For the past several months I have been receiving support from highly respected tuba artists for my new mouthpieces, and I was very impressed by their reception. Many of them are great players, who already have established their own ‘signature’ mouthpieces in the market, and still continue their experiments to strive for further renovation. This is good, of course, as it shows how our instrument (the tuba) is evolving and always improving.

It is ironic, but this presents problems as well.

For example, if 10 or more great new mouthpieces are available in the market and they are all recommended by respected players, what is the best way for a tuba player to choose among these mouthpieces?
You cannot buy all of them, hoping that one will work for you - mouthpieces are expensive! I’m not a businessman and I don’t have any marketing experience, but I can come up with four possibilities.
1.Advertising
2.Sending Sending product samples to a few strategic performers
3.Sending Sending samples for testing at music stores
4.Relying Relying on ‘word of mouth’ in our unique community

A long time ago, I was a tuba salesman. To make a long story short, I didn’t like it, nor was I good at business. I couldn’t be happy. I never want to do it again. There are plenty of others who are good at sales and enjoy their involvement in music business.

Why do I mention this?
To tell you the truth, a new mouthpiece, or rather, a different type of new mouthpiece will soon be reaching the market, carrying my name, the “Volare”.
While working on its development, I compared our prototypes with mouthpieces from other companies, listened to the performances of many performers who helped with the development, and now I am confident that I can say that we achieved the best possible results.

This mouthpiece produces a clear sound, with precise tones. It is very warm, and has an extremely efficient and dynamic start-up, yet, the sound is sensitive but also supple and easy to control.

I promise that this is the last I have to say as a salesperson - I’ll leave the rest to the businessmen and promoters. Please take a look at this new mouthpiece, the “Volare”, and try playing it or listening when you have a chance.
And so the evolution of the tuba continues.

Roger Bobo
Tokyo, 2012

Roger Bobo's VOLARE

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