Posted by Art H on October 07, 2002 at 22:27:24:
In Reply to: 5 valve BBb Tubas posted by Sam H. on October 07, 2002 at 20:40:03:
It gives you a lot of alternate fingerings. Whether you will learn to use them is another question. It also enables you to play one half-step above the pedal note, ("pedal B-natural") without cheating. In 50 years of playing I have never seen that note called for in any piece of tuba music. (Having said that, however, I am sure that some composer will make it a point to put it into his next piece.)
5th valves are common on CC tubas partly because low D-flats in the "pedal" register DO appear occasionally in the literature. But that note can be played easily on a four-valve BBb tuba. My conclusion is that a BBb tuba is heavy enough without the 5th valve, and usually plays better without it. I do like to have a really long tuning slide on the 4th valve tubing though, just in case.