Recommended books for tenor horn

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Michael Walls, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. Michael Walls

    Michael Walls New Member

    Could any one recommend a basic tutor book to ready me for my first lesson
  2. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum.

    Your teacher will have in mind the method/tutor book that they want you to work with.

    When relearning I found the Tune a Day series helpful (there is one that, according to its cover, ALSO covers Tenor Horn, see: Tune A Day - French Horn / Tenor Horn | Tenor Horn | Brass Music | Sheet Music Musical Instruments | Accessories | Tuition | Repairs Cornwall ) .

    The 'learn as you play series' might work for you too. It goes a bit quicker though. As a beginner a Cornet to Trumpet method book might work equally well for you. I wouldn't get hung up about getting something perfect, just get some time in playing, or making some sound, on your horn and some idea of what the valves do, etc. - basic familiarity.

    Hope that helps, good luck.
    Michael Walls likes this.
  3. Michael Walls

    Michael Walls New Member

    Thanks will look at those I would like to be able to produce some sounds before I go to the first lesson with the Band
  4. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    I'm neither a teacher or an expert player, there are better voices on this forum to guide you but at the moment they are silent. To help with getting started to produce a sound you might like to try some buzzing with and without your mouthpiece.

    As a child you might have blown (sounded) a raspberry on your hand, try that again and then take your hand away but keep your lips tight to keep making a sound. The tight lips together with air blown between them make a vibrating 'reed'. Later put the mouthpiece to your lips and remake the 'reed', slightly tightening (smile so that the ends move towards your ears) and slackening (almost pursing) your lips changes the pitch of the noise produced by the reed and mouthpiece combination. Later again place the mouthpiece into the instrument and reform the 'lip reed' to produce sounds of varying pitch intervals, use of the valves enables you to fill in the missing notes between the intervals.

    Not the best of explanations but I hope that it helps or gives you a start.

    Edited to correct typo and add minor details.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
    Michael Walls likes this.
  5. Michael Walls

    Michael Walls New Member

    That's very helpful thanks. I will do that
    2nd tenor likes this.
  6. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member

    I apologize in advance for having to shout but:

    Firstly, for the majority of the instruments range no active buzz on the players part is necessary - simply blowing through an appropriate aperture (between the lips) will set up the sound... If you gently remove the instrument from the mouthpiece whilst playing a long tone, you may well just hear air passing through the mouthpiece and that's not a problem (it's possible to create a mouthpiece buzz by just blowing through, but it takes more coordination and it's a different feel and sound to a deliberate lipbuzz through the mouthpiece).

    This may be one of those cases where knowledge of how it works doesn't necessarily help much...
    If you need to compress the lips a little more (even up to feeling like you're actively creating a buzz initially) to make a consistent sound then do it... But assuming lips always need to be "tight" will probably lead to unwanted and excessive tension that will ruin endurance - your lips are not a reed and don't function as one, don't try and force them to.

    Mouthpiece buzzing I personally find helpful in moderation, but there's definitely such a thing as too much.
    By all means buzz, but try to do it in the most relaxed way possible (do not try and create maximum possible tension in your chops) and keep as relaxed as possible when you move to the instrument afterwards.

    On the "smile" embouchure (which you described perfectly) - DO NOT DO IT!!
    This may have been recommended in the distant past but no serious school of thought does so now.
    Changing pitch should come from changes in the level of the tongue (whistle an arpeggio and you'll get a rough idea), not from stretching the lips toward the ears - the latter will seriously handicap range, control and flexibility in the long run.

    If there's the offer of lessons there, I'd start as soon as possible - someone knowledgeable who can see and hear what you're doing right and wrong will be more useful to you than posts here.
    Michael Walls likes this.
  7. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Oh well, that's me told loud and clear. Ouch. Do I want to argue about it? No, not at all, Tom is ten times the player I could ever be and no doubt has had the benefit of years of professional tuition too.

    Like I said I'm neither expert or a teacher, and I'm actually pleased that someone much more knowledgable than me is (now) willing to try to assist. Hopefully others of similarly high skills to Tom's will chip-in too.
    Michael Walls and Tom-King like this.
  8. Michael Walls

    Michael Walls New Member

    The advice and help from you both is appreciated. Discussion serves to stimulate my interest thank you both
    My tin whistle playing clarinet and bagpiper chanter may be of use !
    I have blown a. Brass instrument in the past and produced a noise but never a tenor horn
  9. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    *adjusts seat and grabs some popcorn* Dear Mike, bagpipes are the embodiment of all evil and should needs arise may best be sent over to North Korea as suitable practice targets for the man to blow up to his heart's content.
    Michael Walls likes this.
  10. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    'Bagpipe lung' warning for wind musicians - BBC News

    Backs up previous statement with a little evidence. Moomin will be so proud. Note they call it "bagpipe lung" not "soprano lung" or "tenor horn lung".

    Evil sounding furry things. Welcome to Mike, by the way!
    Michael Walls likes this.
  11. Michael Walls

    Michael Walls New Member

    I never got to the furry things just the chanter so I avoided that peril
    Slider1 and Mesmerist like this.
  12. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    I always thought a bagpipe was similar to a haggis but without the cute ears.

    On a serious note, I do think a copy of the Arban is a must for any brass player regardless of experience. There is so much in there, you'll never get bored. Are you in a band?
    Michael Walls likes this.
  13. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    Personally I was taught to buzz and have always taught my pupils the same.
    I appreciate that not everyone can "free-buzz" and that mouthpiece buzzing is also useful.
    The ability to buzz, in my humble opinion, reduces the need for pressure and extends both range and stamina.
    The Tenor Horn doesn't require much buzzing and certainly larger brass instruments require even less but I feel it is an important area not to neglect.
    I may not be a brilliant player but my teacher, the late Bill Thompson, also taught Alison Balsom and she's not too shabby......
    Michael Walls likes this.
  14. Michael Walls

    Michael Walls New Member

    Will be by next week
    Mesmerist likes this.
  15. Michael Walls

    Michael Walls New Member

    Thank you
  16. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    If you can get a note (or more) out of the horn you are well on your way. The Tenor Horn is a very "forgiving" instrument - but at the very heart of a brass band.
    Enjoy your playing and enjoy your "Banding".
    Michael Walls likes this.
  17. Michael Walls

    Michael Walls New Member

    Thank you kindly
  18. Down the line, Tenor Horn Eurhythmics by Alwyn Green is a good book to own and contains many good studies.
    Michael Walls likes this.
  19. davidf

    davidf New Member

    When I started last year we used a book called Look Listen and Learn. It's a 3 volume series i think it can be used for any Bb instrument. It's a nice book progressively teaching more tricky stuff but has a really nice accompaniment CD that makes you feel like you're very good from the first note. As you get better the accompaniment becomes more stripped back so it's just you playing the melody
    Michael Walls likes this.

Share This Page