Contrabass Tuba

Contrabass Tuba

Contrabass Tuba range

  • (Note: range does not include pedal notes)

We finally come to the bottom of the common band instruments, the Contrabass Tuba.  To most people, when we say tuba we are only referring to the Contrabass instrument, the Bass Tuba being an afterthought.

There are two sizes of Contrabass Tuba, the C and the B-flat.  The B-flat is used by students and amateurs, while the C is the instrument of choice for professionals.  To the bandestrator there should be no distinction between the two.  The sound and range will be identical.  Continue reading “Contrabass Tuba”

Tubas Part 2 – Tubas in the Band

Tubas in the Band

            The only tubas we can expect to have regularly in the band are the Euphonium and the Contrabass Tuba.  One is a master tenor/baritone soloist, while the other is often considered the foundation of the entire band.

I look back to my days of playing, and I always remember there being two Euphoniums and two (or more) Contrabass Tubas in the ensemble, yet rarely would the parts ever divide.  There is no reason in the world not to have parts that say Euphonium 1, Euphonium 2, etc.

The Flügelhorns should become a more regular member of the band.  Every trumpet player should have access to a Flügelhorn.  I have always said that we have too many trumpets in our band, let’s put some of those talented players on the Flügelhorn.

We can experiment with all sorts of arrangements for the tuba ensemble.  Here is a simple scenario that I have used before:

2 Flügelhorns

2 Euphoniums

1 Bass Tuba

1 Contrabass Tuba

This is a total of six players.  The spacing and balance is even, and we get a warm, homogenous sound with this group.  But, I think more potential lies within the group.  I foresee the Flügelhorns being as, or more important than the trumpets.  Why not a group like this:

3-4 Flügelhorns

2 Euphoniums

2 Bass Tubas

2 Contrabass Tubas

I feel that we have yet to fully explore the sound world that lies in the tuba family.  Beautiful harmonies and fluid melodies await us.