trumpet and french horn

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetnick, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. Fudleysmith

    Fudleysmith Pianissimo User

    97
    1
    Jan 5, 2006
    Niantic, CT
    Hi Trumpetnick,

    I do this every day. I play in four organized groups, two on trumpet and two on horn. 1st horn in a community orchestra, 3rd horn in a community band, lead trumpet in a big band, and salsa-style trumpet at our Hispanic Baptist church. Each group has at least one rehearsal per week, and usually among them all there are two or so performances per week.

    The biggest issue for me is "setting" my ear for each instrument. when you see a written note, you want to hear it internally before you play it. That was my biggest hurdle to overcome. Initially, I would devote alternating days to each instrument, but I found that I have to play each instrument every day to keep my visual-to-aural linkage correct.

    I take horn lessons weekly with a local pro, and take monthly lessons from a commercial trumpet player. The horn lessons are invaluable! Don't be fooled - as a trumpet player you will be able to pick up a horn and play higher and louder than many horn players, but it will likely NOT be a characteristic horn sound. My self-taught horn playing sounded much more like an alto horn or a baritone horn in the high register than a horn (cor).

    Fingering was never a problem, left-handed for the horn and right-handed for the trumpet. The embouchure was tricky at first, until I internalized the feel of the correct horn mouthpiece placement. My teacher was indispensable for giving me feedback on connecting the proper mp placement and embouchure to the proper horn sound/timbre.

    I used a thick-rimmed horn mouthpiece to start (Denis Wick #5) to keep the same feel as the trumpet mouthpiece. I'm unsure if that was a good idea. It allowed me to play the horn immediately, but I had to give it up to "divorce" my horn embouchure from the trumpet set. I now use a Lawson horn mp that is much more convential and forces a proper horn embouchure.

    The two instruments can be complimentary, you absolutely cannot force or muscle a horn like a trumpet will allow you to (even though you shouldn't) and the trumpet literature will keep the high register from being scary on the horn, but it is a daunting schedule to keep facility in two demanding mistresses vice one.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2006
  2. highbrass

    highbrass Pianissimo User

    62
    0
    Dec 31, 2005
    Honolulu, HI
    I'm in consensus with Fudley in many areas of his post. I double on trumpet and horn as a freelancer, though not both on the same gig (yet). It is really important to realize the many differences in tone production, air, etc. in executing the playing for both instruments -- they are two different animals. For example, increasing the air speed does different things on the horn as opposed to trumpet. While I have never taken lessons on horn, I am a former band teacher and have learned enough about brass pedagogy to get through basic horn playing. I also keep myself educated by auditing masterclasses for both horn and trumpet. You do learn a lot when you are not worried about how you will sound or what kind of comments you will get when your turn comes up.

    I've used various horn mouthpieces (Holton Farkas MDC, Moosewood, Schilke 31) and have recently decided to try the Laskey (since I liked the trumpet mouthpieces, I thought "why not horn?" ha ha) -- using the 75G. I always had a preference for flat/semi-flat and sharper rims on both trumpet and horn mouthpieces.

    Some of the things that horn players deal with that trumpet players don't are things like the use of the right hand (for stopped horn, tone and intonation shading, etc.), bass-clef and other key transpositions in orchestral literature (commonly horn in C, D, E, Eb, etc.). There's also the issue of being a high-horn (horn 1 or 3) or low-horn player (horn 2 or 4). I usually end up on every part except 1st of course, since I'd be sightreading w/o rehearsal (and the group I sub with, like most groups, will move the fulltimers up one part). Although no matter which part you are on, there is always the need to be able to play in the lower register and make it part of your usable range. Oh yes, and then there's always the double horn thing (sometimes triple for some ambitious folks...I have no need for one) where you switch from F to Bb horn (Bb horn being the one with similar fingerings as trumpet). I'm told by countless horn players that if you need to work on the fundamental sound for horn, play a lot on the F horn side, because that's the characteristic sound. You'll never be bored -- there's so much to work on, but the horn has lots of gorgeous parts in band and orchestral literature!

    And in regards to the last sentence in David's post about mellophones, many horn players do not like mellos. I've played one in college and it's horribly out of tune. There are many expressions of dislike (or outright vehement hatred as well as humorous) for the mellophone in horn discussion groups that I subscribe to (such as hornlist).

    Overall, I feel that there is a symbiotic relation that can be had between the trumpet and horn. One just has to remember to keep on top of each instrument technically and musically. I just enjoy playing both because there's more opportunity to experience music that way.


    Liz
     
  3. Albert Castillo

    Albert Castillo Pianissimo User

    Age:
    42
    106
    0
    Aug 11, 2006
    Munich

    IMO, you can play both without problem. Just play horn at evening as fun and "warming down". Look for a mouthpiece that match that of the trumpet.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  4. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    3,865
    926
    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    Folks,

    Thanks for all your suggestion. Can anybody tell me where to find a comparison (measurement) chart for Giardinelli and Holton french horn mouthpieces?
     
  5. highbrass

    highbrass Pianissimo User

    62
    0
    Dec 31, 2005
    Honolulu, HI
    mouthpiece comparison chart

    Found this on Toru Ikeno's website:

    http://www2s.biglobe.ne.jp/~t_ikeno/mpc_chart.html

    Hope this helps.


    Liz
     
  6. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    3,186
    977
    Mar 21, 2006
    Toronto
    Since 3rd year college, I have taken up sousaphone as my double. Because of it, I think I have a much better control of my air when I need to play long passages. It is also a nice chop massager because it vibrates my whole face.
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,613
    7,957
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    Nick
    Try it next summer when the orchestra is on break. Give yourself a couple of weeks. If the switch back and forth works, you have perhaps more opportunities. Just don't ask here at TM what horn is best (I can hear the jokes coming....)
     
  8. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    3,865
    926
    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    Rowuk,

    Switching for trumpet to french horn or opposite does not seems to be a problem (unless I have to play some mahler, bruckner or r. strauss pieces which are great chalenge anyway and my orchestra plays those almost never) Probably I should change the fr. horn mouthpiece as the rim seems to be too small for me. Concerning the horn I know very well what to choose but a new french horn is comming last in my purchase list....1st is the piccolo than a rotary and then eventually eflat trumpet and fr. horn....
     
  9. Albert Castillo

    Albert Castillo Pianissimo User

    Age:
    42
    106
    0
    Aug 11, 2006
    Munich
    Yes, with the money for a horn, you can buy 3 or 4 trumpets!!!
    I would just try a bigger mouthpiece, one that is indead for 2nd or 4th horn. That works just great for a trumpeter.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  10. bachfella

    bachfella Mezzo Piano User

    583
    174
    Oct 11, 2011
    Claymont, DE
    I played both in high school--horn in pit orchestra and concert band, and trumpet in jazz band. I started on trumpet at age 12, and was "volunteered" by my band director to play horn for our spring musical my sophomore year because the score called for 3 horn parts, and before I was "volunteered", he only had 2 horn players. Great instrument, but "higher-maintenance" than a trumpet, because most horns have rotary valves with string action, rather than mechanical linkages. I've got a music ed degree, but almost 32 years after I got the degree, I couldn't re-string a french horn valve if I had to!! There are videos online showing how, so I could learn, but I've never had to do it to this point. I love the french horn, but I decided to major on trumpet in college, since I'd played it longer, and it's somewhat easier to maintain. I am thinking about picking up the french horn again, though, because as Highbrass said (and she's absolutely right!!) playing both is fun, because each gives you a chance to experience music in a different way--kind of broadening your musical horizons.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012

Share This Page