another stand question

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MaryAnn
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another stand question

Post by MaryAnn »

I'm pretty sure this is the one I have, although I don't remember where I bought it:
https://www.wwbw.com/KM-14952-Student-P ... nd&index=3" target="_blank

If you look at my avatar, you can see where the mouthpiece is if the tuba is resting on the chair....way above where it needs to be. In addition, it seems that euphoniums and tubas are made with the assumption that all players will have a facial/tooth structure that works when the leadpipe is straight out from the face; I assume those who cannot play that way get weeded out as "lack of talent." But....I need a downward angle of the pipe, and I have to tilt my head back in order to get the face angle right, which is damn hard on my neck. It was worst on my CC that I played resting on the chair. I know I can have the mouthpiece altered or the leadpipe raised, but am unwilling to have the only (discontinued) mouthpiece I've found that works for me, messed with with unknown results, and I'm also unsure of having the leadpipe raised to change the angle because that would lower the valves and might make them ergonomically unfortunate, when now they are just fine. So....with my "youth" stand I get the bow as close to under the chair as I can get it, and I sit on the very edge of the chair. Ideally the bow would be under my butt to get the angle right. (Avatar picture is quite accurate as to self and tuba)
Looking for suggested solutions; have considered having my own folding chair (another thing to !@#$ carry) that has a U cut in the seat that just allows my (rather skinny) legs to fit on the bars of the U and the tuba stand to actually go under the chair as I need it to do (only an inch or two.) Other engineer input ideas for this? It's not killing me because I'm not playing out now, but it reminds me every time I pick it up that my neck is unhappy with the angle I have to use to get the mouthpiece where I can play naturally. For me, "naturally" is how you would place the mouthpiece to just buzz on it sans instrument; that tells you the angle that is optimal. For me, the angle is down about 20 degrees, no matter the brass instrument.
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Re: another stand question

Post by stevennorsworthy »

The angle of the mouthpiece on the mouth is not a constant, it is a variable based on the pitch. Reinhardt documented this back in the 1950's. The angle is a function of pitch (range). It is also a function of the embouchure type. A good summary of the science of this can be found at http://www.wilktone.com/?page_id=371" target="_blank
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Re: another stand question

Post by MaryAnn »

I choose peace over conflict.
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Re: another stand question

Post by hup_d_dup »

MaryAnn, you have stated your problem clearly, and attempted a number of logical solutions to solve it, none of which have worked.

I don't think the Reinhardt system has anything to do with your problem, nor do I believe it has anything helpful to offer.

Unfortunately, ergonomics are critically important to tubists, more so than most other instruments. Tubas are large, heavy, non-adjustable objects that do not adapt to us. If we are lucky, we can adapt to them, but not always. Ergonomics are as important as any other factor in buying a tuba.

There are two possible solutions that I see, both of which may be unacceptable to you. One is, buy a different tuba. I don't say that lightly. Buying a tuba is a big deal. The choice of playing music or having neck pain for the rest of your life is also a big deal. The other, perhaps more palatable, is one you discussed: change or alter the leadpipe. If you are certain that you know what position you want your head to be in, relative to the tuba, you can be confident that a good repair person can put the leadpipe where it should be, at the proper angle, to solve the problem.

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Re: another stand question

Post by MaryAnn »

Thanks. I think changing the angle of the leadpipe is the best solution, but it would take someone pretty good to do it right, and there is no such person near me. The way I would think of to document such a thing would be to get a profile picture of me with just the mouthpiece at the angle that works (same on all brass, and angle changes with range, so I'd choose a "midrange position") and find a repair person who would be able to interpret how to move the leadpipe to give me that angle. Of course just an upward tilt would effectively lower the paddles and maybe introduce a wrist problem. Unless of course the entire leadpipe could be moved down before it was tilted up, and then there is likely a length problem that comes into play. So....it's nowhere near as bad as my CC tuba was but is still hard on my neck. And one of these days I might miss the stand altogether with the bow and end up with a flattened bow on the floor.
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Re: another stand question

Post by CranstonTuba »

So I might be misreading this, but wouldn't the solution you're looking for be to lower the leadpipe?

