The trombone belongs to the family of brass musical instruments. Trombones have unique features which is one of the reasons they are commonly used in bands and other musical performances. the musical instrument were invented in the early fourteenth century, at that time it existed in different forms according to inventor’s designs in different parts of the world.
Over the years, the trombone evolved to have one unique design which was universally accepted and what we have today. It can be described as a bent cylindrical musical instrument which features a mouthpiece and ends in a flared bell.
The trombone became popular in the seventeenth century when they were introduced in orchestras by notable composers. It is known for the characteristic pitch they produce during play. These sounds complement other musical instruments used in ensembles such as the orchestra. Trombones were popular during the classical period; however, they are now used to play songs in different music genres.
The experts who play trombones are called trombonists. They have been able to perfect their techniques with the musical instrument by learning and understanding how the different accessories of the trombone function. To achieve the best results during play or practice, the trombonist must know how to manipulate the trombone using all the accessories in an organized sequence.
This is how the famous pitch trombones are known for is created. In addition to accessories that are used while playing trombones, there are other tools with functions that help to maintain and enhance the quality of the trombone. For example, the gig kits and cleaning accessories are used to ensure the trombone is ready for use any time the trombonist needs to perform.
While learning how to play the trombone, the music teachers dedicate whole lessons to teaching students about the accessories. To a large extent, this approach signifies the importance of understanding how these parts of a trombone function.
Having a good knowledge of the accessories helps the musician to have a pleasant experience while playing the trombone. Maximizing the functions of the different accessories helps the musician get fully prepared to deliver an impressive performance.
Learning about trombone accessories is not a difficult process because they have simple features. Here are the essential accessories a trombonist should know how to use.
10 Best Cool and Essential Trombone Accessories
1) Trombone Case and gig bag
These are important accessories trombonists always need every day. The case and gig bags are used to carry the trombone and all other accessories securely during transit. The case also provides secure storage for the trombone and other equipment. They are mostly lightweight, so it is easy to carry around.
Storing your trombone and accessories in the high-quality case and gig bags will also protect the musical instrument from dust. These bags also prevent any form of corrosion because they are mostly lined with water resistant materials to keep your trombone safe from moisture.
Case and gig bags ultimately help you plan and organize musical performances. For instance, the different compartments in these carriers for musical instruments make it possible to store multiple trombone accessories in the case and gig bags securely. There are suitable compartments of different sizes that can be used to store your mouthpiece, the valves, cleaning materials, and other accessories. They are easy to use and very convenient.
2) Trombone Mouthpiece
The mouthpiece for a trombone is detachable. It is shaped in a way to allow you easily blow into the trombone to produce the sounds. Mouthpieces usually have a generalized design; however, you may need different types for the trombone variants such as alto trombone, or tenor trombone.
There are different sizes of mouthpieces for the trombone; however, the real effect depends on the depth of the cup. The mouthpiece has a tapered shank. This is the part that is fitted into the slide’s frame securely before you can start playing the musical instrument. Air blown into the mouthpiece produces articulations which in turn produces the pitch depending on how the trombone has been tuned.
Without the mouthpiece, it is practically impossible to produce the needed sounds with a trombone. Some people need more than one mouthpiece as musicians; this is usually the case when they need to play different types of trombones during a performance. Using multiple mouthpieces helps the musician avoid the time lag spent changing them from one trombone to another.
3) Trombone Mouthpiece case
The mouthpiece case for a trombone is a small pouch usually made from leather. It is used to store the mouthpiece when not in use. It is a good practice to place the mouthpiece into its case immediately the mouthpiece has been detached from the musical instrument.
The mouthpiece case has features such as the pocket where the trombone mouthpiece is stored and a flap cover which may have a clasp or a zipper to keep the mouthpiece firmly inside the case. Using the trombone mouthpiece case is easy. It also helps you keep the mouthpiece protected from dust and other elements that can hinder its functions.
4) Trombone Mouthpiece stand
The mouthpiece stand is usually made of wood or plastic. It has a flat surface on which the raised pegs are arranged in a design to hold the multiple mouthpieces. The mouthpiece stand can be found in studios and recording houses. You will also find a mouthpiece stand very helpful if you play different types of trombones.
The mouthpiece stand makes it very easy to reach out and pick up any mouthpiece you need during practice or a musical performance. There are times when you may need to try out different mouthpieces to get the right pitch needed for a particular performance. Storing these mouthpieces in your pockets can be exhausting. The mouthpiece stand is the right accessory to avoid spending unnecessary time searching for the mouthpiece you need.
Through innovation, different types of mouthpieces have been developed to enhance the trombone playing experience. Some musicians also develop a particular attachment to particular trombone mouthpieces. By using this accessory, all your mouthpieces are kept in one place and ready for use.
