So, you bought your child their very first tuba. Now what? Before you worry about purchasing them a music stand or a metronome, turn your focus to purchasing them a sturdy case. Not only will it make transporting their tuba to and from school a little bit easier, but it’ll protect it from unnecessary harm. A proper tuba case usually costs no more than a quality mouthpiece, and could prevent very expensive repairs down the line. In fact, those who avoid purchasing a quality tuba case usually end up spending more on repairs than they would have on the case. From finding the right fit to keeping an eye out for latches and locks, here’s everything you need to know about choosing a case for your tuba.
Does the Tuba Fit?
First and foremost, if the tuba doesn’t fit snugly in its case- keep looking for a better case. When the body of the tuba is inserted into its case, it shouldn’t move in any direction. If this is an issue with your current case, you can temporarily fill the gaps and spaces with bubble wrap or foam until you can purchase an upgrade. Although this is a suitable workaround in the short-term, it shouldn’t be a long-term solution. If your tuba experiences any movement whatsoever, it could ultimately lead to adjustment issues, or worse. If you’re using an older case, or the case the tuba came with, and prefer not to invest in a brand new case, you can take your case to a local luggage store and have the padding replaced. Just ask your band teacher to evaluate the case and give it their seal of approval before you begin using it everyday.
Are the Latches Sturdy?
If you’re checking out tuba cases in a music store, evaluating the sturdiness of the latches shouldn’t be a problem. Check the hardware and latches manually to ensure they’re strong. If they seem flimsy, you run the risk of the case opening up accidentally, sending your child’s tuba tumbling to the floor. Although replacement hardware isn’t hard to find, if you’re already searching for a tuba case you may as well make sure it’s fully functional. Once you’ve determined the hardware is sturdy, check to see if the case flexes. Apply pressure in all areas and, if it allows movement, you’re practically asking for a bent tuba. The case should remain rigid at all times, even when under pressure. Finally, decide if you need to purchase a tuba case with locks. Some tuba cases have built-in locks, many of which are TSA-approved, just in case you you think you’ll be traveling with your tuba.
Which is Better: Gig Bag or Case?
As you do your research, you’ll come across plenty of gig bags for sale. What’s a gig bag, and is it a better option than a tuba case? While many parents choose gig bags because they’re lighter and more compact, a gig bag doesn’t offer as much protection as a hard, sturdy case. If your child will never leave the house with their tuba, a gig bag may be okay, but if they plan on transporting their instrument to and from school, a case is the best choice. Although they’re larger, heavier, and more expensive than gig bags, most experts recommend a hard case for their durability. After all, a few extra dollars now could save you hundreds of dollars in repairs down the line. Plus, many cases are waterproof. When combined, these two things will give you the peace of mind that your child’s tuba is protected against rain, snow, and accidental drops.
Should I Buy a Case with Wheels?
To answer this question, ask to hold your child’s tuba. Is it heavy? Now imagine yourself at half your weight, trying to lug the instrument around. A typical full-size tuba orchestral tuba weighs between 25 and 25 pounds, making it one of the heaviest instruments in a marching band. When it comes to wheels, many tubists think of them as a necessity. Also referred to as wheelie cases, cases with wheels are a great choice for younger musicians who may not be able to carry the tuba on their own. If you opt for a traditional case and wind up wanting wheels later, you can safely transport the instrument on a small furniture dolly as long as its securely fastened in place- ask your child’s marching band instructor how!
Buy Online & Save
A tuba is an expensive purchase, which is why finding an affordable and durable tuba case is so important. That’s why so many musicians (and parents of musicians) turn to Music & Arts. With over 130 stores across 23 states, and thousands of products available online, you’ll find one of the largest selections of gear, accessories, and instruments on our website- tubas included! If you have a specific question about a particular tuba case, contact us and we’ll be happy to help. With one of the largest product offerings in the world, we offer educator-approved band instruments and accessories, including a variety of tuba cases, from some of the most trusted brands in the industry.
Cases are important, but mouthpieces are too. Learn How to Choose a Tuba Mouthpiece.