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Trumpet or French Horn?

(19 Posts)
Suki2 Mon 28-Dec-15 10:54:23

DS aged 10 plays trumpet as a second instrument, but has expressed an interest in switching to French Horn. is this a good idea? He just likes the look of the horn. He's about to take grade 2 trumpet. I don't play either so not sure whether to encourage this or not. Seems to me horn is rarer so he may stand a greater chance of scholarships/ entry into an orchestra when he's older, but trumpet is possibly more versatile; i.e. you can play it in an orchestra, marching band, jazz group etc. Any ideas?

Ferguson Mon 28-Dec-15 16:17:28

Depends what his main instrument is, to some extent, and how seriously he wants to take music.

Personally, I would think get to Grade 5 or thereabouts on trumpet, then go on to French Horn if he still wants to. There are obviously similarities among all brass instruments, so I guess it fairly easy to swap in due course.

He also needs to concentrate on his main instrument, and learn as much theory as he can, but it also depends whether it is just a 'fun hobby' or something more serious and long-term.

Playing in as wide a variety of bands, ensembles etc as possible is also useful.

Suki2 Mon 28-Dec-15 19:33:38

Well his main instrument is piano. I think music is just a hobby for him, but he seems to spend a huge amount of time on it, so you never know! He is also grade 4 theory.

VimFuego101 Mon 28-Dec-15 19:43:35

French horn is lovely! Is he likely to have braces in future? if so, French horn would be really difficult with such a small mouthpiece.

Helenluvsrob Mon 28-Dec-15 22:15:01

Swap to French horn highly recommended. Ds had a small single horn to start with. French horn has lead to many opportunities , and would make a great 2nd instrument for a pianist. The transposition etc is such a useful skill and you gain it simply by playing it!

Much easier to get orchestral / wind band/ wind consort places on horn. Ds can still play enough trumpet to play in jazz/ swing bands for fun.

LurcioAgain Mon 28-Dec-15 22:20:09

Ex horn player here - the embouchures are subtly different for horn and trumpet, so if he does want to swap, the earlier the better I'd say. Get him listening to some of the great bits in the orchestral repertoire on both instruments and see what he can imagine himself playing.

RandomMess Mon 28-Dec-15 22:22:59

French Horn is so much more beautiful to listen to...

Suki2 Tue 29-Dec-15 13:14:09

Thanks for the ideas; what orchestral repertoire would be good to listen to for both instruments? I've never played a wind instrument! I do think it would be good for him to listen to both. French Horn does sound lovely, very mellow sound, but is obviously bigger and I"m also wondering if another advantage of trumpet is its portability.

LurcioAgain Tue 29-Dec-15 15:29:14

For the horn: opening of Brahms' 2nd piano concerto, any of his symphonies, Mahler almost always has big horn parts, Beethoven's 3rd (that's what made me want to play). Concertos for horn: Mozart (2nd is my favourite), Strauss.

Trumpet: Sibelius - I seem to remember Finlandia has a big trumpet part, I love baroque trumpet parts ("The trumpet shall sound" from Handel's Messiah, Bach's French suites). Concertos - Telemann. I love Shostakovich's concerto for piano and trumpet. Actually there's great parts for trumpets and horns in most Shostakovich.

Maybe worth seeing what your local library has on dvd (or have a look around on youtube) so your son can watch as well as listen).

RandomMess Tue 29-Dec-15 17:14:17

Mozart 5th horn concerto was my teenage favourite, may listen to the other Mozart ones now!

Suki2 Tue 29-Dec-15 19:10:39

Wow, so many suggestions; thanks, that will keep us going for a while!

1805 Tue 29-Dec-15 20:12:25

Mozart's 5th horn concerto???? Do you mean the concert rondo? Mozart only wrote 4 horn concerto's!!!

Def swap sooner rather than later, and get him taught by a horn player rather than a trumpet player. The fingering is different, but it will be useful to know both trumpet and horn fingerings. It shouldn't be too hard to swap. Go for it!! Good luck.

RandomMess Tue 29-Dec-15 20:16:55

I have no idea!!! It was 30 years ago and I didn't play just got to listen sad

RandomMess Tue 29-Dec-15 20:29:34

I have you tubed away it is this that I love so much

Mozart Horn Concerto No. 4 in E flat major - Rondo

angelcake20 Wed 30-Dec-15 01:52:35

What does his teacher think? Dd(11) plays the horn because the brass teacher at our music centre said she had the right lips for the horn rather than the trumpet. Although not naturally very musical, she does enjoy it and does ok in spite of it supposedly being the hardest instrument to play. We have nearly as many horn players here as trumpets due to a couple of enthusiastic teachers so the horn isn't particularly exotic here. Has he tried one? Will his trumpet teacher also teach horn or will you need to find a new teacher? What music styles does he like? I tried to persuade both DC to play trumpet as I think its versatility is unrivalled - anything from baroque to jazz. I played in jazz bands for years at school and uni and had a fabulous time, loving the music and the social side. I'm quite disappointed that 2 DC with 4 instruments between them only play orchestral instruments that can't be played in jazz bands.

amroc18 Wed 30-Dec-15 08:21:22

Another ex horn player here. Certainly a few years back when I was in school there were many more opportunities for horn players than trumpet players as other schools would poach us for concerts (and tours). I also found the opportunity to play in wind quintets fab.

Portability-you just get used to it-used to walk a few miles to school with a horn case and it was ok as far as I remember.

But in terms of what your son should move to really second what previous posters have said, get him to listen to both and decide. If you are going to swap I'd recommend asap due to the change in embouchure required.

Suki2 Wed 30-Dec-15 18:09:44

No angel cake he hasn't tried a horn; he just likes the look of them. He does like jazz and that's one of my principal hesitations in encouraging a switch. I feel that there are more opportunities for horn, but less opportunities if you like jazz! I don't know about his lips; I'll ask his teacher. She is a horn player and thinks he'd be a great candidate for a swap as he's doing very well at the piano and she thinks he'd be able to master a horn if he wants to (she's mentioned its supposed difficulty(.
He's still got to listen to all these suggestions;also his teacher has said he should ideally be a little taller to make the swap...

1805 Wed 30-Dec-15 18:30:16

Re size - I've started smaller kids on mini / double wrap horns. Seems to work well. Maybe ask teacher about them?? You can hire them until you are ready to buy or move on to a full size one. Very pleased current teacher is a horn specialist! Go for it!!
Have you shown dc a clip of Mnozil Brass on You Tube?? (No horns, but v v v v funny amazing Austrian Brass Group)

1805 Wed 30-Dec-15 18:31:44

Thin (top) lips are good for horn!!

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