French Horn Baritone/Tuba - Trevor J. H palm of your hand should be towards your body. ... Common...

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Transcript of French Horn Baritone/Tuba - Trevor J. H palm of your hand should be towards your body. ... Common...

  • Brass Notes

    French Horn & Baritone/Tuba

    French Horn & Baritone/Tuba

    Trevor J Hedrick

  • Brass Notes

    French Horn & Baritone/Tuba

    Page 1


    French Horn _________________________________________________

    Holding the French Horn/Hand Position _________________________________ 2

    Posture/Lubrication/Embouchure/Tips___________________________________ 3

    Sound/Desired Pitch __________________________________________________ 4

    Thorax/Making a Note/Changing Pitch __________________________________ 4

    Teaching in Classroom Setting/First Lesson _______________________________ 5

    Common Problems/ Priorities for Beginning Lessons _______________________ 5

    Articulation/ Range and Endurance ____________________________________ 5-6

    Valves/Warm-up ____________________________________________________ 6-7

    Maintenance _________________________________________________________ 7

    Transposition/Mutes/Study Materials ____________________________________ 8

    Repertoire _________________________________________________________ 8-9

    Baritone/Tuba ________________________________________________


    Origins/Intonation/Compensating Baritone ______________________________ 10

    Sound concepts/Transposition _________________________________________ 10

    Study Materials/Repertoire ___________________________________________ 11

    All Brass Warm-ups _________________________________________________ 11

    Artists & VIPs ______________________________________________________ 12


    Valves/Tuba & Baritone Highlights _____________________________________ 12

    Types of Tubas/Study Materials _____________________________________ 12-13

    Repertoire/Faulty intonation issues _____________________________________ 13

    Breathing for brass instruments _______________________________________ 14

  • Brass Notes

    French Horn & Baritone/Tuba

    Page 2

    French Horn

    Holding the French Horn/Hand Position

    Basic Right hand position.

    - Exact hand positions will vary, depending on the size of the bell flare of the horn, and the size of the horn players hand, but a few basic characteristics will always be the same. In

    order to do any good the right hand has to get in the way of the sound, but not so much

    that it makes you sound stuffy. To do this, first hold your right hand like youre about to

    shake hands with someone, then put your thumb right up against your hand. (Another

    way to think of this same position is to cup your hand, like you would to drink water out

    of a fountain, but hold you fingers out flat.) Now put your hand into the bell, with

    theback of your hand against the metal of the bell.1 Choose a position that allows you to

    carry some of the weight of the horn on your thumb, or between your thumb and first

    finger. The palm of your hand should be towards your body. Insert your hand far enough

    into the bell that you can have a noticeable effect on the pitch with small movements of

    the palm of your hand, but not so far that it covers your sound. If you feel like the sound

    is rolling across the palm of your hand and up your arm when you play, then you

    probably have a good position. Below are a few pictures that will make this description

    more clear.

    This is an example

    of good right hand

    position, except that

    the forearm has been

    moved out a little so

    you can see the hand

    more clearly.

    This is the same picture

    from the other side.

    Notice how flat the wrist

    is. That may vary for

    some people, but I find

    it makes holding the

    horn much easier

    This is an example of the

    most common mistake I

    see in young

    students. There is no

    musical situation in

    which this is a good hand

    position. There is no

    possible way for you to

    effect the sound and/or

    pitch of the instrument

    from this position.

  • Brass Notes

    French Horn & Baritone/Tuba

    Page 3

    The different Horns

    - Single F Horn

    o For Beginners

    o Darker Tone

    o Partials are closer together

    - Double Horn

    o Has both F and Bb

    o Different valves

    o Darker tone of F horn

    o High Range security on the Bb side

    o Brighter sound on the Bb side

    - Triple Horn


    - turn mouthpiece

    - Tuning slides out

    - Valve Lubrication


    - Sit like you stand

    - Feet flat on the floor

    - Bring the horn to you not the other way around

    - Right Hand position

    - Bell off the Leg


    - Valve oil used to lubricate slides

    - Slide grease used for tuning slides (thicker)

    o Align valves before seating

    o Work oil or grease in

    o Be careful!!! Its not water soluble


    - Watch for French Horn to go to the player; not the other way around

    - Keep the bell out off of the thigh!

