The Tuba is one of the largest members of the brass family and, unsurprisingly is also the lowest pitched instrument. The Tuba is sometimes referred to as the bass of the brass family, as it forms the bass of the orchestra brass section. The low pitch of the Tuba is praised for anchoring the harmony for the whole brass band, due to its deep and rich tones. A person who plays the Tuba is known as a Tubist. Tubas are found in various pitches - the most commonly found in brass bands are F, E♭, C, or B♭. The main tubing (where the air travels through the instrument) of a Tuba ranges from 3.7m in length to approximately 5.5m in length, depending on which pitch the Tuba plays in. Interestingly, the Tuba is one of the youngest orchestral instruments with various versions of the instruments dating back to 1838-1845.
The Tuba is played like most other large brass instruments, with the instrument resting on your legs, and the bell facing up. A Tuba player will be sat down whilst playing the instrument. When the Tuba player wants to create sound, they blow and buzz into the mouthpiece and use their fingers against the valves to create different notes and sounds. Many brass instrument players transition easily between instruments, as the method and technique of playing remains very similar from instrument to instrument.
Whilst Tubas are commonly found in brass bands and military bands, they are also found in orchestras. An orchestra will usually have a single Tuba (though for some pieces of music, an additional Tuba may be required). In the orchestra, the Tuba acts as the bass of the orchestral brass section, often supporting and reinforcing the bass tones of the woodwind section and strings section. In other bands, such as brass bands, military bands, high school bands and concert bands, the Tuba will generally act as the main and most important bass instrument, often leading the bass section.
Because the Tuba is such an important instrument across many genres of music and different types of bands, there have been many notable players throughout histroy. Some of the most famous players are; Charles Daellenbach, Øystein Baadsvik, Roger Bobo, Carol Jantsch, John Fletcher, Alan Baer and Velvet Brown.
Our Instrument Rental Scheme is perfect if you're not sure that you wish to purchase an instrument just yet. For example, you may have a young beginner and you want to see how they progress or you may be an adult adding another instrument to your collection. Our 'Start Right' rental scheme is flexible, affordable and you can use some of the money spent on the rental towards the cost of a new instrument.
If you're interested in purchasing a Tuba, or if you’re looking for additional information about the Tuba - we’d love for you to get in touch with our musical experts at Dawkes. We’ve been industry experts for many years and we’re passionate about ensuring people find the ideal instrument for their musical journey.