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Tuba Part?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by SlapHappy99, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. SlapHappy99


    Dec 27, 2010
    NY Metro
    I'm covering a tuba part on my 5-string this weekend; it's sort of a New Orleans jazz type of thing. I have the chart, and I was wondering if tuba is a concert pitch instrument or a transposing instrument (like a Bb trumpet). I don't want to show up and start playing in the wrong key :rollno:

    Any tubists (tubers?) out there know about this?

    FWIW, Wikipedia says "Most music for the tuba is written in bass clef in concert pitch"
  2. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Tuba is written in concert pitch. The thing to remember is that bass is actually a transposing instrument as everything is written one octave higher than concert pitch so the tuba part will be written an octave lower than it would be for bass. Your C in the staff is actually the C two lines below the bass clef in concert pitch.
  3. I had to play a tuba part in a show once on elec bass and as was said it's actually the bass thats writen an octave up, I found in the part I played I did not have to play everything an octave up, there were sections that sounded fine when I played them as if I was reading a bass part, there could be a lot of leger lines going down in your part, those you may want to transpose so they are easer to read. In some of the bigger arangements there are usually more than one bass intrument, maybe bass clari, bass trombone, panio part, if they using your bass in place more than one bass instrument to cover the low end, bieng an octave down may not be a bad thing. If you are able to listen to a recording of what you will be playing with tuba that can really help, you can try experiment with pushing the mid to low mid on your eq slightly to get more of a tuba sound, also quater notes are usually played short with quite a bit of accent even if not written that way, a very quick slide into a phrase from a semitone or tone below can help a bit with that feel in the odd place. I hope there is something here that will help you, I have not done a lot of this.
  4. SlapHappy99


    Dec 27, 2010
    NY Metro
    Thanks for all the replies. The gig went well even though the chart was pretty tricky. I have a lot more respect for tuba players now.

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