Neutering a BBb

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Despot, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. Despot

    Despot Member

    Hi All,

    Took out an Imperial BBb with thoughts of using it as a training instrument.

    However, after a few stabs in the leg and "elsewhere", I found the ball on the bottom bow a real annoyance. Tried resting on a chair, but the ball just caused the instrument to slip.

    Is it common practise to remove this ball? Any downsides?
  2. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    Once the ball's been removed, you might find that the sound becomes more sterile.
  3. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    but less aggressive...
  4. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    As an alternative, you could use a tuba stand, where the nipple fits into a cup, and a variable height adjustment allows for the mouthpiece to be set at the correct height. I had a go - it involved me changing position on my seat, but it was OK.

    I've also seen a bass player using what looked like a large table tennis bat to hold up his bass. He sat on the 'paddle', and the handle had a hole in it for the nipple. Looked weird, but worked.
  5. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    and goes up an octave...
  6. Bungle

    Bungle Member

    I used a bass stand when I played an Imperial BBb. I think it can be an advantage using a bass stand when doing a concert and the seats are different to what you are used to, e.g. have a pronounced lip on both sides.
  7. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

  8. David Mann

    David Mann Member


    has only got one ball!

    :oops: sorry.
  9. on_castors

    on_castors Member

    I have performed this surgery on at least 3 E flat Imperials... (digs into my left leg!) thing is by the time they got to the age they are now, then a tiny change in tone isn't going to be of ANY significance, even if it does happen!

    Anyway since when was "TONE" and "BBflat Bass" ever used in the same sentence! ;-)

    Modern instruments don't have them, and I have never noticed any problem with any of them, so that's proof enough for me!

    Hacksaws ready!
  10. tubbytuba

    tubbytuba Member

    I used the board with hole in technique for years,i simply had an off cut of laminate flooring,shaped the ends and drilled a hole to take the "ball" i sat on the shaped board and the bass sat nicely on the other end of the board,it worked a treat!!!
  11. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    Thankfully at least 2 we with me.....

    Which tune should we sing this one to?.....

    In answer to the OP, cut it off, it won't do you any harm.....
  12. bbg

    bbg Member

    Phew! Was getting a bit worried about the OP's band discipline...............late for 3 rehearsals and you're "neutered"???!
  13. MartinT

    MartinT Member

    A misunderstanding common among players of the little high-pitched thing...;)
  14. on_castors

    on_castors Member

    Oh no, it's no misunderstanding - I started off on a big gurgly thing and played nothing else for a few years! I even have the march-induced cracks in my front teeth to prove it. :biggrin:

    It's not B flat tubas that is the problem, it is British style B flat tubas that are.. the Germans and the US large B flat tubas don't nearly suffer the same problem, mind you, it needs a lot of stuff like the inclusion of a 5th valve, accessible moveable slides (even 3rd Cornet players can manage those!) and the loss of the compensation system to get rid of the "Dyno-rod" drain emptying sound quality, and the feeling you need a pair of reserve lungs! :-(
  15. MartinT

    MartinT Member

    Apologies, I should have looked at your playing experience before replying!
    Nevertheless, there are too many players of both varieties (and I too have swapped between EEb and BBb over the years) who haven't yet appreciated the rather subtle tonal changes you can introduce when required - without resorting to mutes.
    I've only had one brief experience with an orchestral BBb, so can't really comment on that aspect. I have, however, admired the technique of adjusting the intonation on the fly using tuning slides - I only attempt this in case of dire emergency! :eek:
  16. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Wha.... how dare you! Implying the Bb bass has an effemina....

    Oh, gurgly. Thought you said girly.

    Sorry. ;)
  17. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    surely neutering a BBb bass would make it girly ;)
  18. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    wouldn't you need to cut a hole in the bottom?

    Which serves the purpose of the innuendo, and also improving the sound of said Bass dramatically!
  19. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

  20. Neillyboy

    Neillyboy Member

    haha the old boy in a band i used to play with actually drilled a hole in a wooden seat to stick the ball into. The baton never went down till the audible sound of a BBb dropping into the hole was heard.

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