A trombone is an essential instrument in an orchestra or a band. For this reason, it is very important to select the best trombone so that you can get the most out of this important instrument. As per history is concerned, trombones were not used until 1808 when Beethoven’s 5th symphony was introduced to the orchestra hall.
These days, trombones are being used in the band, orchestral, and jazz ensembles. They are readily available in a wide range of sizes and shapes. They are also manufactured by different brands. While this may sound like good news, the tendency for confusion is also high, thinking about the need to select the best one for your needs and preferences.
To help you make a wise purchasing decision, we have come up with a review of the top options out there. At the end of the day, you will be able to choose one that will meet your unique requirements.
Types of Best Trombone
Straight, tenor trombones are regarded as the simplest types out there. They do not have tubing inside the primary section. The F-rotor comes with extra tubing in the main loop. It serves as a straight trombone until the tubing is triggered to activate. This makes the horn effectively longer, changing the tuning from Bb to F.
A valve trombone is a recommended option if you are already an expert or seasoned trumpet player since it would offer an easy transition on your part. These trombones may be unfamiliar to beginners. If you are a beginner with brass instruments, you can choose a trumpet or a trombone and skip hybrid horn types.
With dual-bore trombones, the slide is smaller on a side, graduating into a bigger diameter on the other. It provides the player with more initial resistance coming from a narrower bore, then opening up for a more distinct, bigger sound. Dual-bore trombones are not common among student-level trombones. They are usually found in some huge bass and bore trombones, making them valuable to more advanced players.
Bass trombones often come with a bigger bell and the same length as tenor trombones. It is a bigger bore version of the standard F-rotor trombone, which serves as a second rotor that extends the low even more.
Benefits of Trombone
Aside from producing a unique sound for music, trombones feature a number of benefits, including the following:
Music is often a good outlet for stress, unhappiness, and struggles. If indeed, playing a brass instrument such as a trombone is for you, it will serve as an amazing stress reliever as well. Doing what you love will make you happy, thus helping you to get rid of stress.
To some people, keeping rhythm itself is already difficult. Playing trombone, on the other hand, requires pressing knobs, putting your fingers in holes, or pushing a brass arm so as to create a beautiful sound. This takes practice and skill. Playing trombone will allow you to use your hands in new ways, fostering fine motor skills.
When playing brass instruments such as a trombone, the diaphragm becomes the most used part of the body. As your lips start to vibrate in order to create music, you also need to measure your breath. This will teach you to control all throughout.
Reviews of the Top 10 Best Trombone in 2020
1. Bach 42BO Stradivarius Series
Best for Professional Trombonists
- Vincent Bach is a reputed name in the brass instruments manufacturing industry. The 42BO Stradivarius Series trombone is a huge, yellow instrument. It features an 8.5-inch bell, along with a .547-inch bore that comes with a fixed leadpipe. Since this instrument can be played out of the box, there is no need to set up anything at all.
- This model is in the Bb/F key, which only means that it can produce a wide range of sounds. The F-rotor section of this model is called an ‘open wrap,’ meaning that there are bigger bends in the tubing.
- The slide of this trombone is described as lightweight, which significantly helps in playing faster vibratos, depending on your preference. It is recommended for professional trombonists and advanced students, with one of the reasons being the big bore and mouthpiece shank.
- While this trombone can be considered as one of the pricier options in this list, the materials that are used in its construction, along with its precision, makes it a reasonable investment. Among the favorites among trombonists is the hand-hammered one-piece bell.
2. YSL354 Trombone
Preferred by New Musicians
- This trombone model is ideal for new musicians, though it does not mean that it is a fixed choice only for beginners. This instrument is well-constructed, with amazing sound and strength.
- The inner slide of this trombone is constructed using a chrome-plated yellow brass, and the outer part is made of a one-piece drawn yellow brass. The interior slide stockings are air-tight, which means that the slide action will be better aligned and smoother compared with other models.
- It also features an effective weight distribution, making it easier to hold. Another interesting feature of this model is its laser-fused bell, making the vibrations comer out continuously. This means that you can expect to hear an even sound that may not really be available with other models.
3. Mendini by Cecilio Bb Tenor Slide Trombone
Ideal for Early Learners and Children
- This trombone is a recommended option for beginners and early learners, including children. The slide action is noticeably smooth, allowing beginners to make easy note changes in whatever register they play comfortably with. Just like other brass instruments, the actual bore size has a gauge in the ease of use.
- It is a small-bore trombone, which is why it is perfect even for younger players. This instrument can be played with less exertion of breath compared to what more advanced trombones require.
