The original tuba section advice column.
by Brett Stevens
Ask Skippy your question.
Is it wrong for a flute player to prefer the tuba/trombone sections more than the woodwinds? I've been getting strange looks from my woodwind "allies" for this trait, but I don't care. I think the low brass are more fun than the woodwinds -- I'm no woodwind priss! Except for trumpets. All trumpets should take lessons in humility and go hug a tree. Anyways, just thought I'd ask, since I'm dating a trombone player. And are all low brass players great kissers or it it just him?
- "Qwazy Flutist"
Well, it is natural to gravitate towards the stalwart rocks which hold the band together. As far as your fascination with the trombones goes, I am at a loss to explain that one. I guess that proves the saying, "Love is blind." I wouldn't worry about your woodwind friends giving you funny looks; The average woodwind player has an attention span of about 2.7 seconds and they will soon forget. I mean look at Chris Amos. He was once a clarinet player and he still hasn't fully recovered.
As far as the kissing thing goes, I would really have to say that very few women that date any tubas in our section go away unsatisfied. At least, that is what I have been told.
I am in a very longterm and very good relationship with a tuba player (a rarity around here, for a tuba player to get a girl). I love him superlots, but I'm going away to college in Minnesota, like, 500 miles away from where he will be. He keeps saying that he will come live with me in Minnesota, but he also says that there aren't any good tuba players for him to learn from up north in other words, he would abandon his music career.
My two questions are this -- One: Is he right? Are there good tuba players near Minnesota he could study with? (i wouldn't know...i'm a measly flute player) Two: If not, how can I convince him that a career in music, especially with the tuba, is more rewarding than any potential relationship? Thanks,
I think this is one of those adult moments for your boyfriend. Not knowing either one of your respective situations I would encourage you both to take a long look at what you want from one another. I would encourage you to do what is best for each of yourselves, but I have one question. What would stop you from changing schools and following him and/or would you do that for him? I really have no answers for you, but I bet each one of you has an idea of what you should do.
I have a problem. I will be a Freshman next year at OSU. I am going to play in the band and everything. BUT I have a problem. See, I am a monster trumpeter, but I don't have a big head. I like people to like me, and if you tuba guys don't like trumpet players what am I going to do??? I'm sure that once you get to know me, you'll like the trumpet player that I am, not the conceited trumpet player you think I am. What should I do???
- "worried trumpeter"
Well I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you are already exhibiting some of the telltale signs of trumpet ego-gigantis. You clearly delineate yourself as a monster trumpeter (You really might be -- I don't know) to people who have never met you.
As far as what you can do, when you get up here don't expect to be the best thing since sliced bread. It is a hard lesson but attempt to learn from those around you. As far as the tubas not liking trumpet players, it is not that we just as a rule dislike trumpets, we just dislike the ones who have to carry around their egos in dump trucks trailing behind them.
I really don't have any advice for you other than be yourself and be prepared if there are people that don't like you. After all, there are people out there the don't like the tubas, if you can believe it.
Do you ever answer these things anymore? Do you even get htem anymore?
Dear Steaming Chunk Of Crap,
Shut your pie hole or i'll beat you to death with a mackrel.
Hey, I'm the section leader of my high school tuba section, and the only girl. My best friend used to play tuba, but around second semester switched to trumpet, (God only knows why?) Since then he has lost his laid back tuba style and become a tight-assed, big-headed trumpet player. He's lost all respect for us tuba players, and therefore, because of it, I'm reconsidering our friendship. I've talked to him about it, but I don't think he cares. What should I do?
It sounds like this guy has gone completely over to the darkside. You could try cutting off his hand and taking of the black mask. First you must do battle with the emperor section leader of the trumpets and throw him down a big shaft so the............ shoot, just forget about it. If he is going to be an asshole drop him and move on. Ask him first straight out if he wants to be friends and if he says no hit him with your tuba and show that puny trumpet player the error of his ways. Sorry for the Star Wars schtick.
I have a problem. Ok. There's this really nice guy I've been talkin to. He asked me for my phone number but I was kinda hesitant to give it to him at first. After a few days or so, I gave it to him. So, he started callin quite often actually. I didn't mind. Then he got this job at KFC. He told me I should just drop by one night. Ok, so about a week and a half after he told me to stop by, me and a friend did. Now, he won't even talk to me. What is up with that?? Did I do something wrong??
