If it’s possible for me to teach myself to play the French horn unaided, then I’m sure I’ll be able to learn to play the EH pretty quickly.

(Of course the “if/then” thing is rather important here! I would suggest that a teacher should be necessary to learn to play French horn well, just as a teacher is needed to learn a double reed instrument.)


  1. You changed the word from “unaided” to “well” (and you knew I’d comment :).

    My advice to whoever wrote the above (I feel qualified in this case) would be to get a recording device and record themselves playing the French horn (something simple, in fact), listening particularly for attack quality, intonation, rhythm and missed notes (in that order). This does two things: you have an “audience” (so you pay more attention) and you get to hear what you sound like to others (every mistake is Right There). While sound quality/tone is also very important, even if you have the most beautiful sound in the world, if you don’t start notes cleanly, play them in tune or play them when you’re supposed to it doesn’t make up for it. Plus, that depends to a certain extent on the quality of the recording device.

    And I made a point of finding a teacher before I even tried to rent an oboe.

  2. Yep, Tim!

    Btw, this same person then asked me if she could play her English horn using a French horn mouthpiece, proving, of course, that she needed a teacher. Quickly!

  3. *facepalm*

    I would be fascinated to see her embouchure…

    On the other hand, it could be that she’s a natural and is really amazing on the horn. But assuming that English horn would be simple to teach oneself…maybe she thinks they just have different accents or something?