The 5 Best Trombones for Beginners in 2024

Beginner trombone player
By Kevin Christensen
Last updated: February 7, 2024

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the best trombones for beginners and students. Choosing the right trombone can be a daunting task, especially if you're a beginner. But don't worry, we're here to help you find the perfect trombone to suit your needs and budget.

In this guide, we'll take a look at the top trombones for beginners on the market today. We'll also discuss the different types of trombones, the features to look for when buying a trombone, and some necessary accessories. 

In this guide

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pInstrument Plastic pBone Trombone - Mouthpiece & Carrying Bag - Lightweight Versatile, Comfortable Grip - Bb Authentic Sound for Student & Beginner - kids instruments - ABS Construction - Green
Mendini by Cecilio Trombone Kit - Bb Tenor Brass Instruments for Kids, Beginners w/Case & Gloves
Prelude Bach TB711F Trombone w/F Attachment
Bach TB301 USA Student Trombone
Yamaha YSL-354C Student Trombone - Gold Lacquer
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pInstrument Plastic pBone Trombone
Mendini by Cecilio Trombone Kit
Prelude Bach TB711F Trombone w/F Attachment
Bach TB301 USA Student Trombone
Yamaha YSL-354C Student Trombone - Gold Lacquer
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$190.99
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pInstrument Plastic pBone Trombone - Mouthpiece & Carrying Bag - Lightweight Versatile, Comfortable Grip - Bb Authentic Sound for Student & Beginner - kids instruments - ABS Construction - Green
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pInstrument Plastic pBone Trombone
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Mendini by Cecilio Trombone Kit - Bb Tenor Brass Instruments for Kids, Beginners w/Case & Gloves
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Mendini by Cecilio Trombone Kit
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$190.99
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Prelude Bach TB711F Trombone w/F Attachment
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Prelude Bach TB711F Trombone w/F Attachment
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Bach TB301 USA Student Trombone
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Bach TB301 USA Student Trombone
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Yamaha YSL-354C Student Trombone - Gold Lacquer
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Yamaha YSL-354C Student Trombone - Gold Lacquer
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$1,577.00
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Last updated on 2024-02-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Choosing the Best Trombone for Beginners

The first step is to determine which type of trombone you want to play, as there are different types available such as tenor, alto, and bass trombones.

After that, you'll need to consider the bore size, which can affect the sound and ease of playing.

The bell size is also an important factor, as it can impact the tone and volume of the instrument.

Additionally, you'll want to think about the material of the slide, which can affect the overall weight and durability of the instrument.

By considering these factors and doing some research, you can choose the best trombone for your needs as a beginner.

Types of Trombones

There are three main types of trombones: tenor, bass, and alto.

The tenor trombone is the most common and is usually the best option for beginners.

The bass trombone is larger and heavier and produces a lower pitch than the tenor trombone. The alto trombone is less common and is typically used in orchestral music.

Materials and Quality of Sound

When it comes to finding the best trombone for beginners, materials and quality of sound are key. The material used in any instrument will affect its tone, durability and ability to produce a consistent sound. 

Trombones are typically made of brass, a metal alloy that consists of copper and zinc. This material is known for producing a warm and rich sound, making it a popular choice for musical instruments.

To give the trombone a polished look, a silver lacquer finish may be applied. This finish not only enhances the visual appeal of the instrument, but also helps to protect it from corrosion and wear over time.

It's worth noting that some trombones may be made of other materials, such as plastic or nickel, but brass remains the most common choice due to its superior sound quality.

Plastic trombones are a newer option that are gaining popularity due to their durability and affordability. They can be a great choice for beginners or for those looking for a backup instrument.

Best Beginner Trombone Reviews

1. Yamaha YSL-354 Tenor Trombone

The Yamaha YSL-354 is one of the most popular trombones for beginners and with good reason. Not only is it a durable and reliable instrument, but it is also designed to be easy to play, making it a great choice for those who are just starting out.

The YSL-354 has a .500 inch bore, which makes it easy to produce a good sound even for inexperienced players.

The 8-inch yellow brass bell further enhances the sound quality, providing a warm and full tone.

