How to choose a French Horn

Throughout the years, music has captivated many around the world. People can be spellbound by songs, which may result in powerful feelings towards music. The joy felt as you remember a particular moment when you first heard a certain song, or a good time in your life can stick with you forever. It may inspire you to try your hand at playing a musical instrument.

Hopefully, your musical tastes will send you in the right direction. While many decide to learn the more mainstream guitar, some choose to try the French Horn. This is a very interesting instrument as it is seen as one of the harder instruments to play.

But for people looking to get one, the decision can be hard. The information can be technical and quite confusing. Here below is some advice to help you choose a French Horn.

Where can I buy one?

French Horns are not as commonplace and easy to find as a lot of musical instruments. Not all music stores will have them in stock as they are highly specialized instruments. You may have to browse through the internet to get information about where the nearest store to you is.

If that fails, sites like Amazon and eBay will have a range of French Horns available for you to check out. Be sure and read reviews of your desired product if there’s one you wish to buy in particular. While brass instruments are highly entertaining to both listen to and play, they will not cheap, so be careful when choosing one.

New or Secondhand?

This is a big decision to make when you are splashing the cash. By choosing to buy secondhand, you could save money or even get a better quality instrument within your budget. Buying a secondhand horn will allow avoiding the breaking in of the instrument, a period that comes with a new horn. This is when the horn feels stiff and less responsive at the very beginning.

If the horn has been well looked after, chances are it will be as mechanically sound as a brand new instrument. It’s possible that a secondhand horn may have had improvements made to it that might see it being a more interesting and worthwhile purchase. There are many French Horn brands to choose from. If you have the money, you may consider getting one custom-made, but will likely be an expensive and time-consuming process.

What type of French Horn should you Choose?

Choosing a French Horn can depend on what level of musical skill you are at. There are three main types of French horns, being single horns, double horns, and triple horns. The single horn-type instrument is the cheapest of the trio to buy, but again, bargains for all types can be found.

Aimed towards beginners, many start their playing careers on a single horn. They are purposefully built lighter than a double horn and are suited towards younger students. The double horn will be used by more experienced students and professionals. It can often be seen used by musicians in bands or orchestras.

Does it Have to be Maintained?

Just like all other instruments, your French Horn will have to be looked after well. Neglect can lead to many serious issues, causing possible long-term damage to your instrument. Take care of it so it remains in good condition. After playing, simply wipe the horn with a soft clean cloth.

Clean the mouthpiece regularly. Remove it, and wash it with hot tap water to avoid any buildup of grime. Empty water from the instrument by using the water key. If it doesn’t have one, simply invert the instrument. Excess water can be a big problem and can affect the tones produced by a French Horn.


To some, the French Horn may not have the same appeal as the guitar for example. Yet it does take a massive amount of time and patience to master. By sticking with it, hopefully, you will achieve your dream of playing it well. It’s vital you choose the right one, as it could prove to be a costly mistake if you are not happy afterward.

By shopping around both in person, and online, you will be able to find a French Horn that suits your needs. Chances are, there will be a better selection on the internet, but don’t give up on browsing your local stores. Don’t be afraid to buy secondhand if you find an instrument that is of good quality which falls within your price range.

If you are of a certain standard, that may affect which horn you wish to choose. The skill to play will not come easily and be sure not to get ahead of yourself. Be sure and take care of your instrument and it could give you years of musical pleasure, proving you made the correct decision in choosing a French Horn.