- "i feel like a dumb ass"
Dear i feel like a dumb ass,
I guess you didn't do chicken right.
I found this awesome graduate student here and have taken her out a couple of times. I think she may actually be my soul mate - digs jazz, drop-dead gorgeous, etc. The problem is, she's homesick and may have a boyfriend thing still happening with a guy (guys?) at home. Please give me some advice - I just dropped a cool $50 this weekend on dinner in Tulsa and the last thing I need is another one of those "let's just be friends" relationships. Besides, man, I am one MAJOR HORNY dude - this divorce thing isn't what it's cracked up to be.
Awaiting your wisdom
- "Old Fucker"
Have you thought about masturbation? Our resident expert on that subject (Jon Matthews) might be able to give you some advice on how to relieve some of that built up tension.
As far as the woman situation goes, I would do my best to clearly define how you feel about her. Your best bet, in my opinion, is to go ahead and lay it on the line. Write a poem, play a tuba ditty -- I have been told that anything spoken in French works well. This will save many more fifty dollar weekends if the "friends" thing is the response. One thing I have learned from my fine section leader "want some get some, bad enough take some."
I have searched the entire world looking for one piece of information, and I thought with your expertise, you could be of a service. This is an issue that concerns everyone at some point in their life and should not be taken lightly. How do you march drunk with a tuba? I know I ask myself this question everyday and just can not seem to come up with a rational answer especially on my knees. Are there any manuals I can read to learn more? Maybe you have already written a book over this subject?
Any response would be appreciated.
- "Walking UpsideDown"
Dear Down on the Upside,
Marching drunk with a tuba... while not highly recommended it does occasionally occur. The best method that I can see is to focus all of your available energies on staying upright. This may prove to be more difficult depending on the amount of beverage or type of beverage consumed. This is where your loyal section mates (if any are present or in the same predicament) come to your aid. At OSU our method for marching or performing drunk or hung over (which really never happens) is kind of a continual taunting exercise to annoy the person or people into remaining cognizant of their duties. Basically making the experience so miserable that it will not happen again.
Or, you could just puke and go from there.
Do you have any problems with euphoniums? I like tubas, but I myself play euphonium and I don't want to switch. The euphoniums and the tubas in my band pretty much consider ourselves one section. Is this bad?
It is all right to play euphonium. I still play on occasion. It is not a bad thing to consider both of your respective sections together as one family. The only sticking point is when one or the other has to pull most of the weight. As happened when the OSU baritone section outplyed the entire band in 1993-94 and as the tuba section is doing a fair job of right now. Right now our tuba section closely aligns ourselves with the percussion line so.... go figure.
Inter-instrumental families: the wave of the future.
OK, I think (keyword THINK) I have fallen in love with a little female french horn girl. Cannot figure out for the life of me what attracts me to her but I want her just the same. We don't necssarily have all that much in common other than being in band together at various times and I'm not sure she likes me as anything more than just a friend. Should I just lay it all on the line and see how she reacts, or should I give it some time to see if the relationship can eventually build to a romantic climax? Please help me, it's driving me slightly insane!
- "CEO of Hackistan"
My best advice would be to damn the torpedoes and full steam ahead. Don't come off as a raving loon when you tell her you are interested just inform her of your feelings. STAY AWAY FROM THE DREADED FOUR LETTER L WORD. Wait till you get to know her a little better. Good luck and watch out for icebergs,
My trusty buddy is quitting band! (he plays tuba too) How can I get him to stay so I don't have to deal with the newbies next year by myself??
- "Dang it!!!"
Dear Dang it!!!,
Sleep with him.
I am 16 years old and in the Memphis Youth Symphony. How are your feelings toward oboists?
- "queen of all that is SCUZZY"
Most are okay. You don't have braids and obsess about cats do you? If not you are most likely alright and will live a more fruitful life interacting with your tuba brethren. If you do have braids and obsess about cats, get some professional help.
Sometimes I like to put a rubber band around my head while I'm practicing. I find that the combination of blood being cut off to my brain and playing the tuba gives me sexual pleasure. What advise can you offer for such a tortured soul?
