Summary: The best sousaphone sheet music to learn with will give you introductory concepts that help expand your ability to read music successfully and play different songs.
If you have recently picked up the sousaphone or are thinking of playing the sousaphone, you can learn to play or improve the speed with which you better understand the concepts a music teacher provides if you have the best sousaphone sheet music to learn with.
Best Sousaphone Sheet Music to Learn With
There are many different books of sheet music available to you, but these are some of my favorites:
Foundation to Tuba and Sousaphone Playing
This Foundation to Tuba and Sousaphone Playing is one of the most popular education and sheet music sources. It is from the William Bell collection, intended for beginners for both the tuba and sousaphone.
I love this book because it is an attractive option for musicians learning to play the sousaphone at home and need something they can turn to, not just for endless sheet music but small instructional sections.
- 110 pages of instruction and sheet music
- Has orchestral excerpts and advanced etudes
- Used by many music teachers for their beginner students
- Has everything you need to learn how to play the sousaphone
- Meant only for beginners
Brahms Studies, as the name suggests, is a collection of 16 different Brahms waltzes.
I like this collection because it has been arranged to provide you with a melodic scalic study, give you models for developing your lower and upper registers, and help you with sight-reading by way of different exercises in and around the 16 waltzes. This makes it perfect for beginners.
- 16 lessons to improve intonation and sight-reading
- Good collection of waltzes
- Only Brahms music
The William Bell collection is a list of sheet music for sousaphone solos. This is a very comprehensive set of songs, some of which include piano accompaniment that you can choose to use or not.
It also has a CD, making it easier for you to listen to the sound you are meant to produce while also going through the individual sheet music. What I like most, however, is the fact that you get a collection of songs, some of which are no longer in print.
- You get some arrangements that are no longer in print
- Lots of solo pieces
- Comes with a CD for audio accompaniment
- Only solo pieces for intermediate players
Concert and Contest Collection
As the name suggests, this Concert and Contest Collection is a set of solar pieces by Rubank. These pieces are meant for sousaphone concerts or contests.
The books contain solo pieces only, but they are comprised of a collection of some of the most popular solo literature. They are usually preferred by music teachers for those who plan to perform or compete.
- Great list of solo songs preferred by music teachers
- Lots of classical pieces by Berlioz, Handel, Mozart, Ostransky, and more
- No accompaniment
- If you want a piano part to go with the sousaphone, you have to buy that sheet music separately
Social Life? It is not actually a book of sheet music, but I included it here because many younger musicians who play the sousaphone play it as part of a marching band. So, they need marching band dot books to learn the counts and the sets on a football field.
This is one of those books, so it’s laid out not with sheet music and stabs and lines but instead with the design of a football field and a section for notes so if you are part of a marching band, once you learn your sousaphone sheet music you can fill in your positions for each set as well as your count.
- Marching band dot book so that you know where to go, when
- Not sheet music, but helpful for marching band
When you look for the best sousaphone sheet music to learn, you need to make sure that what you are picking is suitable for your situation, musical skill, and what you want to play.
- Some sheet music might be for a specific style or genre and not necessarily the one you enjoy.
- Sheet music is categorized based on skill level, so specific books might be advanced while still a beginner.
- Certain sousaphone sheet music is designed for duets, trios, or groups, so it includes music for multiple instruments, but if you only need solo music to practice, this isn’t a good fit.
How to Find the Best Sousaphone Sheet Music to Learn With
When you set about finding the best sousaphone sheet music to learn with, there are a few things you need to consider, namely what works best for you and your situation. This is also the criteria I used to make the product recommendations in this guide.
When you first start with a new instrument, you don’t need to spend much money on sheet music. How much you spend might vary based on whether or not you are taking lessons.
For example, when I first started playing, my music teacher from whom I was taking lessons gave me two music books with beginner sheet music and introductory songs and scales.
One of them was more geared toward music theory, so it had readable information about scales and different jumps like thirds and fifths and different keys of music and how to learn them. For each of the segments, there would be some practice songs that highlighted whatever I was meant to learn in that lesson.
The other book had different exercises for me to practice. During the course of my lessons, we would jump back and forth between these two, using the exercises at the beginning and the first book with its songs and lessons at the end.
If you are taking lessons, your music teacher might recommend certain books. If those books are outside of your budget, they might be able to photocopy key pages or at the very least let you play from the sheet music they have but only during your lessons which means you won’t have anything to practice when you go home.
If you are not taking lessons and want to improve your musical expertise, then it’s up to you to find a book that falls within your price range.
Note: As a beginner, you don’t need a lot of music. What you need to do is, instead, get good at reading what introductory music you have. As you get better, your sheet music collection will naturally get bigger.
