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Looking for a plastic trombone?
Then there’s a good chance you fall under one of these categories:
- You’re a beginner. You’re not sure whether you want to commit to trombone yet, but you want to give it a try.
- You’re on a tight budget. You’d like to buy a trombone but don’t have much money to spend on one.
- You’re looking to buy a gift. It could be for your child, your niece, nephew, cousin or other.
- You’re looking for a novelty instrument. From amateurs to pro musicians, many enjoy playing with, and even recording, novelty instruments.
But regardless of motivation, it’s good to know you’ve got more than a couple of options to choose from.
Here are six best plastic trombones and a full comparison.
pInstruments pBone Plastic Trombone
The lightweight pInstruments pBone plastic trombone comes with a standard .500 bore, ergonomic grip, pBone’s unique water key design, glass-fibre lookalike slide, matching pBone 6.5AL and 11C small shank mouthpieces, fabric carry case, six-month free membership to the International Trombone Association and free online lessons.
The instrument is made of ABS plastic, is pitched to Bb and is also available in Orange and Purple.
At 1.8 lbs., this is a lightweight and highly portable instrument though it is also tough. Since it’s considerably lighter than a brass trombone, it’s easier for just about anyone to pick up and play.
The manufacturer notes this trombone sounds relatively authentic.
Buyers say they were pleasantly surprised by this instrument and even thought it was perfect for their kids. Some buyers, however, didn’t like the slide and even said the quality was mediocre.
Split reviews are common, but the pPlayMusic trombone is still one of the better options available and its price is reasonable.
Item weight: 3 lbs.
Package dimensions: 38 x 11 x 14 inches.
Tromba TRB-WH Plastic Trombone, Bb Tenor
The Tromba TRB-WH plastic trombone is available in Black, Blue, Gold, Red, Silver, White and Yellow. It’s pitched to Bb and it comes with a 0.500” bore, 8.5” bell and a 12C sized small shank matching mouthpiece.
It features contemporary brace styling made from toughened ABS plastic, damage resistance finish, lock ring slide, double radius crook slide, durable padded gig bag, stand with matching color, handy cleaning kit and is about half the weight of a brass instrument. It also accepts all standard mouthpieces.
Both senior and children found the Tocaviva to be highly usable and liked that it was lightweight. Some said it was only good for beginners and pointed out the mouthpiece isn’t durable.
For the price, however, that seems like a small compromise.
Item weight: 3.97 lbs.
Package dimensions: 30.7 x 7.9 x 7.9 inches
Vincent Bach PBONE1G pBone Plastic Trombone
The Vincent Bach PBONE1G pBone plastic trombone is green and lightweight. Its sound closely emulates that of a brass trombone. It comes with a .500 bore, 8.25” bell, clear plastic small shank mouthpiece, adjustable main tuning slide and hand slide lock.
The inner and outer slides are made of carbon fiber, so they don’t require lubrication. You also get an ergonomic hand grip for comfortable playing.
The good – the Vincent Bach trombone offers good tone and is affordable and lightweight.
The bad – it didn’t sound that great to those familiar with trombones. Of course, this product is mostly aimed at children, beginners and students.
Item weight: 2.55 lbs.
Package dimensions: 28 x 8 x 8 inches
Tromba TRB-GO Plastic Trombone, Bb Tenor
The Tromba TRB-GO plastic trombone comes in Black, Blue, Gold, Red, Silver, White and Yellow. It features a 0.500 bore, 8.5-inch bell and 12C small shank matching colored mouthpiece. It’s pitched to Bb.
As with the other Tromba already introduced, this unit comes with contemporary brace styling. It is made of toughened ABS plastic and has a damage resistant finish. It was ultrasonically welded, and no glue was used.
The trombone also features lock ring slide, double radius crook slide and accepts all standard mouthpieces. Bonus items include durable padded gig bag, matching color stand and handy cleaning kit.
