French Horn Refugees

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by BoBo, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. BoBo

    BoBo Member

    It has become apparent that there are quite a few ex-French Horn playing TMpers playing in Brass Bands and I know at least 2 people who continue to play french horn as well as BB instruments.

    I wouldn't have the nerve to start yet another Bass Trombone thread on here but encouraged by Accidental and others, here goes on a French Horn one.

    Those of us who have played French Horn know that it is much harder than any BB instrument (yes Soprano players even harder than a sop but probably less dangerous:biggrin:). Also we all must have a story to tell how we have come from french horn to BB, I won't bore you with mine except to say there was a 20 year gap, now much regretted, between packing in french horn and starting in brass band.

    I believe that there is no other instrument that can give such a good grounding in tone production, stamina, solid pitching and transposition skills, all which I have found invaluable. I think everyone should play french horn for 6 months as part of their training. Combine that with 6 months on BBb bass to sort out breathing and you have a formula for strong, classy players.
  2. yank67

    yank67 Member

    I went from trumpet to the dredded french horn I my younger days (25 years ago) and it was an odd switch. I even did the oddest of odd and played it in a jazz band, sometimes playing trumpet, trombone and french horn in the same piece of music.
    It by no means easy to play but a great learning tool. I have now settled on the BBb bass.
  3. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I had no choice but to take up french horn for music college purposes. They didn't have a syllabus for tenor horn in 1977.
  4. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    I'm not convinced about tone production, but absolutely agree about pitching, transposition and stamina.

    I actually started out on tenor horn (because I wanted to play a saxophone and couldn't hold the d*mn thing.....) then was encouraged to try french horn as well at middle school. I played the 2 together for about 7 years, using the biggest poss french horn mouthpiece with an adaptor shank. When I was about 15 my french horn teacher and orchestra conductor started nagging about the tenor horn ruining my embouchure and brass bands taking up too much time... and everyone at band made it clear they thought I was wasting my time on french horn and needed to start using a proper mouthpiece. Straight choice between snobby orchestra kids and spending half of every rehearsal playing cards while the strings got all the attention; or beer, lots to play and a close-knit band 'family'. Do the maths! :biggrin:
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2008
  5. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I played french horn quite frequently in the school orchestra - Dad led it, and it depended on what we were playing and what he wanted covering. Happy memories in particular of some cracking "whoops" in the Firebird finale ;)
  6. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    And that's why 99% of French Horn players make such obscene noises.......... Don't encourage anyone to dabble with this tool of the Devil......