Re: "Other" quintet tubas?

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Posted by David Graves on April 25, 1999 at 14:59:26:

In Reply to: "Other" quintet tubas? posted by Leland on April 23, 1999 at 15:08:25:

Some good comments have been made both in regards to realizing your group/quintet's sound ideal and the benefits/disadvantages of small/large horns. Something that might help you in your quest is asking yourself what the tuba's role actually is in the/your quintet. I.e., do you mostly handle bass lines (as is usually the case in a large band)? If so, then a large horn makes sense, mostly for the foundation it lays. However, if the role is more chamber-oriented (that is, the tuba plays a role equal to that of the other instruments), then I believe a smaller horn is in order. Thus, the repertoire and the types of gigs played could have a bearing on your decision. Ideally, an instrument that can sound both "weighty" and "agile" would probably be the best solution. Unfortunately, many folks can't afford the luxury of a third tuba, and most aren't willing to downsize their large horn or upsize their small horn in order to have the ultimate small ens horn -- probably because most folks don't make their living by playing in a small ensemble. I looked at large FF's, EEb's, and small-ish (3/4 and SOME 4/4)CC's before ending up w/a really nice vintage (1918) Holton EEb. It's only got 4 valves, but w/very accessible false tones, I haven't missed a fifth valve.

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