When you play with different groups, take other music classes, have music lessons in school or privately, you will start to amass additional sheet music when people give you music to play. You might also begin to purchase music yourself that you want to learn, like a favorite song or a specific repertoire.
Why Find the Best Sousaphone Sheet Music to Learn With
Plenty of people choose not to learn how to read music or simply take up an instrument and get a feel for it both literally and figuratively without using the best sousaphone sheet music to learn with. So why is learning to read sheet music so important?
Learn More Music
When you learn how to read sheet music, you open yourself up to a broader array of songs. Learning by ear, you might only know a dozen songs or so, but learning to read music means you can read multiple variations of the same song.
I have been doing Christmas performances since I was pretty young, and every year, it’s the same core songs, but it’s never the exact renditions.
What I love most about knowing how to read sheet music is that I can remember music very quickly just by looking at a song in front of me. I might look at a new version of the song What Child is This? And after playing the first few notes, I suddenly remember the entire composition.
The harmonies I have learned for popular songs have stuck with me, which means that even without sheet music when I perform with other groups or when I hear music on the radio. Even if I don’t have my instrument, I can still hear it in my head, and it brings me joy.
Become a Better Musician
Learning to read sheet music and progress your skills will help you reach your maximum musical potential. Some musicians worry that playing not by ear but by sight restricts the sound they make, but this is far from true.
In fact, the more you can read music successfully, the more songs are open to you in addition to potential improvisational opportunities.
I performed with one other instrumentalist, and we never really used to sheet music. I would create songs, and she would harmonize with me, and then we would perform. It happened like magic. Then we decided to add another musician.
Soon after, covid hit, and we couldn’t have our weekly rehearsals anymore; improvisation became a bit more challenging because we couldn’t just sit next to each other and harmonize.
The third musician we added was very good at reading sheet music, so they would buy and email us all different sheet music they had found so that we could practice on our own, record our parts, and then combine them on the computer for a finished product.
I thought I would be a bit restricted with sheet music, but in the end, they gave me a great foundation from which to play different songs.
It enabled all three of us to capitalize on our improvisational skills by starting with the sheet music as it was laid out and then making changes wherever we felt was necessary, just letting the other person know. If I wanted to change one repetitive, I just did so when I recorded my song and then emailed everyone.
However, had we not all had the ability to read sheet music on our own, we would never have known our timings, notes, repeats, refrained, and so forth.
Compose on Your Own
On that note, reading music has allowed me to compose music myself. I’ve only done about half a dozen compositions. Still, I’m able to write them by hand or use an excellent composition software I have, then give them to the musical groups I direct or to my trio of instrumentalists and have the songs performed.
I’ve even had them recorded. Composing musical ideas as sheet music has made it easier for me to give that music to a wider array of people, use it in different situations like larger ensembles, not just myself at home, and even post it online for sale.
When you learn how to read music, you will also know how to write music. Writing and reading music is much the same as learning a new language, so it’s good for your brain and gives you the ability to communicate ideas that you have inside.
Answer: If you are learning to play the sousaphone, reading music can help you broaden your repertoire. You might only be able to memorize a dozen or so songs, but with sheet music, you won’t have to learn them; you can just read the music and play along with them.
Sight-reading is a vital skill that will help you pick out songs and play them yourself or play songs as part of a group or a band. Learning to read music also enables you to increase your musical techniques, giving you exposure to other musical genres to figure out what you like most.
Most instruments use the same notation system, so learning to read music will help you if you decide to sing, play the piano, or play any other instrument down the line.
Answer: The best sousaphone sheet music to learn with will not cost that much. In the beginning, you only need one or two beginner books to help you learn how to play your instrument successfully. As you progress, you might purchase more books that contain more sheet music and fewer individual lessons.
You can start buying based on the genre you need at an intermediate level, like Christmas music or music for a wedding. Sousaphone sheet music will range in cost.
Beginner books might cost an average of $30 because they include many songs and lessons as well as audio CDs. As you start to invest in more individualized sheet music like Christmas music, you might pay as little as $10 for a set of 20 songs.
Answer: Having the best sousaphone sheet music to learn with will support you at whatever level you are currently and then challenge you a little bit to build up your skills slowly.
Learning to improve your sight reading skills, fingering, and ability to read music will allow you to play even more music, try different musical genres, and expand your repertoire.
Bottomline on the Best Sousaphone Sheet Music to Learn With
The bottom line is that the best sousaphone sheet music to learn will have all of the instruction you need to complement additional music classes or music lessons.
Whether you are learning the sousaphone for marching band, as a second or third instrument, or as your introduction to music, good beginner books will include audio files and lessons that you can use regularly.
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