- "Dizzy Dude"
Videotape yourself and post the movie on an S&M web site. You will make millions!
I met this most wonderful guy (a tuba player)..we started as friends, but a while later..the sparks began to fly..we both have these amazing feelings for one another..but we are still amazed and astonished about how everything is working out so nicely and so quickly. Both of us has had our share of *rotten relationships*. And we have found a whole lot of qualities in each other that we couldn't find anywhere else. I can't remember the last time I felt this good. And I know that he feels the same way! We know that things are happening rather quickly between us, things have just clicked between us. Everything has just been so good between us! Do you think that since everthing is going so nice that we should try to enjoy the relationship more by going slower, or just go with our gut feelings? Do you have any suggestions for our relationship? Feel free to give any advice.
- "Dazed & Amazed"
Dear D & A,
Make sure he is not completely psycho. Some tuba players are too far gone even to consider dating. I recommend being cautious. Never can tell what will happen. But if you gotta go in make sure you go deep.
There is a girl in my tuba section that just won't do anything. I have tried giving her lessons, but it just doesn't work. It's like she's in band for an easy "A", but the band diirector is starting to get pissed. There are only 3 people in my section counting me, so it's a bit rough. What do I do?
Sounds like you should give her a choice: tell her to either pull her own weight or get the hell out. We have been through a few "tuba holders" as well. They have ceased to be. Good luck man, and make sure you explain things with your director about her noticeable lack of effort.
I have always had a fetish for tuba players but was always afraid of what I would do to myself if I was rejected by the tubist of my dreams and quite frankly any straight male tuba player is the tubist of my dreams. I am going to be a senior next year and I am afraid if I don't snag a tubist now I'll miss out on something really good. Any suggestions??
- "Hot 4 the big brass"
In the words of Bill the Cat, PPPPPPPPPPPPPHHHHHHHHHBBBBBBBBBIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!
I marched tuba (aka, pile of fiberglass offal) my freshman year in college, and it changed my life. Really. Because now, you see, my left shoulder is swollen. Huge. Sometimes it moves, and it often talks to me. I am frightened, Skippy. What should I do?
You might want to have that thing looked at. Long have we in the OSU tuba line believed that those plastic pieces of offal are seeding pods from another planet. We have some of those wonderful plastic pieces of @#$& in our basement (or "dungeon," as we call it) waiting for new victims. The possible medical maladies of this shoulder infestation might be well detrimental to your health. The next time your shoulder starts talking to you, try to reason with it, make friends, and send us a picture of it so Chris can put it on the page.
As usuall the upperclassmen wanta-be tuba player that I have kicked of the section making me the only tuba player there in my band thinks that I am a smart @$$ and keeps on bugging me. Since them he has been playing trombone and hitting me in the side and comes very close to getting his @$$ kicked by a Freshman in High School. What the hell do you think I sould do about it.
Oh, by the way don't disrepect the name because it is true that I am the best in my band.
- "The best"
You should have played trumpet.
I'm a frosh in Rancho Cotati HS it kind of sucks exept for TUBA & art of course, but anyways, here's my question... could you tell me some fingering exercises for my slow third chair fingers, PLEASE!!!!!!
Cool nickname it seems as if you would probably fit right in here. The best people to ask this question would be our illustrious section leader Bryant "Penis Wrench" Warren, our new Rank Leader David "SCOC" Green, or Chris "I couldn't tune a tuba to save my life" Amos. All of these guys are die hard tuba majors and are supposed to know something about that stuff.
Hope it helps,
Bite me, Skippy.
I am a tuba player in high school and there's this girl I like in band. She's a clarinet player. I really like her but don't know how to show her I do. What should I do to show her? Is it wise for a tuba player to be dating a clarinet player or what should I do? Thanks for your help as I am sure it will be very appreciative.
- "under the influence"
Dear Under the Influence,
It is all right to date outside the tuba family. In fact it is probably the wisest course of action. There is already plenty of inbred tuba players walking around. As far as showing her how much you like her the most mature way might be to simply tell her, ask her out on a date. HAVE A SPINE! I mean the worst she can sat is no. If that doesn't work you could employ the Chris Amos method of composing a tuba ditty about some feature of your clarinet love. (Chris' song was called "Your Ass Is Like An Onion." Needless to say it didn't work, but at least he tried.)
