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It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got That Swing: 7 of the Best Bass Trombones on the Market

As a touring musician for the past 10 years I have seen my fair share of instrumentation and styles of music all across the board. There is nothing quite like having a horn section accompanying your set and few brass instruments hold the line like a bass trombone will.

By utilizing a larger bell it can hit lower registers to balance out the higher pitch from a set of tenor trombones, for example. It can be a lot to navigate though if you are new to the trombone game, even if you have been blowing brass for a while.

In this guide we will do a number of things, such as:

  1. Highlight value buys and top picks
  2. Review multiple trombones that have made our cut
  3. Expert analysis on the top trombones available

I have scoured the forums such as TubeNet, TheMouthPiece, and TromboneChat, and researched dozens and dozens of bass trombones to provide a definitive list of the best bass trombones available right now and have a long history of working in the music industry to back it up. This was a lot of fun to put together, I hope you enjoy it and are able to get something out of it.

We reviewed over 30 bass trombones in total and reserved seven for this list to bring you the best of the absolute best. There are some other honorary mentions that didn’t make this list, such as the Bach 50BO Stradivarius Series, Yamaha YBL-421G Intermediate and Jupiter 740L, however the ones presented are by and large better.

Before we get started with the full rundown, be sure to check out our top picks and get acquainted with some featured products before taking a deep dive into the rest of our list.

Our Top Pick
S.E. Shires TBQ36YR Q-Series

S.E. SHIRES TBQ36YR

What’s inside?

  • QBY Bell: 9.5 inch, two-piece, hand-hammered “QBII” taper in lightweight yellow brass with soldered bead
  • Independent F/G♭ rotary valves
  • Q62 Handslide: .562-inch, standard-weight yellow brass; nickel-silver wide crook

Best for: musicians of all skill levels.

Check price on Amazon →

Check price on Woodwind & Brasswind →

Check price on Music & Arts →

The affordability makes this bass trombone great for someone new to brass instruments or a nice upgrade for someone who has been playing for a while and has outgrown their previous trombone. You really can’t go wrong here at all.

Also Great
Conn 110H Series

Conn 110H

What’s inside?

  • .562″ bore
  • 10″ rose brass bell
  • Single rotor F attachment with standard wrap

Best for: a beautiful instrument regardless of where you are at skillswise.

Check price on Amazon →

Check price on Woodwind & Brasswind →

Check price on Music & Arts →

Beginners will love how easy it is to play and more experienced musicians will enjoy it for its above-average tone and playability.

Before You Buy, Ask Yourself “Why”

When you are browsing bass trombones your first thought should never be “well, it’s the most expensive so it must be the best one in the store”. There are multiple factors that go into buying your bass trombone, what works for someone else might not work for you in the sense that it will not bring you any closer to what you would like to accomplish.

Analyze Your Budget

Analyze Your Budget

First things first, you should be analyzing your budget. Brass instruments are not typically cheap so this will be a commitment. Make sure you are spending within your means before you pull out your wallet.

What Type of Music Are You Going To Play?

Secondly, what kind of music will you be playing? This is important because it will affect what kind of tone you should be going after or what kind of venues you will be playing in. A local reggae band playing at a VFW is going to be lightyears different from the people playing in the orchestra pit for the local rendition of a Broadway classic.

Find out which models of bass trombones are played by famous bass trombonists in this article to understand what to focus on.

Double Trigger or Single Trigger?

Single Trigger Bass Trombone vs Double Trigger Bass Trombone

The double trigger is what is used by most professionals as it provides an extra layer to perfecting your tone. If you are new to the bass trombone you will likely want to start with a single trigger and eventually graduate to a double trigger system.

Single or Dual Slide Bore?

This will affect your playability. There is no one true answer here and some will appreciate the zing of a single slide and others can’t live without the smooth full sound of a dual slide, despite having to blow a little harder.

What Size Bell Flare?

Bell flare is what determines the projection of your instrument. For bass trombones a 9.5” bell is what makes it a bass trombone, going up to 10.5” will cause it to have a different sound. Again, play around with different types to get a feel for what you like.

Focus On Yourself

As we get older our interests change and as we become more experienced so do our preferences in music and the vehicles we use to express ourselves through that music. This does not only apply to one instrument. For example, before I settled on bass trombone, I played tenor trombone (you can find out what I think about these two brass brothers here).

