If you want to play a new musical instrument for the first time in your life; good.

If you want to play an instrument that is better than all others (biased!); brilliant!

If you want to play an instrument that has such power and presence it can reduce fellow musicians and conductors to tears of envy and awe; excellent!!

Welcome to Normans Musical Instruments. Welcome to the ‘mighty’ Trombone.

There are many ‘starter’ trombones on the market, and this results in the proverbial ‘minefield’ of how to choose one.  Well fret no more (definitely no frets!).   I’m here to help you!

Plastic Fantastic

Warwick Music Group’s first 100% plastic instrument was the pBone. Naturally, it took the world of musical instruments by storm, especially when the great Jiggs Whigham endorsed it! Its popularity doesn’t seem to be slowing down either as more and more beginners and professionals give it a go.

Of course, the first attraction is the array of fun colours the instrument comes in. Next, you’re astounded by how lightweight it is. But it is when you first blow it when the true astonishment arises. It sounds amazing!

pbone-colour

The much lighter weight of 0.8kg makes it easier to play, especially for school children. There is also the pBone Mini which is a much smaller Eb, Alto Trombone. This is ideal for young players and a great way to dive into learning the craft; as a brass trombone can weight around 7kg plus!

Another key feature is how incredibly robust and durable the plastic instrument is, in comparison to its brass counterpart. You don’t have to worry about dropping it and causing horrible dents and best of all, being completely waterproof means no water damage! Of course, the traditional brass trombones are designed to last much longer and when carefully looked after will stay in great condition; but the pBone offers you the added bonus of being more easily transportable due to its featherweight.

The pBone is a fantastic choice for a beginner looking for a budget buy in the brass family. It is great value for money to get you started or a fun addition to an experienced players’ repertoire.

Normans Sonata in Bb

sonata-tromboneHere at Normans Musical Instruments, when I first encountered the premium quality starter Sonata Trombone, I was literally ‘blown away’ at how good it is and how affordable it is. A bright tone with a superb projection produced by its yellow brass construction, a great, smooth slide making for excellent articulation, plus all kept safe in in high quality case. Perfect!

Many student instruments have a limited life-span when it comes of their capability. However, the Sonata Trombone is more than capable of achieving the highest results of performance.

I recently met a student who achieved Grade 8 on one!  I can get a clean ‘super F’ on one! You should simply ‘get one’!

elkhart-tromboneTune a Day Book One

An excellent quality entry-level trombone, the Elkhart 100TB Series offers great value for money. Manufactured by the renown Conn-Selmer Group, this instrument is highly responsive, enjoyable to play and produces a really nice tone. Purchased in high numbers by our local Authority Music Services, they are particularly encouraging for the younger player.  It includes a quality soft case that is lightweight yet robust, a mouthpiece and cleaning accessories.

Bb & F March

elkhart-tenor-tromboneThe ‘Big Brother’ to the Elkhart 100, the Elkhart 200TBF is a high-quality trombone by Vincent Bach, ideal for a student looking for their first Bb/F instrument.  The large bore and rose-brass provides a warm tone and a true symphonic sound, usually only found on much more expensive professional models.  Included with the Elkhart 200TBF is a lightweight case and mouthpiece so you can start practising straight away.

Fanfare

yamaha-tenor-tromboneThe Yamaha YSL354 Bb Tenor Trombone features many of the qualities of their top professional models, yet is available at a surprisingly affordable price. The response is quick, the intonation accurate, and the sound both rich and full. A statement that I can verify from my own personal experience using this model in Wind Bands, Brass Bands and Big Bands.

The bell section is made from yellow brass, giving a tone that is both warm and sweet, yet can be bright enough in the higher register to pierce through the music without overblowing.

Yamaha never cut corners when it comes to the finishing of their instruments, and the quality lacquer and one-piece bell construction of the YSL354 is no exception.

So, depending on your age, size, and budget, there are a few excellent options when it comes to finding your ideal first Trombone.  From the accessible and great looking pBone, all the way up to the Yamaha YSL354, when only the best will do!

My favourite, simply down to its quality, playability and unbelievable price, is the Sonata Trombone.

Now let the journey to brass stardom begin!

About the author

Nick joined the Normans Sales Team after a musical career spanning 35 years; firstly as a principal trombonist in Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Band Service for 24 years, performing around the UK and worldwide, including on the Royal Yacht Britannia, and then within the education sector teaching GCSE and A Level Music and Music Technology. He is a keen Big Band, Jazz performer and Hi-Fi enthusiast.

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