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Thread: Valve trombone advice, please!

  1. Valve trombone advice, please!

    I play the euphonium in a concert band. There is a shortage of trombone players in a local big band and currently I am in the band as a third trombone player with my euphonium. I am thinking of purchasing a valve trombone but I know nothing about trombone. I looked online stores but there are so many different kinds... Any advice what to look or any recommendation for the instrument?

  2. #2
    Hello and welcome.

    Trombone was my first instrument. Your best bet would be to go to the online trombone chat for research: . Most valve trombones are not very good. Your best bet would be to learn to play a slide trombone. See if your school has a trombone for you to learn on and they may also provide lessons before spending the money on a trombone. I used school horns throughout middle and high school. Talk to your band director and or your prove lesson teacher about this. While they are similar you need to play them a little bit differently.

    Since you use a euphonium with four valves you might want to invest in a .547 (large) bore f-attachment trombone after you have played for a while.
    Some used ones to look for:
    Bach 42B
    Conn 88h
    King 4B

    Slide charts and info:
    - The f-attachment is your fourth valve.
    - No valves is first position
    - 1st valve is third position
    - 2nd valve is second position
    - 1st and 2nd valve is fourth position
    - 2nd and 3rd valve is 5th position
    - 1st and 3rd (or 4th) valve is sixth position (or trigger and 1st position)
    - 1st, 2nd, and 3rd (or 2nd and 4th ) valves are seventh position ( or trigger and 2nd position)

    Here i a pretty good resource for beginning trombone info:

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited by Rodgeman; 07-31-2021 at 10:22 AM.
    Cerveny BBb Kaiser Tuba
    “Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven

  3. I've covered the trombone part for years in small jazz bands. I've used a marching french horn, a mellophone and a marching baritone. I've found the closest is a marching baritone. There is also a marching trombone, also called a flugabone. They are costly, but so is a quality valve trombone. I know a local trumpet player who has been doing the valve trombone for years in a local big band. It works. And you can immediately step in and play.

    King 1130 Flugabone
    King 2280 Euphonium
    King 10J Tuba
    Conn 22B Trumpet

  4. Thanks. The the online trombone chat looks good! I wish I could learn to play a slide trombone but I don't have time for it (I am a mother of two young kids and a farmer...) and I am not so young meaning it requires two...three times more time of practice to acquire new stuff than when I was young That is the reason why I am thinking of getting a valve trombone.

  5. Thanks! I went to an online store for a valve trombone but there are different kinds and just don't know which one is for me...

  6. #6
    I would suggest looking at the specs and choose the one with the largest bore. I see a lot that are .500. Euphoniums are typically in the range of .560 (American-style horns) to .592 or more. A .500 will feel a bit tight. But I have not looked at enough to know if there is a "range" of bores available among the brands.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    Alliance Mouthpiece (DC3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  7. #7
    The other suggestion for the King Flugabone is a good one.

    Here is one for sale by a music store:

    Here is another:
    Cerveny BBb Kaiser Tuba
    “Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven

  8. #8
    In Highschool and my 1st year of university, I used a Yahama 354V to play in jazz band. It was a fairly good valve bone. At some point, you will have to learn to play the slide trombone. Since you are playing 3rd trombone, you will want to get a trombone with a larger bore like what Rodgeman suggested.

  9. As a trombone player who plays some valves, I completely avoid valve trombones except the marching compact trombone (flugabone) because they can't glis, are largely out of tune, are stuffy to play, generally not as well made as most pro trombones, and they simply don't make a large bore valve bone that you would want to play. Valve trombone works ok as a solo instrument, but not as a section horn. Especially on 3rd you're going to need a larger horn with a 4th valve - and something you can play in tune, because you might have to play below the staff. Most 3rd bones are going to be using a trigger trombone (depends on the tunes the band plays), and you'd need a 4v compensating setup to do that, which is somewhere between rare and non-existent. They don't really make a good instrument for this application because there really isn't any call for it. You'd have a better chance replacing a bass trombone with a cimbasso or small bore F tuba.

  10. #10
    well, for big band use a small-bore valve trombone would be OK. I think the Jupiter is .500 and the Yamaha is .500 and those are both decent. The King and Bach are both smaller because they use trumpet pistons.

    however, I'll echo what others have said in that the sound of a valve trombone is just not satisfying when compared to slide trombones. I'd say it would be valid to use as a solo instrument where you're going for the unique sound, but in a section it's a disappointment. Taking some time to learn the slide is not a bad idea!

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