5) Trombone Mute
The mute is an accessory used by trombonists to lower the pitch produced by the musical instrument during practice. One of the reasons trombones are so popular is the high pitch they tend to produce during a performance. However, when you need to practice, the high pitch can sound disturbing to other people around you. To avoid being a public nuisance, you need a mute.
The mute lowers the pitch of the trombone so only you can hear it audibly during practice. Many trombonists advocate the use of mutes by all musicians because it gives them the freedom to practice as many times as possible and anywhere they are without feeling guilty about disturbing others.
The mute is mounted on the trombone and tested before the training session begins. There are different types of mutes; however, they do not influence the functions of the trombone besides lowering the pitch.
6) Trombone Stand
Trombone stands are used to hold the musical instrument in place during practice sessions. They come in different designs and can be adjusted to reach a suitable height that will be convenient for the trombone player.
Trombone stands are also used by musicians to store their trombones. This is possible when trombone players have private studios where they practice. Placing the trombone on the stand keeps it safe and secure from falling to the ground. These stands make it convenient for trombone players to take quick breaks between training sessions.
Using the trombone stand is easy. They usually feature tripod legs which are firmly placed on the ground. The stands offer the stability that gives the user a sense of security; there is no need to bother about the stand collapsing and ruining the trombone when it has been properly set up. Trombone stands can be used anywhere; the newer models can be folded and safely stored in cases during transit.
7) Trombone Cleaning and maintenance kits
The trombone cleaning and maintenance kit contain tools that are used to clean the musical instrument regularly. Cleaning your trombone keeps prolongs its usage period and you are assured of its maximal performance at all times.
The trombone can be taken apart and reassembled. This makes it easy to clean all the parts that make up the trombone. The cleaning and maintenance kit contain products such as the brush used to clean mouthpieces and the valve casings, a polishing cloth made from microfiber, oils, and grease for the monster slide and tuning slide, a lead pipe cleaner, and others.
Cleaning and maintenance kits for the trombone also have manuals which display the right instructions. This information is helpful to the user who can read the instructions to know how to clean the trombone properly. Regularly cleaning the trombone also improves its functionality and durability.
8) Trombone Metronome
A metronome is an essential trombone accessory that helps you get the right rhythm. It is commonly referred to as a sort of monitoring clock. The metronome features a pendulum which creates pulses as it swings. By placing a metronome nearby, you can monitor the ticks to achieve the right tempo and notations while playing the trombone.
The pulses generated by metronomes are measured as beats per minutes (BPM), and a standard metronome can produce as many as 250 BPM. Using the time signatures created with the metronome, you will find it easier to get the right rhythm even when the tune is quite difficult.
Metronomes can be used by musicians who wish to compose songs or during solo performances. These accessories, however, are helpful during practice. After mastering the techniques and timing patterns to get the right rhythm, you should be able to perform in public without the metronome. This makes it an essential accessory for practice sessions with the trombone.
9) Trombone Lyre
The trombone lyre is a small accessory attached to the trombone during practice. It is used to hold music sheets while playing the musical instrument. Trombone lyres are used by trombone players who are practicing a new tune, and they have not mastered all the passages.
There are different types of lyres, but they function the same way, to hold music sheets. The common type of lyre used for trombones is the ring lyre. It has a small ring which is attached to the trombone with screws. Depending on the user, there are lyres that can also be attached to the wrist.
These trombone lyres are set up on wrists because it is more convenient for the user to view music from that position. Such trombone lyres come with secure bands to hold the accessory in place.
10) Trombone Grip
The trombone grip helps to keep the instrument balanced while it is in use. Trombone grips are usually made in the form of a strap that fits around the left palm. The trombone grip is always firmly attached to the musical instrument. However, you can adjust its fitting and angles to allow for easy and flexible movement while playing the trombone.
Trombone grips are helpful when you need to carry on longer practice sessions. They prevent your hands and fingers from aching during long practice sessions. Holding the trombone securely with the use of a grip allows you to focus on the music or technique you are using to play the instrument. These accessories are also manufactured for use by young children and older trombonists. After use, trombone grips can be stored in a pouch and kept inside the gig bag.
Choosing the Best Trombone Parts
To get the best experience when playing trombones, it is important to consider purchasing all the essential accessories that are frequently used. In one way or the other, these accessories complement each other in their functionalities. The use of trombone accessories also reduces the tendency to feel frustrated while playing the musical instrument because of the convenience they add to your musical experience with the trombone.
While the trombone accessories are very helpful, they are also worth a lot of money. To get the maximum benefits, you should know how to use the different trombone accessories properly. Also, it would be best if you had a good idea about cleaning these accessories after use and the right storage options to keep them safe.
Many of the trombone accessories are easy to use because of their simple features. However, you should read the user manual and instructions attached by the manufacturer to ensure you set up the parts and use the accessory correctly.