Did you know that the oldest surviving trombone was made in the mid-sixteenth century? This feat is mind-blowing as it took two more centuries for the trombone to become an official orchestra instrument. Trombones are initially from Europe and are the only brass instruments that use slides to alter pitches. All other instruments in the brass family use valves to alter their pitch. This design is an outstanding trombone feature that warrants a deeper understanding.
Here are some of the frequently asked questions about the trombone.
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What is a Trombone?
A trombone is a brass instrument that is commonly played in orchestras. Trombone loosely translates to a large trumpet (Tromba-one) in French and Italian. It is designed using a cylindrical tube that bends twice at the back and front of the bore. The bore is the large, bell-shaped outlet at the end of it. It amplifies the air vibrations that pass through the tube and out of the bore. Generally, trombones are made of larger mouthpieces compared to other brass instruments. This is because of their lower register characteristic produced by vibrating lips.
A significant difference between it and other brass instruments is the slides. Trombones have two slides; an inner slide and an outer slide. Trombonists use these slides to change pitch.
The most common type of it known to people is the tenor trombone. It is light and straight in design. However, there are two other types of trombones. These are the trigger-type tenor and bass trombone.
With its golden or silver-colored coating and a pair of slides, it is effortless to identify a it when you see one.
How does a trombone work?
Unlike other instruments in the brass family, like trumpets that use valves, a trombone has slides to alter the pitch. As you play, you will move the slides to seven different positions, each with different sounds. The first position is the closest to you, while the 7th lies at the very end when the slide is fully extended. But this does not mean it has only seven sounds; each position can produce infinite sounds; it depends on your skills.
Interestingly, the pitch can also be altered by how you blow into it. A high pitch is produced if you tighten your lips while blowing. Loosen your lips, and you have a lower bass-like pitch.
How long does it take to learn how to play a trombone?
It is generally accepted that 10,000 hours of practicing anything creates skill. Implicitly, this saying refers to constant practice and frequent engagement in any activity. When it comes to playing trombones, it is not any different. It would help if you dedicated some of your time to learning how to play the it.
The time it’ll take you to learn it entirely depends on you! The internet has simplified the process a lot. Instead of hiring a personal instructor, you can download a few tutorials on how to play the it. From there, you need to practice it consistently, and with time you will realize how skillful you will become.
How much Does a Trombone Cost?
The cost of trombones depends on the level of the player. A beginner-level it costs between $400 and $1000. Intermediate-level players use trombones priced between $1000 and $300. Finally, entry-level pro it players use trombones that cost between $3000 and $5000.
Online retailers have added an option to lease trombones; the cost differs depending on the store.
To save on cost, other than leasing one, visit online wholesalers like Alibaba.com. They have some of the cheapest all-level trombones.
The bottom line of trombone FAQs
We cannot exhaustively answer all questions, but it is the only brass instrument that uses slides to produce different pitches. If you want to learn how to play it, a couple of USDs to buy one and 10000 dedicative hours will make you a pro.