Switching from BBb to CC
 

Switching from BBb to CC

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Switching from BBb to CC    00:15 on Monday, March 15, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

ICFire
(3 points)

I've read a lot of threads and posts that say CC tubas are "the way to go", and that playing a BBb tuba is SO amateurish... I'm sure everyone has their opinion on this, but my questions are:
- What is the main difference between the two, and how difficult would it be to switch from BBb to CC in terms of fingerings/reading the music/etc?

What do you think?

Nelson

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Re: Switching from BBb to CC    10:38 on Thursday, March 18, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

JOhnlovemusic
(1277 points)

For sake of argument it is accepted that most professional orchestras in the USA play CC tubas. And most amateurs do play BB tuba. But, just because most amateurs play BB tuba does not mean the playing of a BB tuba is amateurish.

Brass bands, symphonic bands, and European orchestras prefer the BB tuba. If I were playing in a symphonic band or a brass band I would want to be playing a BB, F, or Eb tuba. If I was playing with an orchestra I would prefer the CC or F. Why? To match the color of the other instruments I would be playing with.

The top notch players I know can play all of them and have at least one of each and use them according to what is going to sound best and play easiest.

Your questions:
What is the main difference between the two?
How difficult would it be to switch from BBb to CC in terms of fingerings/reading the music/etc?

Answers:
The difference is the BB is a whole step lower than the CC. The BB is approximately two feet longer and you can go a whole step lower.

Difficulty of switching? I'd say not very hard. If you practice regularly and consistently it should take you about two months to really learn new fingerings. It will take about two years to get the muscle memory into your fingers.

I think you should not worry too much yet. Think about where and how you want to play your instrument. If you want to move the England and play with a Brass Band then learn Eb and BB tuba. If you want to play in a major American orchestra learn CC and then the others. IF you want to study at the University of Timbuctoo do some research and see what the faculty there wants you to play on. It would not hurt you to practice your studies, etudes, and music by transposing one step up and one step down on a regular basis. Then you would be prepared to play BB or CC on a CC or BB tuba at any given time.



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Re: Switching from BBb to CC    15:09 on Thursday, March 18, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

ICFire
(3 points)

Thanks for your insight and the information!

It does make a lot of sense that the decision of which type of horn to play really depends on the genre of music you are going to play. Of course for me, the decision of what tuba to play depended heavily on PRICE... BBb tubas are, "a dime a dozen", so picking one up that I could afford was a lot easier.

Being in a community wind ensemble, the sound and texture that I can produce on my BBb suits the types of pieces we play very well. It has a very large bore and although sometimes I feel like I'll need an air compressor to get through some songs, it's rich and velvety sound anchors chords nicely.

For now, I suppose I'll stick to the BBb and experiment with different bore sizes until I'm ready to "expand my horizons". Maybe a 3/4 horn is in my future...

   

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