Euphonium to E flat Tuba

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Andy_Euph, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    Hi i'm just curious really about euphonium players that have gone onto Eflat bass, how difficult is the transition? Are there any "quick fix" scenarios, i.e. smaller bore mouthpieces etc? I've tried tuba before but its always just been that little too big, i can pitch on a tuba but only low notes.

    Thanks in advance for any advice :biggrin:
  2. Nigel Hall

    Nigel Hall Supporting Member

    I tend to use a slightly smaller bore mouthpiece (bought from First Brass in Northampton - Thanks Shawn!) as I found that the ones supplied with an instrument felt like I was trying to blow into a bucket!!
  3. Red Elvis

    Red Elvis Active Member

    I made the move last summer , and you'd probably best ask the rest of my band how successful the transition has been !!:)

    Seriously , the things that I found an issue were the gaps between harmonics , which required more embouchure changing / breath support than on euph . More tubing also means having to learn to anticipate the start of notes a little more , particularly during faster passages and when playing the ubiquitous "ooms" of the "oom-chucks" in marches ( ie on-beat quavers!) and I still get picked up on being a little slow on these.

    I'm playing a Besson Sov , which came with a VB 24AW and at first this was too bucket like for me so I borrowed a DW . This lacked a bit of "clout" so after the areas I switched back to the VB and am trying that now.

    Middle and high range , no problems although tuning sometimes wanders as I still tend to hear notes in Bb in my mind before I pitch them . I do struggle a bit at the lower end - at present bottom E / F below the stave is as far as I can go with any confidence or power. Luckily my band have some powerful pedal merchants for this end of things .

    Simple answer was practice and plenty of it , plus taking tips and hints from my fellow bass players and MD who has been known to blow a tuba in his time !

    Will probably need to revisit all this again as currently laid off due to broken arm and have not played for over three weeks !

    PS on the occasion of solo or lugubrious passages for Eb bass, it is still possible to use the classic Eupho right arm / elbow movements !!
  4. Ipswich trom

    Ipswich trom Member

    A very successful transition I would say. :tup
  5. stotty74

    stotty74 Member

    Is this just a general request so you can pass on the tips, or are you seriously considering moving?

    Going onto Eb Bass doesn't mean you can do less practice than you do now you know (although that would be difficult anyway ;-) )

    People i've known that have changed have found it really tough, and not just because of difficulties with embouchure. Unless you have a really good ear (which i think you have anyway:) )pitching can be a problem, but that soon settles. BBb Bass seems to be the choice of most ex-Euph players i've known :eek:, but good luck with whatever you choose.
  6. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Found your true calling then Andy?!! ;-)

    Don't think there's any "quick fixes" although I did manage to go from Cornet to Bass in about 6 months, although in true Northumberland Music Service fashion it was a small bore 3 valve bass made out of tinfoil.

    I would certainly suggest starting on a smaller mouthpiece, i think my 1st was a Wick 5!
  7. Bass Man

    Bass Man Active Member

    I switched from Euphonium to BBb Bass (on a Wick 1) about 6 years ago. I picked up the pitch quite easily, but it took a lot of practice/breathing excercises before I could fill the thing for any sustained period of time.

    Wouldn't look back now, I love playing BBb - spent about 2/3 months playing Eb but it just wasn't for me, the instrument was far too small.
  8. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

  9. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    Nice, very old school

    ROBTHEDOG Member

    As is said many times above it's about air - ie Breathing & Support although shouldn't be any different to Euph in fact if you're not breathing correctly on any instrument you're in trouble. Still the John Ridgeon books are brillaint..

    Also take a read of this link from a very good Tuba player (Richard Sandland) about note lengths which is very important.

    As the great John Fletcher said - "Playing the notes is the easy bit - it's what you do with them that counts, and if you don't do anything with them, you shouldn't really call yourself a musician. And no, having a large instrument really is NO excuse!..."

    Good luck..
  11. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Without wishing to blow my own fat trumpet (as it was described by one of the kids at school last week) I find it quite easy to swap between the two. I sometimes have to do it with my school band - and often in the same piece - to demonstrate a part at the right pitch for the cornets or horns. At our recent summer concert I had to swap between them a couple of times. I don't do anything fancy to facilitate the change - it just happens.
  12. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    I thought he was just imitating a trombone for some reason ;)
  13. Zeek

    Zeek Member

    Alright andy mate whats with the change? are u taking up the bass or u just thinking about it.....?

    If ur lookin at mouth pieces ur might be best with a normal DW 3 or if u can find one maybe a large DW 4 just to ease u through the transistion from euph, but u can always get a bigger gobiron the more u get used to it
  14. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    I thought so.

    Where's Aidan when you need him eh?