I am a sophomore and I am really interested in getting better at the French horn. I am very good with the melophone (wish I was the same with the French Horn), to the point were I can play very easily, nicely, and have good intonation. The French Horn (double horn to be exact) on the other hand, sadly, I am not bad with but I am not as good as I want to be. I made fourth chair in my tri-county honors band my freshman year so I'm not bad, I just want playing the French horn to be easier. On the French horn, I have trouble with note cracking when I tongue (especially on notes like D and F) and slurring from G to A (Probably because of the switch from F to B flat horn during that slur). I believe the reason why French Horn is harder to play then melephone, for me at least, is because French Horn takes more air and I started learning how to play melephone first.
What should I do to fix the playing problems I mentioned? Does it just take more practice? If so, what should I practice and how long? I don't practice that much outside of school because it is hard to practice at my house, mainly due to family who don't want to hear it (small house) and lack of a good playing spot. What are some other options other then practicing at my home?
I also am worried about my braces. I have gotten used to playing with my braces and I am afraid when they are taken off, I won't be able to play as good. Have any of you had issues with playing when you got your braces taken off?
My goal this year is to be first chair in my tri-county honors band. I know I need to get better to accomplish that, I just need some advice on how to get better. After high school, I also plan on joining The Best Damn Band in the Land (OSU marching band), and I know for a fact I need to get better to accomplish that.
Sorry I asked a lot in one post. Any advice out there to help me?