About the Tuba
A part of the brass family, the tuba creates deep and rich resonating harmonies that balances the higher frequencies of the soprano, alto and tenor sounds of other instruments in a band.
How To Play
Played sitting down, the tuba requires a vast amount of breath to effectively operate. It is played by making a buzzing sound with your lips into a large mouthpiece. If there are any air leaks around the corners of your mouth then you will not obtain the appropriate sound.
How the sound works
Valve pistons are the tube like structures located in the middle of the tuba. By pressing down up on each button, the valve will change the path that the air will take the tuba. This creates different tones allowing you to put certain notes together to make a song.
Occasionally in professional or even student models the tubas will actually be made with rotor valves. They essentially work the same except they twist instead of move up and down.
Originally, a tuba was fashioned of leather with a metal or wood body. The evolution of the tuba has been intricate and dense but in the 1800’s the tuba was patented by Wilhelm Wieprecht and Johann Gottfried Moritz. This is when the tuba took its shape to more closely resemble the tuba’s we have today.
Buying a Tuba
Purchasing a tuba can be an expensive endeavor. New student model tubas run anywhere from $1,500- 3,500. But thankfully if you are in school, they are generally provided because of the price and due to the damage that occurs when lugging them home and back.
If you do decide to purchase a tuba, be aware of the following:
- If none of the slides pull and the valves are not working properly, then you will be making an additional trip to the repairman.
- If the tuba has no serial number or brand name it will cost you more money in the long run because finding parts to fit tend to be tedious and sometimes impossible.
- Dents on a tuba are inevitable. However, if the dents are severe, meaning almost completely flat are shutting off any air that should be passing through, it will also cost you more money to get fixed.
If you’re tuba isn’t provided here is a list of brands we have found to be maintainable, affordable and worth the money you will spend on dreams and musical excursions.
Be not discouraged though, tubas are very rewarding instruments to play and master because unlike other instruments, the reverberating smoothness of the sounds resonates and shakes one’s core and bones to the point of goose bumps.
Hopefully this information can help educate you on your journey into the brass world. Playing an instrument can be very rewarding if you are set up for success. Whether beginner or professional, let us help you. Stop by our shop or visit our contact page with your questions.
By Leah Houston