1 Willson Eb tuba 3400S - 4 pistons 1 rotary*
2 Hirsbrunner CC tuba HB290 - 5 rotary valves*
3 King Eb sousaphone H.N. White and Co. (1954) 3 pistons
4 Yamaha Eb tuba YEB-321S 4 pistons
5 Yamaha Bb euphonium YEP-321S 4 pistons
6 Yamaha Bb marching baritone horn YBH-301M
7 Yamaha trombone YSL-354
8 Bach Stradivarius 16 valve trombone
*Orchestral horns, they gather dust.

I almost exclusively play my 1953 King Eb sousaphone or my Yamaha YEB-321S Eb tuba.

Here's an RADIO INTERVIEW I did, specifically featuring the sousaphone.


Mic Conway's National Junk Band is regarded as a "jug" band because (along with the sousaphone, bass ukulele and slide whistle) I spend a great deal of time fulfilling the bass role in the band on this piece of heavy glassware. Actually I now use a metal jug - I like to juggle it, and it doesn't matter if I drop it!

Playing the jug involves vibrating one's lips at the desired pitch OVER the vessel's opening. The term is actually "free-buzzing" (buzzing without contact with a mouthpiece). The principle is nonetheless similar to playing any brass instrument. It is possible to construct ornate bass lines with precise pitch, and to totally fulfil the bass role on the jug (nice, with the additional luxury of playing it into a vocal microphone).

A while back I played a wine bottle as a jug for a recording session (check out my SOUNDS page for some jug sounds).


It's not very often that one gets to play an instrument that even one's professional orchestral colleagues don't know the name of, and wish to ask questions about! This Melton custom Eb cimbasso is predominantly used in Verdi operas and other Italianate repertoire. The cimbasso is, historically, the Italians' favourite bass brass instrument. It's a distant memory now that I've phased the orchestral component out of my musical life... well, actually I'll never forget what it's like to play the cimbasso - it's DANGEROUS!

Additional instruments floating around nearby: a Yamaha student model slide trombone, a Morris (Fender copy) electric bass, and an Amati valve trombone... plus a couple of ukuleles, a bass ukulele, a guitar and a piano accordion.