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How to convince parents to buy tuba?

Postby TheTuba » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:42 pm

Ok, so i'm getting serious about tuba and I want to go with it into the future as a amateur. This would, of course mean I will have to get a tuba once i'm out of school.

My parents think of tuba as a "hobby" and a way to get noticed in college. That's about as far as they're willing to take it, college.

I'm planning on waiting until junior/senior year to pay for a tuba. I'm eyeing either the wessex/ Mack brass ones. I have around 900$ saved up and I estimate i'll have enough at the very most junior year.

However, when I tell my mom about my plans, she scoffs and says to save that money for college.

WHILE I kind of agree with this, at the same time I can't bear the thought of not playing tuba. After a "moment" of destiny, it's become my passion, and I don't want to let go of the only "healthy" way of release and enjoyment.

Kind of premature, but you're thoughts on this?
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Re: How to convince parents to buy tuba?

Postby Mark Finley » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:47 pm

Do you have access and the means to have a quality instrument at home to practice on?

Frequently when I have students buy instruments, it's because they don't have a way to practice at home (like they ride the bus and can't get a horn at home)
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Re: How to convince parents to buy tuba?

Postby Northernlb » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:04 pm

If you are not majoring in music in college and are at a school that provides a tuba than you should save your money. Schools will always have a tuba for you to play, students who can play the tuba are more rare than a school not owning a tuba. If you are majoring in music than you should buy a tuba and save the money to buy an established brand after you have tried a number of different brands allowing yourself the opportunity to pick the correct tuba for you.

You should pick a tuba based off of quality and type, not only on price alone.
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too early?

Postby Samcai8 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:15 pm

If you currently have a decent horn that's not holding you back,
Keep saving up until senior year. Then decide if this is truly the life you desire. If yes, get a personal horn. This way, you'll have enough funds for a good horn and truly know it's what you want to do.

if you don't currently have a decent horn,
get one junior year so you don't get held back playing-wise by your equipment going into college.

You should also start taking lessons if you aren't already.
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Re: How to convince parents to buy tuba?

Postby PMeuph » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:32 pm

You're better off to finish college without any debt, and without a tuba, then to finish college with a tuba in your hands and debt.

Honestly, I went to a conservatory that had 5 tubas, I spent some time in grad school in a school that had 8 tubas (but no tubists :shock: :shock: :shock: ). I've played in community bands that owned tubas or could rent them cheaply from a local school. One of the bands I currently play in, the euph player has been playing there for 20 years, and doesn't own a horn.

You'll be fine, there are plenty of horns around. In the worst of cases you'll be playing in a band you don't love, or renting a horn until you save up the money after college. Mack and Wessex will probably still be around in 7-8? years when you finish college and there will always be horns for sale.
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Re: How to convince parents to buy tuba?

Postby Art Hovey » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:06 pm

One of my students a few years ago convinced his parents and grandparents to spring for a rather expensive CC tuba by winning a full-ride scholarship to a very respectable university as a tuba major. He had been using a second-hand King 2341 at the time. The new tuba cost them a lot, but was less than the tuition would have been. There were a lot of snow days that spring, and he used them to master the CC fingerings. People congratulated me, but he's the one who did the practicing.
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Re: How to convince parents to buy tuba?

Postby Cobra1502 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:12 am

I faced the same dilemma many years ago. I had no tuba as I was moving from a community band that provided one to university that did not. I was fortunate that I was accepted into the university concert band and lessons while still in grade 9. My parents agreed to co-sign a loan for me so I could by a Yamaha YBB 103. Reasonable student tuba that didn’t break the bank. Each month I pushed shopping carts for many evenings and weekends in order to get the monthly payments. Paid it off in 3 yrs. This allowed me to get a tuba, pay it off, build a credit history without having to have my parents pay for it. Because of this I believed I took extra care of it.

This being said, incurring a large debt if you don’t “need” to is very sound advice. Research it more and explore your options.
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Re: How to convince parents to buy tuba?

Postby Dubby » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:33 am

I’ll add my thoughts and agreements to the above. If you are looking to continue playing at university as a non-music major, I would wait and see what they have. My uni had a few horns that I could play and used throughout my career in band, orchestra, brass choir, etc. Now, I was at a small liberal arts uni that didn’t have many tuba players so there weren’t many people clamoring to use the instruments and as a decent player, I usually got first pick.

