Posted by Jay Bertolet on December 30, 1999 at 17:35:47:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Brass tech in Dallas Area posted by Joe Baker on December 30, 1999 at 11:25:18:
No offense taken. The gizmo that Mike describes sounds exactly to me like a "Pitch Finder". It is spring loaded and returns to a set point automatically. There are a couple of things you need to know about this design. First off, adjusting the set point is cumbersome. So if you play in very different conditions that might affect the pitch of your tuba, the constant adjusting might get annoying. Also, these devices are usually attached to the horn in a semi permanent sort of way. Ideally, the adjustable range affords you enough space on either side of the set point to adjust sufficiently for any note. If your tuba normally has the slide most of the way out or in, you might not have as much adjustment space in both directions. Calibrating the slide position when you install the device is critical. To get the full effect of the device, it might also be necessary to modify your main slide to a different length. Another headache with the designs I saw was that such a device requires that the slide be very well lubricated. Unfortunately, most people take the slide out of the tuba to periodically clean and lubricate it. When these types of devices are attached, that process becomes time consuming and awkward.
I've never personally seen Jim Self's setup so I can't comment on whether it addresses these issues or not. My advice is to try one out and see. Just so you know, I don't feel that getting used to a hand position relative to a certain pitch level is all that difficult to develop. Most players do this when they learn to pull individual valve slides. Don't sell yourself short and end up using a device that might be more trouble than it is worth. That was basically the conclusion I came to when I was exploring this issue and I opted for the old adage "simpler is better". Good luck!