Trigger mechanism for a tuba

The construction of trigger mechanisms on tubas is always an exciting and not entirely easy challenge. Tubists in particular have to struggle with minor or major intonation problems on their instruments. This is mainly due to the great length and the wide scales (conical shape of the instrument). Minor intonation problems, e.g. with a trumpet, can often be corrected by the musician with the embouchure. The situation is different with the tuba. If there are problems with the tuning, a technical solution is often found, especially in the professional field.


In this particular case, the professional tuba player, who plays mainly in Berlin and Brandenburg with various ensembles, wanted a trigger mechanism for the 2nd valve slide of her B&S Bb tuba. This was to be placed directly next to the lever of the 5th valve, but should be clearly different from the feel of the lever. This was to ensure that there was no danger of confusion during playing.


When retrofitting a trigger, it is a special challenge to find the perfect solution, especially for tubas. It should function perfectly from a technical point of view, be very well crafted, look nice and not exceed the agreed budget. The special problem with this tuba was the very compact construction. At the time the instrument was made, it was not yet common to use triggers on tubas. Current models are much more open in their construction and therefore offer more space for later additions/modifications.


After many hours of tinkering, a very beautiful and slim design was created, in my opinion. Customer and instrument maker were very satisfied with the job done ;-)


Finally, a short video to illustrate how it works:



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