- In terms of visuals and packaging, this trombone features a silver-plated mouthpiece, a pair of gloves, a hard case that comes with backpack straps, as well as a cleaning cloth, which is a basic maintenance kit that all beginner learners need to have.
- This trombone is one of the more affordable models out there, with multiple colors and silver accents.
4. Eastar ETB-330 Bb Tenor Trombone Brass
Most Versatile Trombone
- This trombone is made out of brass and is a product created by one of the leading manufacturers of trombones in the music industry – Eastar. It is designed to feature two layers of coating for its inner tube, thus providing amazing sound quality.
- It is also known to have a penetrating sound that is designed to perform well in both auditoriums, and even in outdoor locations. As such, this model is considered to be highly versatile for various styles and types of musicians. According to reviews, it can hold an accurate tone, with excellent sound quality that is easily heard.
- While this trombone is preferred by professionals, it is also ideal for new learners because it even comes with a care kit. It is perfect for those who are still finding their way out, looking for things that they need in order to get started. As a bonus, it comes with a pretty case that provides protection to the instrument.
5. Pbone Green Trombone
Ideal for Its Lightweight Construction
- What the Pbone Green Trombone promises is a lightweight instrument, weighing only 3 pounds. The best part is that despite its weight, it still proves to be functional, just like other heavier trombones in this list.
- This trombone is manufactured using a custom-designed glass fiber construction. This means that it is light and extremely organic, making it possible for you to play it without even knowing that you are carrying it.
- It is also designed in a way that makes it very easy to hold on to. It comes with a lockable slide, as well as durable materials that are used to provide support to it. This is something that you hardly get to experience with a trombone.
6. Yamaha YSL-8820 Xeno Series
Amazing Touch and Sensitivity
- Whether you are an intermediate or an advanced player, the Yamaha YSL 8820 Xeno series trombone model is an option that you can take into consideration. It is backed up by a reputation of offering amazing touch and sensitivity to movement.
- This trombone also offers amazing accuracy, whether you are playing fortissimo (very loud), or pianissimo (very soft). This is also perfect for complex pieces that need a bit of vibrato.
- This instrument features a bright sound, which makes it crisp and clear. The addition of a hand-hammered yellow brass bell helps in the creation of a unique sound. It is almost similar to that of the Bach 42BO, as it is also created by experts who specialize in producing a product that exudes amazing craftsmanship.
- As a bonus, it also features an F-attachment, making it easy for you to reroute your breath from a tube to another, allowing you to reach a more creative and broader range of pitch.
7. Etude ETB-100 Series Student Trombone
Best Budget Model
- The ETB-100 series from Etude features a number of amazing models to take into consideration, including this student trombone. For the fact that it is created as a budget model, it is well-made.
- This trombone features easy projection, producing a lovely tone along with reasonable levels of volume for an instrument with smaller bore size. This model introduces amazing resonance and presence.
- It comes with an outer hand-slide that is made out of brass, with an inner hand-slide made of chrome, thus allowing it to produce effortless action. The bell of this trombone is hand-beaten into shape, with products that have been tested accordingly.
- This model features a centered weight balance, with all of the joints being well-braced. It even comes with an average mouthpiece that does its job well, adding to the beautiful gold lacquer finish that it offers. As a bonus, it also comes with a heavy-duty hard-case that makes it ideal for use among students.
8. Glory High-Grade Bb/F Key Intermediate Tenor Trombone
Easiest to Play and Start With
- Glory is a brand that earned its reputation in making brass and woodwind instruments. They particularly specialize in online selling, though it does not mean that the quality of their products is compromised by the affordability of their products.
- The Bb Trombone model is easy to play, and lightweight enough even for the smallest beginner players. It is a B-flat trombone, which means that it lacks an F-attachment feature. This is the reason why it is ideal for beginner learners.
- As a bonus, it comes with a durable hard case, which makes it very easy to carry around. If you are looking for a simple and pared-down trombone, this trombone is the perfect option to take into consideration.
9. Jean Paul USA TB-400 Trombone
Best Trombone for Long-Time Players
- This trombone model is a basic tenor instrument, coming in the standard Bb key. It is a nice trombone of choice among students, as well as new musicians. Unfortunately, though, it is not preferable for smaller children due to its weight.
- This model is slightly advanced than other items in this list because of its response and sensitivity. As such, it is an amazing choice who plans to commit to playing trombone for a long period of time. For one, it is a bit pricier than others, but the price is reasonable enough, taking into consideration that you do not need to pay a lot for repairs, thanks to its durability.
- This instrument comes with a yellow brass make with a lacquer finish, producing an aesthetically pleasing overall appearance and feel. It produces a bright and sharp sound, perfect for playing in orchestras or band.
