For many young students who have never played an instrument, it may seem strange to learn the trombone, even though the instrument has a long and distinguished history. There are two main styles of playing the trombone, either the “solo” style or the more conventional “concert” style. The concert trombone is normally a large instrument with a long sliding tube, and its sound is determined by the length of the tube. This instrument is usually equipped with a large mouthpiece called a “stump” and the trombone can be a tricky instrument to learn due to the sliding tube. The tube changes the pitch of the notes being played, so it takes skill to master this process.
Starting The Trombone
After a student has become accustomed to holding the trombone (the student should be able to hold the instrument without support for at least five seconds without feeling uncomfortable), he should learn the three major parts of a trombone. The first part is the drum tubing, or conical tubing, which connects the headstock to the body of the instrument. Next is the piano or flugelhorn tubing, which fits into the conical tubing on the side of the instrument. Finally, there is the bass tubing or bass conical which carries the sound to the mouthpiece through tubing on the side of the instrument. These three parts are the heart of the trombone, and learning to play the trombone begins with these three items.
Great For All Ages
It is not difficult for a person of any size to learn the trombone since the actual instruments are quite small. The tenor trombone, which is made from a conical shaft attached to the headstock, can be as deep as twenty-five inches; the bass trombone, which is made from the piano or flugelhorn shaft, can be anywhere from eighteen to twenty-four inches in height. Tenor trombones are the most common size and can be played by anyone from age 3-5 upwards. Younger children may struggle with reaching the slide and blowing through the mouth piece, however you can let them try the instrument and see if they are ready. If the child can reach the slide to the end and blow consistently through the mouth piece, they can start learning the trombone, even if their arms get tired, they can always play in short intervals.
Small Size Trombones
With proper training, most tenor trombone players will find that they are ready to move up to a larger sized trombone. However, in order for the student trombone to continue playing after learning the smaller tubs, it is important that the student first master the tenor trombone and the ways in which he or she can control the instrument. Once the student trombonist has learned how to strike the tubes correctly, he or she can go on and learn the deeper basses. For those tenor players who wish to move up to a larger sized trombone, they may have trouble finding a larger tub to begin with due to the fact that most local music stores carry only a half dozen or so styles of trombone.