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Advice re buying a trombone.

(26 Posts)
FiveHoursSleep Tue 27-May-14 22:02:28

DD2 is Y6 and has been learning the trombone for 4 years- she is sitting her Grade 3 and plays in school band with the borough Young Musicians.
She'll be 11 in July, and transferring to secondary school in September. She going out of Borough, so will have to hand back her Music Service trombone and we will have to buy her one.
The one she has at the moment has an extra button (?) to help her reach C ( I think), it's definitely smaller than the ones I see her playing next to for young musicians.
Has anyone got any advice for us about how much to spend, what size would see her through to at least grade 5? She will be having lessons at secondary school and we expect her progression to be better as she will be taught 121, not in a group as she is at the moment.

slider4006 Wed 28-May-14 06:54:02


I am a music service trombone teacher.
You can spend between £400 - £1200 (new) depending on the quality you need.
The extra button means the trombone is referred to as B flat and F.
A medium bore size is important, not small, definitely not large at this stage.
Yamaha are my preferred models but the John Packer Rath ones are ok, too.
Hope this helps to start.

FiveHoursSleep Wed 28-May-14 08:44:38

Thank you so much, such specific advice is incredibly helpful.
If were were to go second hand ( which we would probably) is there anything we should look out for, or if it a case of it not having any obvious dents and playing okay?

slider4006 Wed 28-May-14 08:50:11

No problem,
Any decent 2nd hand instrument bought in a shop should have been overhauled and would be in good working order. The slide moves well, the extra valve works and the tuning slides move. There should also be a mouthpiece included, not always though.
Going down the ebay (or other) route is dangerous if you're not sure.
Big dents are to be avoided as are non-moving slides.

FiveHoursSleep Wed 28-May-14 09:08:12

Thank you again. Will avoid eBay but there have been a couple on gumtree that I've wondered about.

slider4006 Wed 28-May-14 09:10:58

It would be worth contacting the music service where DD2 will be learning to see if they can advise, or even the 1-2-1 teacher that she will have.
Good luck smile

RaspberryLemonPavlova Wed 28-May-14 13:25:18

Are you absolutely sure you have to hand it back? I too have a year 6 DC. DS2 is going to a secondary school that doesn't use Music Service teachers, but I can still hire the trombone. In fact DS2 is switching to private lessons, but again this makes no difference. I have a friend who hired her daughters clarinet for several years even after she stopped lessons after Y7, but carried on playing for fun.

As I can do this the advice given to me was to keep renting for now.

(Both my DS also have plastic trombones of their own which are fun, google pbones.)

If you do decide to buy new you should be able to buy it under the VAT refund scheme through the school or music service.

Ishouldbeweaving Wed 28-May-14 14:47:27

If she's moving from area A to area B would she not fall under the music service in area B?

1805 Wed 28-May-14 15:12:40

Slider - would I be right in saying if she has learnt with a plug, she should carry on with that?

slider4006 Wed 28-May-14 15:28:44

Once beyond grade 3 the plug becomes essential really. Straight trombones are lighter but the plug lets you play more notes and makes reaching for longer positions easier too. I always recommend trombones with a plug now.

SauerKraut Wed 28-May-14 15:39:01

What is a plug?

slider4006 Wed 28-May-14 15:49:39

We call the 'f attachment' tubing the plug. It's the curly tubing that is opened by using a lever with the thumb of the left hand.
Straight trombones don't have the extra tubing, or 'plug'

SauerKraut Wed 28-May-14 16:20:38

Aha, I call it a trigger (or F-attachment!)! When you said it helps with reaching for longer positions I thought it might be some sort of gadget which helps one to extend the slide or something (which would be very useful...)

1805 Wed 28-May-14 16:23:43

Thanks. trombone not my specialism so really useful to know about grade 3 recommendation.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 28-May-14 16:29:10

Don't do it! Never trust an instrument that changes shape grin
I know some dc have a thing to help them reach bottom c, a bit like a extension for the slide.
Good luck OP and wishing your dd the best.
Maybe it would be a good idea to ask at her new school when she starts as its usually well into September before they start lessons.
Also check out your new music service they will probably do the same scheme for secondary, I know ours do.

FiveHoursSleep Thu 29-May-14 10:06:04

I'm pretty sure the music scheme we are under atm only hires instruments out to primary school age children, but the girls are playing in the area's Youth Orchestra so it might be worth a crack. I will ask. And I will also ask the new school for advice. They are a specialty music school so should be able to help.
Her current instrument does have a plug, so that's another thing to ask about. Thanks
My eldest plays the double bass and has been allowed to keep that because there is no one else to play it and they really need her smile

FiveHoursSleep Thu 29-May-14 10:07:05

Also have been looking at pbones, they look fun. What is the sound like?

1805 Thu 29-May-14 10:20:12

Sound is good enough. I recommend them to my little beginners.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Thu 29-May-14 11:52:31

I think you can use them up to Grade 4 or 5. You can use a regular mouthpiece for a better sound. Mine have used them occasionally for fun things and DS1s teacher uses his sometimes when playing outdoors and at Primary school events.

They were cheaper when we got them, and not as readily available.

schilke Thu 29-May-14 12:48:20

Dh has a pbone. Ds2 took it to school orchestra a couple of times, but was too embarrassed by it I think! Getting dd2 a pTrumpet for her birthday - think it's just an excuse for dh to get one.

Ishouldbeweaving Thu 29-May-14 13:32:39

We have an early edition pBone, it's been useful when he's gone to school laden down with other stuff because it's so light. DS will be picking up trombone again over the summer and we'll be borrowing one from the brass band he plays with or the music service because I'd rather listen to something a bit richer and fuller.

FiveHoursSleep Thu 29-May-14 16:30:27

DS is going to start trumpet in a couple of years so maybe I'll have a look at ptrumpets! I have plans for my own jazz band...

RaspberryLemonPavlova Thu 29-May-14 22:36:27

I know some-one with a ptrumpet, they are amazing too. More expensive than the pbone though.

DS1 started with trumpet Fivehours and took it to Grade 5 before switching to trombone/tuba. DS2 tried trumpet but it wasn't right for him at all, annoying as DS1 had just switched and I had bought his trumpet.

Its a shame neither plays trumpet, DD plays sax and it would have been a great trio.

FiveHoursSleep Fri 30-May-14 10:19:54

Ohh- a saxophone. I wonder what a good age for that would be?
I know that I can't really choose something for DS, but I can dream, can't I? He's keen on drums but they can't start those until Y4.
They all learn piano, DD1 and DD3 both play double bass and DD2 play trombone. What else would fit in nicely? ;)

RaspberryLemonPavlova Fri 30-May-14 16:43:41

Clarinet! Actually this is the instrument we tried to persuade DS2 would be 'his' instrument, he started when he was 7. A friend was teaching him and lent him a clarinet. Brilliant. Nice cheap option we thought. And easily portable, unlike DD with her cello and bari sax, and DS2 with trombone and tuba.

Then the lure of the brass in Y3 was too strong! And we were to feeble to say NO.

He still plays, it is his 3rd or 4th study depending on whether you count his singing. (Piano and a chorister).

DD started alto sax at the beginning of Y5, she doubles on bari sax.

Lots of clarinet players add sax as a second instrument later.

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