The reviews basically go hand in hand with the other Tromba instrument introduced. So, you get what you pay for, and if you’re paying for a beginner instrument, then you shouldn’t be caught off guard.
Item weight: 1 lbs.
Package dimensions: 30 x 8 x 8 inches
Cool Wind CTB-200 Series F-Attachment Trombone
The Cool Wind CTB-200 Series F-attachment trombone comes with a 0.547” bore, 8.5” bell, carbon fiber slide, mouthpiece and soft gig bag.
Cool Wind claims it’s at the forefront of plastic trombone design, which has been around for several years. This has given them time to test and innovate. We’ll let you be the judge.
Positive customers found this COOLWIND instrument easy to play. They also said the F-attachment works well.
Some merely said this trombone will “get the job done”, suggesting that it’s nothing special but it works. Again, it all depends on your expectations.
Overall, this is another product worth a look.
Item weight: 3.31 lbs.
Package dimensions: 33 x 11.5 x 10.8 inches
pInstrumens pBone PBONE2R Jiggs Mini Plastic Trombone For Beginners
The pInstruments PBONE2R Jiggs mini plastic trombone is available in Blue and Red, and is clearly intended for children.
This product comes with a seven-inch bell, lockable slide, bag, and weighs 1.8 lbs. The instrument is pitched to Eb.
This is a fully functional dual bore Eb alto trombone. It is made of ABS plastic and glass fiber. It is durable while being extremely lightweight and per the manufacturer, it can take knocks, bumps and scrapes.
The composite slide tubes lap in over time. So, the slide gets easier to use over time. The mouthpiece is smaller than any other trombone mouthpiece available, giving children the ability to play a wide range of notes.
It also comes with a unique water key design and lockable slide.
The good – affordable, easy and fun to use.
The bad – some found the instrument to be less than durable, and others said it doesn’t play all that well.
But if you’re looking for a mini plastic trombone, you’d be hard pressed to find many other options.
Item weight: 1.61 lbs.
Package dimensions: 11 x 38 x 14 inches
What Should I Look For In A Plastic Trombone?
There aren’t a ton of plastic trombones to choose from, and feature wise, they’re relatively similar too.
Still, for those who are confused or aren’t entirely sure which to choose, we’re going to look at several criteria to help you determine which instrument to pick.
The following factors are considered below:
While these factors aren’t going to change a whole lot from instrument to instrument, they are still worth considering in the grand scheme of things, especially if you end up needing to find a replacement or upgrade in the future.
Let’s look at these factors in more detail.
Sound – A Trombone That Doesn’t Sound Half Bad
I say not “half bad” because, let’s be honest, we’re not talking about brass instruments here. Brass is the gold standard for trombones, and a professional instrument can cost several thousand dollars.
If you’re only going to be spending somewhere in the range of $90 to $150 on an instrument, then you can’t expect it to compete with – or even come close to – premium grade instruments.
With that in mind, not all instruments are created equal when it comes to sound. You will find that plastic trombones do sound different from each other.
To that end, there are two things we can recommend:
- Go and try a few plastic trombones at the music store. Better yet, see if you can rent them for a week to get a sense of how they feel and sound. You should be able to get a better idea around what you like and what works for you.
- Watch online video demos and reviews. There are more video demos and reviews available than ever, and there’s a good chance the products you’re considering have already been covered by a YouTuber. See if you can find any relevant information in video format and factor it into your buying decision.
Again, you can’t spend this amount of money and hope to get a pro level instrument, but you can still get something that’s relatively pleasing to the ears.
Avoid any instrument that grates on the ears.
Comfortable – A Lightweight, Easy To Carry, Easy To Use Trombone
One of the reasons you might be looking to buy a plastic trombone in the first place is because they are lightweight, compact and portable. This can even make the instrument easier to play than its brass counterparts.
It’s a given that plastic instruments are lighter than brass instruments, but just in case, make sure to check the weight of the product(s) you’re thinking about buying.
