How to Buy a Trombone

The Trombone is a member of the Brass family. It is a simple, yet unique instrument in that it uses a slide to change from note to note, rather than valves. There are 3 basic types of trombones: Tenor, F-Attachment Tenor and Bass.

There are also specialty trombones such as the Valve and Alto. For students, the most common is the Tenor. This is the trombone most commonly used for concert and marching bands.

When choosing a step-up instrument, players sometimes option to move to an F-Attachment model. In our Buyers Guide, we will show you the differences between the various levels and how they affect price and performance.

The Tenor Trombone is the most basic of the trombone family with no tubing inside the main section. The bore (inside diameter) of a student trombone is around .500”, which is considered a “small bore”. This is important for a beginner, as it doesn’t take a large amount of air to produce a good tone.

Student These trombones are machine made and designed to be inexpensive and durable. They play well, but forego the craftsmanship and high-end materials found on intermediate and professional models. A student model is commonly a Tenor model with a small bore. Most are made of Yellow Brass, although there are some student models that are manufactured from Rose Brass.

Intermediate These trombones are machine made and designed to be inexpensive and durable. They play well, but forego the craftsmanship and high-end materials found on intermediate and professional models. A student model is commonly a Tenor model with a small bore. Most are made of Yellow Brass, although there are some student models that are manufactured from Rose Brass.

Professional These trombones are machine made and designed to be inexpensive and durable. They play well, but forego the craftsmanship and high-end materials found on intermediate and professional models. A student model is commonly a Tenor model with a small bore. Most are made of Yellow Brass, although there are some student models that are manufactured from Rose Brass.

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The F-Attachment Trombone features a trigger that is sometimes referred to as an “F trigger”, or an “F-rotor”. When this trigger is engaged, it activates extra tubing within the main loop on the bell section of the trombone. This makes the horn longer and lowers its tuning from “Bb” to “F”. Until the trigger is engaged, the trombone plays just like a standard Tenor. The Bell

There are 3 different types of material used in making a brass instruments bell. Each material has a distinct influence on how the instrument will sound.

* Yellow Brass – This is the most common brass used in making brass instruments. It produces a rich, full sound. Most student horns are made of Yellow Brass

* Rose Brass – Also referred to as Red Brass or Gold Brass, this produces a darker, warmer tone in comparison to Yellow Brass. Most intermediate horns are made of Rose Brass.

* Silver/Nickel or Sterling Silver – Used primarily for professional instruments and some intermediate. It produces a very rich sound.

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