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Is the French horn worth to try?



 
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tomwilson
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 6:18 am    Post subject: Is the French horn worth to try? Reply with quote

Is the French horn worth to try? Did anyone experience playing it? Can you share with me some tips?
Thanks!
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Bb Bob
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems like you’d have to be ambidextrous; left hand valve action on the horn, right hand on the cornet/trumpet. Is the fingering the same?
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hibidogrulez
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It certainly is worth a try, first and foremost because the French horn is an excellent instrument in its own right. It's got an iconic sound and the role it plays in orchestral music is quite different from that of the trumpet (which'll be a nice change in experience). You'll also notice that your range will be HUGE but intonation can be a lot more difficult. Apart from its traditional role, it's also an awesome jazz instrument: 1 2.

So yeah, if you can give it a shot...by all means try it!

Bb Bob wrote:
Is the fingering the same?

No, it's not. Most of it is the same, but not all of it (the G and F in the bar are reversed for example) which does make it a bit tricky at first.
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Dennis78
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hell yea!
You’d be amazed how easily your left hand can play everything the right hand does.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I first learned to play trumpet when young, and then some in college.
I then switched to French horn because the band I want to join did not need more trumpets, and they had a French horn I could use. I then played only French horn for many years, and several years ago switched back to trumpet - because the band had lost a few trpt players and needed another one.

My thoughts about French horn -
1) it is much more difficult than trumpet because the note 'slots' are much closer together. It is vital to have much better embouchure control and pitch control .
2) the 'sound concept' is usually much different. French horn is mostly used as a mellow, pleasing sound instrument. It sometimes is used as a brassy 'lead' instrument, but those occasions are few.
3) fingering with left hand is not a problem for me - the transition is easy. The fingering combinations are different, but not difficult to learn.
4) FH has few situations where it carries the main theme - and then only for a few measures. It is often used in a manner to support and enhance the theme (or solo) being played by other instruments.

Jay
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Shawnino
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eb Tenor (some call it "alto") horn is effectively the same range, and a lot easier.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know why you're asking a question only you can answer.

BTAIM, I played Horn in university and two years, professionally, and casually off and on after that. If it wasn't for two major strokes, I'd still be playing it. I love the instrument. Have a very good, professional instrument sitting, unused, in my closet.

One thing about range-yes, your range will really go up but you inherit challenges of accuracy and tone colour. For me, those were the two greatest factors. And you have to really sensitise your ears to hear the correct notes before you play them.

Enjoy. It's a great horn!

p.s. I personally don't believe that it's more difficult. Each horn has it's own challenges and expectations. They're just different.
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Andy Del
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I teach horn in one school and play it when there. Latest was to perform the horn solo from Tschaik 5... As a demo.

Horn works exactly the same as any other brass. Once you get to this point, and of course learn about the hand position in the bell, you are good to go. I think my sound sucks on horn, this is where one needs to practice!

Cheers

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LittleRusty
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hibidogrulez wrote:
Bb Bob wrote:
Is the fingering the same?

No, it's not. Most of it is the same, but not all of it (the G and F in the bar are reversed for example) which does make it a bit tricky at first.

I took brass class in college and learned the french horn. My trumpet instructor tried to convince me to switch to french horn based on my ability to play it.

I don't remember the fingerings being different. I did a quick google search and found french horn fingering charts that support my memory. But others, Jay, have also indicated the fingerings were different.

Are we talking about alternate fingerings where the trumpet fingerings work but are not preferred, or is my memory totally wrong?
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Ed Kennedy
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Middle register horn fingerings are like upper register trumpet fingerings because of their location in the harmonic series. I Studied horn for a while in college and a surprise outcome was that the low register work on the horn caused my high register on the trumpet to improve, I believe, because of the breath work involved.

My dad was an Eastman trained horn player who had gigged on trumpet since he was a kid and continued doing so for most of his life.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding fingering, I believe on Horn it's the same as a trumpet one octave higher. Plus, professional Horns are in Bb and F with a thumb trigger for switching between the two. When that happens, fingerings are not analogous (although similar) to trumpet.
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Last edited by kehaulani on Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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LittleRusty
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:
Regarding fingering, I believe it's the same as an octave higher on Horn. Plus, professional Horns are in Bb and F with a thumb trigger for switching between the two. When that happens, fingerings are not analogous (although similar) to trumpet.

Then there are the triple horns. One of my friends plays a triple horn sold to him by a former principal of SFO.

Mastering that instrument is mind boggling to me. For every note in the range of all three sides you have a choice of three sides, plus all the possible alternate fingerings.


Last edited by LittleRusty on Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Didymus
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:46 pm    Post subject: Horn vs. Trumpet Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:
I don't know why you're asking a question only you can answer.

BTAIM, I played Horn in university and two years, professionally, and casually off and on after that. If it wasn't for two major strokes, I'd still be playing it. I love the instrument. Have a very good, professional instrument sitting, unused, in my closet.

One thing about range-yes, your range will really go up but you inherit challenges of accuracy and tone colour. For me, those were the two greatest factors. And you have to really sensitise your ears to hear the correct notes before you play them.

