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What is A Good Trombone for a Student?

by NorlanBewley

It can be confusing trying to choose your first trombone as a student. There are established brands which are popular and have been for many years. There are more and more unknown brands which are extremely low in price and of equally low quality. If a brand new trombone costs 1/10th the price of an established brand, how good do you really think it is? Would you buy a new computer, cell phone, or car that cost 1/10th the price of a regular model and expect it to be just as good? Probably not. Junk at a bargain price is still junk.

My trombone students play a variety of trombone brands, either by their own choice, by the recommendation of their school music program, or by my recommendation. The trombone brands listed here are not in any particular order, as “best” is really a matter of taste. All are good choices. I will say that I tend to recommend the Holton TR602 the most as it plays the least like a student trombone in my opinion.


Holton TR602
Yamaha 354
Bach 300
King 606
Conn 22H
Getzen 351
Besson 600

Jupiter and Weril are two brands that are also popular. I have not had any experience yet with their student trombone models, so I will not list them here. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t good, but I can’t say for sure.

You should be able to find all of these brands at your local music store, any of the big online music stores, or on Ebay. If you use Ebay, make sure the slides are described as working well. Look closely at the photos and email the seller if you have any questions, no matter how minor.

Ebay is where you will find many of the unknown brands at unbelievably low prices. These are mostly junk in my experience. When in doubt, always ask the music director of your school program. These cheap instruments typically play poorly, break easily, and are hard to repair. Many local music stores can’t or won’t repair them for you because they are so low in quality.

The established brands may cost more, but you get what you pay for, as they say. For mouthpiece information, see What Is A Good Mouthpiece Size For A Trombone Student?

Copyright NorlanBewley 1999