Buying your first tuba can feel as daunting as it can exciting, so here’s our comprehensive guide to buying your first tuba
Whether you’re buying your first tuba or you’re buying a loved one their first tuba, with so many options available, it can feel like a daunting task; what type, size or finish do you buy a young and/or student brass musician? That’s why, to help you make the most appropriate choice(s), we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to buying your first tuba.
Buying your first tuba: a comprehensive guide
When you’re just starting your tuba journey, you’ll want a tuba that’s affordable, easy to use, and of an appropriate size for your height and weight; a young child, for example, will benefit from a smaller instrument than a young adult.
However, alongside the technicalities of buying your first tuba are a number of other considerations, such as -
The cost: typically, a student tuba will cost between $1000 and $3000 dependent on quality, brand, finish etc. and, whether you choose a less expensive or more expensive student tuba, one thing is for certain - playing the tuba is an investment; in both the overall cost of the tuba, care & maintenance, lessons, and the sheet music as well as the time invested in learning & practicing the tuba.
Size of the mouthpiece: due to the fact they’re smaller and generally more comfortable to use, a small rim mouthpiece is recommended for a young tuba player. A small mouthpiece is also easier to control for a smaller mouth. We would suggest a mouthpiece with no larger rim than 32mm (1.26 inches).
Open and easy blowing: for a beginner of any age, it’s important to choose a tuba that’s easy to play with open blowing. Open - or ‘free’ - blowing comes down to the design of the instrument itself and how easily air is able to travel through the tuba, as well as the size & shape of the mouthpiece.
The key of tuba: this is an interesting one because, in the UK, tubas are typically pitched at Eb or Bb whereas, in the US, amateurs usually play on BBb tubas and professionals CC. While in Germany F and BBb are usual. Therefore, where you live in the world will often dictate the type of tuba you learn.
Comfort: often overlooked, comfort is an incredibly important consideration when buying your first tuba. Every tuba is different and every person is different! Therefore, what feels most comfortable to someone else may not feel comfortable to you. The best way to know what tuba best suits you is, where possible, to try some and/or get to know as much about the model(s) you’re most interested in as possible. Visit showrooms and music shops, ask sellers and experts questions and listen to/read what others have to say about student tubas for sale.
Buying your first tuba is an exceptionally exciting task and, learning the tuba, will open up a world of possibilities and skills - social as well as professional.
You may feel daunted or nervous taking on the task of picking the ideal first tuba, but it’s easy when you know what to look out for or what to consider when searching.