A very simple brass instrument originated around 500 years ago, sort of a mixture of tuba and trumpet - the trombone is very easy to learn if you’re comfortable with the embouchure required to play it. The instrument is very famous because its sound and tone are suitable for multiple music genres, particularly jazz - the whole brass family is known for their contributions to jazz music. The best part about trombones? Learning to play it is super fun but only if you’ve got a decent, reliable piece at hand. In this guide, we’re bringing you the top trombones for high school students for 2022 - well, not particularly just high school students but basically anybody who is looking to get their hands dirty and get the hang of trombone.
Let’s get started with the list of trombones first and then we’ll back our findings with a detailed buyer’s guide that’ll also ultimately help you choose a suitable trombone for yourself.
Trombones aren't very common - they aren't like guitars or violins, so only the experienced folks have an idea about them. So, you can't just go to the music store and test one out. If you don't know what an embouchure is or if you've never played the trombone before, it'll be almost impossible for you to choose one.
Luckily, we've got this section for you - at American Songwriter, we make sure that our audience is pampered and taken care of from all ends. So we've put together a couple of tricks and tips to help you choose a trombone, followed by a plethora of information to get you up to pace with the latest trombones available in the market.
First Things First: What to Consider When Buying a Trombone
When buying any musical instrument, you can save a lot of time and money by asking these questions yourself:
Know who you're buying the trombone for
There usually are three types of instruments; toy instruments for kids, beginner/student instruments, and professional instruments. If you're a complete newbie and you want to start with an entry-level instrument, you need to go for a beginner/student trombone. On the other hand, if you believe that you're a very determined individual and you're going to grow out the beginner trombone right after a few months, you can always add in a few bucks and get your hands on an intermediate level instrument that'll help you bring your skill up a notch.
Know why you're buying It
If you're planning to buy a trombone as a hobby, you need a basic instrument and it doesn't really matter if it is full-featured or not. On the contrary, if you're buying it as a professional or somebody looking to bring their skill up a notch, you'll need it with all the nitty-gritty it comes with.
Make sure you're also getting the maintenance kit
So, if you didn't know it already - the trombone is played with a very interesting embouchure that requires you to blow vibrations into it in a way that fills up its pipe with the player's spit. This is particularly why it requires regular care and proper maintenance tools. When you buy a trombone, it almost always comes with a nice cleaning kit. Even if yours didn't come with one, you can easily buy a cleaning kit separately that mostly includes a cleaning cloth, polish, and gloves.
What are the Different Types of Trombones?
While going through the trombones above, you may have gotten a bit confused about terms like valve and tenor. Well, they're the terms defining different types of trombones. Following are some primary types of trombones (although they're about a dozen types of trombones out there):
The trigger-type tenor trombone, also known as F-rotor or F-attachment trombone, has a couple of advantages and provides an easy progression for a well-experienced trombonist. However, for beginners, it only adds a whole extra process right off the surface, which isn't really ideal or anything we'd suggest.
This is one of the most commonly available and simplest trombones out there. The straight tenor trombone contains no tubing on the inside.
Mostly used by skilled players, the bass trombones have a very large bore and hence, require more air to be played properly.
Sopranino, piccolo, and others
The sopranino and piccolo trombones are extremely rare and they're generally smaller and higher-pitched than regular trombones. Other than these, there are alto, cimbasso, soprano, marching, and valve trombones - and even more! We've given you an overview of the most basic ones and ideally the ones you should be going for as a beginner.
Features to Look for in a Good Quality Trombone
If you haven't bought a trombone before, here are a few things you may want to consider as a beginner:
An average beginner trombone should come with a mouthpiece, a soft/hard case, mutes, a cleaning kit that may include a pair of gloves, polish, and cleaning cloth, and perhaps a water key stopper. These are some of the most basic accessories that beginners need at one point or another.
If you're buying a trombone for a kid, you may as well go for cool color options. If the product you're interested in doesn't come in multiple colors, try looking for another trombone with the same features but something that's a little more vibrant - only if a cool finish is one of your preferences.
The normal tenor trombone bore is around 0.5 inches - however, a rule of thumb is that thicker a trombone's bore is, the more bassy sound it will produce.
Sound and slide action
Before buying a trombone, make sure to do your due homework around the product. Check out its reviews on YouTube and under customer reviews on online retailers such as Amazon. We're particularly talking about zeroing in on a trombone with a decent sound. More often than not, the customer reviews under the product will tell you all that you need to know about the instrument.
Similarly, the slide action of the trombone must be easy - you can easily find feedback about this in the customer reviews section when buying online.
People Also Asked
Q: Do trombones come with a warranty?
A: Trombones do come with a warranty - it's mostly against the manufacturing faults. The warranty is usually very hassle-free and lets you replace the faulty parts of your trombone right away.
Q: Which type of trombone is best for beginners?
A: The straight tenor trombone is a great starting point and is usually opted by trombonists of all skill levels. These trombones are usually Bb (B flat) tenor trombones and we've listed a few of them above.
Q: How much should you expect to pay for a good trombone?
A: If you're concerned about the overall prices - you can go as high as you want to with the professional ones. If you're looking for an entry-level trombone, you can expect to find a decent one in the $150 - $300 range. The mid-level ones will cost around $500-$700 and shall give you more than enough room for growth.
Within the city limits of NOLA, you may find Camilla hammering away on her 88, playing anything from old jazz to modern country music. Camilla's goal is to one day open a piano studio in New Orleans where she can teach the black and whites and other common jazz instruments to enthusiastic students. Ms. Haywood hopes to bring instruments to old and new musicians alike, reviewing pianos, orchestral instruments, and other products that make her tap her fingers to the beats.