For many years, jazz music has been considered a classic affair. Recent studies have even proved that this classical music has immense health benefits. Finding the perfect jazz trombone is one of the best ways to enjoy jazz music. This is why we decided to carry out research into some of these woodwind instruments. A probe that has led us into the stretches and depths of trying to get the best jazz trombone.
To come up with this comprehensive information about jazz trombones, we tried out several instruments. Among the things we were interested in are bell size, the type of and number of key (s), the sized of bore, warranty information, and distinctive features that make a jazz trombone stand out. These seemingly small features are important things that each one of us needs to look at when they are looking for a trombone to play whether at a personal level or for a professional jazz group. The best trombone that balances all these features with a great price is our Editor’s Choice Selmer Prelude TB711.
Top 5 Jazz Trombones Review 2020
It has taken us several months to conduct the research, which has incorporated renowned trombonists and jazz enthusiasts. We have teamed up with these valuable trombone users to come up with this in-depth article that has a comparison table, thorough description of each instrument, and an impeccable buyer’s guide all with the aim of helping you find the right jazz trombone. Before you finish reading the article, you will also learn how to play a jazz trombone and get answers to some of the provocative questions.
Selmer Prelude TB711 – Editor’s Choice
- Key: Bb
- Bore: .500’’
- Bell: 8’’
- Warranty: 1-year limited
- Yellow brass bell
More features: two-piece bell, 12C mouthpiece, comes with case, nickel silver inner slide, clear lacquer finish
Selmer Prelude TB711 is our number one choice because of many good reasons. One of the main reasons why this jazz trombone takes lead in our list is the design. Even if you have not used a jazz trombone before, the compact and sleek design will persuade you.
With an 8-inch bell, the trombone assures users the ideal comfort when playing it. Whether you are learning to play the instrument or are a professional player already, Selmer Prelude TB711 offers you a firm yet comfortable grip.
The interior of this instrument is coated with high-quality chrome brass. Those who have used trombones argue that chrome brass is one of the high-end metals that guarantee a durable musical instrument.
Students, amateurs, and young players find this item ideal because it is not overly expensive, it is not heavy and comes with ideal specifications.
We also love what the manufacturer is doing to ensure users find the instrument ideal for their musical parties. The instrument comes with Bach slide cream, enough to run you several months, hard shell casing for carrying and storage, and a removable balance weight among other things.
The product measures 40” x 7” x 12” and weighs 4 pounds. The product’s dimensions and the weight make it easy to carry Selmer Prelude TB711 and store with ease.
Although the interior is made of chrome brass, the outer part is designed with nickel silver, another high-quality material that ensures durability of the instrument.
- Nice design
- Quality material that ensures durability
- Ideal for students
- Easy to carry and store
- Can only produce tenor
- Unusually long
Selmer King 2103 3B – Best Professional
- Key: Bb
- Bore: 0.508’’
- Bell: 7.9’’
- Warranty: 1-year limited
- Yellow brass bell
More features: nickel silver outer slides, 12C mouthpiece, clear lacquer finish, includes case
Are you looking for a trombone with advanced features, comes with a 1-year warranty that will make you feel a true jazz wizard? You need King 2013 3B with 0.508 bore. The machine’s outer cover is nicely finished with nickel silver.
To give you the desired quick response and an excellent tone the item is fitted with a durable outer hand slide. For many years, jazz enthusiasts that have used this instrument say it is one of the best.
We must agree that it is costly but it is worth the price. The instrument has the best projection when it comes to sound and delivers the desired response that accomplished trombonists require.
For easy transportation and storage, the item comes with a case. In addition to these features, this item has a 12C mouthpiece, Bb key, and has a clear lacquer finish.
Great jazz musicians praise this instrument for being the best studio trombone as well as a great musical instrument for outdoor activities such as parties. The product has a high yet arresting tone. This is evident if you like enjoying the upper register.
The yellow brass bell, 12.9 mm bore, and 12C mouthpiece and the outstanding lacquer finish are some of the things we love about this trombone.
Lead as well as solo playing can be achieved using this one instrument and the sound is undoubtedly perfect. For many, they have heard this trombone on most jazz music.
- Best for the studio and outdoor parties
- Nice sound projection
- Elegant finish
- Great as lead instrument
- Unpleasant design
pBone PBONE1B Jiggs – Best Plastic
- Key: Bb
- Bore: .500’’
- Bell: 8’’
- Warranty: 6-month free pBone membership, 1-year limited
- ABS plastic
More features: various colors, 1.8 lbs weight, 11C mouthpiece, comes with case, lockable glass-fibre slide
Are you tired of seeing your trombone fade from the shining metallic lacquer finish that you once craved for? The best option is the hard-plastic trombone.
We love so many things about this trombone. First, it is very light. With just 1.8 lbs, you have a nice jazz trombone that you have been yearning to have. The other thing we have to mention is the item’s current price. Can you imagine owning a beautiful and quality jazz trombone for just $130 or less?
pBone, the maker of this jazz trombone has ensured the instrument comes with an ergonomic grip. Besides, the company has come up with a water key design that is not found in any of the other jazz trombones. The ergonomic handle explains why many trombonists find it easy and comfortable to hold the instrument.
