Posted by Jay Bertolet on April 22, 1999 at 16:45:57:
In Reply to: Bucking the trends posted by JRTapes on April 22, 1999 at 10:20:17:
The other posts were very good advice. I echo the sentiment that if you like the tuba, why care what anybody thinks about it? What matters is what you sound like on it. For what it is worth, I played on a VMI-103 recently that one of my students purchased and I thought it was one of the best BBb tubas I've ever played. It felt to me very much like a CC tuba. As far as solo and quintet playing goes, just because some people play these types of music on F and Eb tubas should you? Do you have specific pieces and playing situations in mind when you are considering purchasing another instrument? If you've tried the tuba you now have in these situations and it doesn't work, then you should go out and find a complementary instrument. Don't worry about equating the number of valves to the legitimacy of using a given tuba for performing. Keep trying tubas until you find one you like, other's opinions be damned. As an orchestral tubist, I guess I'm bucking the trend you mention in that I'm not British and I play Eb and not F tuba. The fact that the tubist with the Minnesota Orchestra plays a BBb tuba should tell you that how you play matters, not what you play.
If it helps you to evaluate my comments, I have B.Mus. and M.Mus. degrees in tuba performance from Univ. of Michigan and Univ. of Illinois, respectively. I am in my 14th season as Principal Tubist (has it REALLY been that long???) with the Florida Philharmonic. I currently play on 4 different tubas: 4/4 Rudolf Meinl RM-10 CC, 6/4 Cervany ACB-601 CC, Willson 3400-S Eb, and Cervany AEB-641 Eb. The Meinl is my primary tuba, the Cervany 601 is for the really big pieces, the Willson is my opera and most small orchestral pieces tuba, and the Cervany 641 is my F tuba substitute pitched in Eb.
Good luck in your search for your truth!