Little help for a bass player?

Thirteen Ball

Active Member
Okiedokie of Oz said:
I spent 3 years on a 5. Came with my old Imperial EEb. People wonder why I now have such a natural inclination for high stuff on bass.
Maybe cos it's nearly impossible to get anything low out of an imperial? (Although that might just be the fact mine had a dodgy player on the end of it.) :oops: I played one for 3 years with YBS juniors, and it'd sing at the high stuff no problems cos it had such a narrow bore. But low notes? Forget it. Had to lip everything below a low G down and they were still sharp. Much prefer the wider bore of the sovereign. Much warmer, rounder tone. :)

Looks like I'm just gonna have to try lots of different things, stick at it and see what works. Just like learning again!
 

Tuba tough Lips

New Member
I play EEb most of the time. If I am needed to play double B I have a blow before hand as I find my pitching is all wrong. I find the notes seem closer together on a double B.

However if I do start playing the wrong note I just keep going as I'm sure my band wouldn't notice much differance with my playing :!: :dunno

The other problem I have at only being 5'09" is how are you supposed to hold the thing?
Do you balance it on the edge of your chair and get neck strain or do you grip it between your knees and suffer cramp in the long bits! :? :!:
 

Thirteen Ball

Active Member
Tuba tough Lips said:
The other problem I have at only being 5'09" is how are you supposed to hold the thing? :!:

At a band I help out they've BB player wh's got a back problem, so can't take the weight for a full concert. We managed to get him a stand from a website in america that takes all the weight for him, and is adjustable too.

Alas, I can't recall which site, but they are still available somewhere.
 

Ste69

Member
Tuba tough Lips said:
The other problem I have at only being 5'09" is how are you supposed to hold the thing?
Do you balance it on the edge of your chair and get neck strain or do you grip it between your knees and suffer cramp in the long bits! :? :!:
I'm 5'10" and play a Sovereign 981. The lead pipe is positioned almost exactly half way down the bell.
As a result, I have to rest it on my knees/lap and play it from there.
In a way, this was a good thing, I used to have a 982 and as the lead pipe was higher, I could sit the instrument on the chair between my legs. This led to lazy playing - at least now I have to sit up and play :D
 

Thirteen Ball

Active Member
I've got a problem with that, cos it doesn't seem to matter what bass I play, It's never tall enough to sit on the chair, or short enough to sit comfortably on my lap. They all seem to be a middling sort of size. And since I'm a middling sort of size at 5'11" the two should line up but don't!

Maybe that's the reason behind basses generally being bigger chaps and chapesses, it's so they can reach the mouthpiece without standing up!
 

nickjones

Active Member
you should be comfortable to play any instrument...you are playing the tuba , it dont play u....I am 5'9 ish..put the Eb resting on your left leg....that should have it reaching you in a correct playing posture....Blimey hark at me sound as if I know what I am doing...
with Bb it's more difficult..the mouthpipe should reach your mouth without lifting it up ( you can do it ) if you have a stacking type seat with a bucket design , try and change it for a flat type chair...I know of a tuba player who used a board of wood on his lap and placed his tuba on that...lifted it up a couple of inches..
 
Little help for a Bass player

Yes you should be comfortable.As Bass players can range from about 5 ft 4 ins to over 6 ft 6 ins they should ask the various makers to fit adjustable leadpipes,as is often done with Sousaphones, should the'standard 'models prove uncomfortable. Why should Bass players have to contort themselves to play?
Given the large profit margins on Basses this should not be an extra cost to the buyer. Imagine a car salesman of any standing not acceding to a reasonable request in order to make a sale? BBers are far too accomodating to their suppliers. Tell them what you need and want. They're there to satisfy you??!!
 