Additionally, the YSL-354 is designed with beginners in mind, featuring an adjustable thumb rest and a balanced weight distribution that allows for comfortable playing over extended periods of time.

Yamaha YSL-354

Reviewed By: Kevin Christensen

Image of Yamaha YSL-354 Trombone
Sound
Build quality
Price

Summary

Yamaha is known for producing high-quality instruments, and the YSL-354 is no exception. Overall, it is a great choice for anyone who is looking for a reliable, easy-to-play, and high-quality trombone.

4

2. Bach Model TB301 Tenor Trombone

The Bach Model TB301 is a highly recommended option for beginner trombone players. This instrument is designed with the beginner in mind and is constructed from high-quality materials to ensure excellent durability and sound quality.

With a .500-inch bore and an 8-inch bell, the TB301 is built to produce a warm and full tone that is perfect for beginners to explore and develop their sound.

The chrome-plated nickel silver inner slide allows for smooth and responsive slide action, which makes playing notes easier and more accurate.

Additionally, the TB301 comes with a mouthpiece that is specifically designed for the instrument, which can help beginners produce a good sound more easily.

The lightweight design of the TB301 makes it easy to handle and transport, making it a great choice for beginner players who need an instrument that is easy to use and carry.

Bach TB301

Reviewed By: Kevin Christensen

Image of Bach TB301 Trombone
Sound
Build quality
Price

Summary

All in all, the Bach Model TB301 is a great choice for beginners who are looking for a reliable and high-quality instrument to help them get started with playing the trombone. Bach TB301 is made in the USA.

4

3. Prelude Bach TB711F Trombone w/F Attachment

The Conn-Selmer Prelude TB711 is a good option for beginner trombone players if you want a trombone with an F-attachment.

This instrument is specifically designed to help students get started with playing the trombone and is constructed from high-quality materials that ensure excellent durability and sound quality.

With a .509-inch bore and an 8.5-inch bell, the TB711F is built to produce a full and rich tone that is perfect for beginners to explore and develop their sound.

The chrome-plated nickel silver inner slide allows for smooth and responsive slide action, which makes playing notes easier and more accurate. Additionally, the TB711F comes with a mouthpiece that is specifically designed for the instrument, which can help beginners produce a good sound more easily.

Prelude Bach TB711F

Reviewed By: Kevin Christensen

Sound
Build quality
Price

Summary

The lightweight design of the TB711F makes it easy to handle and transport, making it a great choice for beginner players who need an instrument that is easy to use and carry.

3.3

4. Mendini by Cecilio MTB-L Tenor Trombone

For beginners who are looking for a budget-friendly alternative to some of the more expensive trombone brands, the Mendini by Cecilio MTB-L is an excellent choice.

This trombone is built with a durable brass body and a chrome-plated nickel silver slide, which means it can withstand regular use without suffering too much wear and tear.

The MTB-L also features a .500 inch bore and an 8-inch bell, which allows for a full and rich sound that is perfect for beginner players who are just starting to explore their sound. Additionally, this trombone comes with a silver-plated mouthpiece, a lightweight hard case, a cleaning cloth, which means that beginners have everything they need to get started with playing right away.

Mendini by Cecilio MTB-L

Reviewed By: Kevin Christensen

Mendini by Cecilio MTB-L Gold Lacquer Bb Tenor Slide Trombone Tuner Durable Deluxe Case and Pocketbook
Sound
Build quality
Price

Summary

The Mendini by Cecilio MTB-L is a great choice for beginners who are looking for a reliable and budget-friendly trombone that can help them explore their sound and develop their skills.

3

5. pInstrument Plastic pBone Trombone

The pBone trombone is a great option for those who are looking for the cheapest way to get started with trombone playing.

This plastic trombone is lightweight and durable, which makes it perfect for beginners who want to try out the instrument without investing too much money upfront.

The pBone also features a .500 inch bore and an 8-inch bell, which allows for a full and warm sound that is comparable to traditional brass trombones.

The plastic construction also means that the pBone is resistant to temperature changes and humidity, which makes it ideal for outdoor performances and travel.