For a smooth and rhythmical action, the item comes with a lockable slide that is made of glass fibre. Because of the material used to make the lockable slide, the machine has proved to be robust and durable than most of its peers that resort to a different material. What is more, it is not easy to damage the trombone.
It is pitched in the Bb key scale, has _500 bore and comes with an 11C mouthpiece, which is slightly smaller than many jazz trombones in the market.
- Easy to carry thanks to carry bag
- Matching mouthpiece
- Durable ABS plastic
- Nice ergonomic design
- Outstanding and unique color
- The slide is scratchy
Mendini by Cecilio MTB-L – Best Value
- Key: Bb
- Bore: .500’’
- Bell: 8’’
- Warranty: 1-year limited
- Brass bell
More features: includes 92-D tuner and cleaning kit, golden lacquer, carrying case included, 12C mouthpiece
This is yet another affordable jazz trombone you can think of. It comes with 8” bell and the standard _500 bore. We like the instrument for its balanced weight distribution. Your both hands will not suffer discomfort when playing the instrument.
Of all the jazz trombones on our list, we see that this item comes with a variety of amenities that help you get the value for your money. Inside the pack, you will find white gloves, hard storage case, that is labeled ‘pro-deluxe’ because of its uniqueness and a piece of cloth to clean the trombone.
In addition, the item has a 92-D tuner and a pocketbook. The deluxe backpack case has straps that make it easy for you to carry the trombone on your back.
In case of any mechanical defects on the trombone, Cecilio, the manufacturer says it will look into your plight. The company will repair or replace your trombone after ascertaining the problem. For this to happen, the defect must be within the first year of your purchasing your trombone.
We are sure you will find this instrument ideal for you if you are just starting. The slide is excellent thus you will not have a problem changing notes. This happens irrespective of the register.
The item measures 36” x 15” x 10” and weighs 11 lbs.
- Nice price
- Easy to carry
- Easy to clean
- Easy and quick to change notes
- Makes noise when changing notes
- Case doesn’t last
Yamaha YBL-620G – Best Bass
- Key: Bb
- Bore: .563’’
- Bell: 9.5’’
- Warranty: 5-year limited
- Gold brass bell
More features: two-part depending rotor system, F and Eb keys, comes with D-slide, yellow brass body, 58 mouthpiece
Our vote for the best bass jazz trombone is Yamaha YBL -620G. Designed with the user’s interest at heart, the trombone indeed is praised by professional jazz musicians to beat the rest in the market when it comes to bass.
We have also found out that this item has a pocket-friendly price thus students and professionals alike can always save many bucks when purchasing it.
The item comes with a rotor system that is double dependent. For many users, YBL-620G is ideally one of the most valuable features that make jazz music distinctive. The system works in Eb, Bb, and F keys. Additionally, the instrument has an optional D9 key.
To achieve quality resonance and an outstanding performance, Yamaha has included a gold brass bell. The bell measures 5 inches.
The good thing about this product is that it has a slightly smaller bell. This explains why the trombone produces a high-pitched sweet tone, ideal for jazz music. Nonetheless, the item is renowned for its bass ability.
For an excellent look, the trombone has a clean lacquer finish. We are sure you will love this item because apart from all the nice features, Yamaha offers a 5-year warranty. Although the warranty is limited, there is no doubt it will help when and if a defect occurs.
- Smooth slide
- Excellent bass
- Bigger bell size
- Exceptional mouthpiece
- Sturdy bodywork
- Comfortable with an adjuster
- Quite Heavy
- It is a bit too huge
Jazz trombone – benefits and types
The trombone is an ancient instrument whose word arose from the Italian and German word for trumpet. It is an ancient instrument but its origin is still not known. Although there could be different types of trombones, generally speaking, professional jazz groups tend to use two main types namely tenor and bass trombones. In the world over, researchers opine that listening to jazz music can have profound benefits on one’s health. Pro jazz supporters argue that listening to jazz can help in:
- Alleviating pain
- Lowering blood pressure
- Stroke recovery
- Improve one’s immunity
- Relief stress
- Relax the brain by stimulating brain waves
Consider the following features to buy the perfect trombone for jazz
Before placing your money on any of the trombones highlighted herein, consider the following features. It is true that most of the features are found on almost every product but a few are unique. For instance, while all the trombones mentioned above have nice finish, come with either 8” or 9.5” mouthpiece, only pBone PBONE1B Jiggs weighs 1.8 lbs. Besides, the trombone is made of high-quality plastic. Look at such distinctive features.
Look for the reliable brand
Why is reliability important? Well, as the term suggests, you will only purchase a trombone that you are sure will last. The other thing is about the brand. In the world over, companies have come and exited the market. Why? Because these manufacturers did not give users the value for their money. Selmer King 2103 3B for instance, is a reputable brand you can trust. The manufacturer has been around for quite some time.
