Best UK Trombone

Updated: May 2020

Here are our top ranked selections in the category of best trombone to buy right now in the UK.

#1 Selection: Overall Rating = 95%

#2: Best Ranked Runner-Up

#3: Also Great Value For Money

Trombones: A Buyer’s Guide

It’s safe to say that there are plenty of iconic brass instruments out there.  However, few have the same clout as the legendary trombone.  The trombone is perhaps one of the most complex instruments you could hope to learn – however, with the right equipment, and with plenty of time and effort, it’s extremely rewarding to master.  Just be willing to put the hours in, and you could be playing your own freeform jazz in no time at all.

In fact, that’s what helps to make the trombone so well-loved.  It is not only a staple in the average orchestra, it is also famously associated with jazz and some soul music.  Some of history’s greatest musicians – Glenn Miller and Duke Ellington amongst them – could play the trombone after years of practice.  Thankfully, it is easier to pick up and start playing the trombone nowadays.  That’s as a result of so many leading video and online tutorials.  However, as stated, it’s not a brass instrument for the faint of heart.  

Once you’re sure you want to go ahead and really get into the trombone, you need to start thinking about what to look for in your first investment.  What should you really be looking for in the best trombone?  Are there any variables which are likely to make your life easier?  We know the answers – and thanks to this buying guide, so will you!

In this guide, we will look at the basics of trombone buying so you can get off to an easy start.  However, do be aware that this won’t be an instructional – if you want to learn how to play the instrument at your own pace, it is well worth buying a guide, watching tutorials or investing in a course or two!

Stick around for the end of the guide too, as we will run through a few of the more common questions people ask when buying trombones online.

Why Buy a Trombone?

Trombones are pretty iconic.  As mentioned, they have a solid place in both your modern orchestra and in many different types of jazz music.  Therefore, it is a complex yet versatile addition to any musician’s repertoire.  Many people choose to play the trombone as part of a marching band, or it might even be a good starting point for children who show more than a little aptitude for music from an early age.

Trombones, however, can sometimes be tricky to buy.  That’s because there are, of course, more than one type which you can buy.  They also come in various sizes and weights, which means you will need to shop carefully if you buy for your son or daughter!  Depending on the type of sound you’d like to produce, you may need to do a little more filtering when you’re shopping around.  However, as stated, we are very much here to help!

Ultimately, you should be looking for a trombone which is going to be comfortable for you to play, and which is likely to fit your style of music.  This means that you may need to do a bit of digging.  However, as we always say, comparing and contrasting is always a very good idea.  This way, you can be sure that you have access to the best possible deals for your money.

As trombone purchasing can get a little complex, we’re going to narrow things down as much as possible to help you get started.  Of course, you should always pay attention to what other musicians have to say, as well as what video reviews and verified buyers have to advise online.

Things to Look For When Buying a Trombone

Therefore, without further ado, let’s take a look at the basics you’ll need to keep in mind when looking for your first trombone.

Types of Trombone

There are many different types of trombone out there, and it can be tricky to know which is likely to suit you best.  However, you should probably consider opting for a straight tenor trombone as a primary choice.  This is a very straightforward instrument – at least compared to others in the trombone family.  Otherwise, you may wish to invest in a trigger-type trombone, which changes the inner tuning slightly.  That’s thanks to tubing which runs through the middle.

This may not be something you wish to look for initially, however, it is worth keeping in mind that a trombone is a serious investment.  Be careful to look for a type which is going to be comfortable for you to play, as well as which works at the key and tone you are likely to play music at.  You can buy trombones in alto and bass, too, for example, which will obviously change the pitch you play at.  This makes trombones very similar to saxophones, at least in this one regard.

Bell Specifics

The large flare on a trombone is called a bell, and it is one of the most important features of the instrument.  The design of your bell may change, and that can have a large impact on the sound you produce.  Smaller bells are likely to produce jazzier sounds, with larger bells likely to be a little more operatic.

The specifics of your trombone bell will also change with the size of your bore.  This, again, is a crucial fitting to all instruments of this type.  The larger the bore, the more power you’re likely to wield.  Therefore, many people suggest looking for a mid-size option, which you will likely find at a .525”.

Slide Fittings

The slide is, again, another crucial part!  The trombone really is an instrument with many moving pieces.  The looser the slide, the easier it can be to play with, and the brighter the tone you’re likely to receive.  However, this can vary from instrument to instrument.  What’s more, there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to trombone slides, so make sure to opt for a fitting that’s best for your comfort – you don’t have to go with the crowd!

Valves

Traditionally, trombones may not have always used valves, but for many people, they are an essential facet to help change and control the sound you produce.  Not all trombones will have valves, meaning that it is worth comparing these models with traditional instruments if you so wish.  Ultimately, a valve can make a trombone easier to play, especially when it comes to the more technical areas of a piece of music.  Therefore, looking for a valve trombone may be your best option if you are just getting started.

Pitch and Key

As mentioned above, you can narrow down your choice of trombone based on pitch as well as the key you wish to play in.  This means that you may wish to look for alto or bass trombones, for example, which will both produce very specific sounds.  Most of the time, you will find that trombones are in tune with the key of B flat.  Some trombones have extra tubing, however, which can really change the sound of what you play.  Therefore, again, it’s worth shopping around.

Frequently Asked Questions

Trombones are not the easiest instruments to buy, and therefore, it’s understandable if you have plenty of questions and queries left to clear up!  Here are just a few common questions people are already asking while shopping online.  Maybe your query is one of the following!

What Are Trombones Made Out Of?

Unsurprisingly, trombones are generally made of brass, at least in the majority.  However, lighter metals are sometimes used for looser moving parts.  For example, you may find that slides are made of zinc or a similar metal for the sake of manoeuvrability.

Why Are There So Many Different Types of Trombone?

The trombone is a complex beast.  Therefore, you will likely find instruments with valves, those without, and those which work in specific keys.  It can be difficult to buy a trombone that is just a straight, generic model!  However, providing you follow our guide and listen to opinions online, there is no reason why you won’t be able to find a basic fit.

How Much Do Trombones Cost?

Of course, because there are so many different types of trombone, it isn’t easy to narrow the instrument down into one specific range or price.  However, if you look online, you will likely find plenty of trombones that demand around £100 – £200 at entry level.  Of course, for trombones with the best manufacture, you should be ready to pay a bit more on top.

Is the Trombone Easy to Learn?

Providing you use a valve; you may find that the trombone is easier to learn than you might think.  However, it is still regarded as one of the most complex instruments in its family.  Therefore, it is worth keeping an open mind if you want to get started.

Conclusion

The trombone is a fantastic instrument which can produce some truly spectacular sounds.  However, it will take time and effort for you to master!  Take a look at the best options out there and make sure you read up on what other buyers and players have to say.

Helpful Links

Which Trombone is Right for Me? – A Guide to Choosing Your Trombone

https://www.johnpacker.co.uk/news/a-guide-to-buying-your-first-trombone

Trombone Buyer’s Guide

Further Roundups