So lastly, remind yourself that at the end of the day you are the one playing this bass trombone and ultimately you know what is best for what you are trying to accomplish.

Our List of the 7 Best Bass Trombones

After checking out the list, keep reading to see a detailed review of each trombone’s features, pros and cons as well as some videos that demonstrate how they sound.

Bass Trombones
Conn 110H Bass Trombone

The Conn 110 H Series might be the most universally beloved bass trombone on this list by new and older players alike.

Type: single trigger
Great choice
Amazon →WoodwindBrasswind→Music & Arts →
S.E. Shires TBQ36YR Q-Series Bass Trombone

Eastman Music Co. craftsmanship wrapped up in S.E. Shires affordability. A great place to start if you are new to bass trombones.

Type: double trigger, independent
Our top pick
Amazon →WoodwindBrasswind→Music & Arts →
Yamaha YBL-620G Bass Trombone

More experienced musicians will appreciate the responsive nature of the YBL-620G.

Type: double trigger, dependent
Amazon →WoodwindBrasswind→Music & Arts →
Getzen 1052FD Eterna Series Bass Trombone

If you have played in a school band, chances are you played a Getzen. Quality name for all skill levels.

Type: double trigger, independent
Amazon →WoodwindBrasswind→Music & Arts →
Getzen 1062FR Eterna Series Bass Trombone

Same Getzen name geared more towards free-Jazz players who tend to go off the map a bit.

Type: double trigger, dependent
WoodwindBrasswind→Music & Arts →
Yamaha YBL 830 Xeno Series Bass Trombone

This is one of the most well known bass trombones in the world, mostly used by professionals.

Type: double trigger, independent
Amazon →WoodwindBrasswind→Music & Arts →
Bach 50B3 Stradivarius Series Bass Trombone

A very well received bass trombone which can be customized to your liking if you are savvy enough.

Type: double trigger, independent
Amazon →WoodwindBrasswind→Music & Arts →

The Best Of The Best Bass Trombones

This is where it gets fun. We played and reviewed seven of the best bass trombones we could find and rounded them up into a nice list just for you!

1. Conn 110H

Popping the proverbial hood on the Conn 110H Series was an absolute delight. This is a beautiful bass trombone with outstanding response and our whole office got a kick out of playing everything from swing jazz to Reel Big Fish covers on it.

Conn 110H Series

Best for

Durability seems to be a highlight as some players have claimed to be using ones from 20 years ago that still sound outstanding to this day. This makes it great for new musicians as well as more experienced ones as well.

Killer Feature

One of our favorite features of this trombone is its single rotor horn. It provides above-average projection and playability making it seamlessly fall into just about any style of music you can think of.

Features

  • .562″ bore
  • 10″ rose brass bell
  • Single rotor F attachment with standard wrap
  • Lacquer finish
  • Includes case and mouthpiece

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Universal playability
  • Easy to learn/durable for beginners

Cons

  • May come off as one dimensional in its design
  • Not everyone prefer single-trigger bass ‘bone

Buying Options

2. S.E. SHIRES TBQ36YR Q-Series

What may come off as a head-scratcher when you see the price is actually just a logistics loophole to keep the cost low. The S.E. Shires Q Series might be the most bang for your buck in the game right now.

Shires is a subsidiary of Eastman Music Co. so you are getting extremely quality craftsmanship. Armed with one of the most well-regarded slides on the market, the Q-Series makes it easy for users to want to swap out parts with other Shires products on the fly as well.

S.E. Shires TBQ36YR Q-Series

Best for

These are great bones for intermediate players and more experienced players alike. Newer players will love the playability, however, more experienced ones will love the ability to customize the instrument the way they see fit.

Killer Feature

This ability to change parts to tailor your exact style is the coolest feature of this trombone. You arguably may never need a new bass trombone ever again if you know what you are doing. Pair that with its affordability and you truly have a unique, quality instrument on your hands.