I own a Norwegian Star, and the lead pipe is high. I'm 6 feet, and even I notice ergonomic weirdness when I'm going into the lower register. I for sure never slouch when I play it. I understand the potential road blocks, (proximity to repair, length of pipe, etc...) but as a taller person playing the same horn, I can only imagine different problems arising if you change the angle without lowering the leadpipe.

Again I could be misunderstanding what you're describing.
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Re: another stand question

Post by Rick F »

MaryAnn, would having the shank of your mpc bent some help? Warbuton can do that.

https://www.warburton-usa.com/index.php ... outhpieces
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Re: another stand question

Post by greenbean »

MaryAnn, if there is no good tech near you... I say, go to where they are! Summer is here. How about a road trip? You could combine some custom tuba work with sight-seeing, birdwatching, museums, great food, seasonal farm work, whatever ...
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Re: another stand question

Post by hup_d_dup »

CranstonTuba wrote:So I might be misreading this, but wouldn't the solution you're looking for be to lower the leadpipe? ... I can only imagine different problems arising if you change the angle without lowering the leadpipe.
From MaryAnn's description, my understanding is that both the height and the angle must be changed. One or the other won't solve the problem.

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Re: another stand question

Post by ppalan »

I don't know if this will be of any use to you. Here is a picture of Willi Brandstötter of Mnozil Brass with an older horn than the one he currently uses. If you can enlarge the pic, you will see that he has had the mouthpiece shank bent because of his playing position. Perhaps if you had a few older, beat-up mouthpieces, you could experiment with having them altered to your requirements.
Image
Anyway...good luck. I hope you are able to get this resolved.
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Re: another stand question

Post by scottw »

MaryAnn wrote:I'm pretty sure this is the one I have, although I don't remember where I bought it:
https://www.wwbw.com/KM-14952-Student-P ... nd&index=3" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank

If you look at my avatar, you can see where the mouthpiece is if the tuba is resting on the chair....way above where it needs to be. In addition, it seems that euphoniums and tubas are made with the assumption that all players will have a facial/tooth structure that works when the leadpipe is straight out from the face; I assume those who cannot play that way get weeded out as "lack of talent." But....I need a downward angle of the pipe, and I have to tilt my head back in order to get the face angle right, which is damn hard on my neck. It was worst on my CC that I played resting on the chair. I know I can have the mouthpiece altered or the leadpipe raised, but am unwilling to have the only (discontinued) mouthpiece I've found that works for me, messed with with unknown results, and I'm also unsure of having the leadpipe raised to change the angle because that would lower the valves and might make them ergonomically unfortunate, when now they are just fine. So....with my "youth" stand I get the bow as close to under the chair as I can get it, and I sit on the very edge of the chair. Ideally the bow would be under my butt to get the angle right. (Avatar picture is quite accurate as to self and tuba)
Looking for suggested solutions; have considered having my own folding chair (another thing to !@#$ carry) that has a U cut in the seat that just allows my (rather skinny) legs to fit on the bars of the U and the tuba stand to actually go under the chair as I need it to do (only an inch or two.) Other engineer input ideas for this? It's not killing me because I'm not playing out now, but it reminds me every time I pick it up that my neck is unhappy with the angle I have to use to get the mouthpiece where I can play naturally. For me, "naturally" is how you would place the mouthpiece to just buzz on it sans instrument; that tells you the angle that is optimal. For me, the angle is down about 20 degrees, no matter the brass instrument.
SPECIFICATIONS
Height: from 9.842 to 15.748"
Instrument support: non-marring rubber
Leg construction: U-profile legs snap into socket
Material: steel
Rod combination: 2-piece folding design
Suitable: for tuba models
Type: black
Weight: 3.833 lbs
It is extremely unlikely you have the lowest model--as you can see from the specs, the lowest ht. is just under 10", well below the height of any chair you will ever see used. I have never seen this low model of K&M.I am familiar with the one in the middle--that one needs to be cut by an inch or 2 to be usable with my horn. That, and it is twice as heavy as my BBC stand, is why I got rid of it.
Due to back issues, I sit on a cushion when I play, and store it in the bag as extra bell protection--works well. You might try that as a way to raise your height above the mouthpiece.
Bearin' up!
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Re: another stand question

