Thursday, September 15, 2016

Rust Never Sleeps

What does the title of a Neil Young album have in common with tone production on the French Horn?

Read Principal Horn Bill Caballero's short article in the Pittsburgh Symphony musicians' newsletter to find out!

Good breath support, proper metering of the air through the instrument are essential for a great tone and smooth legato. Caballero says, "Probably 85% to 90% of my time is spent on fundamentals. Long tones, scales, tonal centering exercises." 

It's inspiring to learn that one of the best horn players in the world works on his breath control and tone every day!

However, these fundamentals are often neglected in practice. As bassoonist, Norman Herzberg said, "Mastery of the bassoon is transitory and must be renewed daily." I have written about my efforts to maintain good fundamentals here.