C scale

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Posted by Dr. Frederick J. You on January 31, 2001 at 15:22:09:

How many of you slide-CC tubists can play a two octave C scale in sixteenth notes at 80 beats per minute starting on your pedal C and ending at c in the middle of the bass clef staff?

I have asked many professionals to do this in the past and only those playing double or compensating double tubas have succeeded! One professional tubist, also a professor of tuba at a well-known private university almost reached melt-down, not being able to get past e or f because he had to pull so many slides! On the other hand the late Phil Catelinet could do that at twice the speed on his B & H F tuba. Bill Bell did it using the preferred open tone (a low F on many C tubas). I won't tell you about Arnold Jacobs attempt.

How about the 6/4 CC Kalaison tubist who was asked to substitute for the contrabassoon in a woodwind octette. After much sweat he said "it was a very exciting time in which I had to work very hard to find ways to play most of those low notes in tune."

Let me assure all of you that would have not been the case for any good British brass band tubist, even if he or she played the Eb tuba with four compensating valves.

Also Steven Meade can play the same scale on his euphonium, not two but four octaves!

If you can't play a complete set of slurred three octave scales on your tuba there two possible explanations
1) not enough wind
2) the tuba is too out of tune when you can't push and pull slides fast enough
3) or your lip is bad in addition to all of the above!

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