Post by happyroman »

MaryAnn wrote:I'm pretty sure this is the one I have, although I don't remember where I bought it:
https://www.wwbw.com/KM-14952-Student-P ... nd&index=3" target="_blank" target="_blank

If you look at my avatar, you can see where the mouthpiece is if the tuba is resting on the chair....way above where it needs to be. In addition, it seems that euphoniums and tubas are made with the assumption that all players will have a facial/tooth structure that works when the leadpipe is straight out from the face; I assume those who cannot play that way get weeded out as "lack of talent." But....I need a downward angle of the pipe, and I have to tilt my head back in order to get the face angle right, which is damn hard on my neck. It was worst on my CC that I played resting on the chair. I know I can have the mouthpiece altered or the leadpipe raised, but am unwilling to have the only (discontinued) mouthpiece I've found that works for me, messed with with unknown results, and I'm also unsure of having the leadpipe raised to change the angle because that would lower the valves and might make them ergonomically unfortunate, when now they are just fine. So....with my "youth" stand I get the bow as close to under the chair as I can get it, and I sit on the very edge of the chair. Ideally the bow would be under my butt to get the angle right. (Avatar picture is quite accurate as to self and tuba)
Looking for suggested solutions; have considered having my own folding chair (another thing to !@#$ carry) that has a U cut in the seat that just allows my (rather skinny) legs to fit on the bars of the U and the tuba stand to actually go under the chair as I need it to do (only an inch or two.) Other engineer input ideas for this? It's not killing me because I'm not playing out now, but it reminds me every time I pick it up that my neck is unhappy with the angle I have to use to get the mouthpiece where I can play naturally. For me, "naturally" is how you would place the mouthpiece to just buzz on it sans instrument; that tells you the angle that is optimal. For me, the angle is down about 20 degrees, no matter the brass instrument.
Your post made me think of a few comments I would like to share. First, if you are having to adapt your posture to the point where your neck is getting sore, you absolutely need to change something (which is why you posted this in the first place). The neck soreness aside, the fact that it is the result of having to have your head in an unnatural position is going to have the effect of closing off the air passages which will affect your tone quality adversely. Whatever you end up doing, whether it is changing the leadpipe, finding a different chair and tuba rest combo, or all of the above, you want to make sure that the tuba can be in a position so that the mouthpiece can be placed against the embouchure the same way as when you are buzzing the mouthpiece.

It sounds like the tuba needs to be tilted somewhat forward so that the mouthpiece/leadpipe are angled downward (you mention about 20 degrees). I assume that you have a tuba rest that will go low enough for you to accomplish this, so then all you need to do is figure out a solution for the actual placement of the tuba rest relative to the chair. Instead of cutting out a portion of the seat, have you tried sitting more forward on the seat of the chair so that the tuba rest is in front of the chair but still is between your legs? If you sat on just the front half of the seat while playing, I think you could accomplish the same thing as you describe. It may not be the most comfortable way to sit, but you will have plenty of opportunities to sit back when not required to play (especially when counting rests or tacet movements).

Hope this helps.
Andy
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Re: another stand question

Post by hup_d_dup »

MaryAnn has put a lot of thought into this. If we want to give useful suggestions we should at least read her original post carefully.

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Re: another stand question

Post by timothy42b »

It's not just a matter of breathing, it's also the ability to get the mouthpiece at the angle that supports the teeth structure and embouchure type.

But it can't be an angle that just barely works. That angle changes slightly across ranges, so the head must move. (Trumpet and trombone players can move the instrument, but horn and tuba players generally adjust the head. Unconsciously usually but it's there.) I know there are few Reinhardt fans here in Jacobland <grin> but if you observe closely it must and does happen. So MaryAnn's solution must include the ability to play comfortably in the center of her range and shift smoothly for the extremes. Tuba is not ideal for this.

When my back was hurting I brought a Scandinavian kneeling chair to work and alternated. Of course as soon as I stopped one of the other back sufferers stole it. I wonder if there is another solution for how to sit - maybe a bar stool with a support, kneeling chair, something. More things to carry of course.
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Re: another stand question

Post by happyroman »

hup_d_dup wrote:MaryAnn has put a lot of thought into this. If we want to give useful suggestions we should at least read her original post carefully.

