3.16 Tuba Ergonomics

Sitting position without the instrument

Begin by using a chair with a flat seat. In order to balance the instrument, you need a sitting position with the thighs at a 90-degree angle in the hips, so that the instrument will not slide away. You can also lay a coarse or leathery cloth over the thighs in order to counteract the sliding of the instrument. The shoulders should be positioned symmetrically and in a relaxed manner with stable shoulder straps so that neither shoulder is pulled forwards. Go to Exercise 8.2 for sitting position xxx.

Sitting position with the instrument

Now take the instrument, and when you lift it from the floor, try to lift it with the help of your thigh and stomach muscles in order to minimise the strain on the shoulders. Notice the instrument’s centre of mass and try to balance it without working more than is absolutely necessary with the arms. When playing with the valves, you can use the tops of the fingers when there are fast passages in the music. Otherwise, the wrist will be in a better position if the valves are at the same level as the outer joints of the fingers.