Assembling the Trombone
The trombone is one of the most delicate of musical instruments. It cannot be built heavy enough to withstand damage whilst being light enough for an effortless performance. The outer slide uses the lightest metal found on any instrument, so it must be handled with great care and placed in its case when not in use.
- To oil the slide, hold the slide by the first brace, point towards the ground, unlock the slide lock and gently rest the slide on the ground.
- Apply the slide oil to the top of the inner slide and let it work its way down. Now work the oil by moving the slide up and down. It should move freely and without force.
- Once you’ve done that lock the slide again. Keep the slide pointed downwards in your right hand with the taller part of the slide towards you.
- Now take the bell in your left hand and place the receiver (where there is a circular tightening nut) on the taller part of the slide. The bell should be to the left of the slide.
- Create a ‘V’ between the bell and the slide, forming a right angle, and tighten the nut.
- Place the trombone back in its case and remember to do your case up correctly.
Cleaning and care
You will need to purchase a cleaning kit from your local music retailer or online. This kit should include slide oil, slide grease, a mouthpiece brush and a cleaning snake.
To clean your trombone, follow these simple instructions:
- Run a warm bath or fill a large container with warm water.
- Remove all slides from your trombone. Immerse the trombone slides in the water along with the mouthpiece. Let the trombone soak for a few hours or overnight to give it a really good clean!
- Run your cleaning snake from your care kit through the slides and main trombone body to dislodge all the grease and gunk, then give the trombone a final rinse.
- Drain the bath and leave the trumpet to soak upright overnight.
- Once the trombone is dry, re-grease the slides and re-oil the main slide. Put all the slides back into place.
- Clean the mouthpiece with warm water and the mouthpiece brush from you care kit, once a week.
Letting your ‘water’ out: The moisture that accumulates inside the trombone is not ‘spit’. It is condensation from the player’s breath – just like the moisture from a steaming kettle that condenses on windows. When this moisture accumulates inside the trombone, it has to be released through the water key or spit valve. Open the water key and blow air (don’t buzz) into the instrument.
The sounds of the Trombone
Whether it’s the sound of the symphonic trombone or the marching band trombone, it is a sound to be reckoned with! The trombone is a deep, soulful and versatile instrument. Its unique slide and powerful sound makes it a great choice for any aspiring musician.
What type of trombone does my child need?
When you are first starting out on an instrument, your child just needs a basic student model of their chosen instrument.
The trombone you will start on will be a B-flat tenor student model. Some brands and models that are perfect for students starting out are: Yamaha YSL154, Jupiter 432L, Carol Brass student tenor trombone and P-Bone Mini Plastic Trombone.
Helpful videos and tutorials
- Setting up, packing away & holding your trombone
- Producing a sound on your trombone
- Cleaning your trombone
We also have our own YouTube Channel, where you can find a collection of useful videos and tutorials.