Tuba Exercise Books

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Soppy, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. Soppy

    Soppy Member


    I'm looking for an exercise book for Eb bass. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  2. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    TBH, I have always used the Arban for my practices. Why should the cornets have all the fun!
  3. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

  4. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    What sort of level?
  5. Gorgie boy

    Gorgie boy Member

    I always used Blazhevich studies (there are 2 volumes) and Kopprasch studies. They should be available from the likes of June Emerson or Banks of York. Bass clef mind, but they're good.
  6. bobbyp

    bobbyp Member

    There's quite a few, including those listed above. But i also use Alwyn Green's 'Euphonium Eurythmics', the Bordogni Studies, the Kaleidoscope books 1-3 which focuses on the higher register and weird intervals by Gilles Senon and even Mark Nightingale's 'Undertones' for Bass Trombone.
  7. pbirch

    pbirch Active Member

    try this, Onyx brass are a great group, and the sample page looks interesting, but without knowing the level of exercises you want it is difficult to give good suggestions
  8. Soppy

    Soppy Member

    Thanks for the initial replies.

    I'm looking for intermeidate evercises really - for someone who is perhaps around grade 6 level.

  9. toby hobson

    toby hobson Member

    TBH it’s something that is sadly lacking. Tuba studies tend to start and stop with Blazhevich and Kopprasch. There are one or two others But they tend to be unaccompanied pieces like the Bourgeois book. I have tended to use Endresson, Herring, Arban and more recently Philip Sparks Super Studies which offers something a little different.

    The problem with the Tuba specific studies out there is that they are about 100 years old, in big Bass Clef Keys and maybe not that approachable for modern young players.

    It is a problem generally in my opinion. Brass Bands have strangely been guilty of not writing studies for themselves to help bring on the next generation. Even the cornet studies you see in the exam rep are actually Trumpet studies. If someone was to put together a band focused set of study books that deals with things you will have to do in bands then maybe there would be a gap in the market after all the difference between the skills needed for orchestral and band playing are quite stark. Many top bandsmen probably wouldn’t be able to transpose at sight and come in double p after counting 659 bars rests but on the other side many top orchestral players would not be able to deal with our tougher test pieces.

    Tuba wise, the Blazhevich books dip into the lower range a lot which is fine if you want to get ready for Mahler and Shostakovich, the technical difficulties of those studies tend to be (mainly) dealing with the keys (especially if you are adding 3 sharps) in bands E flat basses don’t tent to go below a bottom G and keys tend to hover around 3 flats/2 sharps but they will have to play with a very fast single tongue, they will have to deal with fast slurred runs that need false fingering, they will have to deal with the extremes of the dynamics, they will be required to play very accurately and rhythmically. The kopperash is not going to prepare band players for diversions on a Bass theme or Masquerade. Maybe it’s something banders should take in house. I was taking a kid through Blenhiem Flourishes the other day, He got more out of dealing with that then he did in a hour of Kopperash practice a Brilliant bass part with loads to do in it. Basically.... a study.... a band Tuba study!!

    There are a variety of American Studies out there. My problem with them is they tend to be very busy on the page, lots of pseudoscientific info about diaphragms and air columns etc. I think they tend to put kids off with too much info, even the beginners books are very busy like Standard of excellence. For a hard core Tuba specific technical exercises, not studies as such more practical exercises to help you play better generally, the Tuba Gym series is very good I have to say. A bit expensive to import, but very good for a good young player gd 6 upwards who wants to adopt a regime in his/her playing.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  10. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    well, you would'nt of thought there was so much to Bass playing !!

  11. pbirch

    pbirch Active Member

    I do think that at grade 6, a tuba player should be expanding the range, and getting to grips with reading bass clef rather than just doing the 3 sharps trick. It will open up the possibility of exploring a rich and varied literature of music to play (most of the solo literature is in bass clef, some publisher offer it in transposed treble clef for Eb and Bb instruments but by no means all), as well as brass chamber music and orchestral playing.
  12. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    I have used the Wright and Round Complete method. A good alround tutor and the cover does mention Bass, Bombardon.
    Was recomended to me years ago and has served me well.
  13. johnsop

    johnsop Member

    Can't a tuba player look at Clarke's Technical Studies, Arban's method, Vizzutti's method (s) and other material we all use? Surely if Eb Bass parts have become more technical in test pieces to the same level as cornet and Euphonium parts (which they obviously have) they should use the same material as cornet and Euphonium players in their practice.
  14. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    The problem with Arban, Clarke etc is that they have been written for a 3 valve instrument - much as they are excellent books there are certain issues that euphonium and bass players come across that require specific exercises. They also don't descend into the pedal register that is now a required aspect of low brass playing.
    There are bass clef books that tackle these aspects, but very few treble clef books.
    You can (with an inventive mind) take all the regular exercises down an octave (in the same way that Maynard Ferguso took Arban up an octave), but these books are not designed to tackle the specific issues that arise when playing in the lower register.

    If you are wanting a book in treble clef I would join in the recommendation of Alwyn Green's Eurhythmics (available as Tuba Eurhythmics in Treble Clef).

    Purely personally, I would recommend learning how to read bass clef - not only will it enable you to play with a wider variety of ensembles, but it will also open up a huge amount of "new" repertoire. I have never found a problem with bass/tuba players learning both treble and bass clefs - it doesn't take away from their treble clef reading and can easily add to their musical experience.

    As an aside - many of the "trumpet" studies you see on exam lists (and being used in teaching throughout the world) are actually cornet studies - Arban and Clarke were written for the cornet and yet trumpeters have used them since they acquired valves. Nothing wrong with a bit of cross-pollination.
  15. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    I have used this all my playing life as an EEb Bass player. It is an excellent tutor for all brass instruments covering all aspects of playing from basics to maximum technique development.

    ~ Mr Wilx
  16. iancwilx

    iancwilx Well-Known Member

    I would add that earning my living playing tuba in various ensembles from orchestra to oompah with banjo band and jazz inbetween, it was necessary for me to learn bass clef and also to read chord symbols. It is not as hard as it might appear when faced with it. You soon pick it up and it opens a lot of musical doors.

    ~ Mr Wilx