How to Choose a Trombone

By Using Material

Do you know that the tubing material affects the timbre?

When the column of air which is shaped by the tubing vibrates, it determines the timbre of a wind instrument.

Apart from the effect provided by the length of the tubing and shape of the instrument, the material used to make the vibrating tube can also have a substantial effect on the timbre.

For a long time now, Brass has always been used in the structuring of trombones and several brass instruments. Brass which looks wonderful is an alloy that is made from zinc and copper.

This alloy is easy to work with and offers resistance to corrosion than other metals like iron. The sound created by brass plays a crucial role in the shaping of images that brass instruments enjoy.

Instruments made from brass provides quite a variety of different timbres. This is based on the brass type used in making the bell (the ratio of zinc and copper).

How does the finish on the surface affect the sound?

When instruments are being made, filing and sanding are done on the finished metal tubes so that their surfaces can become smooth like glass.

They are then coated with a polish and buffed using high-speed buffers to make them shiny and beautiful metallic instruments.

Plating lacquer is applied on the final finish so that the timbre can be enhanced appropriately, and help in protecting the metal from rusting and getting dirty.

How to Choose a Material for the Mouthpiece

Plated brass is in most cases used to make mouthpieces, such as the mouthpieces Yamaha trombone. The standard models of mouthpieces offered by Yamaha are silver-plated, and there are several models to choose from.

The gold-plated mouthpieces offer a smooth feeling when they are pressed to the lips. These are the custom modelsYamaha sells.

The gold-plated mouthpieces offer a smooth feeling when they are pressed to the lips Credit:


Mouthpieces are of two types: There are those with large shanks and those with small shanks. Before you make a decision on which to choose, ensure to try both types to take the one that suits you most.

By the Method of Bell Shaping

There are two types of bell shaping that include:

  • 1-piece bell
  • 2-piece bell

The first way of shaping the bell involves shaping using a single sheet of metal. The second type entails shaping of two sheets separately, then joining them to form the 2-piece bell.

Characteristics of the 1-piece bell

  • The bell’s shape is like that of a large ginkgo that is a leaf-shaped metal sheet made from the traditional method
  • The bellies thinner towards the end
  • Its shape makes it easy for the craftsperson to make unique touches on the final product.

Characteristics of the 2-piece bell

  • It is formed by joining a large and wide part with a small one
  • The panel thickness and the bell, in general, are more consistent, and there is a very little chance that the final product will fluctuate in any way
  • Shaping the bell is also quite easy

How the Timbre Is Affected By the Shaping Method

Although the same material is used to make the 1-piece and 2-piece bells, they are both shaped differently and they will, therefore, exhibit differences in how it feels when playing their timbres.

A 1-piece bell is made from a single sheet of metal, which is welded and folded into a round shape. This leaves a “spine” on the length along the bell. This causes the formation of lengthwise vibrations which results in a greater reverberation.

A 2-piece bell, on the other hand, is made from two pieces, with the flared piece at the end. They are welded together at the point where a bell is engraved. The 2-piece bells are easier to play and offer brighter reverberations.

Another thing that affects the timbre is the shape of an F attachment.

What Kind Of Music Would You Like To Play?

The tube’s diameter is known as its “bore,” whose size changes the breath amount needed to play, and the instrument’s resistance which affects the timbre. Bores of trombones come in three sizes as follows:

  • Small Bore
  • Medium Bore
  • Large Bore

For a smaller bore, less breath is needed, which makes the instrument easier to play with a fine and tolerant timbre. A larger bore, on the other hand, needs more breathe to produce a flamboyant and rich timbre with a higher volume.

There are instruments which feature two different sizes of inner slides, and are known as “dual bore trombones”.

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