Your situation could of course end up different and were I to have attended a larger uni I would not have had as many opportunities to play as I did as a non-major I suspect. I could be wrong though. I would agree though that if you have access to decent tubas now, save the money and continue to save it to diminish as much debt as you can. I would be surprised if you are unable to find access to a tuba wherever you end up.

I was lucky enough to receive scholarship to cover most of my costs, so buying a tuba was an opportunity that I took advantage of, buying first a used horn from someone here and then trading it with another member for a different horn. Unfortunately I had to sell it when I moved overseas, but even here in Germany I’ve been able to rent a tuba quite cheap. A little too cheap I’d say, but I’m not going to complain about that.

Now that I am done rambling, to sum up I would say focus on decreasing the need to take on student debt before buying a tuba. If you, and your teacher as you should have one, think your current school tuba is holding you back then maybe think about purchasing a tuba to potentially earn a larger scholarship but I think that would be a rare case. There are always tubas available for sale so don’t worry about that.
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Re: How to convince parents to buy tuba?

Postby TheTuba » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:40 am

Thank you for the replies!

The school horns around here are Miraphones, so they are NOT holding me back in any way. Saving the money until senior year is a wise idea. HOWEVER, my parents DON'T feel the need to get a tuba. Even if I save up money, they wont let me spend it. I just hope that the college I go to will have tubas they don't use.

Thanks again!
-Raghul
Still searching for a 8/4 EEb
I mean if you want to, you can buy me the tuba in my name :P
If you're selling a good BBb or CC 5/4 or large 4/4 with 5 valves in 2021 under 6,000, please, contact me!
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Re: How to convince parents to buy tuba?

Postby TheTuba » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:42 am

I'm also very lucky in that the schools around here provide a "home" tuba and a "school" tuba (granted the home tubas are beat up so I just take the school one home everyday), so transportation isin't a issue.

Also, Dan Schultz's VMI BBb are contenders.
-Raghul
Still searching for a 8/4 EEb
I mean if you want to, you can buy me the tuba in my name :P
If you're selling a good BBb or CC 5/4 or large 4/4 with 5 valves in 2021 under 6,000, please, contact me!
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Re: How to convince parents to buy tuba?

Postby Sousaswag » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:25 am

I'm assuming you're still pretty young. When I was your age my parents wouldn't have let me drop thousands of dollars for an instrument if they didn't know if I would continue. If you are *really* serious about this, take the suggestions already posted and see what the schools have. Save some money. To get my tuba, I got a job to get the money. That was the only reason I got the job at the time. If I were you, I'd get a used 186. They can be had pretty cheap if you find the right deal. Chances are the school you choose will have multiple tubas. Unless you choose a small school, that shouldn't be an issue.
Good luck, tuba hunting is always fun!
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Re: How to convince parents to buy tuba?

Postby NCSUSousa » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:00 am

To the OP: I'm with your parents on this one. Don't spend ANY $ on a Tuba (if you're not majoring in music) until after you graduate college.

I went to North Carolina State University, studying Engineering. NCSU does NOT offer a music major. I don't think it has ever offered one. Even so, they had good tubas available for people participating in concert band or brass band. Just pick a group and enjoy making music while you're in college. Many universities will have a music building with practice rooms (sound insulated) so you never have to take the tuba out of the music building. Your roommates sure won't want you to bring it back to the dorm.
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Re: How to convince parents to buy tuba?

Postby Three Valves » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:15 am

Wasn't the whole point of playing the tuba that your suffering parents didn't have to rent or buy an instrument??

This throws off the whole plan!!

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Re: How to convince parents to buy tuba?

Postby paulver » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:24 am

Just spitballing here............ food for thought.

Any tuba is better than no tuba!!! You might consider buying a used one at what you determine is the proper time, instead of shelling out a ton of money on a brand new one at an in-opportune time. You don't know what your/your family's financial situation is going to be while you're in college, so you might want to deal with the situation on the conservative side. If you're serious about playing, you'll probably have some paid playing opportunities in your future. Make and save your money til the right time to buy a new instrument comes your way.

During my teaching career, I lent "trustworthy" former students, tubas, bass trombones, drumsets, etc., so they could play a couple of gigs that otherwise, they couldn't do. The understanding was that they had to pay for any loss or damage that might occur. If the situation permits, you might ask your high school or college director if you could borrow one.... temporarily.

I'm a hobby player, so I don't make much money, if any, playing. I have two tubas..... one a Miraphone 186, the other a King recording tuba. Both were made in the early 1970's, and they function very nicely. Not pretty to look at, but they play well and serve the purpose. If and when I start playing consistently for pay, I plan to have the Miraphone completely overhauled/restored to new condition. Until then, I'm content with what I have.

