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You should never, EVER use silicone dampers on your rotary valves. This is a slow motion (10x slower than real time) video of "fast" playing on a new horn from a well known tuba maker. The valves bounce 3-4 times before they stop. Note that this applies also on the far end, where you would assume that your finger would be able to stop it. Not at all.
So why is this a problem?
In slow tempi it is not a serious problem, but when playing fast, the airstream is really disturbed and in combination with heavy linkage (more mass), your legatos become audibly hindered, especially when more than one valve is involved.
You don't have to be a virtuoso to experience this problem. One of many orchestral examples is the tuba part in "An American in Paris".
At best it is plain ignorance to sell tubas with this setup.
If you happen to own one, first demand that the retailer change the silicone for cork and/or neoprene. If he denies, have it done somewhere else, or buy an instrument from a brand that takes their products/customers more seriously.
Btw, this also apply to the damper material on piston valves.

Have a great day!!
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2 weeks ago  ·  

Being a composer rocks!
Just came home from the German national tubaforum in Hammelburg. Several soloists had chosen to play my compositions in the final concert. I noticed that this way, I can easily contribute to the concert just by sitting on my butt in the audience! I only got up to play one of my wife's pieces, but still - how comfortable!
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2 weeks ago  ·  

From an exciting concert yesterday with Regionkorps ØST in Bragernes Kirke, Drammen, Norway. Concucted by Tanja Räsänen.
We world premiered an arrangement of my tuba concerto for wind band. It is written for professionals, but these gifted, hard working young musicians pulled it off with bravour. Well done!
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1 month ago  ·