What constitures a professional tuba?

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Re: What constitures a professional tuba?

Post by peter birch »

usually a price tag of many 000s of dollars/pounds/euros
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Re: What constitures a professional tuba?

Post by EdFirth »

A player using it professionally.
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Re: What constitures a professional tuba?

Post by peter birch »

I think it is a marketing ploy. Instead of student, transition, professional, the manufacturers could say cheapest, cheap, expensive, but they get us to part with more money by using terms like "advanced" and "professional". it applies to cars, tools, cooking pans, toothpaste and a whole range of consumer products, including musical instruments. It might be that you actually save money by buying an expensive product (because the cheaper one isn't as robust- the buy cheap-buy twice argument), but in the end I have a "professional" level instrument (albeit bought 2nd hand) and although I don't make my living playing the tuba, it works for me
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Re: What constitures a professional tuba?

Post by Bnich93 »

Professional is a horn that works as intended, reliably. It can be stamped out in china from pot metal or hand-made in Germany, as long as it plays well for its intended purpose I think it is suitable for professionals.

Labels that say professional are a solid indicator of lower quality though, it reeks lack of actual confidence in the product. You won't find the word on any German manufacturers' websites.
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Re: What constitures a professional tuba?

Post by Leland »

I got paid more while playing a 2-valve G contra than while playing anything else. So that's "professional".
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Re: What constitures a professional tuba?

Post by Radar »

Isn't the answer to this question dependent on the style of music being played? Classical as opposed to Jazz or Pop? If someone is playing Traditional Jazz on a beat up old Conn Sousaphone, his horn by the definition of many here would be considered a pro-horn because he is playing on it and making money with it. I'm sure this wouldn't fly if he showed up at an orchestra gig, so should we limit this discussion to what would be appropriate for playing and winning a job in a professional orchestra? The question seems too broad to me to get a meaningful answer that doesn't include a huge range of instruments. I don't consider myself a pro even though I get an occasional paid gig, but I'm interested in what the answers would be if the question was more specific.
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Re: What constitures a professional tuba?

Post by arpthark »

Bnich93 wrote: Labels that say professional are a solid indicator of lower quality though, it reeks lack of actual confidence in the product. You won't find the word on any German manufacturers' websites.
https://www.b-and-s.com/en/instruments/tubas/" target="_blank

https://www.melton-meinl-weston.com/en/ ... nts/tubas/" target="_blank
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Re: What constitures a professional tuba?

Post by bort »

I interpret "professional" as something that is the "real deal," and intended for regular and heavy use over a long period of time. A professional tuba player is someone who plays the tuba a LOT. A "professional tuba" is a tuba that is suitable for use under those conditions.

In another context, maybe consider the difference between home and commercial restaurant equipment. The home stuff is built well enough and will do just fine... but the professional equipment is made for heavy use (all day, every day), and in more demanding situations. It's also probably a bit less "friendly" than the home equipment, and takes more time and training to learn how to use it. But, with the proper experience, it will do far more than the home versions could ever do. A commercial oven in my kitchen is going to burn and destroy all everything I cook. My home oven is going to be useless in a restaurant.

Or, like construction tools. Everyone has SOME tools at home, and maybe even some very high quality things called "pro" or "Professional." Same thing there... they require more skill, training, and experience to use them properly. The benefits may or may not be immediately obvious over the "home" version of the tools, and it depends on the user. Do I need a $1,000 drill? No, my $100 drill will do just fine. Maybe the $1,000 drill would work a lot better and make 1% of the things I do easier... but I also know that if someone has to use a drill every single day, in high-demand situations, that $100 drill is going to be garbage to them, even if it was built well.
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Re: What constitures a professional tuba?

Post by Mark »

EdFirth wrote:A player using it professionally.
+1
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Re: What constitures a professional tuba?

