Help! I have to play french horn in a week!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by kanstulmeha440, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. kanstulmeha440

    kanstulmeha440 New Friend

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    Feb 6, 2005
    Detroit
    This year, my school's band is going on a cruise for our trip. The problem is, that neither of our two french horns are going and I have to play it now. The main problem I'm having is with the mouthpiece...it's tiny!!!! It is so small compared to my trumpet piece and my lips just won't cooperate with it. My accuracy is way off and I tend to get that nasty double buzz dealy going on a lot. I also have to play trumpet too in jazz band on the trip. I'm worried that if I practice hard on fhorn then it will mess up my trumpet chops and won't be able to play well. does anyone know much about horn? how big do they make mouthpieces? could I find one that might be comparable to a trumpet piece (rimwise)? gah! I need help :cry:
     
  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

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    Yee HAW!
    I would (seriously) recommend that you get your music teacher to help transcribe those horn parts into Bb and play them on a flugelhorn. French horn mouthpieces have to be played (properly) about 1/2 - 2/3 and it'll really mess up your trumpet chops. Hopefully you have access to a flugel (the sound isn't that bad compared to a horn for a school band and certainly better than really messing yourself AND the band up trying to "fake it" in only one week!)
     
  3. kanstulmeha440

    kanstulmeha440 New Friend

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    Feb 6, 2005
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    actually, I have some sort of marching horn in F that takes a trumept piece, maybe I can use that
     
  4. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

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    Yee HAW!
    I see you have been posting the same question in another forum and someone is telling you that the horn mouthpiece is larger(!) than the trumpet. It depends WHAT SIZE trumpet mouthpiece you use and what size horn mouthpiece you have available. My daughter graduated last year with her B. Mus in performance, French Horn. Her mouthpiece is definitely NOT larger than my trumpet mouthpiece (which is about equivalent to a Bach 3C). I'd put it at about a 7C size. The real "difference" is that the horn rim is incredibly "narrow" and you'll be putting a lot of pressure on your chops unless you are really careful. They used to make mouthpieces like that for cornet... called them "cookie cutters".

    Someone else said that the horn mouthpiece should be square on your chops but with the leadpipe tilted "down".... again not true. The ideal horn embouchure has you playing straight into the leadpipe (are they using a bent mouthpiece?).

    If you have some kind of instrument that can provide a horn-like sound but that has a mouthpiece and requires a similar embouchure to trumpet, THEN USE IT! As long as the music is written in the correct key for the instrument you'll be OK (or if you can transpose "on the fly").

    And stop worrying about it.... get the instrument and start practicing! If you are going to have to also play trumpet, then be sure to mix your practices up so that you can acquire some kind of flexibility when it comes time to actually "perform".
     
  5. kanstulmeha440

    kanstulmeha440 New Friend

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    Feb 6, 2005
    Detroit
    I own a marching mellophone in F that takes a trumpet moutpiece, but my director won't let me play it. He said that they have horrible tuning and that it's strictly a marching instrument. He just said no and shook his head when I pointed out that it's not common knowledge to the public of the instrument's nature (nor will they care) and the fact that the band's never really in tune anyway and that it's ruining my trumpet chops. I think I'll just tell him the fact that I volunteered to play it to begin with and really don't have to if I don't want to, and that either I'll play the mellophone or I'll play the trumpet.
    I think the piece I have for the horn is a blessing 11C and I'm used to playing on a 1.5B
     
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Maybe I'm just thinking like the typical jerk that I am, but it sounds to me that if you are offering a decent compromise to your director, then the problem is his, not yours.

    I also like the flugelhorn option that was mentioned.

    So, from the way I see it, these are the options:

    1.) Just do it and learn to be able to play both horn and trumpet
    2.) Play it on the marching mellophone
    3.) Play it on Flugel
    4.) Tell you director to take a hike and find someone else's embouchure to mess with.

    Personally, I would want NO part of #1, and #4 doesn't sound like a very good plan either. #3 is ok, but I don't think that the sound would be quite right. #2 seems like the best compromise. I don't know why your director won't go for it. Intonation? When was the last time you heard a HORN section in tune? (Manny probably does on a regular basis, but for the sake of argument, HE doesn't count! :D )

    See if you can't work your director on option #2. Beggars can't be choosers after all.
     
  7. trumpetpimp

    trumpetpimp Piano User

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    I agree with the mellophone/flugel suggestion. No one is going to know the difference and adjudicators will certainly understand that compromises have to be made on trips like this. Personally I don't think there's anything wrong with playing flugel. The sound will be okay, it easier to transport, and it'll be less visually obtrusive than a mellophone.

    If the director still refuses then politely explain that you don't feel comfortable playing horn and that it might be better if he found someone else who is willing to do it. Your problem might just go away. You've got three outcomes.

    1. He allows you to play mellophone/flugel.
    2. He finds someone else.
    3. He tries to force you to play horn and he's a jerk and it doesn't matter if you tick him off by refusing because that would make him a knob anyway.

    Is your director a brass player? if he isn't then try to explain that for the average brass playing changing instruments is like being a goalie in hockey and then trying to switch to playing center. Some of the rules apply but it's really a whole different thing that you can't just pick up in a week with any expectation of success.
     
  8. laurie

    laurie Pianissimo User

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    Jan 17, 2005
    Australia
    Gidday
    I have had the same french horn/trumpet doubling dilemma. Up to now I have doubled the F horn parts on flugel. I have done some playing on F horn recently and the original mpc has been like playing on a circular razor blade, just murder on the chops! The best mpc compromise I have been able to come up with is a Denis Wick #7 horn piece which is a close match to my wick trumpet, cornet and flugel mpcs.( the cup diameters are all 17mm and the rim width on the horn piece is half a millimetre smaller.) So it is possible to get a reasonabley comfortable mpc. I expect You could do the same with other brands of mpc.
    I have enjoyed mucking about with the f horn, but they really are a different creature entirely. No wonder there are so few horn players around !!
    For what its worth, I think using flugel(or mellophone) is the best option for non expert horn players. Does the band have a Eb Tenor horn? That could be a good compromise.

    Cheers
    Laurie
     
  9. kanstulmeha440

    kanstulmeha440 New Friend

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    Feb 6, 2005
    Detroit
    my director won't let me play the mellophone because it's out of tune and he said it's made for outdoor playing and it's all around not a good instrument. He just won't let me do it. I highly doubt he'll let me play flugel but even so transposing all the music would be tough. I'll find out about the latter
     
  10. R.A.S.

    R.A.S. Pianissimo User

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    My first question is: What happened to the French horn players that this band director supposedly recruited to play in his band?

    Did they blow it academically, and not get to go on tour?
    Does he expect you to make up for a deficit that is of his own making?

    I don't think you'll be happy with trying to match rims for trumpet/horn.
    I once obtained a Giardinelli French horn mouthpiece that would take a screw-rim Bob Reeves trumpet rim. The rim was a 43, and the fit was great. I thought I had my solution. Then the whole emouchure thing came into play. French horn usually uses a 2/3 upper lip setting ("einsatzen", I believe they call it). Even with the identical rim, French horn just takes a different kind of chop set from trumpet.

    Ask your director what can be done to get the 2 horn players to go on tour.
     

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