Re: 6/4 sound on a 4/4

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Posted by barry on October 20, 1999 at 03:03:59:

In Reply to: 6/4 sound on a 4/4 posted by John Hreha on October 18, 1999 at 16:45:00:

I'm only jumping into this because I was a Mirafone player (186, then 188)for many years, and one of my tuba buddies is a 6/4 Yorkbrunner player. I worked with him on a recording of the Rites of Spring on the Clarity Recordings label. So here's my spiel: No, you will not sound like a 6/4 on your Mirafone. Is that a bad thing? No, definitely not. You must remember that for many, many years, the vast majority of tubists, including pros, were playing most of their orchestral excerpts on 4/4 machines. The sound will truly be different, no matter how big you can make your sound. If you want to hear just how well that could still work, listen to some of the old Amsterdam Concertgebouw recordings from when Roger Bobo played there. Both Wagner and Prokofiev are perfectly playable on a good 186. Don't be intimidated by the huge 6/4 sound - gorgeous as it may be. 4/4 tubas can make up the difference in agility. I knew a 186 player years ago who could play the Vaughan Williams concerto BEAUTIFULLY on that horn! He now plays in Madrid, Spain. If you listen to the Karajan Prokofiev 5th, you'll hear that the tuba player in the Berlin Phil. does not play that piece with a big sound. It's not so necessary because the string basses are very strong there. I knew an old tubist in Vienna who packed a heck of wallop on a tiny Viennese F tuba. Also, don't forget that many of the British players still prefere the Boosey & Hawkes E-flat for much their orchestral playing. When the Royal Phil. toured the U.S. last year with the Mahler 5th, the tubist used a B&H E-flat throughout - even for all that fast, low note stuff in the third movement! It can be done my friend - just take all of the great advice the other guys have given you on how to blow the horn. Keep listening to records as well, so that you get the big picture. You'll soon learn that a symphony orchestra doesn't always live and die by what the tubist is doing, or not doing. That'll help you to relax.

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