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Topic: Beginner Tuba range (Read 638 times) previous topic - next topic

Beginner Tuba range
This is not a notation question, but a composition question. I am writing a piece for a beginner tuba player (first year, first term). What range will he be able to play? I googled but couldn't find such a specific answer. Anyone out there know?

Thanks!



Re: Beginner Tuba range
Reply #2
Interesting delivery  ;)
Some comments:
  • The notes and fingering referred to reflect a Bb tuba.  If your beginner is on, say, an Eb tuba then the fingering is incorrect.
  • The note progression used in the clip is from the lowest non-pedal open note to the next open note in a Bb Major diatonic scale (Bb, C, D, Eb, F).  The Eb equivalent would be from low Eb (open) to Bb (open) (Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb).  Functionally equivalent as far as learning how to blow the horn, but different notes.
  • I don't teach tuba, and I'm not fluent (my tuba is Eb and I haven't put the time in to build the necessary muscle memory), but I do play Trombone and Euphonium (and a bit of trumpet FWIW), but I can imagine that the most productive way to start would be from the lowest open note to the next open note, or perhaps going down from the second open note down to the lowest (this is how I started on trombone, and the books I used had the same approach for Euphonium and trumpet)
  • Ultimately, you probably need to talk to the one you're writing for to find out what tuba he's playing and what range he's learned/learning.

For information:
  • Bb tuba: lowest, non-pedal, open note is the Bb 3 spaces below the bass clef staff
  • Eb tuba: lowest, non-pedal, open note is the Eb 1 line below the bass clef staff
  • C tuba: lowest, non-pedal, open note is the C 2 lines below the bass clef staff
  • F tuba: lowest, non-pedal, open note is the F in the space below the bass clef staff

I hope this is helpful.
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Beginner Tuba range
Reply #3
Interesting delivery  ;)
Some comments:
  • I ... <SNIP>>(this is how I started on trombone, and the books I used had the same approach for Euphonium and trumpet)

I hope this is helpful.

Of course, the big difference being that non pedal notes on a trombone are produced using the slide mechanism while notes on the tuba are fingered.  Hence, that approach would be probably the best way for the trombone. 

However I suspect that it would also be the best on other instruments too.  Keeping such a composition limited to a few notes in a restricted range of notes for a newbie, as Lawrie advised would be the best for any instruments.  I would also suggest avoiding large skips, even within the restricted range, for the very first lessons.

Re: Beginner Tuba range
Reply #4
What do you mean with "non pedal"?

Re: Beginner Tuba range
Reply #5
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedal_tone

I guess any note other than this would be a non-pedal tone.

Re: Beginner Tuba range
Reply #6
A-ha! I only knew this pedal note.
Thank you

Re: Beginner Tuba range
Reply #7
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedal_tone

I guess any note other than this would be a non-pedal tone.
Pretty much.  The pedal note depends on the horn.  E.G. on a Bb Tenor (or modern bass) trombone the pedal is the Bb 3 spaces below the bass staff.  Any note BELOW this pedal Bb is also a pedal note, but the B ABOVE the pedal Bb is NOT a pedal as it is played on the next (2nd) harmonic, the bottom Bb harmonic series if you will, and lowered to pitch by lengthening the tubing (in most bass trom cases by using the F trigger + Gb trigger + slide position 4).

My personal pedal limit is the G below pedal Bb, if I'm having a good day...

Pedal Bb on a Bb tuba is an octave below pedal Bb on a tenor trombone.

Pedal Bb on a Bb trumpet is the Bb ABOVE the trombone's pedal Bb.

Of course, the big difference being that non pedal notes on a trombone are produced using the slide mechanism while notes on the tuba are fingered.   
Umm, a slide is not really different to using the valves WRT defining a pedal.  The pedal is the FUNDAMENTAL frequency of the length of tubing and is independent of whether valves or a slide is in use.  The BOTTOM note for the length of the instrument is the 2nd harmonic (an octave above the pedal) and is usually one of the easiest notes to play, closely accompanied by the 3rd harmonic.

In the case of a Bb instrument the 2nd harmonic is a Bb, while the 3rd is an F.
Quote
Hence, that approach would be probably the best way for the trombone.  However I suspect that it would also be the best on other instruments too.  Keeping such a composition limited to a few notes in a restricted range of notes for a newbie, as Lawrie advised would be the best for any instruments.  I would also suggest avoiding large skips, even within the restricted range, for the very first lessons.
I think what is really relevant here is what note is easiest for the beginner to play.  It will either be the low (2nd) harmonic or the next (3rd) harmonic - Low Bb or the F above in the case of a Bb tuba.  Personally I found the 3rd harmonic easiest when I first started learning and incidentally the books I learned from used the 3rd harmonic as the starting point and went down to the 2nd harmonic before venturing upward.  That's the same set of notes in the training video linked to earlier, except going down from F to Bb instead of upward from Bb to F.

For the purposes of the original question it is important to know what pitch tuba the student is using.  If a Bb then the discussion above is directly applicable, but if, say, an Eb then everything moves up a 4th.  The fingering and the notes relative to the fundamental remain the same, but the fundamental itself changes from Bb to Eb.

Talking about pedals again, some players, with very strong embouchure's, can play down to a DOUBLE PEDAL - that is an octave below the normal pedal.  The double pedal is really a false tone as it has a longer wavelength than the length of tubing can nominally support.  As I said, it takes a very strong embouchure and is pretty rare.  I certainly can't, and probably never will, manage it.
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next