trombone or another instrument, where true legato in many situations leads to pure disaster, then you would have known the use of legato tonguing.

That approach has many phenotypes, some of which are not recommendable like using the glottis as an air valve. I prefer doing L-tonguing. It takes some practising to get it right, but I find it a worthwhile technique.

There may be a more simple solution for your actual problemuse, if you play BBb tuba: use the fingering 3 for D. If you play CC tuba use the fingering 4. (Disclaimer: I haven’t seen the music).

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Re: Tuba solo help

Postby snorlax » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:34 pm

You are talking about Benedetto Marcello, yes? If so or similar...

If you are playing a BB flat tuba, see if the D in the staff plays in tune using 1 & 2 or 3 and slur from the 1&2 or 3 D to the open F. Then it doesn't become a "lip" slur and becomes easier.
If you're playing a CC tuba, see if you can play the D in the staff 1&3 and slur to the first-valve F. Then it doesn't become a "lip" slur and becomes easier.
If you're playing an E flat tuba, it's not a lip slur! ;-)
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Re: Tuba solo help

Postby Bnich93 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:13 am

look up some lip slur exercises and work them from a slow tempo up to about 15 clicks over the tempo of the piece you are working on. Part of my regiment in college was a large packet full of rudiments like this that was to be worked on every day as a warm up and we would be tested on them twice per semester(for points to beat your own score, not graded). Doing these kinds of etudes as part of your routine will make solos significantly easier on you even if they seem boring or tedious.

I’m not trying to be one of those “just practice” kind of people, but I tend to lean toward shedding over quick tricks. If I had to pick a trick for you however, using alternate fingerings to make it a valved slur as said above is a very sound route.

Each player can have their own path to playing tough things cleanly, as long as what comes out of the bell sounds good. Just experiment with what works for you. Heck, Ive had a pro player tell me he uses false tones for the low Es in the symphonic metamorphosis excerpt, as well as myself using a lip trill in Die Meistersinger.
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Re: Tuba solo help

Postby TheGoyWonder » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:44 am

what is "articulation" anyways. Can your really ever have *no* articulation? Or will there always be something between notes if you zoom in close enough?
No space between notes, no smack at the note change. if the tongue is involved, who is the wiser.
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Re: Tuba solo help

Postby MaryAnn » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:34 pm

Well, the buzz continues and should be a gliss between notes. It doesn't start and stop when there is a slur. When the instrument decides to jump partials is up to how the player is applying the buzz and air.
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Re: Tuba solo help

Postby bloke » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:59 pm

TheTuba wrote:So the solo i'm playing "Sonata in F major for tuba" or "Sonata no.1 in the six cello suites" is a pretty easy solo.


I don't consider solos such as this one to be "easy".
To the contrary, I view such solos as *"bare-nekid" solos.
Most anything in such a performance that isn't both perfectly executed and musically sublime is - unavoidably - compared to some existing recordings (cello, etc.) that have been previously audited by attendees.

To address your specific question, if you're referring to slurring between D and F - both in the staff - on a Bb tuba, try using valves 1&2 for the D, if you haven't yet mastered that particular slur reliably.
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