tuba techniques

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Neillyboy, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. Neillyboy

    Neillyboy Member

    Bit of a strange one but I wanted to open this thread up to allow fellow players to share technique.

    I have this problem when I try to play a strong forte and above on a besson sovereign Bb Bass I burst notes and have a strong growl, likewise when i play piano and below my tone starts to close up.

    I use loads of air and try make a point of blowing through the instrument but I dont know how to sort the issue.

    Any ideas?? I practice regularly and try have the instrument on my face a lot.
  2. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

  3. Neillyboy

    Neillyboy Member

    Brassneck I have done and he has given some fantastic techniques and things to work on but I want to see if there are different ways in which people achieve this so I can them all together to improve. Craig is a superb player and his talent is without end, I just want to know how different players can achieve this.
  4. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Maybe you are doing the wrong things to play piano. A good solid p needs just as much support and air as a good strong f.
    As to the split f, usually, that's down to too much tongue, too thick and too aggressive. I'm sure you know that a BBb needs lots of love and gentle care. ;-)

    You could also run some water through it and see if anything might be disturbing the airflow inside. My first army bass had a dart, a lyre and the remains of a pie amongst two shillings worth of small change with sharpened edges and some gravel from Hampden Park. You never know!
  5. Neillyboy

    Neillyboy Member

    Thanks Mike,

    I cleaned my tuba thoroughly last monday and regularly clean it so I knew there was nothing stuck in it. And it played well on Saturday at the area contest.

    I see your point about an aggressive tongue and thickness, i really struggle with that, being in the south west scotland area and our accents are very harsh so it could be something to do with that.

    I played for a few hours earlier and tried to soften how i attack the notes, the only thing is the volume has dropped considerably.

    Any thoughts??
  6. bariwizard

    bariwizard Member

    I have a similar problem on baritone, which seems to be made worse by my being rubbish.
  7. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Has Craig mentioned NOT using the tongue and only concentrate on using air to vibrate the lips for production? Varying the airflow (and therefore dynamics) may help in giving faster feedback and control. Usual strategy of sustained notes vs. short bursts getting louder then softer again at various pitches comes to mind. Also try and create width in your sound rather than projecting to an imaginary point. Any others got views on this apart from getting a remedial coach involved?
  8. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    I would second all the above. and say work on scales, Long notes 8 beats and longer building up the volume and fading on each note. I used the scales page in the wright&round complete method which also gives a common cord appegio at the end of each scale. This neeeds time and will work with time and effort. no magic button. PRACTICE is what will work. Lots of it and lots of L-O-N-G Notes.
  9. Playabit

    Playabit Member

    Long, low sustained notes as quiet as you can, holding the note for as long as you can, you need the same control to play loud, it will come, have you tried an Eb bass, you may be more suited to this..
  10. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    IMHO you will get a lot of good and or well intentioned advice using a forum, but I would strongly suggest you seek out a pro tuba player and have a lesson or two. as giving advice is almost impossible without seeing/hearing you play!

    You live in Scotland so try contacting Chris Mcshane ex RPO and I think now with the BBC scottish!
  11. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    "Tuba technique"; isn't that an oxymoron ... ?

    [Runs and hides ... :oops: ]
  12. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    What he said.
  13. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I've already mentioned his conductor, who has first hand experience of his playing. Chris is a good guy as well but doesn't he live in Glasgow (a wee bit away from Ayrshire) ??


    Sup more ale and don t practice more than 10 minutes a day always works for me .:p
  15. AndyCat

    AndyCat Active Member

    If you fancy a trip further north, I'm in Tyndrum for a week in April and would gladly give some (free) advice face to face.
    No guarantees, no charge.

  16. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    Sounds like a good offer.