Good luck, and remember always suit up before you go diving,
My boyfriend is a part of your tuba section and I've noticed personality chances and a bit more perversion than normal. I don't like it but what should I do??
We are doing our best to keep all perverse activities to a minimum but as you can confirm it is not something that can be readily controlled by normal outlets. Eventually this to shall pass and your boyfriend might return to normal but, be warned! Once a perverted, nasty, bastard tuba player always a perverted, nasty, bastard tuba player!
I am a fellow tuba player and I was recently playing in the band. I am not really in band but the director loves it when I am there. So, My girlfriend sees me in the band room and then walks away. I then left to see what was the matter and she then said, "Are you going to be playing that "THING" for a long time?" I was petrified! Does my girlfriend just hate the tuba or does she just think I favor it over her? What should I do?
You are at a crossroad of life. Will it be a woman or a tuba? Many of us still wrestle with this problem daily. I mean the tuba, doesn't complain when you lips are on it, loves to be greased up on a regular basis, the harder you blow into it the better sound it makes, never runs away, can be fingered in any number of ways, doesn't care what you wear, isn't jealous of other tubas, and always looks great after a five mile parade. How many women can you say that about, huh? Women are still necessary but the more you look at the facts the more attractive the tuba becomes. The choice is up to you, weigh your options carefully. Some men achieve balance between women and tuba, some men succumb to the sultry charms of women, and still others emerge from this trial of life convinced that women are of the devil and spend the rest of their lives with their tuba (I.e. Russell Wright). I don't really have the answer for you you must look into yourself and see what your heart desires: tuba, or woman?
I'm a percussionist, but every now and then, I want to be a tuba player. This is strange to me, since I like to beat on the drums, and do not know how to play a brass instrument.. What is wrong with me, or is anything wrong with me, maybe it's all backwards.. I'm really a tuba play, and wanna be a percussionist? I don't know anymore.
- "Dazed and Confused"
Dear D & C,
Your feeling of kinship with the tuba are perfectly natural. Everyone knows that the percussionists and the tubists are the coolest members of the band no matter what the trumpets might think. At Oklahoma State the tuba players and percussionists have developed a strong and lasting bond. It is the bond of keeping the band together, we two sections together can most readily control if the band stays together or cracks apart.
Your fears are unjustified, what you are feeling is reciprocal respect for yourself and those tuba players in your band. I am sure there are some tuba players who sometimes desire to be percussionists.
I am a band director at a small Texas town. I have an odd problem--no matter what I do I have too many tuba players!! I think I'm the only band director that has more tubas in his band than flutes. No matter how mean or nasty I am I cannot seem to get the correct balance. What's my problem, or am I just cursed with tuba players that just don't know when they're not wanted?!? For your information-I am a tuba player. Could this be part of my problem. Please help--I'm running out of horns!!
Sooo... what was your problem again?
I seem to have a problem. I am in band and play the horn in F and no one seems to respect me becasue of what I wear. they all think that coveralls are out of style. Personally I think they are rather snazzy and are pretty hip. If I am wrong could you please let me know.
I also wear a hat that makes me look like "a lumberjack in heat." Is this a bad thing? I always thought that women went for the lumberjack type. What should I do?
One more thing, I really like this girl and she is in band and plays the flute. She is not much on personality and seems a little weird also to the others. But I think she is really hot. I tend to be the shy one of the group and have never asked a girl out or ever gotten any. I tried with a prostitute but she would not even take the money. HELP!!! WHAT SHOULD I DO!!!!
- "old and Lonely Coveralls"
Dear Cold & Lonely,
Gee I wish I was a tuba player. The OSU Tuba page has really made me realize that. Too bad I have a high School director who won't let me switch. I guess I'll just have to spend the rest of my life wishing I could have been in the ranks of the greatest ppl who have ever walked on the face of the Earth.
- "Trombone Boy"
Dear T. B.,
My girlfriend seems to have a problem with me playing tuba. Is she just jelous because I spend more time with it than her??
