Tuba reviews, articles, and tips for beginners and beyond
In this series...
The modern-day Tuba (or Bass Tuba to use its proper name) was invented in the early 19th century. It is descended from a number of historical instruments, including the Serpent and the Ophicleide.
It has progressed from being an unusual and specialist instrument to being a standard part of the orchestral line-up, and a staple of modern brass bands.
Tubas are normally made from metal, although there are now some part metal / part plastic models on the market too.
The main components are a detachable mouthpiece, a set of valves (at least three), and a flared bell at the end of the instrument.
The most popular Tubas are pitched in Eb and Bb. The standard range of the instrument is just over three octaves, from D1 to F4.
How To Play
To produce a sound from a Tuba you need to make a buzzing sound with your lips into the mouthpiece.
Three of the fingers on your right hand need to be placed on the Tuba’s main valves, which serve to change the pitch of the note you are playing, by opening and closing various lengths of tubing. There is often an additional fourth valve, which is operated by the left hand.
The word Tuba is actually Latin for Trumpet!
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