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What's the best trombone for a beginner?

Asked 2013-09-23T15:52:46.0Z by Fletcher J1,390
  • Early Adopter

I play a bit of trumpet, and my daughter has decided to start playing trombone in the middle-school band. I don't know much about trombones, but I know enough to realize that the stuff the dealer was selling at the open house was junk. 

What's a good instrument that I can get for my daughter that can serve her well now, and continue to be a good instrument as she grows as a musician?  Can I buy her a medium-bore horn now, or will it be too hard to start on?

(What do you think about the pBone? Is it a real option?)




2 Answers

Date | Votes
Reply — Posted 2013-09-24T17:38:58.0Z (edited 2013-09-24T23:29:35.0Z)
Jeff E13,406
  • V.I.P.
  • Teacher

Since you really don't know if she is going to stay interested (how many middle-schoolers are SURE they want to play the trombone, or any other instrument) why don't you check out renting an instrument from a local music store. After you are sure she is really into it you can start looking for an instrument, or if she wants to try the clarinet or drums, you can return the trombone and let her try something different. Look for a smaller bore horn like .525.

I have a friend who has a plastic pBone. It sounds pretty good, and for something like $150 it's pretty serviceable. I don't think he would ever choose it as his main instrument, but for a cheap plastic instrument it's kind of amazing. 


Reply — Posted 2013-09-24T23:07:14.0Z
Mark B1,046
  • Early Adopter

If possible, I would suggest renting or borrowing from the school district.  And I would consider a small bore, student model horn.  Primary reason is that she may or may not stick with it, and kids can be tough on these easily damaged-instruments.  Also, getting air through a larger horn will make learning tougher.  I started in the 5th grade and screwed up many horns in those first several years, just dropping, knocking over, accidental stuff that required dents taken out and realignment of inner and outer slides.

Another approach is just looking for a used horn on Craig's list, or some such site, ideally an older student model.  They are out these collecting dust.  I still blow on a 40 year old student horn that gets a great sound.

To your last question, I have blown on one of those plastic horns and was surprised at the quality of the sound.  So, I would say that is a viable option for year one, if nothing else materializes.


Good luck!



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  • 2013-09-23T15:52:46.0Z
  • 2013-09-24T23:07:14.0Z

  • Community Public Forum

  • Brass,Trombone

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