You may think you know the trombone but do you really?
The trombone is a member of the brass family that normally features a large tuning slide for changing notes. A majority of the instrument family resides in the bass clef and tenor clef though there are exceptions like the alto and soprano trombone.
Most often the instrument referred to as simply, the trombone is the tenor trombone. This instrument is incredibly flexible with a range that starts in the tuba register and can extend to the top of the treble clef staff.
It is this flexibility that make it a popular starter instrument for students interested in playing this glorious instrument.
Trombone's flexibility is also a reason its included in standard arrangements of jazz music like the Big Band genre. The slide makes quick chromatic movements prominently featured in jazz music easy and approachable for intermediate players. Alternatively, having to move your arm to change notes can make it difficult to play certain passages quickly when compared to an instrument with keys and valves though this deficiency can diminish with practice and there are players that can keep up with some of the fastest saxophone and trumpet players.
There are some less common trombones that exist also that haven't been mentioned here. These are the bass, contrabass, valve, and piccolo trombone with the bass trombone being the most common of them.
Bass trombone normally features one or two finger triggers and a fundamental tuning of one entire octave lower than the tenor trombone. The contrabass trombone likewise is even lower and larger in size. The valve trombone is a bit of an oddity. It sacrifices the benefits of a slide for the convenience of valves. Normally its used by trumpet players who need to quickly switch between two instruments and double on trombone.
Piccolo and soprano trombone are both fairly uncommon. They are in the trumpet register and read in concert pitch treble clef. Mostly they are a novelty unlike the alto trombone that is keyed to Eb and reads the alto clef. The alto trombone has many featured parts in the orchestra and in some earlier classical music.
Now you know more about the worlds majestic instrument ever created, the trombone. It is a blast to play and fun to learn. Check out some of the fun music you can play on the trombone the brass video below.