It’s fun to watch a musician playing jazz on a stunning looking telescopic brass piece of art called the Trombone. While he tweaks and turns around high and low pitch swinging you with its melodious sound, it’s natural to dream about playing it out yourself.
Whether you’re a band member or a beginner or an intermediate learner, you do need a good quality trombone to explore your skills.
There are many trombones available in the market but you do need to find a genuine yellow brass instrument enabled with telescoping slide mechanism, not an ISO. ISOs are those instruments that look like trombones but play out very poorly, have less longevity, and are hard to repair.
That’s why you need to read this article for knowing what features and functionalities a good quality trombone has. Be with us and we will take you further to the types and reviews of the best trombones for beginners.
Here’s a list of 11 best trombones for beginners available in the market. We have discussed the features and functionalities of these trombones in a gist for your guide. There are some of the best student models in the list with the most ratings and recommendations.
Yamaha is one of the reputable large-scale manufacturers of trombones. Since 1887, they have established a name in the world of musical instruments. The YSL-354 tenor trombone from Yamaha stands for that achievement.
With an 8” yellow brass bell and a gold lacquer finish, this B flat trombone is a standard model for beginners. It consists of a nickel silver inner slide and a yellow brass outer slide with a medium bore and a detachable counterweight. It comes with an SL-48S mouthpiece and a case. Though it’s a bit pricier for a beginner, it is one of the most popular tenor trombones in the market.
Declared as a great student model by Yamaha itself, the YSL-354 certainly tops our list of 12 best trombones for beginners.
- A standard student model trombone from Yamaha.
- A little expensive for a beginner.
- It includes a 48S mouthpiece and a covering case.
- Comes in another silver-plated variant.
After talking about the best student model from Yamaha, we could not leave behind the Bach TB301 student trombone. If it is Bach, it has to be great.
This American-made TB301 tenor trombone from Bach is a well made yellow brass with a clear lacquer finish. The chrome-plated nickel silver inner slide allows for smooth and easy sliding while the outer hand-slide tubes are yellow brass coated providing for good control and fit. The sound delivery is quite good for an entry-level trombone like this. The model also includes a Bach 12C mouthpiece and a 50882E molded case.
If you’re looking for a legendary brass brand like Bach manufacturing beginner-friendly trombones then you must go for their TB301 student model.
- Made with high-quality brass in the USA.
- Designed mainly for students fond of playing all types of styles.
- Has a clear lacquer finish and proper fit.
- Comes with a mouthpiece and molded case.
Another renowned music instrument manufacturer is Conn Selmer. The Prelude TB711 tenor trombone from this brand is another low-cost beginner-level option. It is quite similar to the Yamaha YSL-354 model in terms of features but possesses two basic differences. One is the difference in control quality and the other is its price.
The Prelude TB711 has an 8” two-piece yellow brass bell with lacquer finish. Like Yamaha YSL-354, this trombone also has a nickel silver hand slide and brass outer slides with a removable balance weight. It comes in an enclosed plastic case with a mouthpiece and a jar of slide cream. The sound and resonance of the instrument are well defined.
The Selmer Prelude TB711 is a highly-rated cost-effective well-built trombone for beginners.
- Designed for better sound projection and resonance.
- Great value for money model, especially for the students.
- Includes a 12C mouthpiece and a plastic case.
- Lightweight and suitable for a marching band student.
If you’re a more experienced beginner or simply want a tenor trombone with F-attachment, then you must check out the Jupiter Intermediate model. It has some great features that can outlive your experience of playing a straight trombone.
Yamaha talks for both quality and consistency. Their JTB1150F is no different. It has an 8.5” gold brass two-piece bell with F-attachment linkage. The weight distribution is uniform making the device easy to hold. It also includes a 48mouthpiece and an SLC-210 case.
The JTB1150F is basically an intermediate level trombone. But we have included this in our list of best trombones for beginners keeping in mind the need of a returning player who might begin to play trombones again after long years of break.
- It is suitable for beginners with a knack of playing F-attachment trombones.
- The F-attachment with string linkage helps to explore more sound projections.
- A slightly larger bell and bore of the instrument are suitable for orchestras or any large band.
- Includes a mouthpiece and a case.
Another good-quality inexpensive trombone suitable for beginners is the Mendini MTB-L by Cecilio. It comes as a bundle kit perfect for a student.
It is a B flat tenor slide trombone in gold lacquer finish. It has an 8” bell, medium bore, and balanced weight distribution like other standard trombones. But it comes in a bundle kit that includes a Cecilio 92-D chromatic tuner, a pocketbook, white gloves, cleaning oil, and cloth beside a pro-deluxe hard case that is durable enough to carry it around. Moreover, the company provides one year warranty against the manufacturing defects.
By far, this is the best trombone for beginners that is least expensive, priced at around$150! So if you’re looking for a well-build trombone bundle kit within budget, then you should check out the Mendini MTB-L.
