french horn maintenance & care

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French Horn Care & Maintenance:

French Horn Care & Maintenance By:Chap -Kay Lau

Introduction :

Introduction Like many other instruments, the French Horn is a very fragile instrument, and should be treated with care. A well cared Horn will last for years. The expensive fees for major repairs will be cut down if the French Horn is cleaned daily, weekly, and monthly. Cleaning your French Horn will make it sound much better than a dirty one. Here I will tell you how to keep your French Horn in great shape.

The Mouthpiece :

The Mouthpiece The French Horn has mainly two parts, the mouthpiece and the body. In order to play clearly, you would need a good mouthpiece. Always keep the mouthpiece shank clean and dry. When inserting the mouthpiece into the mouth pipe, do not “Pop” it. Popping it may result into a stuck mouthpiece. If it is stuck, do not attempt to pull it out yourself. Ask your instructor to help. The right way to insert your mouthpiece is to insert it into the mouth pipe, and then turn slightly to tighten it.

Daily/Weekly/Monthly Maintenance:

Daily/Weekly/Monthly Maintenance Every day, week, and month, you need to clean your French Horn to maintain a clean instrument. Here is how to clean it every day, week, and month: Every day after playing, wipe out the moisture that collects inside the mouthpiece. If there is moisture in there, it would sound different when you blow into the French Horn. Use a cloth to wipe the valves, and the bell section of the French Horn. Wiping it after use would remove the skin acid, which would eat away the French Horn if not wiped off. Once a week, clean the mouthpiece with warm water using a Mouthpiece brush. Oiling the valves help making it smoother. Once a month, give the French Horn a bath. You must use warm water with soap. Using hot water will damage the French Horn. Warm water will wash off grease, while hot water would damage the lacquer, making it peel off.

How to give your French Horn a bath.:

How to give your French Horn a bath. You must be very careful when you give your Horn a bath. Here are the steps to it: Fill a big bucket/tub with soapy warm water. Take all of the slides out. Take the valves out one at a time and lay them in order on a towel. Put the slides and the body into the water. Run snake brushes through the tubes. Rinse the whole thing off in lukewarm water. Wipe the whole horn off the outside of the horn. Never leave the French Horn in the water for too long, or the lacquer finish would peel off.

How to remove the moisture in the French Horn.:

How to remove the moisture in the French Horn. Usually when you breathe on something, you could see moisture accumulate on the surface. The same thing happens inside your French Horn, and if there is moisture in there, it would make a gurgly sound, and it needs to be removed. Remove the mouthpiece and the main tuning slide. Rotate the horn and dump out the liquid. Depress each valve in turn. Remove the valve slide and dump the liquid out. Keep the valve depressed while you insert the slide back in.

Supplies needed for the French Horn. :

Supplies needed for the French Horn. You would need special supplies to care/ clean the French Horn. Other kind may damage the instrument, so buy these specific supplies. Rotary valve oil Slide grease Mouthpiece brush Soft cloth Snake brushes Rotary Valve Oil Slide Grease Mouthpiece Brush Soft Cloth Snake Brushes

The Parts of the French Horn.:

The Parts of the French Horn. In order to care for you French Horn, you need to know what part it consists of, and here are the parts that a French Horn has: The Bell Tuning Slide 3 Rotary Valves Thumb Rest 3 Valve Levers/Keys Pinky Rest

Protecting the French Horn:

Protecting the French Horn French Horn is a very fragile instrument, and can be dented very easily. A dented instrument is horrible. The French Horn will look ugly, it would sound different and it would be very difficult and expensive to remove the dent. Here are some ways to protect your French Horn. Always put the French Horn in its case correctly. If a part of the French Horn is outside of its case, someone might accidently push the top of the case onto the Horn and break it. Don’t put other things than the French Horn into the case. Put accessories such as the mouthpiece into a safe place so they won’t break or get lost. Carry it so that if it opens, your leg will block the instrument from falling. Avoid eating sweet things before playing, and brush your teeth before playing if you do eat something sweet.


Closing Always remember that your instrument is a delicate thing and should always be treated with care. If you follow these care & maintenance rules, you will not only save money, you will also learn different kinds of responsibilities. So care for you instrument, and thank you for listening to my presentation.

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