I tried to correct my old habits of holding the horn at extreme angle. My valves were placed upright, I had the classic pistol grip and it was certainly correct for the institution. I remember my old grade school band teacher harping on me about holding my horn properly. I started to hold my horn the "wrong" way again. I have large thumbs. They make holding the horn difficult. I play with my horn to the side. If I play to the side I am able to reduce mouthpiece pressure, I am also able to keep my mouth on the horn. I use my left hand to finger and my right hand to grip. The valves are slanted to the left at an angle. Doing this I feel allows me to reduce mouthpiece pressure. So if mouthpiece pressure is the enemy, it really doesn't matter right? I should be more specific when I say "keep my mouth on the horn." My two large front teeth are far from perfect. One is straight as arrow, the other is bent out at an extreme angle. If I hold the horn centered I fight the bent tooth. It cuts into the inner tissue of my chops. I play at an extreme angle I am reducing mouthpiece pressure and my chops are taught without slippage. I do know there is a video of a very young talented girl playing horn at an extreme angle...I think I am one of those that is doing it for sake of playability. Is there really any reason to hold the horn straight with the valve block straight up and down?