Where have all the Bb bass players gone?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Ali, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. Bob Sherunkle

    Bob Sherunkle Active Member

    I played in a concert many years ago (they were desperate) next to a bass player who used to transport his tuba all over London on a trailer which he towed behind his bicycle.

    It was only an Eb and he had gears so you might not be impressed. I was tho'.
  2. pbirch

    pbirch Member

    There was a guy called John Hodkin, who ran a cool site called innertuba.org, he cycled over Scotland and the North of England towing his tuba behind a bike, he visited schools to encourage safe cycling and tuba playing (it might have been cycling and safe tuba playing :)
  3. jennyt125

    jennyt125 Member

    The instruments themselves aren't too bad down here, poorly maintained though and we won't start the argument about claiming the cost of felts, springs etc off the band! As for the transport it's as most others have commented, you play a tuba so you transport it yourself. I used to annoy the bus driver taking mine to school and putting it on the seat, also my brother who had to share the back seat of the car with it :)
  4. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    Being in the Purley B Band, is it safe to assume that the gears you are referring to may not be legals!
  5. Tubby

    Tubby Member

    I first went on to BBb when I was 14 at my first SA Music School held at Nantwich. From that point on transporting an instrument of this size became the norm, I used to have to walk to school so whilst at school I used an Imperial 4 valve EEb which came with a wooden case and no wheels. When I went to sixth form college I received lessons there, by this time I had filled out a bit and was back on BBb full time in my senior SA band in Stockport. I would transport my 4 valve Imperial BBb on the train out of it's case where I received some admiring glances ( or at least that's what I thought ), these instruments were so solid they never seem to dent much like the old triumphonics. Occasionally I would get a lift in an Austin Metro and I can confirm a BBb will go in there standing up behind the front seats.

    I now play EEb as my sig states and when marching am unable to use a strap due to the tubing sitting funny on my ribs, if you have the desire to play the larger instruments then you will always find a way to deal with these minor hic ups.
  6. Neillyboy

    Neillyboy Member

    I used to transport my Bb in a Citroen c1 and it went in no bother. And ye it was in its case.!!
  7. derekdawson

    derekdawson Member

    Mr Wilx the welcome I got last night said it all, definately the right decision, Dirk
  8. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    That's brilliant Dirk.

    ~ Mr Wilx
  9. Matthew

    Matthew Active Member

    At the tender age of 14 when I started playing, I used to sit on the school bus with my trusty, battered old Eb Lafleur Tuba. I'd sit on the 'hump' part (over the wheels?) at the front of the bus, next to the driver, holding the Tuba with no case and no seatbelt then, lol. I'd go flying about around the corners and over the bumps. No Health & Safety worries then! :eek:

    I then later used to walk into the village where I lived, to play with the local band (Toddington Town Band) carrying my Tuba under one arm - once I had it nicked by a jesting group of kids (not malicious) who decided to play it without the mouthpiece while I walked, lol. They got chips stuck down it when blowing into it (they were eating from the chippie at the time) - my old school bass smelt like a chip shop for ages!

    Happy days, lol. :D
  10. i used to drive to band in a little smart car with mi Bbb bass, it fit in just! if bands spashed the cash on decent basses maybe there wouldnt be as much of a shortage. bass players seem to join bands now for a good instrament to play and if the bands anygood it's a bonus!! ( and be for anyone picks up on my spelling the spell check isnt working so p#*s off) lol
  11. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    When I went to play for a very famous Yorkshire band for a short spell many years ago I was appalled at the state of the EEb Bass they gave me. It was ancient and actually had a hole in the 2nd valve pipe which had been taped up. It was where it comes out of the valve casing.
    I could not believe that such a prestigious outfit would tolerate such a poor instrument.

    ~ Mr Wilx


    Still a common problem Ian. Would Steven Hendry use a sweeping brush handle to play snooker at the Crucible ? No..so why do bands expect to get a good bass playing by offering them scrap to play on.


    Sorry about the spelling mistake on my previous post....Im still hung over from my forced exile to Spain last week.!
  14. pbirch

    pbirch Member

    I do have some sympathy for this view, only some though. It has to be asked just how 6 grands worth of tuba becomes scrap? The instrument may pass through the hands of several people, each of whom treats it with less respect than the last until it is dented, holed and unplayable. It is the case that band instruments are less well cared for than a players own, probably because there is no sense of personal investment in it, bands might be prepared to invest in the big brass, when, if those of us who play them treat them with a bit of love and respect
  15. iancwilx

    iancwilx Active Member

    I have to admit with a great deal of conscience, that I only bought my own instrument at the very end of my committed banding career, and it is a fact that I treat it with a lot more respect the than instruments supplied by various bands over the years. Not to say I treated the supplied instruments badly, I just take extra special care of the one that belongs to me.
    I suppose it's juswt human nature !

    ~ Mr Wilx
  16. JDH

    JDH Member

    The problem is not always lack of decent BBb basses. I know a local band who got two Besson 994 with lottery grant back in the 1990's and of those two one was played for maybe a year - the other never by anyone regular. They are both almost like new and still no players - while the band has three EEb players, none of which will move onto BBb!


    Some good points.I have been in several bands and can say with honesty that the instrument has always been returned in a better state than it was when I received it.I have often done DIY dent repairs with the old wooden rolling pin down the bell end,bought new felts and corks and kept it shiny.Most get smashed up by players who have been forced to go on basses due to lack of players and can t or don t know how to handle them.The only near miss I had was when I was returning from a job with free ale and I lost a BB bass...it turned up in a flower bed 3days later at a care home...I think I just got sick of carrying it and threw it over a wall.If and when I get my own instrument I will never take it on jobs such as Whit Friday...so I agree with you on that point.
  18. JDH

    JDH Member

    It is amazing how bands loan out basses which may be worth several thousand pounds, to virtually anyone who will play without as much as a signed agreement of how the tuba is to be cared and with no responsibility for damage.

    In all other ensembles - be that orchestra, wind band, or brass quintet the player has to provide their own purchased tuba to play.

    I suppose that is one of the attractions of brass bands - getting instrument provided without financial investment from the individual? Must date back to brass bands origin as works bands in the 19th century! However, although I know it would not be popular I wonder if a loan deposit (say £100) would be a good idea in the 21st century when most players have money of their own, returned when bass returned in good condition, or used to help fund repairs if damage. I reckon most players would take greater care if £100 of their own money would be spent if they damaged the instrument!
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  19. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    Very true, I've seen people really not look after the bands instruments not just bass players. Players leaving there instruments unattended without putting them away after intervals, a disaster waiting to a happen when people trying to get passed and acidentally get knocked.

    On the other side of the coin, Is it a players responsibility when instruments get damaged especially in carnivals or whit fridays when people through stuff at you or if a dep has used your bass, how does one police or prove it without getting into an argument over whos done what??


    But if it s a solo cornet player,horn or euph that smashes their instrument up they get it repaired straight away or get a new one !

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