Most aspiring baritone players and people who like listening to the baritone ask this question in music shops, online platforms, and school bands.
Fortunately, in this article, we have answered the question in detail.
According to most brass instrument players, a baritone is the heaviest hand-held instrument in any band. Its weight depends on its make and model.
According to several directors and baritone players in various platforms, the average weight of a regular baritone ranges between 10 and 20 pounds. However, a few baritone players in school bands claim that their instrument feels lighter than 10 pounds.
They also claim that during the first five minutes of holding a regular baritone upright, it feels like it weighs around 8 pounds. However, 10 minutes into playing the instrument, it feels like it weighs more than 20 pounds.
Also, the more you play a baritone, the more it demands additional breath support.
Depending on the instrument’s manufacturer, new baritone players physically face many challenges for the first month.
This is because the twenty-pound brass instrument vertically pulls every arm muscle, including those that they did not know they had. The pain can contribute to one developing a love hate relationship with this instrument.
When trumpet players complain about how heavy their instrument is, baritone marchers get pissed since a baritone is between 10 and 15 pounds heavier than a trumpet.
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What makes a Baritone weigh so much?
Several components that make up a Baritone contribute significantly to the instrument’s weight.
Every brass instrument is made of different materials and comes in various shapes and sizes to achieve the right sounds. Manufacturers also consider the instrument’s ease of use and its durability.
Some of the things that make a baritone weigh so much include:
A baritone comes with a nine-foot tubing that carries sound waves from the mouthpiece to the bell. Manufacturers generally use yellow, gold, rose, or red brass to make the nine-foot-length cylindrical tubing. Some prefer using nickel silver contributing significantly to its weight.
A baritone has an overall length of 30 inches and a scale length of 19 inches. The instrument is tightly wrapped and more compact. This makes it easy to handle the instrument, but the weight concentration makes it difficult for a player to achieve efficient weight distribution.
- Bore shape
Baritones have cylindrical bores with a small diameter until the bell piece for lighter sounds. However, for the manufacturers to achieve this, they use heavy material, which contributes to the instrument’s overall weight.
Most baritones come with three valves. However, some have four valves to offer alternative fingerings and allow the instrument’s pitch to sink lower. The extra valve generally contributes extra weight to the baritone.
- Bell style
A baritone’s bell flares up at the front of the instrument to amplify sound. However, the bell pulls some of the instrument’s weight to the front, making it feel heavier with time.
The baritone is a low-pitched brass instrument that is a member of the saxhorn family. The brass instrument is a piston-valve with a conical bore, but it is narrower than the pitched euphonium.
A baritone uses a mouthpiece that looks like a wide-rimmed cup mouthpiece like similar instruments such as the euphonium and trombone.
Most people in the music industry and baritone players consider the baritone horn either as a non-transposing or transposing instrument.
Average Yamaha Baritone Weight
The average weight of the baritone also depends on the make and model.
The Yamaha baritone weighs somewhere between 8 and 15 pounds. Most Yamaha baritone players report that the instrument feels the lightest compared to other brass instruments.
However, as much as the instrument weighs less than other baritone brands, the manufacturer uses heavy bracing throughout to make the instrument for it to be more durable at any vulnerable points and hold out against rigors of use.
When playing the Yamaha baritone or any other brass instrument, weight distribution is a significant factor to consider.
It would help if you held the brass instrument as required throughout to help with the weight distribution and take breaks between the marching sessions. With time, a baritone’s weight will not be an issue.
If you are worried that a baritone is too heavy for you, thorough baritone training can help you have the fiercest of biceps to handle the instrument.
Most baritone players who complain that the instrument is heavy or difficult to handle do not give up.
Instead, they create a strong bond with the instrument and enjoy it by the end of the season.