Post by toobagrowl »

Funny thread :P Stryk seems kinda obsessed with this topic from his threads "What constitutes a professional tuba" and "How good is good enough" regarding tubas. I say just play what you like and don't give a damn what others think :wink:
bort wrote:I interpret "professional" as something that is the "real deal," and intended for regular and heavy use over a long period of time. A professional tuba player is someone who plays the tuba a LOT. A "professional tuba" is a tuba that is suitable for use under those conditions.

In another context, maybe consider the difference between home and commercial restaurant equipment. The home stuff is built well enough and will do just fine... but the professional equipment is made for heavy use (all day, every day), and in more demanding situations. It's also probably a bit less "friendly" than the home equipment, and takes more time and training to learn how to use it. But, with the proper experience, it will do far more than the home versions could ever do.
That's sorta my take on it, too. IMO, a "professional" tuba is one that gives a great sound first, is very well-made, has good/workable response and pitch. A really good player is able to coax the most out of it. Think of the great Alexander and Yorkbrunner players of the past - those tubas are not known to be the most in-tune, but thier players somehow figured out how to play them in tune, and very well with great sound. And they were well-made :!:

There seems to be more emphasis on better in-tune tubas now, and that is good. But there were/are many "student/school" tubas that are very well intonated (Mira 186, King 2341, etc). There are some pros who play them, but many choose other type of tubas for various reasons :idea:
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Re: What constitures a professional tuba?

Post by Three Valves »

I’m afraid I wouldn’t know... :cry:
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Re: What constitures a professional tuba?

Post by Leland »

Leland wrote:I got paid more while playing a 2-valve G contra than while playing anything else. So that's "professional".
This is what I said earlier. Snark aside, though...

I'd use the "professional" label when an instrument has extra features that can, potentially, be a liability when used only part-time or in a physically risky setting. Things like tuning slide triggers or valve gutters are good if the player is careful to avoid damaging them and maintains them regularly, but they can be more pieces to lose or bend when handled by a middle schooler.

And, dare I say it, if a player is still only trying to mash the right buttons and hopefully not frack any attacks, the extra labor and expense that went into a hand-hammered one-piece bell is pretty much wasted. Even more so if there's any question whether the player might continue after leaving band to join the soccer team.
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Re: What constitures a professional tuba?

Post by Dan Tuba »

Stryk wrote:
toobagrowl wrote:Funny thread :P Stryk seems kinda obsessed with this topic from his threads "What constitutes a professional tuba" and "How good is good enough" regarding tubas.
I just see people wanting more and more expensive horns with more and more valves and gadgets on them and in them. The video in the original "good enough" post made me think - how good of a horn do you really need? Do I *NEED* a $40k YamaYork? No way. Would I like one? Maybe. Does Chris Olka need one? Probably so. The horns I have work for me, the horns Joe has work for him, and the horns Chris has work for him - and they are all different. VERY different. A couple points others have made, I think answer the question. First professional horns are ones that make you money, and ones that tend to last for an extended period of time under heavy use. In my opinion, the price, the beauty, the origin, the size, or the number of valves have nothing to do with it. Of course this is from a guy that doesn't think it will be long before someone wins a job in a major symphony with a Chinese horn. As always, your mileage may vary.
I wouldn't hesitate to use my BMB J765 BBb tuba at work. It's a very nice tuba and I love playing it in community groups. The Chinese manufacturers are making some really nice playing tubas. With that said, my work provides me with a MW 195P, which is hard "playability" wise to beat.

To answer your question "what constitutes a professional tuba?"
Well, for me, it's whatever tuba or tubas that I can make the most music with(Intonation, Articulation, phrasing, time, dynamic contrast, timbre), with the least amount of hassle, and if playing with others whatever, tuba that makes the ensemble sound good.
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Re: What constitures a professional tuba?

Post by anotherjtm2 »

bloke wrote: anything with at least a 28" bell and a 9" bell collar :wink:
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Re: What constitures a professional tuba?

Post by swillafew »

A favorite instructor would say, "that thing won't make a sound until you pick it up".

I have read that guitarists must own whatever axe the person who hired them expects to see. A studio musician allowed that he had 35 guitars after 35 years of playing, according to the "needs" of each year.
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