Junior Tuba: Audition Solo 1C, Andante
Noticing that this piece is in G minor (not B-flat major) should help with pitch accuracy. At the slower tempo it is easy to rush this melody by not holding notes their full value. A good guide to follow is this: when a note is followed by a rest, release it on the rest. The quarter notes on count 3 of measures 1 and 2 should release on beat 4. Practice with a metronome and make sure that these notes stop right on the click. In measure 5 go for a loud, broad sound, but make sure the tone quality stays round and full. The syncopations in measures 13 and 14 can be made a little more rhythmic if you play a short, detached eighth note on the downbeat to better set up the accented quarter notes. In both endings “a” and “b” make sure the listener can hear the dynamic contrast. You may want to play the mp a little softer than normal and the mfjust a little louder to make the contrast more obvious.
Clinic Tuba: Audition Solo 2D, Adagietto cantabile / Allegro agitato
Be aware of the key center. The first line is A-flat major, then it immediately shifts into F minor. Have that clearly in your mind’s ear. This study is challenging for its slow tempo and its long, slurred phrasing. The best way to play these lyrical passages is to keep the airflow full and steady. Huffing the wind to assist with the pitch changes is a common error that detracts from the smoothness. Be careful in measures 3 and 4 to play the slur markings exactly as printed. In these two measures there are only three tongued pitches. The tempo change in measure 5 is a challenge. Practice with a metronome to learn where to set the speeds. Measures 11 and 13 can be a timing challenge with the quarter note tied into the first note of a triplet. To get the placement correct you may try practicing these measures without the ties to feel the proper rhythmic placement of the triplets, then put the ties back in. Another way to make sure you are on time is to pay attention to the note on the downbeat of the next measure. If it lands right with the metronome click chances are the rhythm before it is accurate. In the last measure of the “a” ending make sure the quarter note on count 3 is held full value. Release it right on click 4. Be careful of the last two notes of both endings, especially the ff at the end of the “a” ending. It should be loud, but make sure the tone stays controlled.
Senior Tuba: Audition Solo 3F, Allegro giocoso
The composer includes a lot of details. The articulations are easy to overlook. In measures 1 and 3 the sixteenth note after the tie should be tongued. Resist the urge to slur everything. Carefully note the note grouping in the 7/8 measures. In bars 5 and 6 the grouping is 2+2+3. In measure 12 it changes to 3+2+2. Observing the printed accents will help. You have two tempos to set in this piece: “Allegro giocoso” (quarter note at 96) and “Adagio grandioso” (quarter note at 84). Practicing with a metronome is a must. In the slower section, (measures 15, 16 and 18), holding the final quarter note full value is essential. Release them on count 4 each time. A common error in measure 20 is not giving the fermata enough time, especially coming after the calando. To give it sufficient length count the half note, then hold the fermata.
Download these performance notes [pdf].