Although playing the tuba is a very seductive practice for all those involved it cannot take the place of a good woman. Maybe you should introduce your girlfriend to the tuba. Take her and the tuba out to lunch. Have them get to know one another. Maybe if it goes really well you can combine the two relationships but, be warned. As you can attribute the tuba has a unique hold upon people so don't be surprised if she begins to obsess about the tuba as well. Basically unless you are a real sicko (like Chris) your girlfriend has nothing to fear from the tuba.
As a former tuba player, I must admit that your web page is VERY well
done! I admit that I find a kind of "calling" and am wanting to become a
citizen of Blatvia...
Skippy, I am now almost 30 years old and feel that I did not take
advantage of my time in marching band in college. I am considering
walking away from two very lucrative businesses that I have and going
back to grad school and get my PhD in Tuba Performance. I am considering
Ohio State University, but only because they might let me dot the "I" at
As a former tuba player, I must admit that your web page is VERY well done! I admit that I find a kind of "calling" and am wanting to become a citizen of Blatvia...
Skippy, I am now almost 30 years old and feel that I did not take advantage of my time in marching band in college. I am considering walking away from two very lucrative businesses that I have and going back to grad school and get my PhD in Tuba Performance. I am considering Ohio State University, but only because they might let me dot the "I" at halftime...
I understand your pain. The loss of not being able to play the tuba can be severe. In order to compensate you must take your need to play the tuba and redirect the desire into another hobby. Have you tried another instrument, in the low brass family of course. Perhaps basket weaving, walking over hot coals, snake charming, or being a rodeo clown could satiate your need. In essence all the previously mentioned activities have virtually the same visceral effect as playing the glorious tuba.
P.S. Or you could just wank it. Jon Matthews (resident chief wanker) expert can attest to its effectiveness. At least that is what he tells us on almost a daily basis.
I'm a frosh in high school, but am already acceling in the tuba
industry. And I'm the only girl tuba player around here (rock on!!).
Just wondering if I should keep the hobby up. I really enjoyed the
page, (kinda reminds me of my marching band). Oh yeah, I'm experiencing
lack of sleep; does it have any thing to do with my playing the tuba for
2 hours a day? And will Ginseng help?
I'm a frosh in high school, but am already acceling in the tuba industry. And I'm the only girl tuba player around here (rock on!!). Just wondering if I should keep the hobby up. I really enjoyed the page, (kinda reminds me of my marching band). Oh yeah, I'm experiencing lack of sleep; does it have any thing to do with my playing the tuba for 2 hours a day? And will Ginseng help?
Keep up the tuba work. All tuba sections can use more women in them. As for the lack of sleep, try staying away from caffeine a couple of hours before bedtime. But, if you keep your current sleeping habits you will be set for college life. Stay away from the ginseng, as it turns out to big old scam according to my most recent research (for those to whom I've already advised it... oops). Try some relaxing music, or as you lay down to sleep concentrate on relaxing your body through slow deep breaths, and try to let your mind just wander as you slowly relax. You know, kind of like marching band.
Dear Skippy,Dear Tubaboy,
I have an uptight section leader who, if given a lump of coal, could make diamonds if asked. He needs to relax and get some. I tried to find him a chick and to get him to chill out, but he is still uptight. By the way, he is also a mechnical engineering major with a 3.95 GPA. What should I and the rest of the section do???
By the way, where can I get a cool Men in Back t-shirt???
We have had problems with various members of our section being uptight about certain aspects of life. Two methods have been employed to combat this problem. The first, used on the formerly uptight David Green, is the stacking. The offending uptight member in question is thrown to the ground and as many members as possible are stacked on top until said offending member admits defeat.
We also employ the ridicule paradigm, now being used on a couple of current members. The offending, annoying member is literally ridiculed into submission. Anytime he/she attempts to speak out on anything the entire section turns on him like a pack of wolves. (It's for their own good. Really.) Both methods have been found to work or are currently working.
As far as the MIB shirts go, You weren't here so... unless you can get one of us to part with our personal shirts you will have to design one yourself. However, we are currently in the design phase of a T-shirt which we will be selling to fans over the Web.
What is the best way to torture woodwind players (I.e. flutes)?
- "Dirty Ol' Man"
What is the best way to torture woodwind players (I.e. flutes)?
