Every tuba player knows that even though the tuba is a mostly self-contained instrument, there are a few accessories which can make owning, playing, and storing the instrument easier. If you’re just starting out with a tuba, we thought it’d be helpful to put together a guide so you’d know what you need, what you might like, and what you might not have considered picking up to make your tuba playing experience all it can be.
Cases & Bags
With virtually every musical instrument, it’s important to make sure that it’s protected at all times. The tuba is no different. When you purchase a tuba, you should also make sure to purchase a sturdy, high quality case to store it in. The worst thing you can imagine after spending a good amount of money on a great, new instrument is to have it dropped or dinged by accident. Hard cases may not be cheap, but they’ll save you from spending a lot of money repairing or replacing your tuba.
MTS tuba cases are designed to fit 95 percent of all instruments, so regardless of which type or model of tuba you own, you can be confident that your instrument will be protected. When you use an MTS tuba case, your tuba will be protected inside of a foam cradle covered with a plush velvet lining. The reinforced hard plastic shell offers a great deal of protection without weighing a ton. Additionally, the case has wheels located at the bell end, so it’s easy to move around.
This tuba case includes in-line skate wheels to make transporting your instrument easier, as well as molded-in bumpers for valence protection and the SKB-patented TSA trigger release latching system. When you use an SKB case, you know that your instrument will be protected at all times by the ABS vacuum formed material which offers strength while still being lightweight. The plush lined EPS interior guarantees that your instrument will always be safely secured.
If you perform with your tuba, you’ll also want to pick up a gig bag. These bags are useful because they offer some protection while you’re transporting your instrument, but aren’t as cumbersome as the hard shell cases. Miraphone Deluxe Tuba Gig bags feature thick padding for optimal protection as well as a specially designed carbon fiber protector disc that’s built into the bell area of the bag. Small, incidental collisions won’t threaten your instrument when it’s in this case. These bags also feature a shoulder strap as well as backpack straps. It’s important to note that the bag you need depends on the type of tuba that you have, so make sure the one you pick up is compatible with your instrument.
You may also want to pick up a pouch specifically for your mouthpiece. When you get the Bach 1893 Nylon Tuba Mouthpiece, you know that your mouthpiece will be completely protected inside of a padded nylon pouch. These pouches are inexpensive and handy.
Care & Maintenance
Tubas require a certain amount of care and maintenance, from greasing your tuning slide to oiling your valves. The simplest way of ensuring you’ll be able to properly take care of your tuba is to pick up a care and maintenance kit.
The Giardinelli Low Brass Care Kit contains everything you need to keep your tuba in working order. The kit contains a special formula oil, tuning slide grease, mouthpiece brush, valve casing brush, lacquer polish cloth, and coated snake. With these tools, you can keep your tuba clean and prevent the buildup of materials which can seriously damage your instrument over time.
There are some accessories for the tuba that you should consider once you’ve been playing for a while. These include stands, both for your sheet music and your instrument, harnesses, and mutes.
The Neotech Tuba Harness is designed to conform to the shape of your body and disperse the weight of your instrument. It’s a comfortable, practical approach to playing which doesn’t sacrifice mobility. Tuba harnesses aren’t necessary but if you’re looking for a way to make the experience of playing more comfortable, trying a harness is a good place to start.
Mutes are items placed inside the bell of the tuba to provide consistent tone and intonation. If you’re looking for a high-quality mute, Jo-Ral’s aluminum spun tuba straight mute is an excellent choice. Designed to be compatible with any horn, this mute features movable corks to guarantee a custom fit. Mutes are not necessary accessories, especially for inexperienced tuba players.
If you’re performing with your tuba, you’ll want to pick up the DEG A18-MC100 Handy Tuba Rest. It solves your mouthpiece height problem without sacrificing your contact with the instrument. You can rest your tuba on top of the felt padded contoured instrument resting pad which sits atop a sturdy chrome plated steel frame and folding tripod legs. Simply adjust the height with one screw to ensure maximum comfort while you perform.