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.
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.