Sousaphone... an instrument of war????

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Sousaphone... an instrument of war????

Post by Bandmaster » Wed Aug 25, 2010 3:48 pm

Online Brass Muisician magazine features the sousaphone on its front page today! Check it out!
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Re: Sousaphone... an instrument of war????

Post by bassoonuba » Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:38 pm

I love that "edgy" sound that a sousaphone can make... reminds me of my time with SC' ...
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Re: Sousaphone... an instrument of war????

Post by Brad » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:08 am

I thought it was just poor tone quality/ :twisted:
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Re: Sousaphone... an instrument of war????

Post by david richoux » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:46 am

It was pointed out over on TubeNet that the article has a few problems - the author used Wiki as a reference tool and we all know how accurate that place can be, right?

In the right hands, the Sousaphone can be just as good sounding as a tuba or Contra, and they can be more comfortable to carry for long parades! I would not part with mine - but I do use a tuba in appropriate situations.

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Re: Sousaphone... an instrument of war????

Post by Hostrauser » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:13 am

david richoux wrote:In the right hands, the Sousaphone can be just as good sounding as a tuba or Contra
David, you're preaching to the choir on this site. The bigger bore of a Conn 20K will produce about as good a sound as you can get without carrying an upright tuba through the parade.

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Re: Sousaphone... an instrument of war????

Post by Bandmaster » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:54 pm

Hostrauser wrote:
david richoux wrote:In the right hands, the Sousaphone can be just as good sounding as a tuba or Contra
David, you're preaching to the choir on this site. The bigger bore of a Conn 20K will produce about as good a sound as you can get without carrying an upright tuba through the parade.
The 20K has a BIGGER bore than ALL of the popular concert tubas that schools buy. My 1927 Conn 38K, the predecessor of 20K and exactly the same size but no short stroke valves, plays easier with better tone than almost any other tuba I have played. So I don't believe any tuba could out preform a good big bore sousaphone in a parade setting, unless you want to march with a Conn 20J for several miles, which would be insane on your back!. But ANY tuba can also be made to sound like those in the video if played with the same technique. Only the diameter of the sousaphone bell adds to how well the sound carries.
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Re: Sousaphone... an instrument of war????

Post by david richoux » Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:26 pm

Dropping a mic down the bell of a sousaphone also helps to get those funky New Orleans brass band style sounds.
Not as easy when parading, but great for on stage performance.

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Re: Sousaphone... an instrument of war????

Post by ovhs_sousaman » Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:01 pm

And of course, a sousaphone's always good for an aching shoulder and back.
Sean Yeutter

I've marched a bit. 4 years at Ocean View High School, three on tuba, a season with Impulse Drum and Bugle Corps.

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Re: Sousaphone... an instrument of war????

Post by supermutant » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:01 am

ovhs_sousaman wrote:And of course, a sousaphone's always good for an aching shoulder and back.
And the silly Contras improve this how???? :D

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Re: Sousaphone... an instrument of war????

Post by domitype » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:16 pm

I would guess that an x-ray of my left shoulder & collar bone would show a bit of a deformation (after around 45 years of Sousaphone playing) but I am much more comfortable playing even an extra heavy 4 valve brass Sousie than a contra or regular tuba in a long parade!

I have used the alternatives, sometimes, but since I never had a chance to be fully converted to the "Cult of Contra" (I was in the US Navy San Diego RTD Drum & Bugle Corps - when some others of my age were playing in civilian performance Drum & Bugle Corps, but that was before Contrabass bugles were readily available!) I stuck to the standard Sousaphone after the Navy.

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Re: Sousaphone... an instrument of war????

Post by seanrj » Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:09 pm

bassoonuba wrote:I love that "edgy" sound that a sousaphone can make... reminds me of my time with SC' ...
"Edge" is an issue dealing with mouthpiece, embouchure, and air support. It does not have as much to do with the Sousaphone, as an instrument, as one would initially think. Most other instruments can edge. If anything with the instrument, it would be contributed to by a small bore. When we switched over to Parke mouthpieces and started training the section in regards to embouchure (opening/deepening the sound and working on flexibility) and breath support, we went quite a ways in improving that element of the USC TUBA sound. This was on the Yamaha-411, which is actually a pretty nice instrument.

That being said, there is such a thing as "good" (using the term relatively) edge. I have heard several professional orchestral tuba players edge out from time to time and it was a pretty nice tone color, when it was done in the proper musical context and kept under control.

However, the Sousaphone really is an instrument of war, and in the right hands CAN be a WMD (Weapon of Musical Destruction). Something extremely primal starts to take hold of me whenever I put one on my shoulder, and then I have to remember to control myself.

You can take the boy out of the TUBA section, but you can't the the TUBA out of the boy.

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Re: Sousaphone... an instrument of war????

Post by bassoonuba » Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:38 pm

seanrj wrote:Something extremely primal starts to take hold of me whenever I put one on my shoulder, and then I have to remember to control myself.
Bingo! I couldn't have said that any better.
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Re: Sousaphone... an instrument of war????

Post by Hostrauser » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:02 pm

seanrj wrote:Something extremely primal starts to take hold of me whenever I put one on my shoulder, and then I have to remember to control myself.
It's called "gas." All tuba players struggle with it. :rotf:

(yes, I'm a tuba player, too) 8-)

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Re: Sousaphone... an instrument of war????

Post by Brad » Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:58 am

:rotf: :rotf: :rotf:

OOOH, That's just too good!! :rotf: :rotf: :bow:
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