Best Beginner Trombones Review in 2017

Beginner Trombones are specifically made for the beginning trombone student to make it easier for them to learn the instrument. By choosing one of the beginner trombones, you can learn proper care and maintenance on an instrument that isn't extremely valuable. If damage occurs due to lack of experience, you don't have to worry about an expensive repair to keep your trombone performing effectively. Many of the trombones available can be purchased for less than the cost of a year-long rental, so it makes sense to save some money and pay for a new horn up front.

Things To Consider

Selection

Best Beginner Trombones

There are several types of trombones.Beginner trombones will generally include a tenor trombone that plays in the key of Bb. However, there are other trombones that a beginner may choose to purchase. While tenor trombones are the most common, there are also bass, soprano, alto, contrabass and valve trombones. Some trombones have a trigger that extends the length of the trombone and lowers the pitch by the interval of a fourth. These trombones are generally more expensive and they are capable of playing in Bb and F. Essentially, these double setups allow a performer to switch between keys. But don't worry, just because the trombone switches between a Bb and F horn doesn't mean it can't play in every possible key.

Benefits

The trombone is one of the oldest brass instruments and it stems from an ancient instrument known as a sacbut. As a simple instrument, the trombone is capable of playing a wide range of music. With beginner trombones, you'll be able to learn to play without worrying about damaging the horn. A beginning trombone will also have a bit of air resistance, which makes it easier to get a good tone. A professional trombone has little resistance, which means the performer has to take care to avoid overblowing the instrument. Beginner trombones are also designed with only the basic functions. This allows a performer to concentrate on learning technique before messing with rotors and triggers.

Buying Criteria

There are many trombones in the wild, but beginner trombones should stick with a simple and efficient design. Avoid the temptation to purchase a valve trombone. These trombones are novel, but not much use in the general ensemble. Trombones are expected to have a bright sound that pierces through the orchestra. For this reason, yellow brass for the bell is the preferred material. When choosing a finish, go with a lacquer finish when purchasing beginner trombones. While plated finishes provide higher quality, the plated finish is more expensive. Silver-plated horns may look pretty, but they also require significant care and maintenance. Choose a small bore horn to make it easier to play and upgrade after a few years of playing. 

Care and Use

Trombones should always be kept in their cases to prevent damage. Leaving a trombone out is a recipe for disaster. A beginner trombonist should begin practicing proper care from the outset. This means getting a trombone stand for rehearsals to place the horn on. The student will quickly learn how to guard their horn against damage. Developing good habits with a cheaper horn will teach the student to avoid making mistakes in the future. Trombones can be washed with a mild soap and water, but the slide must be cared for especially well. The smallest dent in a slide will make the trombone unplayable. So, it's important to watch the slide at all times. 

Controversy

The big argument for any brass instrument is that the student should purchase the best instrument they can afford because they will grow into the instrument. This isn't good advice for a trombone. Even the most well-meaning trombonist will face a learning curve, and an expensive instrument is going to take some abuse no matter how careful a student is with their horn. Failure to keep up maintenance can tarnish the slide. Poor upkeep can create rifts in the metal, which can make the instrument perform less effectively. It's better to learn on an instrument of lesser value and purchase a more expensive instrument when the student has developed appropriate technique.

Prerequisites

Before using a trombone, the budding musician should have a private instructor. A tutor can help the student learn the proper way to care for the instrument and take care of it most effectively. Learning to play the trombone is a complex process, and having an experienced tutor to provide the right music and techniques can help significantly. Before buying a trombone, it's also helpful to know what kind of mouthpiece to purchase. Buy from a reputable music store, and you'll have the option of trying out the instrument before you make a commitment.

Five Best Beginner Trombones

Bach TB711F

Best Beginner Trombones

This horn is the most expensive of the bunch, and it should only be considered for an older player. The horn features an F attachment, which makes it possible to play the lower range of the instrument. However, the F attachment also means more care and maintenance will be required. It uses a yellow brass construction on the bell, which gives the horn a solid and bright sound.

The horn also comes with a case and a Bach 12C mouthpiece. The mouthpiece is of special interest because it makes it easier to play with a loud, clear sound. A mouthpiece that is too large will make an instrument's tone sound dark and diffuse. A mouthpiece that is too small will make the instrument sound tinny and thin. This instrument's mouthpiece works especially well with the concert-size .547 bore.

The Bach name brand is a quality brand, and this trombone offers an exceptional value. Trying to find a beginner to intermediate trombone that plays well and sounds good is difficult. If you're looking for an affordable trombone that will last well into the intermediate and even advanced playing years, this trombone offers an exceptional value. You won't find another horn like this in the $1000 range.

Pros

  • The trombone is highly affordable and plays like an instrument twice its value.
  • The F attachment is rare on an instrument in this price range
  • While an F attachment isn't needed for a beginner, it offers a solution for shorter players who can't reach seventh position

Cons

  • This is considered an expensive beginners instrument
  • More maintenance and care is required
  • The F attachment can be tricky to learn to employ

Selmer TB711

Best Beginner Trombones

Selmer is a trusted brand and many band directors will purchase Selmer instruments for their balance between affordability and performance. The instrument offers what you would expect of an entry-level horn, and it also comes with a hard shell case and several accessories to get you started. Included with the horn is a Bach 12C mouthpiece, which is considered a standard mouthpiece for a beginning student.