Features

  • QBY bell: 91⁄2-inch, two-piece, hand-hammered “QII” taper in lightweight yellow brass with soldered bead
  • Independent F/G♭ rotary valves
  • Q62 handslide: .562-inch, standard-weight yellow brass; nickel-silver crook
  • QYB tuning slide
  • Three interchangeable yellow brass leadpipes

Pros

  • High-end quality for the price
  • Interchangeable parts
  • Universally respected manufacturer

Cons

  • Undersized triggers

Buying Options

3. Yamaha YBL-620G

An actual treasure in the world of bass trombones, the Yamaha YBL-620G Series is one of the better (albeit expensive) ones on the market right now. Dependent valves make playing a breeze and outstanding craftsmanship make this bone go the distance.

Yamaha YBL 620G

Best for

This is a great bass trombone for students and instructors alike. It is a welcome addition to any bandroom and should always be in the conversation when considering purchasing a brand new bass trombone.

Killer Feature

One of the best features about this trombone, aside from just about everything, is the 9.5” gold brass bell that just makes this thing wail. It is hard to go back to something else after playing the Yamaha 620G, but with good reason.

Features

  • Bell: 9 1/2″ gold brass
  • Bore: .563″ large bore
  • Key: Bb/F/D
  • Valve: Double
  • Valve System: Double dependent large rotors

Pros

  • Outstanding playability and craftsmanship

Cons

  • Very expensive

Italian trombone instructor Stefano Belotti discusses the best parts of the Yamaha 620G.

Buying Options

4. Getzen 1052FD Eterna Series

Getzen should come as no surprise to be seen once on this list, let alone twice. The 1052 is a beautiful bass trombone that has all the bells and whistles you would come to expect from a name like Getzen.

The 1052 offers two independent valves for easy air flow, which may lead you to lean more towards this than the 1062 which offers a dependent valve system. Everyone has their preferences, someone who is moving from tenor to bass may prefer one over the other but to a new player it is more a matter of comfort.

Getzen 1052FD Eterna Series

Best for

The Getzen Eterna series is geared more towards serious players. If you are an instructor or someone who performs often then this is the one for you.

Killer Feature

The independent valves on the 1052 are easily the coolest feature, this makes for a very smooth playing experience.

Features

  • Bore – .562″
  • Leadpipes – Three interchangeable leadpipes
  • Valves – Independent, open wrap F/Gb/D attachment. 2 rotary valves in total.
  • Hand Slide – Hand straightened nickel silver inside tubes (chrome plated with barrel shaped stockings). Yellow brass outside tubes with nickel silver end crook and oversleeves.

Pros

  • Superior playability
  • Lightweight design
  • Easy working slide

Cons

  • Independent valves may come off as a dealbreaker
  • Expensive

Ross Anderson is a professional trombonist based out of the UK that happily explains the difference between the 1052 and the 1062. Check it out now!

Buying Options

5. Getzen 1062FD Eterna Series

The Getzen 1062 is the more free-spirited take on the bass trombone compared to the 1052. The 1062 is more for soloists who like to take the road less traveled and improvise their way to pleasing crowds.

A smooth slide and excellent projection from its 9.5″ bell make this an absolute delight – especially for seasoned trombonists maybe making a move to the bass trombone. Dependent valves make playing a breeze as well.

Getzen 1062FD Eterna Series

Best for

Again, these are meant to be used by players who are a little more familiar around the music room than a newbie. Consider playing around a bit before committing to a Getzen, as they are expensive and used mostly by professionals.

Killer Feature

If the independent valves on the 1052 were a highlight then the dependent ones on the 1062 have to be. It is predominantly a preferential thing, but if you do not like one then you will surely like the other.

Features

  • .562″/.578″ dual bore
  • Three interchangeable leadpipes
  • Dependent valves, open wrap F/D attachment
  • 2 rotary valves

Pros

  • Plays like an absolute dream
  • Perfect for soloists and players who are not afraid to break the mold
  • Quality Getzen craftsmanship

Cons

  • Dependent valves may be a dealbreaker
  • The price is a bit steep

Buying Options

6. Yamaha YBL-830 Xeno Series

If you are looking for a sound that does not sacrifice volume for definition then look no further than the Yamaha YBL-830 Xeno. This thing absolutely sings without any notable drop off in quality or features.

