Trombones bajo

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Picking Out a Good Bass Trombone On eBay

A bass trombone, with its low, powerful tone, is an important part of the backbone of the brass section of many orchestras. Since it's a rather large instrument that requires a substantial amount of careful craftsmanship to produce, it's often quite expensive. But whether you're a student or a professional musician, used based trombones in excellent quality are available for sale all over eBay.

General features of a bass trombone

Contemporary bass trombones are pitched in B flat and have especially large bores, wide bells, and large mouthpieces. This allows them to have a much darker and weightier tone, especially in lower note ranges. They are usually made of what is called "yellow brass," which is a metal that is a combination of 70% copper and 30% zinc. Since they are heavier instruments, their slides also tend to be made of some combination of nickel and brass.

Approximate major measurements and specifications include (see the manufacturer site for details):

  • Bell size: 9.5 inches
  • Instrument weight: 5.75 pounds
  • Number of valves: two (though older models may only have one)
  • Tubing length: 9 feet
  • Bore size: 0.562 inches
How do bass trombones differ from tenor and alto trombones?

Like the bass trombone, the tenor trombone is also pitched in B flat. Because the bass trombone is larger than the tenor in all major respects, it tends to convey more heft at the lower registers. Since standard tenor trombones only have one valve instead of the bass' two, you can change a bass' key using those valves and cannot do so with a tenor trombone. The tenor trombone also gives the best free-blowing feel to the performer due to there only being two bends on the instrument. This makes the tenor perhaps the type of trombone most suited for beginners.

The alto is the smallest of all trombones. Pitched in E flat (a fourth higher than the tenor and bass), it is frequently used in orchestral settings for soloing. Because it is relatively small, it's also popular in school band and music classes because it is easier for children to hold onto this smaller horn.

Finding used or older bass trombones for sale on eBay

There are older versions of the bass trombone, which you might also be able to find for sale on eBay, that were made with a smaller bore and longer slide than current bass trombones and which were often pitched either in G, F, or E flat. These older trombones also have only one valve instead of two.