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jHorn by Nuvo - Product Review


For this blog post I am going to review the Jhorn from Nuvo instruments




Plastic brass instruments have been around for ages now, they have their benefits and most people probably have a bit of a love hate relationship with themWhat they lack in tone quality, they make up for in durability and are definitely good for beginners and for children. They are especially great just for a bit of fun, and this instrument is really fun!


In my experience, teaching whole class brass lessons, there are far more problems with plastic instruments than real brass ones, even though brass ones do create some fuss in lessons. Needing to oil valves, fix stuck valves and lubricate trombone slides feels like it takes ages when you have 30 children all in one class ready and raring to go.


If children play their instrument regularly then they work better but with the jHorn, I don't think that would matter, and that is a big winner straight away.


I have already made a review about the pBuzz which is another plastic brass instrument aimed at young children. To read that, follow this link. The jHorn is far superior to the pBuzz. In design, relevance and flexibility of use.



I came across the jHorn and was excited to test it. In the UK they are available to 

buy from Frederick Hyde Music Distribution. The jHorn is part of a selection of instruments made by Nuvo. They also have an educational series which supports teacher and students



jhorn eductation


The jHorn comes in an attractive box and also has a good quality carry bag type case with a zip up top.


It comes with adjustable and removable straps, plus has a name tag.



It has additional tuning slides which allows the user to put the instrument into C rather than Bb. This makes the jHorn very versatile in a classroom setting. It could in theory be used in a class with flutes or violins and opens up a wider variety of options from a teaching perspective. 




It has a water hole, to release any condensation which builds up as you play it.


jHorn water hole

The jHorn also has 3 different mouthpiece sizes. This is a genius idea because in a whole class situation, if every child is given a trumpet, there are always some students that really struggle and a bigger mouthpiece option helps so much


The mouthpiece on brass instruments is also the number one cause of damage because children drop them or dent their instrument by accident with the mouthpiece. These will not cause any damage. I'd be interested to find out about whether the material has been tested in anyway in relation to people being allergic to it.


The really interesting thing about the mouthpieces is that, it greatly impacts your range depending on which size you use. I play the euphonium so I used the larger one. This mouthpiece makes the lower notes a bit easier to play. On the smaller mouthpiece, a bottom C (treble clef) is difficult to play for me. I would imagine in a classroom situation you could have pupils playing low C and middle C, depending on which mouthpiece they find easiest to use. This might create an issue when reading musical notation because of the octave difference. These instruments are aimed at very young children and are just a stepping stone into a real brass instrument. Almost like a toy really. So, if I were teaching using these instruments, I probably wouldn't teach the children what the traditional notation is. I should say, other than my own child, I have not tried it with any other children yet.


jHorn mouthpieces

Something I did notice, is that the whole instrument feels brighter with the smaller mouthpiece and a bit flat with the bigger one. It can be heard in my video below and I was struggling a little bit keeping the lower notes in tune. I have to say, I haven't spent hours playing this instrument because I didn't want it to bother my euphonium practice too much so with more time using it, things like this would probably fix.


The jHorn doesn't have piston valves like an Eb tenor horn. It is shaped like an Eb tenor horn (as found in a British style brass band) and has 3 finger buttons just like a typical piston valve instrument but the valves are actually rotary. There are no springs. They are a bit noisy and in a whole class setting this might become annoying if children keep rattling them while you are giving instructions. What it does mean though is there are far fewer issues with sticky valves. I believe that many a child has quit playing a brass instrument just because their valves stick so much



The jHorn comes in a variety of colours and it is very lightPlaying wise, as expected the tone quality is somewhat limited and it takes some time to work out the pitch you are aiming for. A little bit like the pBuzz, you could almost play any note with any valve combination but once you get settled on the pitch it is very easy to play and actually really fun. Faster musical passages are tricky because of the valves but lets face it, it is not designed to play anything as complicated as what I played in my review video.


It is designed for young children as I mentioned, so it is very small. Here you can see the size compared to my euphonium.


jHorn size

The jHorn is a bit expensive but the quality is clear. I think as a classroom teacher, having a few to hand to mix in with a class of trumpets and trombones would be great. Or for someone looking for a quirky Christmas present for a child who likes music, this would be perfect.


Here is a little demonstration video on my YouTube channel. Please subscribe to my channel if you like my content, there will be plenty of new stuff coming soon.





You can purchase the jHorn from a variety of online retailers including the main UK distributer named above. Here are my affiliate links to the product for comparison.




Thanks for reading. ❤


Mark Glover

3/7/24

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