Posted by Tim Olt on May 29, 2003 at 10:26:17:
In Reply to: B&S 4P posted by js on May 29, 2003 at 09:43:00:
Good fellows, I found your posting quite interesting. I happen to have both a PT-4P and a 45SLP! They are my main horns, and I too found the same problems at first. In fact, when I got the PT-4P, I went back to Custom Music to complain about the pitch, and even bought an extended main slide from them for it. Well, I no longer use the long tuning slide, and I'll tell you what worked for me.
My teacher when I got the PT-4P was Jason Smith, now of Ohio University. He plays a PT-6P, and loves those tubas. He had encouraged me to get the 4P. Anyway, I told him of the problem, and he said I was playing on the upper side of the center of the sound. When he said that, at first I thought he was nuts. But he told me to push all the tuning slides in and then play scales and Bordogni etudes with a tuner and try to get in pitch with changing air and embouchure. I worked on that for about two weeks (a real struggle at first) and low and behold, I then reset the tuning slides, and I could play it in tune, with a MUCH bigger sound, about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of main slide out! I also found that my airspeed had indeed changed.
Earlier this year, I got a 45SLP, and found that I was having the same problem. Well, I recently (last week, actually) went to see Mr. Smith again, mainly to discuss F tuba playing, and he pointed out the same centering issue. I have been spending a chunk of my daily practice time in front of the tuner with slides in, and am already noticing a difference. I was thinking that since I had already gone through that with the CC that it would happen automatically on the F, but I had to do it again with that. And once again, my sound is getting bigger and fuller as a side result.
Understand, I am not saying that this is an ultimate solution. Also, you need to be careful in how you do this. I do not advocate going full force into this. Don't spend hours doing this. I would start by spending about 15-20 minutes of each practice sessions (hopefully at least one two hour session per day) doing this, then move the slides back. Or at least don't keep trying to bend pitch drastically to a tuner after the 15-20. Building strength and new habits takes consistent work, not muscling through. Just be careful.
I hope this helps. If you need more info, you can email me, and I'll answer whatever questions I can. Best of luck!