In this video lesson, Expert Katherine Liesener teaches how to stop or mute a French horn when playing.
Transcript: KATHERINE LIESENER: "Hi! I'm Katie and I'm here on behalf of expertvillage.com, I'm going to show you how to play stopped horn. Stopped horn is just a type of muted horn and if you are reading a piece of music it will either say stopped horn or on top of a note there would be a small plus sign that means stopped. Now they make mutes that automatically stopped horns. These are stopped mutes they look like this in which case you simply place mute in the bell and automatically your horn is stopped. You see that it sounds very pitched and brassy. It is sort of a special effect for the horn. Now it is a luxury to be able to have the time to put a stopped mute in the bell so really many advance home players don't even bother to put the stop mute. They get same effect using just there hand. This is what you do go ahead and you put your horn excuse me your hand in the bell as usual but instead of stopping right here go all the way in so your hand is in very tightly and once it is in tight as possible give it a twist to completely stop off the air. It is going to feel very very tight around your knuckles but that is good. So once you have the air completely stopped off this should sound some what similar. Again it is that same pinched whiny noise. Now there is one more thing that you have to know. If for example you are reading a piece of music you see that the stopped note is a G you go ahead and stop the horn but you don't use the fingering of a G which is open. Whenever you are playing stopped horn with a mute go without, you have to use a fingering a half step below. So in this instance I'm trying to play a G; that is a G. If I'm going to play it stopped, I actually have to use the fingering for G flat to get that same pitch. Keep in mind that when you play stopped horn it is going to tend to be high so you have to adjust with your mouth, drop your jaw a little bit to keep it loud enough that it stays in tone. So those are all the tricks that you need to know in order to play stopped horn."
In this course, eHow Expert Katherine Liesener gives 23 video lessons on How To Play the French Horn. Learn basic tips and techniques for playing this brass instrument, including how to hold the horn, form proper embouchure, and changing pitch using your lips, the rotary valves, or by putting your hand in the bell. Also learn some intermediate French horn skills involving orchestral music, like how to play slurs, legato, glissando, staccato, and accent notes. Finally, get some practical care and maintenance tips for your horn, as well as some basic guidelines for creating a practice routine.