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Thread: Should I go for Trombone or Euphonium

  1. #1

    Should I go for Trombone or Euphonium

    Buying my own euphonium

    So hey? Urmm a bit confused what euphonium should I buy. I am a trombone player in my high school and played the trombone for 5 years. It was the Yamaha straight tenor student model. As I entered my pre-degree year, I played for my University for the Graduation Ceremony but this time as a Euphonium player. I believed it was the student Yamaha too. These instruments arenít mine. I am really passionate about music and I wanna play music. I never played any of these instruments for almost 3 years since then. I am now deciding to buy my own instrument. Should I get a euphonium or a trombone? And what are some good euphos that I can buy? (Not expecting for pro/pricy models) Just for catching up my passion in music. Need ya guys help! Thank you

  2. #2
    Welcome to the forum!

    That's a pretty broad set of questions, so let's try to narrow them down a bit. What is your budget to buy a horn? (In general, you can get a better quality trombone in the very low price range compared to a euphonium.)

    Euphoniums have more interesting parts in most band music. But do you think you'll want to play in a local band? If not, what do you see in your future for playing/performing opportunities? Obviously trombone offers more avenues in jazz-ish music.

    Do you have an excellent ear for pitch and intonation? If not, then a euphonium will allow you to sound better as you play.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Kansas City, MO
    Why not both if your budget has room for it?

    The Yamaha student trombone (YSL-354 or YSL-200) you mentioned is regarded as one of the best all around horns of its kind.
    It definitely "punches above its weight class". They can be found online for usually under $500 US depending on condition.
    Many pro 'bone players say they keep one around for gigs (especially outdoor ones).

    I'll defer to the many experts on this forum for suggestions on models and prices of euphoniums.
    I venture the Yamaha euphoniums are of similar quality and affordability as the trombones relatively speaking, but there are many brands discussed on here by the experts.

    As someone who took over 20 years off from playing and is now trying to make up for lost time I'll say this: play as much as you can and whatever you can!
    I picked up a nice playing 3 valve baritone a year ago for $125 to start learning how to play valved instruments (trombone being my primary).
    One day I hope to add a 4 valve euphonium once I am confident in my proficiency level (and have the funds).

    Michael S.
    Kansas City, MO

  4. #4
    Hello! Thank you for having me here. Well to be fair, I always like the feel of playing the euphonium more than the trombone. It feels more sturdy, precise and bigger to me. I think I would progress more in euphonium than a trombone (what I think, not sure what others wud say).

    I donít really have any plans to play in local bands because I am still studying and music isnít my course. I still want to advance and pick up the pace of me playing instruments in the future; kinda like playing for my self-achievement and passion.

    Well, excellent ear I would say I can differentiate if my 2nd and 3rd trombone is out of the pitch. (i was a principal trombone in highschool). It was when I was about to end my highschool I took the opportunity to play the euphonium as my second instrument and it turned out to be amazing! Cuz I was doubling for the eupho.

    My budget is around 2k-2.5k USD. So I really need to find a very good sound horn and good quality but maybe not really a pro-sound/brand horn cuz they are at the upper price range. (I prioritize durability ad quality than the sound at this stage). I would say I am interested to buy my own Besson Prodige 165, but I also saw this Conn-Selmer 300EH euphonium which is quite interesting but not sure if itís good quality or not. Trombone on the other hand, Courtois Legend 440 would be my higher standard trombone and I would also consider the Courtois mezzo 280. So yeah..

  5. #5
    That's a very workable price range to get a good euphonium. There are several available, two of which are offered from companies that support this forum (companies I accepted because I know they have excellent products and service). Wessex has their Dolce model, which is the same configuration as most pro horns, with 3 valves on top and one on the side (called a 3+1 configuration). And Austin Custom Brass has their new Doubler model euphonium, which is a similar design. Both fall in your price range.

    There are also non-compensating models from Yamaha and King that might fit your price if you got a good price from the retailer. Yamaha has their YEP-321 and King has the 2280, both of which have 4 valves in a row on top and are non-compensating.

    Having the 4th valve is like having a trigger on the trombone. On euphonium, 4 can play a low C and low F, instead of using 13. It is a little more in tune, and a lot more in tune on low B with 4+2 vs. 123. And having the 4th valve allows you to play below the low E, down about as far as you want to go! A compensating system offers the advantage of keeping the same fingerings as you go below low E, so low Db, for example, is played with 234, while the octave higher is played with 23 - you just add 4 in the low octave.

    Here is an article explaining the compensating system:
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  6. #6
    I see. Thank you for your recommendations! I still am not sure if I were to pursue buying a euphonium or a trombone because like you said, I can get a really good trombone from excellent brands in the same price range I agree to stick with. Any ideas on which should I go? I heard the the Wessex dolce a lot but some says the plating will come off easily in short time which is a bit scary to me. I kinda like the Besson 165 because it is from Besson so I guess itís top notch quality and even if itís not the sovereign or prestige model, it sounds great like what I heard from reviews.

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