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First Time French Horn Players
By Alex Beamer
8/1/2017 4:30:00 PM

First Time French Horn Players

Congratulations on choosing to play the French horn. Whether you are new to music, new to the horn, or simply a parent of a new music student, you will want to know these basics soon after receiving your instrument.


Parts of the French Horn

Below is a diagram of the French horn. Click on the image to enlarge it.

french horn diagram

Assembling Your Instrument...CAREFULLY!

Even though it’s made of metal, your instrument is delicate and should be handled with care. Follow these instructions or the instructions given to you by your music director to prevent damaging the instrument.

1. Place the case on its side on a flat surface. Make sure the case is facing up.

2. Open the latches and carefully open the case.

3. Carefully pick up the instrument by its bell and outermost body. Avoid the valves since they can fall out!

4. Place the mouthpiece into the mouthpiece receiver (also called the lead pipe).

5. Gently twist the mouthpiece to the right to lock it into place being careful not to over tighten.

Putting It All Away

1. Remove the mouthpiece by gently twisting it to the left and place it in the mouthpiece holder in your case.

2. If your mouthpiece gets stuck, seek help from your teacher or from West Music’s repair team. We have a special tool to remove a stuck mouthpiece that will not damage the instrument.

3. Carefully rotate your horn to remove excess condensation from the lead pipe.

4. Wipe off the outside with a soft cloth.

5. Carefully place the instrument in the case and close all the latches.

6. Store only your instrument and its accessories in the case. Sheet music, folders, and other objects may bend the keys and damage the instrument.

Related Articles


Have questions? Need advice? West Music is here for you! Give our school band experts a call at 800-373-2000. 


Adapted with permission from Alfred Music's Sound Innovations for Concert Band 1: French Horn.



Tags: band, beginner, french horn, alex beamer
Categories: Band & Orchestra
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