6 Essential Tips for being a Better French Horn Player

The basis of being a good french horn player is good technique, so make sure you have the following points in mind the next time you’re practicing:
1) Control your breath, the french horn is a wind instrument, that means that your whole respiratory system, from your lungs to your nose and mouth, must work synchronized with it. Not only do you need to supply the instrument with a steady flow of air, remember, you also must save some for yourself. Make sure that when you blow the intrument, you keep a steady flow of air. Don’t just “spit the air”, but rather push it without variating the speed or force of the exhalation.
2) Keep your mouth open, imagine you have your mouth full of food, and try to make as most space inside your mouth as you possibly can. This will help you create a better resonance when you blow the instrument.

3) Sit with your back straight, not only you’ll feel comfortable, but this will allow you to breath easily through your diaphragm. Keep your feet on the ground and your knees apart so you can accommodate the horn between them.
4) Always keep good left and right hand posture, this will allow you to make an easier change between notes and chords with your left while keeping the instrument balanced and controlling the intonation of the music with your right hand.
5) Practice your scales, they are the building block of every piece of western music. Play the major scales and their chords. You will learn the most common finger changes between the chords of the scale and it will improve your finger independence.
6) Keep practicing, even 10 minutes of practice everyday will improve your playing more than a single long practice once a week. If you keep practicing eventually playing for you will become a natural action executed without thinking, like walking or taking a glass of water.

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