This trombone offers one of the most balanced compromises between cost and features. It doesn't come with an F attachment, but an F attachment is typically a distraction for the beginning player. The horn uses yellow brass in the bell, and it has a two-piece construction for a more affordable manufacturing process. The outer slides are made from brass, and it has a smaller bore of .500. The small bore size will make it easy for any student to get a good sound.

Upon playing this trombone, the first thing to notice is the smooth slide action. This trombone uses a nickel and silver slide, and the result is a clean and quick action. This trombone's build quality is sufficient to take a student all the way through high school. While the more talented players may want to move up to an F attachment on a horn, this horn will work well for the majority of students.

Pros

  • High-quality materials provide an exceptional sound
  • Quick slide action makes it easy to play fast passages
  • Outstanding value for the price makes this a great mid-range beginner horn

Cons

  • Doesn't include an F attachment to play the lower notes
  • Eight-inch bell may not be large enough for a true symphonic sound
  • Included balance weight encourages improper technique

Allora Student Series

Best Beginner Trombones

If money is an issue, the Allora Student Series Model AATB-102 trombone is an excellent option. It includes a case and mouthpiece so that the student may begin playing immediately. The case is a hard shell case that will protect the horn from the common scrapes and bumps that come from traveling. This is an ideal first trombone for many students with its affordable price and effective performance.

The bore of the trombone is .500, which is a good size bore for students to get a good sound from their instrument. The trombone includes a yellow brass bell for a cutting and piercing sound that gives off a clear articulation. The instrument has a quick response, fluid slide and good intonation. The instrument is exceptionally well-made and a bargain at its low price.

The case doesn't come with any oil for the slide, but this is a great option for the student who is in elementary or junior high school. A high school student could also go quite far with this horn. It's not as flashy or smooth as some of the more expensive horns, but this is an excellent option for the student who is just learning to play.

Pros

  • Affordable instrument with quality yellow brass for a bright sound
  • Small bore is perfect for the beginning student
  • Ideal for helping students learn to play and develop good breath support

Cons

  • Doesn't include an F attachment
  • The trombone is suitable for elementary and middle school only
  • Slide action isn't very fast, but suitable for a beginner

Hawk Gold Lacquer Slide Tenor Bb Trombone

Best Beginner Trombones

Hawk is not a well-known name in the musical instrument business, but this particular instrument is particularly noteworthy for its quality design. The instrument uses a cylindrical bore design, which will give the horn a bright and focused sound. The slide action is smooth and capable of performing at or above the level of average beginner trombones. The instrument plays incredibly well in tune, which is an important consideration for an instrument at any level.

The instrument is in the key of Bb, which makes it well-suited for any concert situation. The entire package comes with a music stand, hard case and cleaning kit to make it easier to maintain the instrument from the very beginning. This instrument will be most welcomed by the elementary school player. However, it could be used by a junior high school or first-year high school student with good success.

Eventually, the student who buys this horn will need to upgrade to a more expensive horn. However, it will serve the beginning student well. As the student develops technique and an appreciation for the maintenance of the instrument, the prospect of a more expensive instrument should be considered.

Pros

  • The small bore size promotes easy playing
  • Comes with a complete kit to make it easy to get started
  • Full-size trombone makes it possible to develop good playing technique

Cons

  • Cheap materials are not desigend to last
  • No F attachment on the horn
  • Slice isn't extremely smooth but suitable for a beginner

Etude ETB-100

Best Beginner Trombones

The Etude ETB-100 trombone is the most affordable option in the line-up, but it's also one of the easiest to play. The small bore at .495 gives this instrument some decent resistance, which makes it easier for beginners who have undeveloped embouchures. The bell is made from yellow brass, which gives the instrument its characteristic sound. The inner slides are made from chrome to reduce the chance of rusting.

While the instrument comes with its own mouthpiece, this is one area you should invest in. While the instrument may change as the beginner develops, the mouthpiece doesn't have to. A good mouthpiece can change the tone of the instrument and make it easier to play high and low notes. Start with a Bach 12C mouthpiece and then adjust from there until the perfect mouthpiece is found.

While this instrument isn't the best, it serves its needs and it's still better than a rental from the local music store. For a fraction of the cost of a rental, you can get an instrument that has good intonation, a responsive slide and looks great. Eventually, it may become necessary to trade up, but this is a great horn to get started with.

Pros

  • Solid instrument that uses the right materials for a quality build
  • Comes with the necessary accessories to get started right away
  • Small bore makes it easier for the beginning student to play with good intonation

Cons

  • The shell is a little flimsy, but it does protect the instrument
  • Generic mouthpiece may result in a less than ideal sound
  • Case storage compartment is small

Conclusion

When wading through the array of beginner trombones, the Selmer TB711 serves as our recommended pick. It's not too expensive, comes with a high-quality mouthpiece, has a small bore size and is made with good craftsmanship. This is an instrument that will last several years, and it can be used throughout elementary, middle and high school. The tone production is consistent throughout the range, it has a good slide action and it will make any young trombonist extremely satisfied. If money is an issue, then the Etude ETB-100 is a close second.

Stephanie Su
 

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