Posted by Andy Bryan on December 21, 1999 at 13:22:53:
In Reply to: Length of phrase posted by Jon on December 21, 1999 at 11:22:49:
If the piece is a transcription, whether written for a stringed instrument, or a wind instrument with a lower air flow rate (ie almost any wind instrument other than the tuba), there is almost no way you will be able to match the phrase length of the original instrument. One way to get around this is to selectively drop a note here or there, and breathe in the space created. If you do this creatively, you can still get the musical point across, without sacrificing tone quality by squeezing out the last few drops of air.
It is also very important to make sure you start with a full breath, so that you maximise the length of phrase you are capable of. Whatever you do, try and replace the breath when you get to between half and one-third of your capacity left. This last bit of air in the lungs is not very useful in playing the tuba, and using it will cause the tone quality to suffer. Think of the analogy of the gas tank of a car, and use the part between full and a half tank, rather than a half tank and empty.
One last thought, you can always modify the dynamics. By playing softer, you can play longer. Just keep everything in proportion so that you maintain the proper dynamic contrast.