Skip to main content

Selecting a Horn

Selecting  a Horn

When it comes to choosing your equipment, I am a fan of the go-with-your-gut theory. If you pick something up and after a few minutes do not like it, it is probably not the best choice for you. In a world where there are just so many types of horns that exist and new builders entering the scene on a regular basis, it can be hard to know what you like and what will work for you.
A good place to start is just to try everything you can get your hands on. See what your school owns, what your friends own, and get a sense of what you do and do not like. It can be useful to make a list to keep handy, but at the same time, two horns that should be exactly the same can play very different. Also check out local music stores in your area to see what they keep in stock regularly and if they would be willing to get a few things in for you to try.
The best way to try the most variety is horn workshops/conferences/symposiums. The horn society website is the best place to find a list of upcoming events. At these events, there are usually quite a few people who bring a variety of used horns they have for purchase, as well as several horn makers who you can place orders through that would have some samples for you to try. Again, TRY EVERYTHING! You never know what you could fall in love with. Prices vary so much with horns so make sure you stay within your price range, but do not be afraid to try something new. Leave your biases at the door and come in with an open mind.


Popular posts from this blog

Mind Mapping Your Practice

Mind Mapping Your Practice : The Anti-Practice Journal Approach to Journaling Your Practice By Tracy Bass University of Missouri - Kansas City Dissertation Points Credit Spring 2019

Most of us at some point in our lives have been instructed to keep practice journals or maybe we were even required to keep them. My freshman year of college was the first time I had seriously taken lessons and my horn teacher required us to keep a practice journal. This usually led to me making up what I had done minutes before my lesson and just scribbling down my thoughts for the week. I was practicing regularly, but just could not get on the practice journal train. I expressed my dislike for this method with my teacher at the time and she offered great advice and gave me some direction to do some further research about practicing. This led me to find Randy Gardner’s article from the February 1996 edition of The Horn Call titled “Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan.” I can not stress how important t…

Other Blogs and Websites

Other Blogs and Websites
There are plenty of other sites and blogs for horn people out there, but not all of them are high quality. A lot of them, like this one, were created as projects for degree requirements and then become left unattended. That being said, there are some truly great blogs that are frequently updated by leaders in the horn world. Here are a few of my favorites: - James Boldin’s Horn World James’ site is an all around resources for the horn world. He has a blog that is frequently updated and personal information about his life as a teacher and performer. He also has a job listings page that has a current list of professional ensemble auditions and teaching jobs that are open. - Horn Matters, by John Ericson and Bruce Hembd This blog is a HUGE resource for horn players. These guys have arranged their blog by topic and they create new posts all the time. This blog is one of the most user friendly music blogs that I have encountered.

Selecting a Teacher

Selecting a Teacher
When you start looking for college to attend, make a list of all of your options. Figure out if you are applying to schools just within your state or throughout the whole country/world and make a list of your options. Find the horn teacher’s profile on each school’s website and you should be able to get a sense of what kind of teacher and performer the teacher is. If possible, travel to each teacher and have a lesson when you are trying to choose where you are applying. At the least, have some email correspondence with the teacher so that a dialogue has been started and they know you are interested. Through lessons and communications, you can get the sense of whether you and the teacher would work well together. It is always ok if you do not feel like you would like to study with a particular teacher, just as it is ok that a teacher may not want to take you on as a student. It is all about finding the right fit. My suggestions are finding out what their strongest te…