Emptying the Spit Valve on a French Horn

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Empty the spit valve after playing the French horn; learn how with tips from our expert French horn player in this free orchestra video music lesson on French horns.

Part of the Video Series: How to Play French Horn
Promoted By Zergnet


Video Transcript

Hi! My name is Katie and I'm here on behalf of expertvillage.com and I'm going to show you what to do if you start to hear a gurgly sound coming from your horn. So when you here this gurgly or statically sound, what you are actually hearing is water inside the horn which horn players typically refer to it as spit but we don't spit into our horns. What it really is, is all that warm air condensing and it collects and so if you don't get rid of if, you start to hear it as it gurgles through the instrument. So you want to remember to dump your spit regularly. Now some horns come with a spit valve right here. All you do is open the valve and blow, another good place to check is also on this side of the horn. You want to check your main slides. You just take them out, shake them. For this one what you want to do is remember to take your mouth piece out because you are going to dump the whole horn, you want to take that slug out, you want to take this tighten slide, so now open, open, open, open, these are all open. If is a stirring wheel you want to imaging taking a right hand turn like so. Shake the horn out, then bring around the other way, wiggle upon the key a bit. Now it is also possible that spit is collecting in this area as well where these slides are and particularly for example if every time you are press your second, your middle finger, down here and you here that gurgling noise, it is probably some where right here. So you just take one of these sides out, shake it, you spit that little spit in there and put it back in the way you had it. So this is one thing to remember, to constantly dump your spit if you hear that gurgling sound.


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