Is A Trombone A Brass Instrument?

Bart Van Lier is the trombone jazz player.
Bart Van Lier is the trombone jazz player.( Source : co )

Is A Trombone A Brass Instrument? Yes, a trombone is a brass instrument. It is one of many instruments in the brass family.

Brass instruments are musical instruments that are made up of metal or typically brass. They produced the sound by the vibration of air through a cylindrical chamber.

If anyone has limited knowledge of this musical instrument, they can appreciate its smooth and rich sound.

The instrument is famously known for its unique way of standing out in a band. In this case, the brass instrument can add that flair to any song. This is a versatile musical instrument that fits anywhere, including bands and orchestras.

On the other side, it is often recognized as the backbone of the marching band and deserves all the love it gets.

Brass Instruments and Their Invented Years

Brass Instrument Name:Invented Years:
Trumplets1500 BC
French Horns1818
Flugel Horns1830s
Tenor Horns1840
Baritone Horns1790
Marching Brass1300 BC
Post Horns + Hunting Horns1800-1900

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History of Trombone

Parts of Trombone
Parts of Trombone( Source : hellomusictheory )

The word 'Trombone' comes from the Italian word 'tromba' which means big trumpet. It means 'sackbut' in English.

The sackbut had a narrower bore and a much smaller flare, unlike the modern trombone. In the early 18th century, it can hear only in the churches, military bands, and the courts of aristocrats. At the time, the instrument was mainly reserved for serious occasions.

Who Invented The Trombone?

Trombone was invented by the Europeans. It was used all over Europe from the 15th century in outdoor events such as in concert, and in ceremonial settings.

In the early 16th century, it has a significant role as a military bugler and supposed as a sign of wealth and strength. After using by numerous England citizens, the instrumental became a trombone.

The differences between the 17th-century and today's generation trombone are, it was built in slightly smaller dimensions and modern had a bell that was more conical and less flared.

When Was The First Trombone Made?

The first trombone was made by the Schnitzer family.
The first trombone was made by the Schnitzer family.( Source : kimballtrombone )

The first trombone was made by the Schnitzer family in the 15th century. Until 1700 century, it was regarded as the sackbut.

In the 16th century, the Schnitzer family was one of the most respected makers of musical instruments. They were musicians and made several instruments including trumpets and trombones.

Tenor trombones made by Erasmus Schnitzer were placed in the Germanisches National Museum in Nuremberg from 1551.

How Many Types Of Trombones Are There?

There are five types of trombones including:

  • Bass
  • Alto
  • Soprano
  • Tenor
  • Contrabass

The trombones are in cylindrical tubes with two 'U' shaped bends and a flared bell at the end. However, the commonly used are bass and tenor.

With all this, the tenor produces a very smooth and high sound and it has no tubing inside its main section. The other types of trombones like alto also contain an octave higher than the tenor.

With more, contrabass produces the lowest tone however the soprano produces the highest pitch of all types. The bass also produces a deep tone because of having the largest bell.

How To Play Trombone For Beginners?

Trombone can be played with numerous guidelines which include:


First of all, Gently close your lips, take a deep breath, and then blow. However, you can not puff your cheeks or change the shape of your lips.

Blowing into a mouthpiece

You will hear a blowing sound after the lips get vibrate, and pressing the mouthpiece to the middle of your lips.

Assembling the trombone

Join the bell tube and slide and insert the mouthpiece as gently twist it after knowing that the slide lock is locked.

Holding the trombone

Hold the trombone with a relaxed right hand, support the trombone with your left hand, and relax the shoulders.

Blowing (Toh, Tay, Tee)

Blowing Toh is low pitch, Tay means middle pitch, and Tee means high pitch.

So, when playing it everyone can change the sound that produces. If you want to produce low notes, vibrate your lips slowly, and if you want to produce high notes, vibrate your lips quickly as you want.

Using positioning and tonguing to produce sound

After knowing to blow properly, you can try positioning and tonguing to make a sound.

Using vibrato

You can create vibrato in two main ways which include breath control and using a slide.

Maintaining the trombone

The pipe known as the mouthpiece is inside the pipe on the side the mouthpiece is contained. While cleaning the rod, you can use a piece of gauze.

Trombone Scales with Slide Positions

When it comes to Trombone Scales with Slide Positions, the most common and easiest scale is the first few flatted keys. The keys are Bb, Eb, Ab, and Db.

These are played at the beginning of trombone music.

Trombone fingering and position chart

The following trombone fingering and position chart helps to play the notes on the instrument.

Example of practicing positioning and tonguing
Example of practicing positioning and tonguing( Source : yamaha )

Example of Trombone Slide Position Chart
Example of Trombone Slide Position Chart( Source : norlanbewley )

Bass Trombone Range

The modern bass trombone range is fully brilliant. That's why, the lowest pedal, Bb0 with both valves contained up to at least Bb4.

