Our equipment recommendations
We recommend a horn such as a Verus (fixed bell) or a Paxman Academy for young players. These horns are affordably priced and produce a full, rich sound. They also feature an adjustable pinky ring and thumb valve lever which can be fitted to any size hand. A comfortable grip is important. If a young student is struggling to reach the valves, it is likely to cause other problems with posture and embouchure development.
For more detailed advice, see our article How Do I Choose a French Horn?
A good mouthpiece, especially for beginners, would be either a Faxx MC, Verus 17.5, or others of comparable size and cost. As a student advances on the horn, they will most likely seek a step-up mouthpiece. This can be explored with the help of a teacher or trained professional.
Band directors might want to consider marching mouthpieces such as the M1T mellophone mouthpiece and M1H marching French horn mouthpiece.
Used for cleaning the leadpipe, where 90% of the chemical deposits occur. We recommend ones made of vinyl, since they better avoid scratching the interior of the horn.
Provides easy access to a pencil, a needed tool for horn players of all levels. It attaches to the outer slide tubing.
Extra String and Screwdriver
Most horns have string linkage, and over time the strings will break. You should always carry extra string and a screwdriver just in case it happens at an inopportune time.
Our horn survival kit (permanent link) contains light rotor oil, light bearing and linkage oil, light slide gel, a vinyl-coated cleaning snake, a mouthpiece brush, a pencil clip, a pencil, a microfiber polishing cloth, and a luggage tag in a vinyl zipper carry bag.
Save a little money with this Chef’s Kit bundle (permanent link), which includes a Faxx MC mouthpiece, a horn survival kit, and a copy of Recipe for Success.