Consider the group
If you are buying a tambourine for a jazz group, then you need different types of trombones. You cannot buy the same brand and type of trombones, considering that different types of this instrument produce different types of sounds. It would be ideal to include a bass trombone such as Yamaha YBL-620G in your group. However, YBL620G is not enough for a group. For nice sound packaging, you will need a lead trombone such as Selmer King 2103 3B or any other that you may prefer. The main point is your group to have a variety of jazz trombones.
Bell and bore sizes
Bell and bore sizes are key. In most cases, the size of the bell will either mean a high or low pitch. When shopping for the trombone, first you must know where you are going to play it. For a lead jazz, you need a narrow bell that can project the sound. Bore sizes also matter a lot in the trombone’s resonance, tone variation and sound projection. Selmer King 2103 3B and Yamaha YBL-620G are best options for high and low sounds respectively.
What about the wrap?
Anything one spends their money on should be elegant, sleek, and come with a nice clear finish. In many cases, we are all moved by good looks. There are different types of wrap depending on the close and open wrap. The type of wrap determines the blowing feel, compactness and protection. Many companies offer the open wrap since it had a free blowing rotor and a lot of trombone players prefer it.
Whether short or long, when you consider trombone valves, you are likely to make a good choice. From a general view, valves dictate the type of sound a trombone produces. However, a critical analysis will reveal that the more the valves, the better the player will change through the notes to produce different types of pitches. A trombone with three valves is generally ideal because it can play almost all keys.
Key and sound
Generally, all trombones come with Bb keys. However, others come with 9-D key options. These keys help in balancing the right pitch and sound a trombone will produce. Although it may appear to be a difficult thing for students at first, they will master the art and learn about the distinctively unique differences between each key and the sound a trombone can produce thereafter.
It is common sense that if the slide is rigid, it would be a challenge to change the notes. For this reason, you need to look for trombone whose slide is very flexible. Another thing about the slide you need to know is if the instrument produces noise when you are changing the notes. Although it is praised more for its bass, Yamaha YBL-620G is also good for sliding.
The material used to make a trombone has been a hot debate for many years. We still believe it is a personal decision. It is true that chrome, brass, and nickel, are some of the preferered materials. However, trombones whose bodywork is purely ABS plastic such as pBone PBONE1B Jiggs have made people change their mind. This item is incredibly durable and comes with extraordinary features that complement the material.
We all agree that no one was born a professional trombonist. It takes time for one to master the art of playing any musical instrument. As such, it is important to note that some trombones come with advanced features that can only be played by professional players. For students, we recommend Selmer Prelude TB711 and pBone PBONE1B Jiggs. These trombones are not only easy to play but they are also light, making it easy to carry for a long time.
You love a particular trombone, right? What would you do if you do not have the money to buy it? The fact is you will not own the musical instrument. While many trombones go for more than $500, it doesn’t necessarily mean you cannot get quality and durable trombones that cost much less. On our list, there are trombones that go for less than $200. Mendini by Cecilio MTB-L is a perfect example. The musical piece comes with nice features you cannot find in other costly trombones. For instance, the trombone comes with white gloves and a special piece of cloth to clean your instrument.
Sadly, many jazz trombone manufacturers do not consider it a thing to offer their clients warranties. Those who do, they are not generous. Many give a 1-year warranty. Besides, they accompany the warranty with many stringent rules in the name of ‘terms and conditions.’ In the end, the warranty doesn’t help the user because it is labeled ‘limited’ warranty. Does it mean there is no company that values its clients? Far from it! Yamaha, the maker of Yamaha YBL-620G, gives a staggering 5-year warranty. If this is what you care about, then you know the trombone to choose.
How to play jazz music on a trombone?
If you have never played a jazz trombone, you are going to know the swung eighth notes. This means, you try to tie a set of notes together such as 1, 2, 3 so that you do not create a break. The second thing you need to master is how to move the slides. To be a professional jazz player, you need to move the slide as fast as you can. Note that some trombones come with slides that are very easy to move. A good example is Yamaha YBL-620G. The trombone is praised for having the smoothest slide. The third step would be to learn how to play and hold different notes by giving the notes a slight vibrato. If you repeat this process severally, you will be a pro in a few days.
While renting a trombone is a good way to learn how to play the musical instrument, it is not the only way. Many find it economical to buy their own jazz trombones and use it to practice whenever they want without the fear of the owner taking it away when they least expect.
Miles Davis who played jazz from 1926 to 1991. Other top players include Wycliffe Gordon, Cory Bands and Robert Childs:
Before you make a choice, let’s wrap up three trombones we gave preference on our list. Perhaps, you will make a wise decision after reading this.
The first one is what we labeled the ‘editor’s choice’. Selmer Prelude TB711 comes with robust bodywork, a nice lacquer finish, and a nice casing for carrying it.
Our second choice is Selmer King 2103 3B, the best professional trombone with 0.508 bore, smooth nickel silver outer slides, and a bell size of 7.9”.
Lastly, we chose Mendini by Cecilio MTB-L if you are on a tight budget. In addition to this product being affordable, it is very easy to clean it.
Remember, you need the best jazz trombone to be affordable but to also have various features. The choice is now yours.