Taming the Tuba


piccolo, flute, oboe, 1st clarinet, 1st trumpet


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photo courtesy of Velo Photographyhttp://she-she-says.blogspot.com/2011/12/another-monday.html

    Tuba players are quite
possibly the most important element in the
overall sound of a band.  As a tuba player, you are truly the backbone of the band - you must support all of the other sounds.  The most basic concepts in band start with you!  You help create proper intonation, rhythm, and balance for the band!

image found at acoolcleanrain.blogspot.com

image found at thepositivitychronicles.wordpress.com

You are the foundation for good intonation!

    Because tubas are most often the lowest voice, composers will usually write the bass note of any chord for the tubas.  That means the band will need to tune to you!

You are the foundation for good rhythm!

    Tubas often have rhythms that are written to ground the ensemble.  If you can play your rhythms accurately, everyone else can use your sound to lock right in!

Tubas are the 
Foundation for Sound
What Would Happen Without You?
“Pyramid of Sound”

You are the foundation for good balance!

    The band’s sound starts with you.  If you have ever heard your band director asked you to play with “better balance,” you may not have realized what he/she wanted.  If the highest voices in the band are loudest, the band can sound “bright” or “shrill.”  A “dark” or “full” sound is created when the lowest voices lead the band’s sound. 
Tubas are critical to building this balance!

Check it out!

2nd clarinet, 2nd trumpet, 3rd clarinet, 3rd trumpet
French horn, alto saxophone, 
tenor saxophone, alto clarinet, 1st trombone
2nd trombone, 3rd trombone, euphonium, 
baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, bassoon, tuba

“Pyramid of Sound” adapted from Francis McBeth’s Effective Performance of Band Music, published by Southern Music Company, 1972.

You Are Important!

Still not convinced that you’re important?

    Imagine what would happen if a house was built without a foundation!  Surely, it would crumble right to the ground.  The same is true in a band.  Without a great tubas, our sound would crumble!

    You are the core, the root, and the heart of the band.  You do not have the be the biggest or the strongest student in the band.  You simply have to be focused and confident.  You have already proven that you care about the band - you volunteered to give the tuba a try!

    Now, it is time to explore the rest of the information on this site, hone your tuba playing skills, and begin contributing to our foundation!