Some non connected things I have learned:
Screwbells – If you are a klutz like me don’t get one. Just kidding, well only partially kidding. My Yamaha is a fixed bell horn so this screwing on the bell thing is new to me. My bell from my new Hoyer has recently spent too many seconds flying through the air. I was trying to insert into the bell sleeve in my Marcus Bonna case. Fortunately I caught it but there is now a thumb and finger squeeze type dent in the bell and a ding in the body of the horn where the bell hit the horn. I also find aligning the body of the horn to the bell difficult. The horn is heavy and if I don’t get both sides lined up quickly I have to put the horn down, rest for a second, and try again. However, If you are going to travel with your horn, a screw bell is almost mandatory.
Horns on the floor – Don’t do it. It’s so tempting to just set it down and go answer the phone or whatever. But until you take a flying leap over it and just barely miss the horn you may not appreciate this advice.
Grease those slides – You will inevitably ding the bell as you try to yank out the third valve crooks.
Don’t eat and blow – Be nice to your lead pipe please.
Be careful snaking – If you try to use a snake to clean out your horn, don’t push it so far into the valves that it gets stuck. It’s really, really hard to yank it back out. And the heart attack you get as you ponder what you’ve done isn’t pleasant.
Horn to mouth disease – Be careful bringing your horn to your mouth. Banging the mouthpiece on your lip is painful. Two times and counting so far.
Watch those risers – it’s not that funny when your chair falls backwards off the riser during the Star Spangled Banner.
Sleeping on the job – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yx6N5lGlbZY&feature=email_. Watch to at least 50 seconds. Just in case you can’t tell, this is not me.
Lesson with a pro – Make sure you know your F horn fingerings – yes, all of them. Nuff said.
Count rests – Don’t come in a measure early when playing Fanfare for the Common Man.
Watch what you say – Don’t ask the 1st horn player what brand of ear plugs he uses when he’s actually removing his hearing aids.
Taking practice notes – If you are going to review what you’ve written write more meaningful notes than ‘yuck’.
Watch for part 2. I’m sure there will be more.
One thought on “Bits and pieces”
I played Horn from grades five through twelve, and could never stand the sound. At age fourteen I made a deal with my dad, who was a music teacher, to continue to play the French Horn if I could also play guitar. By this time I was good enough to sight read my lessons with a local symphony player, who eventually reported same to my dad. The lessons ended, but I continued to play horn in the high school band and orchestra because that’s where all the smart geeky kids were. It was fun, and I didn’t have to take the other stupid electives. I quit putting my hand in the bell – too muted. It just always sounded to me like someone trapped in a closet full of clothes, saying, “I don’t want to be too much trouble, but could someone get me out of here?”