Additionally, the pBone comes in a range of fun colors, which makes it a great choice for kids who are just starting out with playing the trombone.

pInstrument pBone

Reviewed By: Kevin Christensen

Jiggs pBone Plastic Trombone Blue
Sound
Build quality
Price

Summary

Overall, the pBone trombone is a great budget-friendly option that allows beginners to explore the world of trombone playing without breaking the bank.

3.7

Best Trombone Brands

When you are looking for the best trombone for beginners, you have a lot of great options. Yamaha, Bach, Conn, and Mendini all make excellent trombones that will serve any beginner or intermediate student well.

1. Yamaha

Yamaha is a well-known and respected manufacturer of musical instruments, including the trombone. The company was founded in 1887 by Torakusu Yamaha and initially produced pianos and reed organs. It wasn't until the 1960s that Yamaha began producing brass instruments, and since then they have become a top choice for both beginner and professional musicians.

Yamaha trombones are known for their excellent tone, response, and durability. They offer a range of trombones, from beginner models to professional-level instruments.

2. Bach

Bach is a legendary name in the world of brass instruments, particularly trombones. The company was founded in 1918 by Vincent Bach, a skilled trumpet player and inventor.

Bach's dedication to crafting high-quality brass instruments led him to develop a wide range of trumpets, trombones, and other brass instruments that have become iconic in the music industry.

In 1961 the Vincent Bach Corporation was acquired by The Selmer Company.

Today, Bach remains a top choice for professional musicians and serious students alike.

The company is known for their attention to detail and commitment to quality, ensuring that each instrument is crafted with the utmost care and precision.

Whether you're a seasoned pro or a beginner, a Bach trombone is a reliable and exceptional choice.

3. Conn-Selmer

Conn-Selmer is a well-known manufacturer of musical instruments, including trombones.

The company has a long history, dating back to the late 1800s when Charles Gerard Conn founded the C.G. Conn Company. The company grew rapidly, and by the early 1900s, it was producing over 60,000 instruments per year.

In 2003, the C.G. Conn Company merged with Selmer Industries to form Conn-Selmer.

Today, Conn-Selmer produces a wide range of musical instruments, including brass and woodwind instruments.

They are known for their high-quality instruments and have a reputation for producing some of the best trombones on the market.

4. Mendini

Mendini by Cecilio is a brand that specializes in affordable musical instruments for beginners.

While not as well-known as some of the larger manufacturers, Mendini has been making quality instruments since 2004.

They offer a range of instruments, including trumpets, saxophones, and of course, trombones.

Mendini trombones are perfect for beginners who want to learn how to play without breaking the bank.

They're made with durable materials and come with all the necessary accessories, including a case and cleaning kit.

5. pBone

The pbone is a unique brand that specializes in producing plastic trombones.

They were founded in 2010 and their innovative approach to trombone manufacturing quickly made them a popular choice for beginner players, especially for children.

The pbone's lightweight design and colorful appearance make it a fun and accessible option for those just starting out on the instrument.

Despite being made of plastic, the pbone still produces a quality sound and has become a beloved brand in the trombone community.

The company also offers a range of accessories and upgrades for their instruments, making it easy for players to customize their pbone to fit their needs.

Straight vs. F-attachment

For beginning trombone players, it's generally recommended to choose a straight tenor trombone without an F-attachment for their first instrument. This is because F-attachments can add an extra level of complexity to playing the instrument, which may be overwhelming for beginners who are still getting used to the basic techniques and positions. Additionally, trombones without an F-attachment are less expensive than those with one, which can be a consideration for those who are just starting out and may not want to invest too much money in their first instrument.

Small Bore vs. Large Bore

When it comes to (tenor) trombones, there are two main categories: small bore and large bore (and medium bore, but let's set that aside for now).

Small bore trombones have a narrower slide and smaller bell, while large bore trombones have a wider slide and larger bell.

For beginners, it's generally recommended to start with a small bore trombone.

Necessary accessories

In addition to choosing the right trombone, beginner trombone players should also consider the necessary accessories to ensure they have a smooth playing experience.