- Most affordable and lightweight trombone for beginners.
- Includes a pocketbook for trombone, pair of gloves, cleaning cloth, and oil along with a hard shell carrying case in the beginner’s kit.
- Comes with a year’s warranty against any product defects.
We have another intermediate trombone with F-wrap on the list. This is the TB200B model from Bach. This has a straight variant called TB200, suitable for beginner learners.
It is equipped with a medium bore and a hammered 8” yellow two-piece bell in lacquer finish. There’s a soldered bell wire around the bell making it more responsive towards the wider sound range. The chrome-plated nickel silver inner hand slide offers a smooth movement. It also includes the Bach 6 ½ AL mouthpiece and 4863 wood shell case.
You must be wondering why we keep discussing the intermediate trombones in our list of best trombones for beginners. It’s just that we don’t want to miss out on anyone looking for a beginner trombone, be it a beginner student or an older beginner. Therefore, we have another choice for them – the Bach Model TB200B.
- Suitable for older beginners wanting to play F-attachment trombones.
- Includes the Bach 6.5 AL mouthpiece.
- Comes in an enclosed wood shell case.
- Offers a broader sound projection with no additional air support.
The next trombone on the list of best trombones for beginners is the Hawk WD-TB316. This one is a B flat tenor trombone.
It features a professional bore and bell size with a medium-large bore horn. This allows for a more balanced and richer tone and versatility. It is equipped with a smooth sliding functionality that provides easy playability and a balanced response.
The inner slide allows for maintaining response while the outer slide ensures the resonance. The included accessories are the YAC SL48 mouthpiece, slide cream, large polish cloth, and cleaning rod.
This durable Hawk WD-TB316 trombone from Yamaha is a sure pick for passionate beginners looking to upgrade their skills.
- A top-of-the-line trombone for learners.
- Consists of 8 ½ gold brass bell and medium-large bore horn for accurate warm intonations.
- Includes a wide variety of accessories.
- Offers warranty on product defects.
Beginners who want to upgrade their trombone playing skills can have a look at this “step-up” C. G. Conn Model 52H Trombone. It is a typical Conn brass design model.
The trombone has an 8.7” rose brass bell and a large bore with .547” dual bore hand slides. Also, a variant with a silver plate finish is available for this model. It has a loftier sound projection and the additional F-attachment offers better stability, well suited for every type of music. It comes with a small C. G. Conn 6.5” shank mouthpiece and the 7549C wood shell case.
If you’re planning to step up from entry-level to intermediate as a beginner trombonist and can spend a few bucks more, then do give this Conn model a try.
- Equipped with the traditional F-wrap.
- Designed as a ‘step-up’ trombone for beginners.
- Rose brass bell with a large bore and dual-bore hand slide.
- Includes a 6 ½ shank mouthpiece from Conn.
The Fever FEV-ST is a great entry-level tenor trombone for beginners. As we discussed earlier, do keep a check on the quality of the trombone you buy as it should not be an ISO. This Jean Paul model is quite similar to these ISOs but has some better features.
It is a good quality brass instrument under $400 price bracket. It has a glossy yellow brass body along with a clear lacquer finish. The sound delivery from the trombone is pretty good and rich. For better portability, it comes with a sturdy contoured carrying case.
Though it does not bear well build and unique qualities like a Bach or Yamaha model, the TB-400 trombone from Jean-Paul brand can be a good choice for beginners with a tight budget.
- Great value for money beginner-friendly trombone.
- Has a very basic, easy to play features.
- Not suitable for long time usage.
- Comes with a durable carrying case, a pair of gloves, and a cleaning cloth.
Here’s another Conn model trombone with F-attachment on our list of best trombones for beginners – the Conn 88HO Symphony series. It bears a unique tone, typically performed in symphonies.
Like other Conn models, the 88HO Symphony trombone also features a rose brass bell. It consists of dual bores – a primary bore of .547” and a .562” bore through open F-wrap. The chrome-plated nickel silver inner landslides and the ross brass outer slide gives out a clearer sound projection and a nicer tone respectively. It has a professional look and feel, besides the dynamically perfect tonal quality.
Designed especially for symphony performance, the Conn model 88HO trombone surely gives a professional taste to a beginner.
- It is a ross brass model like a typical Conn instrument.
- Provided a C. G. Conn 5G mouthpiece with the trombone.
- Comes in a wood shell case.
- Designed for performing in a symphony.
Are you surprised to see this piece of toy here? Or you think it’s a mistake on our part? No, it’s not. Believe us. The pBone 1G trombone might look like a toy to anyone but it has created quite a buzz in the world of trombones. So this is our last pick on the list of 12 best trombones for beginners.
