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What Should I Consider before I Buy a Trombone?

L. Whitaker
L. Whitaker

When you decide to buy a trombone, your first considerations should include what size instrument you want and what price range is acceptable to you. To buy a trombone is to make an investment in an instrument that can last for a significant number of years. Experts urge new buyers to base their decisions about size and price on the beginning musician's age and level of commitment to the instrument.

To buy a trombone, you should begin by considering what size instrument you need. Trombones come in a variety of sizes, though student players typically start with a B-flat tenor trombone and explore other options later in their studies. Bore size is also a consideration for anyone who is going to buy a trombone. The bore of a trombone is the diameter of the inside of the instrument's tubing, which affects the quality of sound as well as playability. Beginners are often advised to look for a small bore size.

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Man playing a guitar

Purchasing a used instrument is a possibility when an individual wants to buy a trombone. A good-quality trombone will not have any dents, and the slide mechanism will move easily. The trombone's lacquer finish should also be in good condition, as it protects the instrument from rust.

Parents of beginner trombonists can often take advantage of rent-to-buy programs at music stores. Some experts believe that the poor quality of previously owned student instruments could discourage beginners. Other sources say that so-called student quality trombones are adequate for initial training, after which the individual can choose a more advanced instrument.

Price range is a consideration when deciding whether to buy a new or used instrument. Brass instruments can last for many years with good care, and experts urge the beginner to consider the new instrument a financial investment. Even a new trombonist who has no upper budget limit should avoid buying a very expensive or custom-built instrument at first, due to the likelihood of the individual's preferences changing as he or she advances musically.

In addition to the cost of the instrument itself, remember to consider the additional money required for accessories. A protective padded case, made of metal or wood, is a must. You will also need to buy a cleaning kit for your trombone that will make regular maintenance easier, as well as a slide cream that is formulated to be used on trombones. It is suggested that oil be avoided as a lubricant for a trombone slide because it can cause the slide to move sluggishly.

The trombone is the only brass instrument that changes pitch by the use of a slide. Trombones are used in orchestras, marching bands, wind bands, jazz bands, and even rock bands. Musically, a trombone is between a tuba and a trumpet in the sound it produces.

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