The trombone is a wind instrument that belongs to the brass family. Like other brass instruments, the trombone is played by someone blowing into the instrument through closed lips in order to create the sound. What makes this particular instrument stand out is the slide that is used to change the length of the tube and create different pitches; however, there are some variations of the trombone that uses three valves that are quite similar to the ones on the trumpet. The version of the trombone that uses the slide is the more common one used by musicians who favor the trombone.
Trombones have been around for a very long time, though they were only referred to as trombones in the late 19th century. Before this time, trombones were known as sackbuts. While both instruments resemble each other in appearance, there are quite a few differences. Over time, the instrument changed as it was perfected into the trombone that most are familiar with today. What differs most between the trombone and the earlier model is the slide the trombone is now equipped with, as well as a bell that is more flared.
Today's trombone is also a little larger than the sackbuts. Even after these changes, the instrument is not necessarily more difficult to play than its ancestor. In fact, the instrument will be a little easier to play and have more flexibility and range than the sackbut, though it is still an instrument that can take a little getting used to when first learning how to play it.
It is not uncommon for the trombone to be used in school bands. This particular instrument is not an overly expensive one to start with, but it is also easily found in used music stores at a reduced price. The music for the trombone is easy to find and relatively inexpensive. Another attraction to this instrument in public schools is in how easy it is to learn how to play. This is not to say it is extremely easy.
Learning how to control one's breathing as well as how to move the slide to the right spots to create the right pitch can be tricky at first. It is an instrument that is easy to get a sound out of, but it is one that will need time and patience before it is mastered. Becoming familiar with where the slide must sit in order to create the right pitch is probably one of the most difficult parts when first trying to play this instrument; however, learning how to read the music right and quickly catching onto the idea of how it is supposed to be played makes it a welcome addition to school bands, because the basics are not hard to learn. As is true with most anything, students who take the time to practice their instruments will usually excel faster than their peers who don't practice as much. Someone who is serious about learning how to play the trombone well will often have little trouble playing this instrument well.