If you get any inspiration from this.... great! If not.....no problem........ good luck in your quest!!!
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Re: How to convince parents to buy tuba?

Postby Casca Grossa » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:19 am

TheTuba wrote:My parents think of tuba as a "hobby" and a way to get noticed in college.


If your parents don't want you to get noticed and to spend your time focusing on school and never being invited to party, a tuba should be the first thing they should buy you.
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Re: How to convince parents to buy tuba?

Postby bloke » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:26 am

I bought all of my own guitars, tubas, cars, (*clothes)...from day 1 ("day 1" = c. age 15).
What factors, mostly, have changed?
Adjusted for inflation, the costs of these things are now ~less~.




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*I realized that the only way I was going to get slacks that were NOT peach or yellow...and shirts that did NOT have wild patterns on them (popular with ~some~ people: such as my Mom, in the early 1970's) was to buy them MYSELF...from "men's" stores that sold brands such as H.I.S. and Levi Strauss, instead of from department stores that sold trendy "hippie clothes". Being somewhat tall, I discovered that if I looked like a grown-up, I would be treated more like one. To get my first tuba - a FOUR-rotor 186 C, I threw papers, cut grass (mostly around stores...they paid more for less), washed/waxed/detailed cars, played solo guitar gigs at cocktail parties, etc. It cost me $1800 + $40 freight which - adjusted for inflation - is a friggin' $9400. :shock:
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Re: How to convince parents to buy tuba?

Postby Slamson » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:13 pm

It never ceases to amaze me that my students can't afford to buy a tuba... but they all drive nicer, newer vehicles than I do. Parents don't seem to have any qualms about buying them something that will, at best, give them transportation for a couple of years, when a tuba can last a lifetime. Kind of like an education in general.

Short-sighted budgeting. And then there's the lack of depreciation.... my first tuba's worth lots more today than when I bought it.
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Re: How to convince parents to buy tuba?

Postby Radar » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:43 pm

If you've got school horns to play on for now keep saving your money, money in the bank is never a bad thing, when you get to college hopefully they will have a playable horn for you to use as well. Keep your money in the bank and let it grow, when the time comes when you have to have your own tuba the more you have saved the better the horn you can get. Used horns as opposed to new when the time comes are a good investment as well.
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Re: How to convince parents to buy tuba?

Postby basslizard » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:02 am

Speaking as a parent of two teenaged children, you aren't going to talk your parents into buying you a tuba. Instead, you are going to save up to buy your own tuba. Most parents understand that you could save up to buy a car, or save up for college tuition. A used tuba will cost less than a couple of college credits, so it's not like you'll be putting yourself out of much in the way of college savings. Wait until you are in college, or graduating from college, or no longer have access to a school-provided tuba. My sanity would have been much saved if I could have always had a tuba to play, even after university. Once I started heavily working on my degree, I couldn't keep music classes in my schedule, and lost access to a tuba. I went without a tuba for almost two decades. I joined a community band, borrowed a tuba, and then found my ugly old used Jupiter. I could still borrow a horn from the local high school (see number of tubas owned by a school vs number of tuba players in previous comments) but I like having my beat-up hunk of brass. She plays very well, and I'm unlikely to exceed her capacity in my lifetime.

I didn't buy a tuba until I was in my 40's. The tuba I bought cost me $100, plus $50 in shipping. I took a chance. It's not fancy, but as an amateur who just wanted a horn to keep playing, it fits my needs. In high school and college I played horns provided to me by the school. Playing tuba payed outright for two semesters of college. I agree with those who say to keep saving your money for now. If you get to college and they don't have a horn you can borrow, and you will absolutely be playing, then you can get a used inexpensive horn. Unless your tuba is going to be your livelihood, or you are going on to a major symphony gig, you don't need to drop multiple thousands of dollars on a tuba.

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Re: How to convince parents to buy tuba?

Postby circusboy » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:44 pm

Inspired by basslizard, I'd say why not just buy a really cheap tuba? I see that Baltimore Brass has used tubas starting at $350, and I'll bet you could find one at that price or less by contacting Taylor Music in Aberdeen, SD, for something not advertised on their website. Don't be afraid of Eb horns. A cheap horn may have its quirks, but it'll be yours to use and to see if it's something you really want to stick with. You can get a better horn when you're out of college and into that high-paying job that won't allow you any time to play it.
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