10. Vincent Bach Prelude Trombone
- Bach is another brand own for its craftsmanship. The Bach Prelude Trombone comes with an 8.5-inch bell, making it an ideal option for jazz. The primary selling point of this model is its genuine Vincent mouthpiece, which is known for its durability.
- In terms of construction, it comes in yellow brass, giving jazz feels almost automatically, together with its nickel silver plated slides. The harmony of these different colors makes it appealing.
- It also comes with a hard case that could be purchased together with a 12C mouthpiece.
There are some factors that need to be considered before purchasing a trombone. The following are among the most important in order to get a quality purchase.
The most common type of trombone used for ensembles is tenor trombones. They feature a B-flat key. The key, however, limits the number of notes that you can play on the tenor trombone. This is why some models come with an F-attachment which expands the low-end range.
When it comes to the F-attachments, there are two types available: standard and open wrap. The standard wrap is the most common among intermediate trombones. It increases resistance on the slide. For this reason, it is recommended to research F-attachments before getting a trombone that comes with this feature.
Trombones come in different sizes. The bell and bore measurements are also different for some instruments. The weight also varies a lot, often determined by the kind of materials that are used to make the instruments.
The size that you would need depends on your strength and size, as well as the type of playing that you plan to do. Jazz models are different than those designed for band or orchestra.
Material and Finish
Even though trombones are a member of the brass family of instruments, modern trombones come in a wide variety of material. Among the most common materials used are metals and plastic.
There is also a wide range of finishes, with lacquer finishes as the most common. There are also plated finishes available. The type of plating that is used in finishes changes the overall appearance of the trombone significantly.
Trombones range from affordable to expensive priced options. Keep in mind your budget when choosing a new trombone. Generally, trombones for beginners are expected to be less expensive than for intermediate or advanced students.
If you are a beginner, it is recommended for you to start with a more affordable model, then start working your way up. This will make sure that you will not waste your money on something that you may not really love doing later on. However, if you are eyeing at becoming a professional trombonist, then a more expensive instrument is a good investment.
Understanding the Features
There are a number of features that you might want to look into when choosing a trombone model. Here are some of them:
The bell is the part of the instrument where the sound waves come out from the trombone. Every type of trombone comes with a different size of the bell, usually ranging from almost 7 inches to 10.5 inches. The actual size of the bell influences the sound that is projected and produced.
The tubing of a trombone is usually made out of brass. When laid in a straight line, it would usually reach more than 2 meters.
Valve/triggers are usually not fitted for trombones for learners, but for the more advanced players. Bass trombones come fitted with valves. Among the most common types of valves that you will encounter are rotary valves, or triggers.
Some trombones feature piston valves, similar to that of a trumpet, and as such, called valve trombones. The valves/triggers are also used in changing the tubing length that the air has to pass down, changing the note that is being played.
The mouthpiece is the part of the trombone used by the player to direct lip and air vibrations into the instrument. Mouthpieces are deep and large, enabling any new player to create a tone easily than other types of brass instruments, making them ideal even for beginners.
How do I choose the right trombone for me?
The first thing that needs to be taken into consideration is your skill and experience in playing trombones. If you are a beginner, then there is no need to get those highly advanced models. Generally, students begin with a straight tenor trombone and later on switching on to a horn with F-rotor.
For beginners, it is recommended to start with a smaller bore trombone, within the range .500 inches to .525 inches since it is designed to take less air that supports a usable tone.
Players of intermediate level may want to get a medium to large bore trombone for a more forceful and fuller sound. Basically, the kind of music that you would like to play will also influence your selection, since the bore size impacts the sound greatly.
What is the difference between a small bore and a large bore trombone?
A small-bore trombone is generally used by most jazz players, as it features a bright sound. Because of its bigger tubing, on the other hand, a large-bore trombone produces a more mellow sound and is often the recommended option for classical trombone players.
What are the top trombones for beginners?
In the list above, the following models are recommended for beginners:
- YSL354 Trombone
- Mendini by Cecilio Bb Tenor Slide Trombone
- Eastar ETB-330 Bb Tenor Trombone Brass
- Pbone Green Trombone
- Etude ETB-100 Series Student Trombone
What is the best brand to buy?
The decision as to the brand that is best for you depends on your actual needs, requirements, and preferences. The list above features models that are produced by some of the best brands out there.
If you are exploring the world of brass instruments, you will be delighted to know that there are really some decent trombones that are out in the market. The options above cater to a wide range of budgets and features. Whether you are a beginner taking your first step to learning how to play the trombone or upgrading from your student model, the review above will have you covered.