A Quick Guide to French Horns
Kinder horns are designed for children who may struggle to hold a full sized instrument, as they have tightly wrapped tubing that makes the whole instrument more compact. These are available in Bb, F and compact compensating. If you are interested in a kinder horn then why not take a look at the Rosetti Series 5 Kinder in Bb.
There are several variants of the French horn. Traditionally, most players start on a ‘single horn’ pitched in F. An excellent example of a single horn is the Yamaha 314.
Sometimes, a player may chose a ‘compensating’ double as this achieves almost the same as the full double but is lighter and easier to hold. They are most suitable for players who play mainly on the Bb side.
The full orchestral instrument has a mechanism that allows it to play in F and Bb. There is no obligation to learn on a smaller horn: if you are able to hold a full double correctly then there is no reason why you should not learn to play on one, such as the Rosetti Series 5 Full Double. If you are an intermediate player then a good instrument to try is the Yamaha 567D or the new Hoyer Horns, while a professional player may be more interested in the Holton 378.
It is worth trying second hand French horns because you may be able to get a better quality instrument for less. Bear in mind that the sound produced by the instrument is more important than its aesthetics. You can find an up-to-date list here.