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Breathing technique is an extremely important element in French horn playing, which is crucial for achieving perfect sound and control over the instrument. In today’s article, I will discuss why breathing technique is so important, how it affects French horn playing, and how it can be improved.

The French horn is a brass instrument known for its rich and full sound. To achieve optimal results in French horn playing, precise control over breathing is essential. Breathing technique allows for controlling dynamics, intonation, and the length of notes, which is crucial for interpreting music.

One of the key elements of breathing technique is proper, technical breathing using the lower part of the abdominal diaphragm. Many people make the mistake of shallow breathing, which limits airflow and makes it difficult to control the sound. On the other hand, breathing with the abdominal diaphragm allows for deeper and more stable support of the sound, resulting in better sound quality.
As renowned French horn player Dennis Brain once said: “Breath is the soul of music.” It is through control over breathing that we can express emotions and interpret music in a subtle and refined manner. Therefore, it is worth dedicating time to improving breathing technique in order to fully utilize the potential of the French horn.

Another important aspect of breathing technique is the even distribution of air during playing. Sudden changes in air volume should be avoided, as they can lead to uncontrolled sounds and difficulties in maintaining a stable melodic line. It is also important to maintain continuity of sound by controlling exhalation and inhalation.

Proper control of mouthpiece position on the lips during inhalation is also important in French horn playing. Too wide an opening of the mouth can lead to difficulties in producing sounds in the high register.

To improve breathing technique in French horn playing, it is advisable to regularly practice breathing exercises, which help strengthen respiratory muscles and improve control over breathing. Exercises such as breathing with the abdominal diaphragm, controlled exhalations and inhalations, and working on even air distribution can bring significant results in a short period of time.
Remember that breathing technique is not only a physical matter but also a mental one – concentration and awareness of one’s breath are crucial for achieving perfect sound.

In conclusion, breathing technique plays an incredibly important role in French horn playing, influencing both sound quality and musical interpretation. Proper control over breathing allows for expressing emotions and subtleties in playing, which is crucial for every musician. Therefore, it is worth dedicating time to improving breathing technique and consciously working on its improvement in order to fully enjoy the potential of the French horn.

We will be working on this and many other aspects of French horn artistry during the French Horn Masterclass Course at the Music Academy in Łódź on July 7-12, 2024.

Don’t hesitate and register now!!
#WKM2024 is a great opportunity to develop your skills and meet new people with a passion for music and the French horn. To sign up for the course, simply visit the MikulskiART Foundation website, where the registration form and more information about the event are available.

Here is the link:

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