Hello! Back to Tenor Horn after a loooooong break!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Jobylou, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. Jobylou

    Jobylou New Member

    Hi Everyone :cool:
    I am so thrilled to be playing tenor horn again - I got to Grade 7 when I was about 17 and gave up half way through preparing for my Grade 8 (which I now regret!).
    Fast forward 20 years! I bought a real cheap horn to have a go on (Elkhart), valves weren't up to the job, so I just invested in a second hand Sovereign which I am thrilled with (with a DW 3 mouthpiece).
    I was always limited by my range (too much pressure :oops:) struggling to get over a top A - the odd thing is on the Elkhart I got up to Top C fairly easily - but on the Sovereign A is my limit :eek: Any ideas?
    Anway looking forward to being a member of this forum :D
  2. Simon_Horn

    Simon_Horn Member

    Hi Jo, the bore size on beginner models like Elkhart is smaller which makes it easier to get higher but the sound is not full. My advice would be to stick to the Sovereign and DW3 mouthpiece and get the lips stronger by doing lip flexibility exercises within and below the stave. Start really slow and don't be tempted to get too fast even if it sounds good! If you focus on maintaining a full, rich sound and good intonation then your high register will also improve.

    But look at it logically....99% of the notes you will be playing on tenor horn will be below high A in a normal brass band score so why focus all your efforts (instrument, mouthpiece, practice) on being great at the 1% when you should be aiming at being great at the 99% with an assurance that the remaining 1% will fall into place with the right practice?

    Some people may suggest changing mouthpiece to DW5, but whilst this will help you get higher in the short term, it will affect the quality of the tone and if you want to play the tenor horn then that is the best quality you can have...most advice i've heard is to try and play on the biggest mouthpiece you can whilst still maintaining the range you need for your part i.e a DW2 or DW1 is not uncommon even for solo horn players where sound is really important.

    Good luck. Simon

  3. Jobylou

    Jobylou New Member

    Thank you for your reply Simon - my imediate thought was that it was the mouthpiece, so I tried the Elkhart one in the Sovereign - no difference, still unable to get over a top A. That is what really baffled me!

    I used to play on a DW2, but thought a 3 may help my range. I know what you mean about it not being the be all and end all, but if I do get around to doing my Grade 8, obviously I need the higher notes for the scales... I know I need to put a ton of work in and will work at my old books (How Brass Players Do It, and The Arban!) hopefully that will help with improving my range.

    I am baffled by all of the talk of these new mouthpieces now - heritage and alliance? Any advice on the best to go for?

    By the way - I am thrilled with my new (second hand) Sovereign and nothing will be parting us :D
  4. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    I use an Alliance and find it much nicer than the DW's I used to play on. Range is not a problem and I find it much easier to play loud on the Alliance.
  5. Jobylou

    Jobylou New Member

    Hi Dave
    Thank you for your reply - I have read up on Alliances and emailed the company days ago but have not received a reply :( Do you know where I could get one? Also what size do you use and do the know the difference between the two types that they sell?
    Does anyone use Heritage?
  6. Jobylou

    Jobylou New Member

    Just phoned and ordered an Alliance mouthpiece (and in a pink case too :D) from Roger Webster - what a lovely man.
    Can't wait to get it!