Dr. Deb Scott

Return to Tips for Trombone

Trombone Equipment

by Dr. Deb Scott
Assistant Professor of Music
SFA School of Music


Recommended Equipment/Sizes
Important measurements for the trombone are the bore size (the diameter of the tubing) and the shank size (the width of the opening for the mouthpiece-large or small.)

Best Uses
Bore Size
Shank Size
"F" Attachment?
Bach or Conn Mouthpiece
Beginner (6th-8th grade)
& High School Marching Band
11C* or 11C -- drilled to 15/64"
Lead or 2nd in Jazz Band
12C or 11C
Intermediate Level (8th-12th)
Maybe -- not necessary
6 ½ A
3rd or 4th in the Jazz Band
Maybe -- not necessary
6 ½ A
Advanced Level (10th -Prof.)
6 ½ AL or 5G
Bass Trombone in Orchestra, Band or Jazz Band -- Advanced Level
Yes -- Comes with 2 attachments.  Usually F and D/Eb.
1 ½ G or 2G

* I believe that the smaller 11C mouthpiece is more compatible with a smaller beginning trombone.   Many new instruments are furnished with a 6 ½ AL mouthpiece that can be traded to a smaller size by the music store.  A good tone begins with the player and the player's concept of sound, not a mouthpiece.

Common Instrument Brands

  • Conn
  • Edwards
  • Bach (jazz also)
  • Benge
  • King (jazz also)
  • Getzen
  • Yamaha


  • The F-attachment adds extra tubing to the tenor trombone, allowing it to play lower.
  • Pressing the trigger puts the harmonic series of the trombone into F, (rather than Bb).
  • Its primary function is for the convenience of having alternate positions in the low register.
  • It adds 4 notes to the low register to help bridge a gap between low E and pedal Bb.  (The low B is attainable if practiced by "lipping" down).
  • It is a convenience but is not necessary.  Many principal trombonists in symphonies frequently play trombones without F-attachments.
  • Open wrap is preferable

In order of importance, trombonists should buy the following mutes:

  • Straight (Denis Wick, Jo-Ral)
  • Cup Mute (Humes and Berg, red and white)
  • Plunger (from hardware store)
  • Harmon (Wick or Jo-Ral)
  • Bucket (The Soft Tone Mute) -- A relatively new answer to the bulky bucket mute, a neoprene cloth that fits over the end of the bell -- distributed by UMI.


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