Aussie Tuba

Member
I find my perranticci great for my EEb and have used it on BBb when needed , i find it great alround and pedals are no problem
 

jpbray

Member
Tuba balancing

For my beloved BBb I have seat extension. This comprises a length of wood with a foam cushion at one end to sit on, with the rest extending through your legs, this then provides a shelf on which to rest your instrument. :lol:
 

TuTuKu

Active Member
Slightly unrelated... but could someone explain to me why Eb Basses are called EEb, (with a double E) and Bb with a double B?? Probably a really simple explanation.. :oops: but after a whole 30 seconds of thinking i haven't come up with any conclusions

TuTuKu xx
 

bigcol

Member
Three Valves = Eb or Bb
Four+ Valves = EEb or BBb

Simple enough - although Bb Basses have always tended to be called "double b's" regardless of the valvage.
 
I started off on BBb bass which I played for about 5 years although I always used an EEb for marching, I then got switched to EEb which I have played for the last 5 years.

I still occasionally play BBb to help other bands out, and just before Christmas played most of our concerts on BBb as we had 3 EEb's and one of our BBb's had gone of sick with a strained shoulder - probably caused by lifting the BBb bass!

I play both EEb and BBb on a DW2XL now although when I played BBb I used a DW1L. I find keeping the same mouthpiece helps with switching. Pitching does not seem to be a problem but I do find the bottom notes on BBb take a while to come back.

As regards playing position, I am 5'6" and play my EEb Sovereign 981 with it sat on my lap but for a BBb I have to use a playing stand to reach without straining my back and neck.

I like playing both basses but physically find an EEb much easier to manage so I will try to stay on that now
 

bassinthebathroom

Active Member
Ste69 said:
bassinthebathroom said:
I do both, and use the same mouthpiece (a Wick 2L) for both. It's great fun, though the first few hymn tunes tend to be a bit of a laugh - wrong notes and everything as I try to find my pitch. :oops:

Just the first few :?: :wink:

You're so fired :lol: :wink:
 

Ste69

Member
bassinthebathroom said:
You're so fired :lol: :wink:

Sorry mate, couldn't resist. I guess I got my come-uppance, hanging around in town last night waiting for the non-existent rehearsal :shock: My mobile went on the blink and I never got the message. Boy did I feel stupid :oops:
 

bassinthebathroom

Active Member
Ste69 said:
bassinthebathroom said:
You're so fired :lol: :wink:

Sorry mate, couldn't resist. I guess I got my come-uppance, hanging around in town last night waiting for the non-existent rehearsal :shock: My mobile went on the blink and I never got the message. Boy did I feel stupid :oops:

:lol: haha :lol:
 
bigcol said:
Three Valves = Eb or Bb
Four+ Valves = EEb or BBb

Simple enough - although Bb Basses have always tended to be called "double b's" regardless of the valvage.


I am not sure the key of instruments can be termed in the number of valves. If a Bb piccolo trumpet has four valves it is not a double Bb piccolo trumpet. I think they are all Eb and Bb tubas. Again, it is what you think really, there is no definate answer. Just my opinion really.
 

Thirteen Ball

Active Member
bigcol said:
Bb Basses have always tended to be called "double b's" regardless of the valvage.

Reason for that

C on an Eb bass Is an E-flat, an octave and three quarters below middle C on a piano. One octave, so just Eb Bass

C on a B-flat bass Is a B-flat two and a quarter octaves below middle C on a piano. Two octaves, therefore DOUBLE-B-flat Bass.

Hark at me, like I know any theory! Picked that up from a book somewhere but don't ask me where.
 

George BB

Member
jpbray said:
Tuba balancing

For my beloved BBb I have seat extension. This comprises a length of wood with a foam cushion at one end to sit on, with the rest extending through your legs, this then provides a shelf on which to rest your instrument. :lol:

Me too, as seats at Gigs vary so much. The double B also is an interesting item to the general public. Today I got two "Wows" a "look at that" and an "is that a Tuba", and that was carrying it between the car park and the band stand. Who needs to play the thing.
Anyway 13ball, best of luck with the beast and like me pray for reincarnation so you can pick something smaller next time around
 

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