Learn about the tubing of your double French horn to increase your instrument’s life. Read our guide for more facts and information…
The French horn is generally an expensive instrument because its complex structure and the extensive labour hours needed to make it. Every component including the tubing of the horn is important and requires proper care.
How it’s made
The single French horn comes with one set of tubing whereas the double horn comes with two sets. There are numerous pieces of brass tubing in a French horn which are soldered together. The tubing andthe thumb valveswork in combination with each other which is why the rotary valves and the tubing is located in the centre of the outer ring of tubing.
There is one set of tubing in the F key and one in the B/b key. It comes along with a thumb valve which when pressed guides the flow of air to the B flat key.
The tubing of the double French horn is used to shift between the F and Bb keys by using the 4th valve. The process is initiated by pressing the left thumb, the valve then delves the tubing in the vibrating air column. This is not the only way the tubing works as some horns can be adjusted to make the lever work in an opposite manner. This way the horn then plays as an F instrument.
The length of double French horn tubing differs in every horn based on its design. The length is also different on both sides of the keys. When the air flows from the F side, the length is around 12 inches. Whereas when it flows from the B flat key’s side it is around 9inches. The combined length generally makes up 16 inches.
In order to have your French horn playing smoothly you need to take care of it and apply proper steps to maintain it.
The first thing you need to do to maintain your tubing is to simply, wash it with plenty of warm and soapy water. This should be done at least once a month or more if needed. Place the horn directly under the tap and scrub in between the tubing. This will help remove the dust and grease that there collects over time. The next thing is to make sure that the soapy residue does not remain in the horn. For this re-rinse and remove all the soap water.
It is recommended that you chemically clean your horn once every year. This especially applies to anyone who eats or drinks anything sugary and then plays his horns. If you avoid this and maintain your horn, you will then need to get your horn chemically cleaned once every few years.
Keep these pointers in mind and implement them to ensure that your tubing is in good condition and this will help you use your French horn for a longer time period.