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From Football Field to Concert Hall

This image copyright © 2012 Susie Ahrens

“Be the tuba in your head” is the famous Jacobsism.  Andrew Hitz takes this quote out to its logical conclusion: “Make the tuba in your head come out your bell and translate to the audience member in the front row as well as the back row”.

Beautiful sound should always be the highest priority of any musician, but different performance venues call for different playing techniques.  What works for the football field, doesn’t always work for the concert hall. Your sound actually has walls and a ceiling to bounce off.  Too many times I’ve heard or played with Tuba players who over play, blast and don’t balance with the rest of band.

You should always use your ears and be listening and playing stylistically appropriate. If you play in a concert hall with the same style you do when you’re marching a parade or a field show, your sound will be harsh and overbearing.  Here is an excellent example of a great time to record yourself. If you can hear how your sound translates to the audience, you can adjust accordingly.

TIP: Try to arrange to practice in the concert hall (or gym, cafeteria, Elk’s Lodge etc.) that you will be performing next. This may be a bit difficult to schedule, but the more experience you have playing in difference places, the more you’ll know how to adjust your sound. Your ears are the best tools for improving your sound that you have. Use them!!

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