- "Dirty Ol' Man"
Well, for the most effective method to torture woodwinds (off the top of my head), I would consult your section mates and for an entire week retain all the spit from your horns. After this said period of water retention (a week is just a suggestion) thourghly douse offending flute players with saved spit.
You could try the great tuba hug. It takes two tuba players and one flute player. One tuba player will approach from the front while another will circle around back of the flue player. Run toward each other, arms outstreched, as if to give a simple hug. Instead, grasp your fellow tubists arms above the elbows and commence to sandwich the flute player between your two bodies. For maximum effect try post summer rehersal hugs or (for the advanced) pick up the flute player before hugging your fellow tubist. Not recommended for those with a weak back.
Hope this helps,
Dear Skippy,Dear Clueless,
I'm not the type to do the Dear Abby thing, but I've got a problem. It's stupid, and you can think anything you want to and analyze the hell out of me if you desire -- that's your parrogative -- just as long as you help me out.
Five weeks ago, I was at a party where I ended up talking to this guy, Mark, for 3 1/2 hours. Things went well from there, and I thought we liked each other, but when it was confirmed that I really liked him, he ran scared and started ignoring me. I know this means either a: I'm a fool, b: he's a jerk, or c: well, I don't know!!! So please, help me, help me, help me.
I would not really worry about this guy. It seems to me that you are very forthright in telling him your feelings. I think he is just immature in not being able to tell you simply that he was not interested (basically a jerk in the all around sense). Don't give up! If you continue to be yourself and not compromise things will work out. The fault does not originate with you, you might give him one more chance but just remember that the ball is in your court not his.
Dear Skippy,Dear Dig Dug,
I can never seem to stay on my feet. I run in to things all the time. Especially astroturf. Oh yeah -- I can't get any either. What can I do?
- "Balance Impaired"
It seems as though you might have an inner ear problem. As soon as you begin to move around in any normal manner, your inner ear sends inappropriate messages to your brain, saying that you shouldn't be moving, and then halts this movement by having you auger into Astroturf or smack into other stationary objects.
Coincidentally, this inner ear problem relates to your inability to get any. The inner ear responds to movement. The process of getting any requires movement. In order for you to "get any," you must hold still and keep your mouth shut; be the strong silent type. Women dig this type of man. Women will not be able to resist you. When the women begin to ravage, have them do all the work. Just lay back, stay immobile, and enjoy.
If that doesn't work, try Ginseng.
Dear Skippy,Dear Russell,
My section does not respect me. What should I do?
I can only hope that you present yourself as someone who will be followed. If you present yourself as an effective leader than those who are under you will follow you with respect.
If that doesn't work, try bribery.
Dear Skippy,Dear nora,
what are you wearing? mmmmm... I'm a student in madison, wi, and no, my lack of use of capitalization does not mean that I am a) devoid of self esteem, b) rebellious against the status quo, or c) a wacked out ee cummings stalker. it just means I'm too damn lazy to care. I like the page... so give me your analysis of me.
Well, you are intensely curious -- an adventurous young woman who seeks to experience all she can of the world. You are well read (ee cummings). You have a good personality. You enjoy cheese (I mean, why else would you be in Wisconsin?). You have a thorough, possibly rebellious attitude towards authority in general or those who believe they are in authority. Motivation may be a problem but you compensate by working yourself to death at the last minute to complete a given task. You also have a hidden desire to join the OSU Tuba Section in their domination of the World. This is a deep-seated desire, and it may take many sessions of intensive therapy before you to realize this.
Or maybe you just need some Ginseng.
You've got problems. We've got a psychology grad student with a hankerin' for crack. Put two and two together...
Ask Skippy your question.
|Disclaimers:|| Skippy's nuts. Really. He's not a licensed theapist, or a qualified anthing, so take everything he says with a grain of salt. Actually, I'd recommend a whole salt lick. (We hear chicken bouillon is also very nice...)|
Nothing on this page is to be representative of the OSU tubas, the OSU Marching Band, or the human race as a whole.
All submissions will be edited for content, readability, humor, and stupidity. So will anything Skippy says.
And hey, We don't want to hear anybody bitching about how not funny this is. We can only work with what we've got. (What, you think we're just going to make stuff up?) Send Skippy questions.