  • Trombone case: A trombone case is an essential accessory for safely transporting the instrument. Soft cases are lightweight and practical, while hard cases offer more protection.
  • Music Stand: A music stand is also necessary to hold sheet music during practice sessions and performances.
  • Trombone slide lubricant: Keep the slide moving fast.
  • Cleaning kit: Cleaning the trombone is crucial to maintain its sound quality, so a cleaning kit should also be purchased. The cleaning kit should include a snake brush, and cleaning spray. Additionally, slide lubricant is essential for ensuring the slide moves smoothly.
  • Trombone mutes: Various mutes are necessary in some most types of music.
  • Trombone stand: While not necessary, a trombone stand is a nice accessory to have for convenience during practice sessions.

Rent or Buy?

When it comes to getting your first trombone, one option is to rent it instead of buying. Renting a trombone can be a good idea if you're not sure whether you'll stick with playing the instrument or if you're on a tight budget. Renting allows you to try out the instrument without committing to a large purchase.

One of the benefits of renting is that it's typically more affordable upfront. Many music stores offer rent-to-own programs that allow you to apply your rental payments toward the purchase of a new instrument.

This can be a good option if you're not ready to make a large investment in a new trombone right away.

However, renting can also have some drawbacks. Rental instruments are often used and may not be in the best condition.

You also have to return the instrument once you're finished with it, which can be inconvenient if you're in the middle of a school year or a music program.

Additionally, if you decide to continue playing the trombone long-term, renting can end up costing you more money in the long run than if you had purchased a new or used instrument outright.

If you do decide to purchase a trombone, there are some benefits to owning your own instrument. You'll have more control over the quality of the instrument and can ensure that it's in good condition. 

Ultimately, whether you choose to rent or buy a trombone will depend on your personal preferences and circumstances. It's a good idea to do some research, talk to other musicians or music teachers, and consider your budget and long-term goals before making a decision.

Budget

When it comes to buying a trombone, the budget can vary depending on the individual's needs and preferences. For beginners, the pBone is the cheapest option, priced around $200, making it an affordable entry point for those who want to try out the instrument without breaking the bank. On the other end of the spectrum, trombones like the Bach TB301 cost around $1600, providing a high-quality experience and sound.

It's important to consider factors such as the player's skill level, age, desired sound quality, and long-term goals when determining the budget for a trombone purchase.

Accessories such as a case, music stand, and cleaning kit should also be factored into the overall budget.

Conclusion

There are many great trombones on the market for beginners to choose from.

For young kids or those on a very tight budget, the pBone or Mendini MTB-L Tenor Trombone are great options.

The Conn-Selmer Prelude TB711 is a step up from those options and offers a high-quality sound.

For those who want the best of the best, the Yamaha YSL-354 or Bach Model TB301 are excellent choices.

With the right instrument and accessories, beginners can start playing and enjoying the rich and beautiful sound of the trombone.

Learning to play the trombone can be a rewarding experience and can open doors to new friendships and musical opportunities.

Once you have your trombone, don't be afraid to join a school or community band, or seek out other musicians to play with.

Playing music with others is a great way to improve your skills, learn new techniques, and share the joy of music.

So, whether you choose a budget-friendly option or invest in a higher-end trombone, remember that the true value of playing music lies in the joy and sense of community that it brings.

