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#1696903 - 06/17/11 09:11 AM My son wants to learn trombone
T'sMom Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 227
My son, age 9, will be in 4th grade next year and wants to chose trombone for his band instrument. He also plays piano.

When I was his age I played oboe for a few years. I enjoyed it but found that it wasn't versatile enough. So my advice to him was to choose something like trumpet or clarinet, which fit in almost any situation or type of music. They had a music demonstration at school and he liked the trombone (don't all the kids like it? the sliding is very captivating).

I don't know a lot about trombone. What is it like to learn? I know it plays in bass clef, is it usually accompaniment or does it get the melody sometimes in school band? Is it possible to play a trombone + piano duet (I'm imagining playing with him someday grin )

Thanks for any comments!

#1710979 - 07/10/11 09:02 PM Re: My son wants to learn trombone [Re: T'sMom]
qtpi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/05
Posts: 253
Loc: Hockessin, Delaware
of course, you can play a duet- just think of Saint-Saens' the Swan- doesn't have to be on a cello.

The nice thing about the trombone is you have to develop a good ear, because you have to place the slide just right and not rely on keys to exactly tune your note. A bass trombone key extends the range and you can find the trombone in symphonies- Brahms, jazz, concert, marching, and rock bands.

I play trombone, trumpet, flute, and piano, and I find each very versatile. Plenty of trombone solos out there. Wagner's Valkyries!

Edited by qtpi (07/10/11 09:02 PM)

#1711015 - 07/10/11 10:05 PM Re: My son wants to learn trombone [Re: T'sMom]
david_a Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Among the brass instruments, the trombone is in general the most user-friendly in terms of physical requirements. A nine-year-old doesn't have long enough arms to reach the slide all the way out, but surely the band teachers have some plan to alleviate that problem while it lasts. The trombone's mouthpiece is a comfortable average type of size (well, maybe on the big side for 9yo but that's OK), and though serious facial irregularities make any wind instrument difficult, ordinary run-of-the-mill crooked teeth are usually not a problem on trombone (as they can be on trumpet and horn).

The trombone reads in the bass clef at concert pitch, but the natural/easy notes ("the white keys" if you want to think about it that way) are in B flat. This means music for other instruments is often not too hard to transcribe, since transposition isn't required.

The trombone is also the loudest instrument in an orchestra, which is a great thing for a nine-year-old boy, you must admit. smile
(The organ can of course play a lot louder. The piano, however, is most decidedly no match for the trombone.)

Have fun. wink
(I'm a piano teacher.)

#1712368 - 07/13/11 01:17 AM Re: My son wants to learn trombone [Re: T'sMom]
qtpi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/28/05
Posts: 253
Loc: Hockessin, Delaware
piano's the best.:) - but no good in a marching band- and kinda lonely when everyone else is playing in band at school!

Any decision on the trombone yet? PS- I love the oboe too- love the sound- really stands out.

#1713402 - 07/14/11 05:21 PM Re: My son wants to learn trombone [Re: T'sMom]
RayE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/19/10
Posts: 163
Loc: Rochester, NY, USA
I also am a pianist who learned Trombone as a second instrument for the school band. Trombone is a very versatile instrument that is found in almost all genres of music. Piano and Trombone duets are published in abundance at all grade levels, so that won't be an issue. The Trombone having a slide requires developing a good ear to play in tune, but because of the slide things can be done on the trombone that can't be done on other instruments. Trombone is an especially good jazz instrument for improvisational music. Listen to JJ Johnson, Kai Winding, or for a more contemporary jazz artist Steve Turre to see what I mean about it being a great Jazz instrument that can easily cary the lead in a jazz setting. If he like Trombone let him go for it, he won't be dissapointed.
Retired Army reserve Bandsman who now plays for the Joy of Music!!


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