BBb Bass solos

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Thirteen Ball, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Right, I know there's been a lot of posts on here about bass solos in general, but being a BB player, it's almost impossible to find anything worth playing on BB. Since most tuba solos are written for Eb bass, they usually end up going up to top D, E and F if transposed for BB. And all the ones that are written with half an eye on being playable by BB are forty years old and so cliched that I'd rather avoid them.

    Are there any other solos written in Bb (Euph solo for example) that would fit the character of a BB? Ie: Lots of musical clowning around and the opportunity to stick some low-register stuff in.

    I'm a first-section standard player so I don't mind if it's a little tricky here and there, but bearing in mind I haven't played a solo in well over 3 years I'd rather like something that isn't too heinous to find my feet on again.
  2. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    There's Tuba Rag by Nigel Horne but that is probably a easier than what you are looking for. I'll have a think! :)
  3. Scongie

    Scongie Member

    One of my good friends is a BB player and I remember him playing the rondo horn concerto, it's arranged for euph with brass band but worked pretty well as a BB solo. I think he wrote a cadenza into it as well to show off some low stuff as you put it!

    I also remember him doing wiedekr (sp) air varie for his A level prac this seemd to work OK too.

    Plenty of air varies out there that could be used eg Grandfathers Clock, a bit dated I know but still got its difficult bits and doesn't spend much time in the top register.
  4. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I would check out the American or German sites for suitable repertoire. Tubanews is a good place to start.
  5. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Thanks Gang. It still looks like if you're a BB player, and you fancy a crack at a solo you've only got three choices.

    1) Play an out-dated Eb solo that was cro-barred into Bb and as such now doesn't work properly, or is so high it defeats the object of it being a BB solo.

    2) Play a solo that was written for another instrument so the balance on the accompanying parts is now pretty questionable, and the character of the solo part doesn't fit the instrument.

    3) Write one yourself.

    Where's me manuscript paper....
  6. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    The tuba rag I mentioned is a Bb Bass solo, not Eb.... :wink:
  7. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Well at least that's a start.... ;)
  8. knuxie35

    knuxie35 Member

  9. Robin Norman

    Robin Norman Member

    I made an arrangement of 'Send in the Clowns' for myself to play on E-flat. Then, following several requests, I 'adapted' it for Bb tuba with band accompaniment. In the set now you get a Solo part for Eb, an 'advanced' Bb Bass solo part (does go up to a 'C') and a slightly simplified Bb soloist part without the higher notes.

    I have heard this played by Bb with Brass Band accompaniment and it works just as well with either.

    It is published by Crabtree Music, distributed by De Haske.

    Hope that this helps.
  10. agentorange

    agentorange Member

    With your undoubted composing/arranging skills Andi, I'd have thought that option 3 would be the best one.......

  11. dikkezeug

    dikkezeug New Member

    Tuba Smarties is a nice bass solo but although a nice solo part it may be a bit easy for you?

  12. Bass Man

    Bass Man Active Member

    There are so many options, many Eb solos can be transposed for BBb as well. Steve Sykes arranges some excellent bass solos which can be transposed onto BBb, two examples are Czardas and Carnival Cocktail
  13. Danny

    Danny New Member


    I have quite a few things that are good to have a go at! **** ********* **** ** ** ***

    Some very odd things that I have transposed from Eb or C.

    I used to play them for my seating auditions at National Youth Band!

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2006
  14. Growler

    Growler Member

    Im not sure if its ever been arranged for band, or what it would sound like, but im playing the Romanza from Vaughan William's tuba concerto for my grade 8, which is in a nice range for Bb, and sounds good as well, on the recording Ive got at least!!! Its from pedal C up to top F if memory serves. I had to transpose it though cos its in bass clef.

  15. nickjones

    nickjones Active Member

    OUP have a version arranged for Euphonium of the 2nd Movement.
  16. mikey.smithy

    mikey.smithy Member

    I have heard a recording of Fodens with Deano playing In the Hall of the Mountain King from Peer Gynt. It is arrangeed by Bell Geldard, orignally for Bass Trom. Wingates recently recorded it with Bass Trom from the Halle. On the sleeve notes it is not identified as published but if anyone has access to it I would be interested in it myself. Alternatively, does anyone have contact details for Bill, perhaps and email address??

  17. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    You could say that's a ringing endorsement...;) :oops: (sorry)

    I've had a quick dig around, but can't find any contact details for Bill direct, but you might want to try through Warwick Music:

    They also list an arrangement by Bill Geldard of In the Hall of the Mountain King for Bass Trombone. I'm not sure if its the same one, but I would say it's highly likely. One thing is for sure, if Bill Geldard has arranged it, the chances are it'll be a cracker!

    Hope this helps.
  18. mikey.smithy

    mikey.smithy Member


    many thanks for that, I am sure it is the right one and will order it now. It is an absolute belter and if i'm honest the band parts are far harder than the soloist part - but thats not my problem is it?!!!

    BBb Bass
    GUS Band
  19. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Hehe spoken like a true soloist!

    Sorry to wander off topic for a post or two, but I might suggest this for our bass bone to play. In terms of range and technicality how difficult is the solo part?
  20. mikey.smithy

    mikey.smithy Member

    it really isnt that tough although obviously you have to be able to swing well. Imparticular as the write up on the website you gave says. there is a 'trading fours' section with the kit that is pretty exposed with respect to swingability. Range i'm not sure as its been a little while since i heard it but from a BBb bass point of view probably no more than bottom to top c.

    It really is all down to the band though, Its quite stretching.


    GUS Band

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