Image
pInstrument Plastic pBone Trombone - Mouthpiece & Carrying Bag - Lightweight Versatile, Comfortable Grip - Bb Authentic Sound for Student & Beginner - kids instruments - ABS Construction - Green
Mendini by Cecilio Trombone Kit - Bb Tenor Brass Instruments for Kids, Beginners w/Case & Gloves
Prelude Bach TB711F Trombone w/F Attachment
Bach TB301 USA Student Trombone
Yamaha YSL-354C Student Trombone - Gold Lacquer
Title
pInstrument Plastic pBone Trombone
Mendini by Cecilio Trombone Kit
Prelude Bach TB711F Trombone w/F Attachment
Bach TB301 USA Student Trombone
Yamaha YSL-354C Student Trombone - Gold Lacquer
Prime Benefits
Amazon Prime
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-
-
-
Price
$199.00
$190.99
$895.00
$1,499.99
$1,577.00
Image
pInstrument Plastic pBone Trombone - Mouthpiece & Carrying Bag - Lightweight Versatile, Comfortable Grip - Bb Authentic Sound for Student & Beginner - kids instruments - ABS Construction - Green
Title
pInstrument Plastic pBone Trombone
Prime Benefits
Amazon Prime
Price
$199.00
More information
Image
Mendini by Cecilio Trombone Kit - Bb Tenor Brass Instruments for Kids, Beginners w/Case & Gloves
Title
Mendini by Cecilio Trombone Kit
Prime Benefits
-
Price
$190.99
More information
Image
Prelude Bach TB711F Trombone w/F Attachment
Title
Prelude Bach TB711F Trombone w/F Attachment
Prime Benefits
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Price
$895.00
More information
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Bach TB301 USA Student Trombone
Title
Bach TB301 USA Student Trombone
Prime Benefits
-
Price
$1,499.99
More information
Image
Yamaha YSL-354C Student Trombone - Gold Lacquer
Title
Yamaha YSL-354C Student Trombone - Gold Lacquer
Prime Benefits
-
Price
$1,577.00
More information

Last updated on 2024-02-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

FAQ

When it comes to starting out with playing a musical instrument, the trombone is a great choice for beginners.

It's a versatile instrument that can be used in many genres of music, and it's relatively easy to learn the basics.

However, it does take time and practice to become proficient.

When choosing a trombone for beginners, consider factors such as the bore size, material, and accessories included.

Small bore trombones are usually easier for beginners to play, and it's important to have a case, music stand, cleaning kit, and slide lubricant.

While both the trombone and trumpet require practice to master, many beginners find the trombone easier to start with.

This is because the trombone has a slide that allows for a more intuitive sense of pitch, while the trumpet requires precise finger placement on valves.

However, both instruments require proper breath control and technique.

Ultimately, whether the trombone is easier than the trumpet will depend on the individual player's natural abilities and dedication to practice.

Read our guide: Is trombone or trumpet easier?

For beginners, whatever mouthpiece is included with your trombone is typically sufficient to get started.

As you progress, it's worth trying different sizes and styles to find what works best for you.

Some popular options for beginners include the Bach 6 1/2 AL, Yamaha Standard Series 48, and Schilke Standard Series 51D.

However, it's important to note that the best mouthpiece for you will depend on factors such as your skill level, playing style, and personal preferences.

Experiment with different mouthpieces to find the one that works best for you and helps you achieve the sound and tone you're looking for.

The cost of a trombone varies depending on the brand, type, and quality.

For a beginner, a budget-friendly option such as the pbone or Mendini MTB-L Tenor Trombone can cost around $200 to $300, while the Yamaha YSL-354 or Bach Model TB301 are more expensive options costing around $1,000 to $1,600.

Renting a trombone is also an option.

Prices can range from around $20 to $100 per month depending on the location and quality of the instrument.

Learning the trombone is a lifelong process, but with regular practice, a beginner can learn the basics in a few months.

Mastery of the instrument takes years of practice and dedication. Consistency and a strong foundation in technique are key to progress. Remember that everyone learns at their own pace, so don't get discouraged if progress seems slow at times.

Keep practicing and seeking guidance from experienced players, and you will continue to improve over time.

To choose a trombone, consider your experience level, budget, and desired playing style. Beginners may benefit from a small bore trombone without an F-attachment.

Determine your budget and look for reputable brands like Yamaha, Bach, and Conn-Selmer. Consider the materials, weight, and durability of the instrument.

Finally, do research and read reviews to make an informed decision. Remember to choose a trombone that suits your individual needs and preferences.

By Kevin Christensen
Trombone Geek, managed by trombone player Kevin Christensen, is a comprehensive resource for trombone players of all levels worldwide. Christensen's 20+ years of professional experience and training at prestigious institutions provide valuable insights into trombone playing. Trombone Geek offers tips, tricks, and advice on all aspects of playing the instrument. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced player looking to improve your skills, Trombone Geek is an excellent resource for learning and mastering this fascinating instrument.
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