  • Brass Notes

    French Horn & Baritone/Tuba

    Page 4


    - Flat Cheeks and chin

    - Firm Corners (against teeth)

    - Jaw forward so teeth align

    - Teeth open slightly (aperture)

    - Minimum mouthpiece pressure

    Vowel shape of mouth: OH - - - UH - - - EED

    Sound/Pitch desired: Low High

    - Bring lower jaw forward so they are aligned

    - Say pu (parsed lips)

    - Dont overstretch lips, keep corners firm and unmoving. DO NOT SMILE!

    - Corners are against teeth, not puffed out, not too spread, not too narrow

    o Narrow = unresponsive embouchure

    o Wide = brittle, bad sound

    Thorax (throat) use it!

    - Close lips, form letter m

    - Tighten corners

    - Blow through thinking syllable pu

    - Air passing through should create a vibration

    On brass instruments, sound is created by buzzing and the buzzing is amplified by the tubing of

    the instrument.

    Buzzing is wind moving past the lips to create vibration

    Making a note:

    - Form letter m (embouchure)

    - Establish a tempo

    - Inhale in time

    - Exhale in time and buzz a note

    Changing pitch:

    - Change velocity of air (higher = faster, lower = slower)

    - Change volume of air (higher = more, lower = less)

    - Change pressure of instrument against embouchure

  • Brass Notes

    French Horn & Baritone/Tuba

    Page 5

    Teaching in classroom setting:

    Small class size is best; not always possible due to budgets

    Private lessons are best and much preferable to class/group lessons in many ways through class

    lessons can be helpful for sectional playing and in appropriate ways.

    First Lesson:

    - Keep it simple!

    - Dont get bogged down

    - If there is a problem: find the root cause and explain problem to them so they know why

    its happening.

    Common Problems:

    1. No sound: (If buzz doesnt happen)

    a. No sound lips too far apart, nothing for air to vibrate

    b. Show student how to make lips supple raspberry sounds

    c. Move that sound to mouthpiece. Any sound produced is improvement!

    2. Only high notes come out:

    a. Lips are too tight

    b. Have student reform embouchure

    c. Relaxed middles

    d. Think different vowel sound ee vs. oh

    3. Only low sounds:

    a. Corners are too tight

    b. Wrong vowel

    c. Center is too loose

    Priorities for beginning lessons:

    1. Create a sound

    2. Match pitch when provided

    3. Change pitch when asked


    - Time is the most important element in effective articulation

    - Air not started by tongue, they are not related though they work together.

    - Use syllables ta tu to da do du

    - Jaw should NOT move when articulating (put fingers on chin to verify movement)

  • Brass Notes

    French Horn & Baritone/Tuba

    Page 6

    Breath attack can be used as an exercise or to isolate problems. Poh can help get buzz

    started, Hoh very useful for tuba players. Refer to Page 14 for additional breathing


    - Use only the tip of the tongue

    - Strike at space where teeth and gums meet on upper row of the teeth

    - Tongue doesnt stop air, it just interrupts it.


    Note Shapes: beginning, middle and end should all match (like a rectangle)

    Range and Endurance:

    1. High notes: faster vibration, higher air speed, more pressure, higher vowel sound

    2. Expand register upward gradually with scales and slurs

    3. USE IT OR LOSE IT on brass instruments, maintain your range.

    4. Fatigue is okay but do not play through pain; DO NOT OVERUSE!

    Harmonic series is based off of length of tubing/pipe used

    1st, 2

    nd, 4

    th and 7

    th partials are in tune


    and 6th

    are high


    is low

    Sight singing and buzzing helps develop ear

    - If you hear the pitch correctly, embouchure may compensate

    - Use tuning slides for other bad valve combinations. Make it part of the fingering and

    time it very quickly


    Three types rotary, piston and vienna


    valve rarely used alone because of intonation, 1-2 used instead



    1. Get air moving

    2. Embouchure e