In grade school, we were all tested to see what instruments we might be good at.

My results were great – and I was told, I could play pretty much any instrument I wanted.

My choice?

The French Horn.

The reason I wanted the French Horn was because it was supposed to be very difficult to play and my sister had tried it and couldn’t hack it.

I needed to show the world (and most particularly, my older sister) that I could do what she couldn’t.

I actually never found playing the French Horn all that difficult.

I understand why people think it’s hard –

First off, it takes a lot of wind to blow through all that tubing and come out with a note on the other end.

And second, you can almost play any note on a French Horn – despite how you’re fingering it (not as dirty as it sounds).

The closest I can describe it, is I was once told that you don’t play a French Horn – you sing it.

You have to have the note firmly in your head before you play it, and then you have to have the exact embouchure, fingering, and hand position in the bell to create the note you want.

Anyhow – I liked it because it only had 3 keys to use (4 if you have a double horn) – unlike reed instruments that have a bazillion keys that need pressing at any given time.  Yikes.  And I have a really good ear.

However, looking in the mirror the other day, I realized that my horn playing has marked me for life.

Well, not my horn playing.

My horn carrying.

The French Horn is a heavy instrument to lug around – especially if it’s in a hard case.

Not as bad as a baritone, or a bass, or tuba, etc. – but it’s a hunk of metal.

I always carried my horn case in my right hand.

So when I look in the mirror – my right shoulder is noticeably lower than my left!

It’s true.

Lugging around my horn did that to me.

If you are/were a horn player – go look in the mirror.

Of course, this will not apply to horn players who are/were smart enough to change up what hand you used to carry your horn case with.

I said I was a horn player – not a smart horn player.

And I have the shoulders to prove it!

horn case


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