Re: 5th valve on Bb and Eb tubas

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Posted by Gus Pratt on May 30, 2003 at 13:02:43:

In Reply to: 5th valve on Bb and Eb tubas posted by Mark Preece on May 30, 2003 at 03:01:03:

The need for a fifth valve on a BBb tuba is based on how low you play on a regular basis. If you never play below low E, then you'd never used. If you do a lot of playing below low E then you'd use it all the time.

There's been plenty of discussion of this in the past. There is 2 schools of thought, the first being that a BBb tuba with a 5th valve is just as necessary as a CC with a fifth valve. The other school of thought is that the BBb doesn't need a fifth valve. I fall in the middle on this controversy. It all depends on what music you are playing. A lot of composition books teach that the tuba range is only down to low E. So if you are only playing down to this range a BBb tuba doesn't need a fifth valve. Low F is in tune on a 4 valve BBb, but is not on a 4 valve CC. If you are playing music that goes below low E then a fifth valve is helpful on BBb.

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