Getting something that weighs just as much as a brass instrument kind of defeats the purpose, although there probably aren’t any plastic products out there that come close.
Lightweight instruments are great for children and students for obvious reasons. They are good for beginners of any age as well, as you can easily get over one of the main hurdles of learning to play the instrument, which is its weight.
Finally, plastic instruments can also be useful for intermediate players or even pros, because they can take a plastic trombone anywhere, whether it’s in the car, on a boat or on a plane. That’s good news for those who love to keep their trombone playing skills and technique in check.
Breakage isn’t too much of a concern, since plastic trombones are generally affordable, making them easy to replace. If you get a decent amount of usage out of it, you can’t be overly disappointed.
Durability – A Damage Resistant Trombone
Most if not all trombones featured here are made of ABS plastic, which is affordable, resistant to strong impacts and even corrosive chemicals. In the grand scheme of things, it’s also relatively harmless as there are no toxic carcinogens contained within.
This suggests that you shouldn’t encounter too much trouble with any product on this list. Just don’t expect perfection.
Just because something is made of sturdy material doesn’t mean you should throw it around or subject it to undue abuse.
There can still be issues with durable material and certain components might be more vulnerable than others.
Overall, we don’t think you’ll encounter too much trouble, but we felt that this was an important consideration, so we thought we’d touch on it briefly.
Budget – A Product Within Your Spending Range
As you’ve probably gathered by now, plastic trombones aren’t overly expensive. But we always like to remind our readers to spend responsibly.
It doesn’t make sense to go overbudget for such an affordable piece of gear. Don’t go into debt. Don’t spend money you don’t have. If you don’t have enough money right now, then save up for the instrument you want.
What Are The Best Plastic Trombone Brands?
We don’t see a lot of brands out there making plastic trombones, but that could be because it’s a relatively new development, and maybe because trombones aren’t as popular as the trumpet. I also don’t imagine the demand is super high.
Still, in the fast-paced world of eCommerce, things can change in a hurry, and you never know when there might be additional brands and products entering the market.
With that in mind, we believe the brands mentioned in this guide to be your primary choices. Here’s a quick overview of each.
Vincent Bach is probably the most known and highly regarded brand on the above list. They offer a wide range of brass instruments and mouthpieces.
Vincent Bach is a subsidiary of Conn-Selmer, which is a division of Steinway Musical Instruments. The conglomerate includes well-known brands like Steinway & Sons, King, Selmer, Wm. Lewis & Son, Ludwig and many others.
So, while they are well-established in the brass instrument space, we can’t necessarily vouch for their plastic instruments. As far as brands go, however, they are top of the list.
Warwick Music, Inc./pPlayMusic
pPlayMusic makes the pInstruments plastic trombones. It’s a subsidiary of Warwick Music Group. They’re responsible for creating some of the best-selling plastic instruments like the pBone, pBoneMini, pCornet, pTrumpet and pBuzz.
Based in Staffordshire, England, the company now has operations in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania.
So, their number two spot on this list is not accidental.
Tocaviva makes the Tromba plastic trombones. Their product offerings include trumpets, cornets, trombones and flugelhorns.
Tromba instruments have an ABS plastic shell with metallic valves and lead pipe. They offer lightweight, colorful, and customizable plastic instruments.
COOLWIND (or Cool Wind) makes plastic trumpets, trombones, tubas, euphoniums, flugelhorns, cornets, instrument cases and trumpet mutes.
Their products, in their own words, are lightweight, durable, affordable, eco-safe, and offer an authentic sound with accurate intonation.
Plastic trombones can be a lot of fun, and honestly, I think that’s the main reason they even exist.
It takes dedication and hard work to be able to play any instrument well, but plastic instruments do make it a little easier for you to get started and gain the experience necessary to become a good trombone player.
If you’re looking to get started as soon as possible, and don’t want to spend a lot of money on an instrument, this can be a good place to look.
I wish you all the best on your shopping journey, and I hope you learned a lot by making your way through this guide.