It’s a standard-sized .500 bore trombone with glass-fiber lockable slides. The glass-fiber construction of the instrument makes it extremely lightweight and smooth in action. Moreover, it has an ergonomic grip with the unique pBone water key design. It allows a beginner to hold the trombone quite comfortably. It comes with two pBone mouthpieces – one is the 6.5AL and the other’s the 11C small shank one. But the best thing about this trombone is that it provides free membership with the ITA (International Trombone Association) for six months along with free online trombone lessons!
We bet this featureful Jiggs Whigham pBone trombone has brought a big smile on your face. That’s why we have saved it for the last. We know for sure you won’t be disappointed using this low-cost beginner-friendly trombone. But, that being said, nothing can replace a genuine brass tenor sized expensive trombone if you’re an eager learner.
- Durable yet lightweight trombone because of the glass-fiber structure.
- Available in 8 cool solid color choices with carrying cases.
- An absolute pick for beginners who want an inexpensive trombone.
- Enabled with a custom-designed ergonomic grip with the patent pBone water key design for easy playability.
- Compatible with any small shank mouthpiece.
Types Of Trombones
There are altogether eight trombone types and five trombone variants currently played by the musicians.
The first one is the Cimbasso. These are generally pitched in F but are also available in B flat, C, and E flat versions. As these include a valve attachment and require prompt techniques, the Cimbassos are not part of any school or jazz band. These are basically opera instruments.
Then comes the Contrabass which is generally pitched in 12’F but sometimes comes with a B flat version too. The name signifies that these type of trombone players can double as a bass player. A contrabass trombone has two valve attachments and is typically used in orchestras.
After Contrabass comes the Bass trombones. Enabled with one or two attachments, the Bass trombones are pitched in B flat with a heavier tone in low registers. This variant is widely used in military or jazz bands, symphony orchestras, and even wind and brass ensembles. Basically this is a perfect type for a beginner trombonist.
The fourth type is the Tenor. It is also a B flat trombone including a 3-foot attachment for lowering to F pitch and is even non-transposing.
This has two types of tubings – closed wrap and open wrap. The former one is curved and attaches under the tuning slide while the latter stretches out of the slide making a single curve.
Tenor trombones that consist of the F attachment are suitable for intermediate or advanced players while those without the same are for beginners only.
Next is the Alto trombone that has either an E flat or F pitch. Rarely it features in D or B flat with rotary valve attachments.
You might have listened to popular pieces of Mozart, Brahms, and Beethoven played using this type of trombone. These are generally used in choral and opera, and sometimes by a first-chair professional tenor trombonist.
The Soprano trombone is used over a tenor for a B flat pitch on an octave. It is absolutely unfit for a beginner and is not used very frequently. But this has found usage in some of the recent jazz compositions.
Finally, let’s come to the Sopranino and Piccolo trombones which are very rarely played. These have a smaller size and higher pitch than the sopranos because of the high E flat pitch carrying one octave over it. These have been used in a few choirs.
These were all 8 types of trombones that we discussed. However, the variants of trombone consist of valve trombone, tromboon, super bone, and the sackbut.
Note that all types are not meant for a beginner trombone player. So, let’s have a look at how to find a beginner level trombone.
What Should You Look For In A Beginner-level Trombone
The tenor trombones are best suitable for beginners, while bass trombones are second best. The variants of tenor trombones are commonly used as standard instruments for a beginner-level trombonist.
Professional trombonists have a wide range of trombones to play out but for students or beginners, there are only two variants – straight and F-attachment trombones.
Quite easy to understand, straight trombones have no attachments yet include a counterweight to balance the instrument.
Whereas the F-attachments have additional tubing in the bell bow for resting on the shoulder along with a trigger for extra tubing.
The tubing helps to reach for lower notes and making it easy to get along the difficult passages further. However, these trombones are hard to carry around and costly to buy and maintain properly.
Therefore, it is usually recommended to a learner who is just starting out to buy a straight trombone. These are usually cost-effective and lightweight and are suitable for any beginner or intermediate trombonist.
It is also recommended for a beginner to buy a bundle trombone kit that comes with all the essential accessories under budget.
In terms of price, if you want to buy a good quality straight trombone it will cost you around $500 to $1500. On the other hand, an F-attachment trombone can be bought within $2500. The price range generally differs due to the build materials, bore size, and craftsmanship differences.
As you can see, it is challenging to find a good quality beginner-level trombone keeping all the facts in mind. Don’t worry. We have taken the burden for you.
Whether you’re a musician or a non-musician, we have tried to incorporate the features and functions of each trombone as easily as possible to understand.
Some of the best brands like Bach, Yamaha, Conn-Selmer, and Mendini are there on our list of the best beginner-level trombones besides others.
However, the costlier the instrument, the better the quality. You need to judge the pros and cons in terms of quality, affordability, sound clarity, and building materials of the trombone that is perfectly suitable for you.
Hope we have helped you out in finding such a trombone that will make your practice finer.