A trombone is one of the most popular and versatile brass instruments,
featuring prominently in genres as diverse as classical and jazz. As a result,
people who are buying one for the first time may wish to consider which type
suits them best. It may be a relatively simple brass instrument, but it is vital
for learners to make sure they get the right one.
There are two main types of trombone - the straight tenor and the F-rotor.
The main differences between the two come from the fact that the former has no
inner tubing, while the latter has extra tubing within the main loop.
In essence, an F-rotor trombone works in the same way as a straight
trombone, but there are a number of other notable differences. For instance,
pressing the trigger can change the tuning of the instrument from a Bb to an F.
This extends its capabilities and opens up various playing styles to musicians,
including the opportunity to use the horn's lower range.
Since the F-rotor trombone offers a wider variety of features, people who
are learning for the first time may be better off starting with a straight
trombone - indeed, this is the one usually favoured by most students. However,
the F-rotor can be played straight, as the trigger does not have to be pressed
while it is being played.
But people who decide to invest in an F-rotor may also have to think about
whether they want a Standard Wrap or Open Wrap instrument. Musicians who choose
the first option will be able to make use of a greater number of bends, which
therefore makes it more compact and increases the slide's resistance.
Another of the main factors to look at when picking a trombone is the size
of the bore - the inner diameter of the inner slide. A smaller bore (up to
0.525") could be better suited for younger players, as it requires less air to
support tone, while it can also offer a brighter and more focused sound. It
would also have more resistance than its larger counterparts, which again can be
good for beginners, as it supports tone more easily.
However, larger bores have their own advantages, including a fuller and
more powerful sound that is often favoured by more advanced trombone players.
People who are looking for the bore that suits them can choose from a wide range
of options, starting at around 0.481" for students to about 0.547" for symphonic
Yet models aimed specifically at students have the advantage of often
being more durable. This makes them well-suited to regular transportation, such
as if they are being taken to school regularly by young learners.
Trombone players will also have to think about the type of bell they opt
for, as this can also be a big influence on the sound of their instrument. Most
trombone bells are made of yellow brass, although rose brass is favoured by some
as it gives a much warmer sound, while silver can be warmer still.
So in conclusion, a person who is planning to invest in a trombone has
more to consider than how much they are willing to spend on their instrument.
Their level of musicianship should be the main influence on what they buy.
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