Do you know a tuba player but you don’t understand that world? I’m pretty sure when I was a kid, my parents never had any idea what to get me as a music related gift.
Here’s a list of some of the best gifts for tuba players. I’ll even explain why I would have wanted these.
1. Tuba Stand
This is definitely one of those things that an outsider to the low brass world might overlook.
A tuba stand provides much more stability while playing than trying to rest it on the chair or your knees. The tuba sits on a slide-proof rubber area of the stand.
The height of the stand can be adjusted so that the mouthpiece is at exactly the right height. This fixes a major annoyance for any tuba player not using a stand.
Some stands are even made to play while standing! I talk about the importance of standing in my article on auditioning.
K&M are a well-established and trusted brand, but there are many styles, sizes, and types. The one shown above is great can be found on Amazon here.
2. A Case With Wheels
If you hadn’t noticed, tubas are heavy. A solid case with wheels would be welcomed as a gift by pretty much any tuba player.
I won’t sugar coat it. This is a big investment, but it’s worth it. A sturdy case is essential for general movement of the instrument.
I cringe when I think of the number of tubas that have been dented by throwing the instrument into a trunk.
Also, if the tuba player in your life plans on major travel with their instrument, like through an airport, they’ll need something like this.
Wheels are a lifesaver for college, where a tuba might need to be hauled across a large campus. So, you can consider giving a new case to a tuba player about to head off to college.
The one in the picture can be found on Amazon here.
3. Tote Bag
Depending on the case, a tote bag can be a necessary accessory.
Don’t underestimate this gift for a tuba player as a simplistic fashion statement.
Some cases have a nice way to store sheet music. Mine did not–in fact, I tried to force it in many times only to find a severely dented folder with bent music inside.
I often didn’t want to lug a backpack around the music building when going to lessons or rehearsals.
This gift idea was the thing to fix all these problems. Tote bags make carrying music easy, and they are highly customizable to suit the person.
I also threw in a few other things that didn’t naturally fit in the case like backup pencils and a stand light.
I still use mine twenty years later, so it was quite the good investment. The one in the picture can be found on Amazon here.
4. Sealed Water Bottle
This one seems weird, but trust me on this. I’ve gone to some long rehearsals that were torture to endure without a bottle of water nearby.
I’ve tested and tried dozens. I get a new one almost every year, because I find something wrong with the one I have.
To me, there are two key features a water bottle needs to have for a musician. First, they have to be completely sealed. Water bottles will get kicked over almost every rehearsal.
You can’t have any water leaking out of the top when there are valuable instruments around and touchy stage managers.
Brands like Tervis claim to seal, but they don’t. Any sort of “slide” closure usually leaks.
The other thing is that they need to be sturdy. Water bottles are going to be dropped and kicked and beat up.
The Simply Modern water bottle in the picture is the only one I’ve been satisfied with. The steel body is sturdy, and the top actually seals! It can be found on Amazon here.
5. Stand Light
Some rehearsal spaces are completely unreasonable. Maybe it’s a community band in a dark, musty church basement.
Some performance venues are even worse. I’ve been in dozens of situations where a quality stand light has saved me big time. I was at an outdoor performance when the darkness of night settled sooner than I thought.
I once performed indoors in a very old building. It was fun, but there was no stage. So, when they dimmed the house lights, all the lights dimmed. This meant no one could see their music anymore.
We hadn’t practiced there, so this surprised everyone. If you know a tuba player, and they don’t have a stand light yet, get them one! I guarantee they will thank you profusely at some future time.
The one in the picture is solid and reasonably priced. It can be found on Amazon here.
If you want more options, check out my article on music stand lights.
6. Humorous T-shirts
Let’s face it. Low brass players tend to be on the geeky side of the spectrum. If you’re looking for a gift for a tuba player, and this sounds like them, they’ll probably appreciate a humorous t-shirt.
There’s an almost inconceivable number to choose from.
A good starting place for browsing can be found at Funny Tuba Shirts.
7. A Bow Tie
Most higher level bands and orchestras require men to dress in a tuxedo or black suit with bowtie.
I did what everyone else did for the bowtie. I used a premade one that just wraps around and hooks in. It’s essentially the clip-on version of a tie. This always felt like cheating to me.
A few Christmases ago, I got a real black bowtie as a present. I had to learn how to tie it, but it’s actually very easy (easier than a tie). Now I feel special and like a real adult.
I always gets comments like, “Oh, do you know how to tie that?” It’s always a nice little ego boost to give me confidence before going onstage for the performance.
You can get the cheaper one in the picture (what I have, and it’s great!) if you’re not sure they’ll go for it: found here on Amazon. Make sure to get the solid black one.
If you want you can even splurge for the fancier silk one.
8. Cleaning Kit
I know. People probably don’t want to be getting cleaning supplies as a gift. But tuba maintenance is an important reality.
I have a whole article on how to clean a tuba.
It’s also unlikely a younger player is going to go out and get a quality cleaning kit on their own. That’s what makes this a good gift!
The one in the picture is great. It contains both a leadpipe cleaner and valve casing brush. These are the two key areas to keep clean. The softer bristles and double ended valve brush make cleaning easier than the other versions out there.
Gifts for tuba players are allowed to be practical, you know.
It can be found on Amazon here.
This one will mostly depend on who you’re getting it for. I know I would have appreciated something like this as a going away present for college.
I was always looking for ways to spice up my bland dormroom. This would have gone nicely on my desk.
Art is subjective, but there’s quite a bit of music and tuba related art out there. You should be able to find something they’ll like.
The one in the picture is neat and can be found on Amazon here.
10. Custom Bell Covers
It’s not often that tuba players find themselves in a situation where they can decorate their instrument.
But it does come up, especially for participants of Tuba Christmas, and it feels bad if you’re the only one without something.
Getting a custom bell cover made for a gift is a great way to give a personalized gift for a tuba player.
You can find people that will make whatever design you dream up. The one in the picture is from Etsy here.
They can also be found on specialty websites like stretchablecovers.net. Or you could even look up how to handmake your own if you’re crafty like that!