I played the most amazing helicon the other day. Don Godwin was kind enough to let me pick up his helicon for a few minutes after Raya Brass Band's set at Fifth Dimension. I could hit each note straight on and have it just hang in the air like a soap bubble. My helicon is more of a collaborative effort between me and the horn trying to find which octave I'm playing in and sort of sliding into something close to the note I want to hit. I was close to gather all the mediocre instruments I own and getting a down payment on just one good tuba.
Having a good horn would help some, but it won't make me a good player. To be a good player I need to keep exploring and learning about music. I still don't reliably know the bass parts to a lot of the songs BBO plays, I often just go with my euphonium and play the melody because it is easy. I need to start looking at the songs musically and figure out what I can play that will support or best expand the song to what the band needs. I need to put the time in both playing and sitting down with a pencil and the charts marking it up.
For now, I'm trying to find a better matched mouthpiece for my horn. I'm playing the only mouthpiece in the shop that had a stem that fits and the cup is too shallow and too big around I think.