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Play It Again: French Horn


French Horn

A bit rusty? Don't be put off. Browse our helpful hints, and watch a video guide to get you started.

Hints and Tips: Playing the French Horn

Before practising make sure your horn is in good working order by checking the valve levers and lubricating the valves with valve oil so they move smoothly

Try warming up with just the mouthpiece – buzzing will help you strengthen your embouchure (the muscles around your mouth) without having to worry about pitching notes.

Too much blowing too soon can make you dizzy and give you headaches, so go slowly and build up your embouchure and breath control gradually

Practice simple things to begin with, gradually building up your range – long notes, scales and arpeggios are always a good way of warming up.

When you’ve finished practising blow the excess water you’ve produced out using the water key.

French horns are expensive, so look after your instrument by cleaning and oiling it – remember the tuning slides can also need greasing so they move easily.

If you’re looking for lessons you’ll find many instrumental teachers advertise in local shops and libraries, while local authority Music Services are also a good place to start.

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