Today established orchestral repertoire eventually strays below Bb1 or above G4. It is typically written in lower registers. However, the third part for the tenor was written as high as A4 in the 19th and 20th centuries.

In the 20th century, you can see additional extensions for the bass including the fortissimo pedal D1 in Berg and the high B4 in Kodaly. Modern jazz and other orchestral and solo classical pieces can exploit the wide tonal range of the bass.

Trombone Mouthpiece Shank Sizes And Chart

Trombone Mouthpiece Shank Chart
Trombone Mouthpiece Shank Chart ( Source : tunlovesk )

Trombone mouthpiece shank sizes and charts are described as three pieces, which are mentioned below:

Large and Small Shanks

Small Shank, Bach 12C, and 7C are available on smaller mouthpieces. It measures about .427 inches (10.85 mm).

However, large shanks consisting of the Bach 1-1/2G are available on large tenor and bass trombone mouthpieces. It is about .5 inches (12.73 mm). The other medium-sized mouthpieces can be either larger or small.

Remington Shanks

Remington Shanks are found for tenor sizes 100 AL, 101GS, 101G, 103G, and 104G. It is a large shank with a slightly slower Brown and sharp taper.

These shanks play a role in tenor and bass trombone with a Remington receiver. it measures about .510 (12.95 mm).

Medium European Shanks

Medium European Shanks with sizes 100 AL, 101G, 103G, 104G, and other euphonium sizes are measures about .463 (11.76mm).

You can select the BT Deep Receiver option if the mouthpiece is more than 1.25 inches (31mm) into your lead pipe.

Trombone Weight: How Much Does A Trombone Weigh?

A trombone weighs approximately four and a half feet long. The model Tenor with F weighs around 4 pounds.

Similarly, the bass trombone can weigh in excess of 5 pounds. The sizes of the Tenor are around 7 and 9 in (18-23 cm) in diameter and the Bass are around 10 and a half (24 or 25 cm) in diameter.

How Much Does A Trombone Cost?

Scott Whitfield with his instrument
Scott Whitfield with his instrument( Source : warburton-usa )

The cost of the trombone depends upon the type that is purchased. It also depends upon the type of materials like brass, and steel.

Some of the other factors that affect the price of this brass instrument might include brand name and material. It is because of their characteristics like tone or durability. 

 If you are willing to buy it through online retailers, it will cost around $100 to $150.

The modern plastic ones come in all colors with can cost around $100-200. Besides that, high-end musical instruments may cost over $10,000 for one. The most expensive instruments in the world are shown in the table.

HAAG Switzerland Bass Trombone$11,660
Miraphone M157F Contrabass Trombone$9,849
Markus Leuchter Contrabass Trombone in F$9,100
Minick Contrabass Trombone in BBb$8,500
Getzen Trombone (3062AFR)$7,775.65

Famous Trombone players

Famous Trombone players are 1. J. J. Johnson 2. Glenn Miller 3. Tommy Dorsey. These players have been part of the trombone players of all time.

Glenn Miller1904
Tommy Dorsey1905
Gunhid Carking1975
Jack Teagarden1905
Fred Wesley1943
Curtis Fuller1932
J. J. Johnson1924
Nataile Cressman-
Wyclifde Gordon1967
Bill Watrous1939

Glenn Miller

The Great trombone player, Gelenn Miller.
The Great trombone player, Gelenn Miller.( Source : britannica )

Glenn Miller was born in 1904. He started playing trombone in 1916 at the age of 14.

Miller was also an arranger and composer in the swing era besides his trombone profession. His band, The Glenn Miller Orchestra made him more successful from the year of 1938 to 1942.

At 40 years old, the plane went missing while he flying to Paris and announced his death.

Tommy Dorsey

Tommy Dorsey was a trombone player.
Tommy Dorsey was a trombone player.( Source : syncopatedtimes )

Tommy Dorsey was a famous trombonist and big bandleader in the swing era. Dorsey was born in 1905.

He was well-recognized for his smooth trombone style and duet performances with his brother named Jimmy Dorsey. His hits peaked at Billboards from smooth tunes to hot swing.

Jack Teagarden

Jack Teagarden is the pure example of the bass intrument.
Jack Teagarden is the pure example of the bass intrument.( Source : gstatic )

Jack Teagarden was an American jazz trombonist and singer. Born on August 20, 1905, he became the great trombone player of his era.

Teagarden used to design its mutes and mouthpieces which made him on the success list names including Benny Goodman, Red Nichols, and even Louis Armstrong.

The above legends donated a lot of their creativity and dedication toward these instruments.

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