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Alto Horns for Crystal-Clear Brass Sounds

If you want to take part in a brass band or you want to blow a horn on your own, the alto horn might be exactly what you've been looking for. Finding the affordable alto horns you need is easy on eBay, and there are many different models and styles to pick from. Learn more about which type of horn is right for you by reviewing these answers to commonly asked questions.

In which compositions are alto horns used?

Alto horns are frequently used in classical compositions in which brass, woodwind, string, and percussion musicians play their instruments together. These horns are also used in brass bands, which only consist of brass instruments, like in a marching band. In addition, these horns are often heard in jazz music, and musicians also play these horns in solo arrangements.

Materials used in alto horns

These types of instruments, including the mouthpiece, are usually made from solid brass. This metal typically has a golden color, but some alto horns also come in silver. Horns that have this coloration are usually coated with a layer of silver, but they are still brass underneath. In most cases, silver horns are more expensive than their brass counterparts.

What accessories for alto horns are there?

Because they have been in use for many years, alto horns have many accessories to choose from. Here are some of the accessories that are offered for these horns:

  • Cases: Cases for alto horns are almost invariably hard, and they are usually black on the outside. They are shaped to fit the contours of your horn, and they often have layers of velvet on their insides to cushion the horns and protect them from damage. Almost all horn cases have handles, and some may also have shoulder straps.
  • Metronomes: You can use a metronome with your horn to make sure that you always maintain the correct tempo while you play. These devices create ticking noises that help you follow along as you play, and they come in both analog and digital versions. Analog metronomes are similar to clocks, and they feature physical hands that move back and forth to keep time. Digital metronomes make the same ticking sounds as their analog counterparts and have LCD displays.
  • Cleaning brushes: As you play your horn, debris may accumulate inside of it. You can purchase a special cleaning brush to remove this debris, and these brushes look similar to large pipe cleaners.
  • Mouthpieces: Over time, the mouthpieces on these horns and other types of brass instruments wear out. The mouthpiece of a horn and the condition of the valves also change its tonality, so you should have a few mouthpieces and replacement valves on hand to replace the existing hardware on your horn when needed.
How do you pick the right horn?

Your level of experience will help determine the horn model that's right for you. If you are a professional player, you may want to invest in a high-end horn, but novice players would do better to select entry-level horns as they learn the ropes.

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