Enjoy. It's a great horn!

p.s. I personally don't believe that it's more difficult. Each horn has it's own challenges and expectations. They're just different.


I played some horn in junior high and high school, for the same reason why many non-pros were given first-hand exposure: Too many trumpets, too few horns.

In no particular order, I found these to be the significant differences from the trumpet:

Embouchure placement.
Using right hand to adjust pitch (hand-stopping).
Properly "slotting" the notes.
Avoiding split notes at start of phrases.
Switching to bass clef to read a part.

The right-hand/left-hand switch was oddly, the easiest difference to overcome.

Many years later I found out that above-average horn players can make bank due to supply & demand. Or so I heard. I don't know if that's true or not. I never asked a professional horn player.
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Ed Kennedy
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LittleRusty wrote:
kehaulani wrote:
Regarding fingering, I believe it's the same as an octave higher on Horn. Plus, professional Horns are in Bb and F with a thumb trigger for switching between the two. When that happens, fingerings are not analogous (although similar) to trumpet.

Then there are the triple horns. One of my friends plays a triple horn sold to him by a former principal of SFO.

Mastering that instrument is mind boggling to me. For every note in the range of all three sides you have a choice of three sides, plus all the possible alternate fingerings.


The only triple I ever saw was a Paxman. They are rare and with a lot of plumbing. The low F, high Bb is the standard. Another variation, one favored by the great soloist Dennis Brain, is the single Bb with an A stop valve. If you can find a recording of Dennis Brain with Gerald Moore on piano. His playing is exquisite.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Triple Horns are made by Yamaha, Hans Hoyer, Alexander, Paxman, Patterson, and Shmid as well as other true "boutique" small specialty brands.
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JoseLindE4
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Fingerings are the same, just displaced by an octave (and in F), unless a double horn is involved.

2. The horn is less “physical” and takes less physical effort to play than trumpet in their respective normal ranges. This can be good for trumpet players learning an easier approach to the trumpet.

3. The horn is WAY harder accuracy wise. It can be a concentration/focus/cracked note nightmare. The partials are so close, the bore so small, and the range so different than the trumpet, that it can feel like roller skating on ice.

4. Trumpet players don’t play instruments in F hardly ever, so there’s a mental adjustment to orienting to the horn. Being up an octave in the harmonic series plus the key change can feel disorienting.

5. They are different kinds of hard. The trumpet is like wrestling a bear. The horn is like juggling while riding the bear’s back. Prepare to be frustrated since it feels so close to trumpet but you can’t hit a note cleanly.

6. It’s a great instrument. Even if you just want to dabble, it will make you a better trumpet player. Conquering the accuracy issues of the horn and also getting to explore higher in the harmonic series can be eye opening.

7. Baring some physical issue, I don’t see why playing left handed would be an issue. It doesn’t really take that long to adjust. Pressing the right button down is generally the least challenging part of learning a wind instrument.

8. Listen to great horn players so you know how it should sound. It isn’t just a longer, less accurate trumpet.
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PMonteiro
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Horn is a beautiful instrument. Second only to trumpet in the brass family IMO.

I once tried a French Horn for about 5 minutes. I could barely play it, but then again I only had limited time on it. If I had time to explore I'm sure it would get easier.

Horn MPs tend to be quite small diameter wise. Even as a middle of the road trumpet player (3C/5C range), I had trouble with the horn MP.

In my college band, those who played both horn (left hand) and mellophone (right hand) had no issue, even sometimes playing both in the same day. When I first picked up trumpet in middle school, I worked the valves with my left hand before learning the proper way. Not too hard. Maybe for fast passages, but that's about it.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"4. Trumpet players don’t play instruments in F hardly ever, so there’s a mental adjustment to orienting to the horn. Being up an octave in the harmonic series plus the key change can feel disorienting."

I had an easier time with the fingerings by not trying to relate them to anything, rather to learn by them as a stand-alone system.
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JoseLindE4
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds wise.

I only dabble enough to laugh at how hard it is to play a note cleanly and go back to trumpet. I’m talking about the experience of picking up an instrument and clearly prehearing what will come out. I found that disorienting with horn. It’s really hard from me make that mental connection. I don’t have the same experience on euphonium or tuba even though the mouthpieces are so much different than horn/trumpet. Tuba/euph are closer to trumpet in some respects.

It’s the combination of being so far from Bb or C, where we spend most of our trumpet time to F along with the notes being so close together that takes a little adjusting. It’s obviously a practice thing, but those first notes always feeling jumping into a void.
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cheiden
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PMonteiro wrote:
Horn MPs tend to be quite small diameter wise. Even as a middle of the road trumpet player (3C/5C range), I had trouble with the horn MP.

Not necessarily so. Some may be somewhat smaller but most F Horn mouthpieces have rims as larger or larger than a Bach 1.5C. This may sound intimidating but because the horn blows so differently the larger ID, thin rim, and relatively sharp bite aren't typically a problem.
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