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French Horn/Conn 6D vs Reynolds contempora


QUESTION: Hello Allan:

Thanks for answering my questions about the Reynolds Contempora double horn before. My 4th grader son played that horn for less than a year now and he seems to be able to play and enjoy it.

Now he joined our church band. The church hymns are always high and long. Even though his pitch and lungs capacity is better than average, he still having trouble to hold the high pitches for a long duration. I remembered that you commented that Contempora is too free blow and requires a lot air to keep it going. So I am thinking of getting him an used Conn 6D. How do you think? Or should I let him practice long notes more and practice slur more slowly?


ANSWER: Hi, it depends what sort of high range you're talking about, whether what your son has difficulties with is normal or not... but generally students might be able to reach high notes in small quantities but it takes a long time to build up the sort of stamina needed to play them all the time. It does depend on the individual technique as well but generally playing constantly high on the horn is very tiring. So it might not be an equipment or technique issue but simply an arranging one. The simple answer would be to play the hymns at the lower octave or play a different part.

It's unlikely that changing horns would make a dramatic difference to anything. Practice of course always helps - but also not instantly. So he needs to play music suited to his current ability.

Hope this helps


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your answer! I think I reached the point that he needs a private teacher. By any chance you might know some teachers in California in San Jose area?



Unfortunately not - I'm in the UK and I don't get to San Jose much ;-)

There will be an online teachers' register somewhere around, probably some private ads on Craigslist and the like, look for someone who is a french horn specialist and plays to professional level...


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Alan Jones


Can answer just about anything on playing the horn, repertoire, buying instruments, repairs, care and maintenance


25 years of professional playing and teaching in the UK


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