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If you're a newcomer to the brass band, the instruments in this section may not even look like French horns to you at first. That's because they're marching French horns, which have a special shape that makes them better suited to playing on the march. The length of tubing is the same, and so is the valve layout - but unlike a traditional French horn, these models are designed to be held up in front of you while playing instead of tucked downward. Their bells face forward, projecting your sound toward the crowd. And wherever it's possible, their designs take measures to cut down on weight, making them comfortable to carry through even the longest parades.
One of the ways that marching French horns shave off the pounds is by being dedicated in key to either F or Bb - no double horns here. This means that deciding on the right horn for you is going to start with choosing your key. If you're a beginner, you might like to start out with an F horn like the Blessing BM-400 Series Marching F French Horn or the Tama by Kanstul KFFH Series Marching F French Horn. These are the lighter and simpler of the two, which makes them a lot more approachable and easier to care for.
If a Bb horn is more your style, then you've got even more instruments to choose from. A good way to narrow down the options is by budget - for instance, the Jupiter 550 Series Marching Bb French Horn is the perfect choice when affordability is a priority. On the other hand, if you want to make an investment in a higher-end horn, consider the Adams MF1 Series Marching Bb French Horn. With its proprietary valves, tubing layout and materials, the MF1 delivers a sound-to-weight ratio that's nothing short of amazing.
The bottom line is that, with the variety of marching French horns in this section to choose from, you can find the perfect instrument whether you're a beginner joining your school's marching band for the first time, or a veteran player in a renowned military band. There's a horn here for a musician of any experience level, and you'll have your choice of finishes, too, so it's easy to blend in with the visual and tonal profiles of the entire band.