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Beginner Trombones

Beginner Trombones Menu

Beginner Trombones


Student playing trombone Although it might seem almost any trombone would be OK for a beginner, having a trombone that works properly is actually critical.  A beginning trombonist struggles to make the first sounds and find the initial notes.  A beginner who can't make the correct sounds while others do is quickly discouraged.  The first few months are the most difficult and are critical for a young musician.  Band directors can often predict which students will drop out of band by looking at the quality and condition of the instruments they begin on.

A beginner doesn't need the best trombone, but s/he does need a trombone that plays easily (doesn't require too much air), has an appropriate sized mouthpiece, has a working slide, plays in tune with the other instruments, and can be repaired and adjusted when it needs it (...and it will). 

Appropriate beginner trombones are available from many sources:

  • trombone beginning studentBuying outright.  If you're sure your child will like playing music and will want to stay with the trombone, buying one outright might make sense.  However trombones that are appropriate for school band aren't inexpensive, and once a trombonist passes the beginner stage he/she is likely to need an intermediate or performer trombone.
  • Renting.  Renting gives the child (and parents) time to see how s/he likes playing music, consider whether trombone is the correct instrument, and consider what type of trombone is right for the longer term.  The band director knows and usually advises beginners' parents where they can rent the right kind of instruments, considering not just the cost of rental and quality of the instruments, but also the condition they are kept in and the support the company provides to keep the instruments playing properly.  Rent paid is usually applicable to the later purchase of an instrument.  Renting is the most popular way to start a student in music. 
  • Student playing beginner trombone Buy (or borrow) a used one.  When a good used trombone can be gotten at a low enough price, it might make sense to take a chance on the student and buy it.  But check first with the band director to assure the trombone you're considering is the appropriate quality and will play in tune with the band.  Then take it to an instrument repair shop to see what it will take to put it in playing condition. (If it's been sitting up a year or more, it will almost surely need some work to make it play adequately again.)
  • Internet.  Although the Internet is considered a dangerous place to buy a musical instrument, someone who knows trombone brands, models, and conditions and is careful can sometimes find a bargain.  By some estimates 90-95% of the trombones sold on the Internet are not of appropriate quality for school band use (despite advertising to the contrary).  However appropriate trombones can occasionally be found on Internet sites, sometimes at good prices.  Once again, be sure it is a trombone that is appropriate for school band, and either check its condition carefully or anticipate repair costs as part of your purchase math.