Hup
Which post(s) are you referring to? I ask because your post follows immediately after mine and I am wondering if you are referring to me.

In a multi-post thread, it is often helpful to use the quote feature so that everyone knows exactly which post is being referenced by your comment.
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Re: another stand question

Post by happyroman »

timothy42b wrote:It's not just a matter of breathing, it's also the ability to get the mouthpiece at the angle that supports the teeth structure and embouchure type.

But it can't be an angle that just barely works. That angle changes slightly across ranges, so the head must move. (Trumpet and trombone players can move the instrument, but horn and tuba players generally adjust the head. Unconsciously usually but it's there.) I know there are few Reinhardt fans here in Jacobland <grin> but if you observe closely it must and does happen. So MaryAnn's solution must include the ability to play comfortably in the center of her range and shift smoothly for the extremes. Tuba is not ideal for this.

When my back was hurting I brought a Scandinavian kneeling chair to work and alternated. Of course as soon as I stopped one of the other back sufferers stole it. I wonder if there is another solution for how to sit - maybe a bar stool with a support, kneeling chair, something. More things to carry of course.
I attended a Jacobs Master Class where he was asked about the Pivot System. He said he didn't think much of it. But it was not because he thought it completely lacked merit. He believed that many players that subscribed to the system relied on it to cause the changes necessary when shifting registers. In other words, he believed that the pivoting that occurs should be in response to the changes in pitch. The pivoting should be resultant, not causative. He never wanted his students to focus on the physical maneuvers, but rather on what they wanted to sound like. Those who used the Pivot System, in his experience, tended to overdo the pivoting. They would make a large pivot for a pitch change of a fifth or an octave that would normally be expected in a pitch change of a leap of two octaves or more. The last point that he made was that there are many fine players that use the pivot system, but as with many things (such as playing with a tight gut), they played well in spite of using the pivot system or tight gut because they had very musical minds.
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Re: another stand question

Post by cjk »

Sit on a phone book, thus raising yourself instead of lowering the tuba. Put the tuba on the chair.

Kindof a "person stand" instead of a tuba stand. Cheap too.

There used to be a product called a "tubassist" or something like that. It looks like it might be adjustable to lower the tuba lower than the chair. Maybe someone else knows.
Image

The leadpipe can be angled by a repairman. Probably lowered and angled. You just need to find a good one to do it. I'd make a road trip to get it done if you are able.
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Re: another stand question

Post by timothy42b »

happyroman wrote:I attended a Jacobs Master Class where he was asked about the Pivot System. He said he didn't think much of it. But it was not because he thought it completely lacked merit. He believed that many players that subscribed to the system relied on it to cause the changes necessary when shifting registers. In other words, he believed that the pivoting that occurs should be in response to the changes in pitch. The pivoting should be resultant, not causative.
Thanks. So whether the pivot is cause or effect, Jacobs agrees it occurs. I didn't know what he thought about that.

And whyever it occurs, I maintain that most tuba players do it with a head angle change rather than moving the horn like trumpet and trombone players do, so the tuba stand plus posture choice must allow for some head motion.
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Re: another stand question

Post by toobagrowl »

Just keep in mind that if you must change the position of your mouthpipe (unsoldering/re-positioning/resoldering) the finish and look on that part of your horn will no longer look "factory" anymore; especially on a silverplated horn like yours :idea: And you need a good tech to do it, not just a run-of-the-mill "music store tech" who only works on school horns.
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Re: another stand question

Post by hup_d_dup »

happyroman wrote: In a multi-post thread, it is often helpful to use the quote feature so that everyone knows exactly which post is being referenced by your comment.
MaryAnn wrote: So....with my "youth" stand I get the bow as close to under the chair as I can get it, and I sit on the very edge of the chair. Ideally the bow would be under my butt to get the angle right.
happyroman wrote: Instead of cutting out a portion of the seat, have you tried sitting more forward on the seat of the chair so that the tuba rest is in front of the chair but still is between your legs? If you sat on just the front half of the seat while playing, I think you could accomplish the same thing as you describe.lps.
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