horn video

2018-19 All-State Horn Etudes Out (+Recordings and Tips)

It’s mid-August in Kentucky, which means two things: Marching band is gearing up, and that means school isn’t far around the corner! The All-State music is out, which means those are auditions are just around the corner The two All-State etudes for this year are from the same books as […]

2017-2018 All-State Etudes (+Recordings and Tips) 2

It’s almost August, which means that it’s time to start preparing for All-State (once band camp is finished, that is)! To make things a bit easier, hopefully, I’ve made recordings of the two French horn All-State/All-District etudes at their recommended tempos with some practice tips! The two etudes this year […]

Timothy Jones & LSO Section Horn Hangout

This Horn Hangout was recorded the day after the Tony Halstead video, again at Paxman’s horn shop in London. This video features the members of the London Symphony Orchestra horn section: Timothy Jones – Principal horn Angela Barnes – 2nd horn Alexander Edmundson – Co-principal/3rd Jonathan Lipton – 4th Hugh […]

horn hangouts

The Importance of Articulation 1

For many horn players (me included) French horn tonguing was a mystery. One of my biggest personal struggles in learning to play the horn and one that I notice a lot in students and younger players is a lack of consistent and strong tonguing or articulation. Since the tongue stroke sets up essentially everything else (timing, air speed, and air intensity) it’s important to get it right!

Since the horn sound is most often heard indirectly, articulation needs to be exaggerated slightly (from the player’s perspective) in order to come across to the audience as crisp and precise – especially in large concert halls.

This is especially difficult (and important) in slower music. The slower tempo means that much more attention needs to be payed to a strong and steady subdivision, so the notes are produced on time and not late – slow doesn’t mean to drag! The following video, taken by Robert Lauver of the Pittsburgh Symphony of principal horn player William Caballero, does a really great job of demonstrating how good articulation will sound a little bit “poppy” or “percussive” to the player (and anyone seated next to them).

The Example:

The Music:

If you’re not familiar with the horn solo in the second movement of Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony, here is a copy of the music. Follow along – and notice the variety of articulations used by Tchaikovsky and produced by Mr. Caballero.



When you’re practicing remember the sound (and feel) of good articulation, and strive to have that pop in every note that you tongue!