Yamaha YBL-830 Xeno Series

Best for

This is a perfect trombone for someone to start off their musical career with, as the price (albeit a bit steep) is great for the quality that goes into this product. They took what they learned about their line of tenor trombones and then got feedback from a panel of worldly experts.

Killer Feature

The coolest feature on this bass bone is the ability to swap out your bell. Different sized bell flares dictate what your trombone will ultimately sound like so having the flexibility to switch it up now and again virtually gives you multiple trombones for the price of one.

Features

  • Gold to yellow brass bell
  • Large shank
  • Chrome-plated nickel silver inner slide
  • Drawn yellow brass outer slide
  • Redesigned D slide assembly

Pros

  • User friendly design
  • Interchangeable bells to customize your sound

Cons

  • The price can raise some eyebrows but this trombone will last you a lifetime

Buying Options

7. Bach 50B3 Stradivarius series

If you are just discovering the world of bass trombone you better get used to seeing this name. Just about everyone who has ever picked up a bass bone has played or knows someone who has played a Bach 50B3.

These beauties are perfect for any and all playstyles thanks to the ability to fully customize your layout. Founder Vincent Bach was as much a musician as he was an engineer and that mindset is still seen in their products today.

Bach 50B3 Stradivarius Series

Best for

Bach 50s are classic instruments, however, they should be bought by serious musicians. Not only are they expensive, but to really get the most of it it would make more sense to have a good understanding of the anatomy of a brass instrument before committing to it.

Killer Feature

There is not so much one cool feature to the Bach 50 as much as there are multiple. The ability to tinker with this bass trombone is an outstanding selling point, all but guaranteeing your ability to build your perfect bass bone.

Features

  • Double in-line independent rotor system
  • Key of Bb/F/Gb
  • .562″ bore
  • 9-1/2″ one-piece hand-hammered yellow brass bell
  • Traditional wrap F attachment with traditional rotors

Pros

  • Great craftsmanship
  • Ability to fully customize
  • Trustworthy name

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Requires a decent amount of knowledge to fully appreciate this brand which can be a turn off to newer players.

Trent Hamilton shows off a Bach 50 from 1983 on his extremely popular trombone channel.

Buying Options

Must Haves

Well, you just spent a few thousand dollars on a trombone. As much as you would like to think that nothing could possibly go wrong at this point please allow us to introduce you some little things to add to your bass trombone setup.

Case →

Bass Trombone CaseBuying a case is one of the most important things you can get to accompany your instrument and doing so will maximize longevity as long as you don’t go ahead and throw it into an open fire or something.

The Protec MX309 is a great option for moving your bass trombone on the go. Not only does it come complete with backpack straps, but it also has a velvet lining on the inside so it doesn’t damage your trombone in transit.

Mute →

Bass Trombone MuteYou may be wondering why in the world would you want something to mute your instrument after you just spent all this money on it, however in this case it is meant more for tonality than it is for silencing.

The Protec Liberty Mute for trombone is exactly what you need to keep your bass trombone from overpowering your fellow musicians. This thing is perfect for small jazz projects, performing in a cafe with a vocalist or other ensemble, or just practicing on your own time without bothering anyone else.

Thanks to high quality aluminum and a very reliable felt lined tip that won’t damage your trombone from the inside, the Protec Liberty Mute has it all to make sure you can get the job done and have total control over your sound.

Mouthpiece →

Bass Trombone MouthpieceOne of the most important pieces of your bass trombone is the mouthpiece. The shank is where the magic happens and it is very important you feel comfortable while performing or rehearsing otherwise you will find yourself struggling.

The Denis Wick Heritage mouthpiece is a fan favorite everywhere for multiple reasons. One of which being the price, it is remarkably affordable for something that is such high quality.

Second is the comfort, the comfort of this mouthpiece is what sells this piece of equipment to the top of the charts. Countless musicians use Denis Wick’s Heritage Mouthpiece because it is leaps and bounds more comfortable than the one that was provided with the trombone to begin with.

Useful Links

Conclusion

Man, was that fun or what? We got to check out some great bones and listen to some greater musicians along the way. Nothing like sitting back and listening to the best trombones in the world right now.

We hope this guide helped you out as much as we had fun making it for you. What are some of your favorite trombones? Did we miss anything? Let us know, but until then thank you so much for stopping by and we cannot wait until next time.

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