On this page you will find many tools to help you improve your tuba skills. Use the buttons on the left to jump to different parts of the page.
In the "Songs by Rote" video, all you need to do is follow the instructions on the screen to start playing songs. The next section explains how to read notes in bass clef so you can transition to playing songs in your lesson book. I have included play-along tracks for the first chapter of Measures of Success. Sometimes it's hard to know if you're playing the right sound when you're by yourself, so these will help!
Once you start getting the hang of the different notes, start doing the lip slur exercise. This is a great way to start each practice session! The paper clip exercise is more advanced and will help you become more in tune. Don't forget to train your ears with some fun videos featuring the tuba in the extra credit section!
Remember, just like any sport, the more you train, the more in shape you will become. If you study and practice a little bit each day, you will build muscle memory around the techniques and commit the knowledge to long term memory. Good luck!
SONGS BY ROTE
F = open
Eb = 1
D = 1 2
C = 1 3
Bb = open
Hot Cross Buns (0:35)
Mary Had a Little Lamb (1:10)
Ode to Joy (1:55)
Bass Line from Recess Rock (2:40)
What Makes You Beautiful,
by One Direction (3:50)
READING BASS CLEF
The bottom space is the letter A.
The musical alphabet only has 7 letters:
A B C D E F G and then they repeat starting with A.
If you go up the staff, you are going forwards in the alphabet. If you go down the staff, you are going backwards in the alphabet.
Ledger lines are lines above or below the five-line staff. The same rules apply.
SONGS BY NOTATION
Here is what the notes we have learned so far look like on the musical staff
On the right are audio recordings of the songs from Opus 1 of your lesson book, Measures of Success. The book explains how many beats to hold each type of note and other useful things. Make sure you read the directions as you go along.
The first time through I recommend you listen while saying the note names out loud and doing the fingerings. Once you are comfortable with that, play along with the recording.
The clicking you hear in the background is called a metronome. A metronome is a tool that keeps a steady beat. You will hear it click about 4 times before the song begins.
Extra Credit: The unit of measurement we use to talk about tempo (how fast or slow we're going) is called beats per minute (bpm). This is similar to miles per hour (mph) on a speedometer. The recordings were made at 80 bpm. Once you can play along with the recording, use a metronome (just search in Google for a free one) to increase your speed. Only go up about 5 bpm each time you play through. See if you can get up to over 100bpm!
Use this exercise daily to warm-up and train your embouchure. Start with a high Bb, slur down to F, slur back to Bb, then slur down to F again in one breath. Do that pattern for the following valve combinations going down the instrument:
PAPER CLIP EXERCISE
Use this exercise to train your lips to buzz pitches more accurately. This will help you get a fuller tone and play more in tune. Place one end of the paper clip in the leadpipe and then put your mouthpiece in. Be careful not to scratch your instrument or mouthpiece with it.
If there is a certain part in your music that doesn’t sound very good, try playing it with the paper clip to help you find the buzzing pattern, then go back to playing normally.
Havana, Camila Cabello cover
Awesome Tuba Bass Lines
Flight of the Green Hornet, Boston Brass
Despacito, Luis Fons & Daddy Yankee cover
Playing a Titanic Tuba (it’s huge!)
Attention, Charlie Puth cover
Believer, Imagine Dragons cover
Get Lucky, Daft Punk cover
Brass Romance, Canadian Brass
(Based on Bad Romance, Lady Gaga)
Czardas, Pat Sheridan
Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen cover
Caravan, Boston Brass
Tico Tico, Pat Sheridan