Tuba Mouthpiece and leadpipe question!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by ABERDEEN LOON, Apr 22, 2009.



    After a few years of playing EEb bass for a lower section band (mostly playing frank baernarts stuff), I have now rejoined my old band on BBb bass. Being a higher section band, the music is that much harder and I need to be more in practice.

    My query is... I used to play a Mike finn 2 bucket on the the BBb that last time that I played, but am finding it very hard to get the clarity at the moment. Should I go back to playing the mouthpiece that I played on the EEb (either a VB 24 AW or alliance 3A) and them move on to the bucket when I am more in practice, or persevere with the bucket? I have a contest at the end of may so would like to sound better for then no matter which mouthpiece I use.

    Another small question... I have recently bought an old BBb bass (Boosey and hawkes Westminster) so that I can practice at work. Obviously, this is a smaller bore. Would I be better off getting a new leadpipe added so that my MP will fit, or wave one of my mouthpieces turned down to fit. I have always been of the opinion that I should use the same mouthpiece for all playing.

    Thanks in advance for al the help.
  2. yank67

    yank67 Member

    I use the same mouthpiece when playing both Eb and Bb (Giddings and Webster Diablo). I would look into changing you lead pipe on your tuba. But I would think that you would notice a big difference in playing on a small bore and a large bore. you sould practice on what you are playing.
  3. Tuba83

    Tuba83 New Member

    I use a slightly bigger and deeper mouthpiece when playing Bb or C tuba (Schilke SH II 'Helleberg') but thats just my personal preference. You will find you will loose some of the clarity anyway when you move bigger (both mouthpiece and tuba), but as ever practice will help.

    You should look at changing the lead pipe because you need the continuity of using the same mouthpiece for practice and playing at band.

    Maybe even have a couple of lessons with a good teacher!!
  4. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Clarity is always going to suffer on a bigger mouthpiece - although a big change in mouthpiece size is going to cause problems.

    I once went from a besson prototype that I'd learned on (Smaller than a VB24), onto a DW1XL when moving from E to BB, and that was awful for a while.

    A couple of weeks in someone leant me a VB24 and a VB18 and told me to move back on to the 24 and gradually work down over 4-6 weeks - which was a lot easier to cope with than the sudden step.

    I appreciate if you've got a contest coming up, you don't want to be changing mouthpiece at all in the run-up if you can avoid it, so it's a tricky situation.
  5. Tubby

    Tubby Member

    I use a VB24AW on both BBb and EEb but then I'm used to it, all things come with practise.


    That is easier said than done. The reason that I bought the smaller bass is so that I can transport it back and forward to work (where I get time to practice at lunchtimes). I weighs a lot less which saves on fuel and makes it muck easier lugging it up the stairs. I have a chronic back problem which I have to consider as well, so the less lifting of the sovereign the better!

    I playes the Alliance 3A last night at band and sounded much better. I understand the large mouthpiece/clarity thing can be an issue. The last time that I was in Proper practice on the BBb I used the Mike finn and clarity was not a problem. What I am trying to do is get back into practice with the aim being to be back on the Finn mouthpiece as the lower register sounds much better: much more of a solid sound without a hard edge. From what has been said so far, it would seem that what I am doing at the momment is ok: get back in practice on the smaller mouthpiece before going down again.?
  7. Tuba83

    Tuba83 New Member

    Good plan! Just make sure you dont do it to quick. Changing mouthpieces takes time as you probably know!

    And dont make the mistake of so many others...assume bigger is better!

    Find one you like on your way down the sizes and stick with it!
  8. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Morgan Griffiths always used to tell me to use the smallest mouthpiece I could find that still does everything I need it to.

    I don't necessarily hold with the philosophy, but his approach always seemed to be your mouthpiece should be as small as possible, and as big as necessary. And he's got a pretty decent range on him when he dusts off the old iron!

    Then again... he was trying to sell me things at the time....


    I have always found that 24aw and 3A are good solid EEb mouthpieces, but have struggled to get down to the real Meaty notes in the BBb (below low f) whereas using the mick finn i get below pedal C with fair ease. (I think there may be a practice issue there though!) Would love to go for a lesson or two, but time is a problem at the moment as I have 2 small kids who take up any free time (wouldn't have it any other way though!)
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009
  10. bbbluey

    bbbluey Member

    I use a Bach 7 on all tubas. It really is down to whichever MP suits you and of course how much practise you can squeeze in!! Good luck whatever you decide.
  11. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    I found the same thing as Aberdeen Loon, so I now use a Perantucci PT50+.

    For my rare dalliances with Eb I tend to use a bach 18 (as I don't own a 24 any more.)

    Not sure I could handle a PT88+ or a Bach 7, but I may invest in one one day....