Are you looking to buy a new trombone and considering a plastic one? Not sure who the best brands are or what features are important? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
In this post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know when buying a new bone, as well as review what we think are the best plastic trombones currently on the market in 2023. Let’s get started.
Quick Answer: The Top Plastic Trombones
The Best Rated Plastic Trombone Reviews
There are a lot of plastic trombones on the market, but these are the best-rated plastic trombones. Though they have plastic construction, they still have great sound. You can learn the fundamentals before moving up to a brass trombone.
Starting with a plastic trombone prevents damaging or denting an expensive instrument. They’re also nice to have as a backup instrument or one you use exclusively for travel. As a bonus, kids will love the bright colors, so they’re more inclined to practice.
1. Vincent Bach Plastic Trombone
In at number one, we have to recommend the Vincent Bach plastic trombone, which sounds the most like a brass trombone. It’s built like a standard trombone with a 500 bore, and it includes a small shank mouthpiece made of clear plastic.
Using a metal mouthpiece will improve the sound of this instrument. While you can get by with a plastic instrument, consider upgrading the mouthpiece.
The trombone itself is green plastic. While the manufacturer didn’t make the slide with brass, it’s made of carbon fiber, so it moves smoothly. You won’t need lubrication to move the slide, improving your playing skills.
The instrument also has a built-in ergonomic grip. This adds to the comfort while playing. It also makes it easier to learn the instruments’ note positions. There’s a main tuning slide and hand slide lock to use when you’re not playing the instrument.
When you order the Vincent Bach plastic trombone, you’ll also get a canvas carrying case. This makes it easy to travel with the instrument. Be aware that it weighs more than some other instruments on this list at 2.5 pounds.
2. pInstruments Plastic Trombone
- MUSIC TRANSFORMS: The affordable pBone plastic trombone in energizing colors is as fun as it is functional! A standard .500 bore pitched in Bb creates...
- LIGHTWEIGHT: Half the weight of a brass trombone, the pBone is easy to play and hold resulting in good form and allowing an enjoyable practice or...
- QUICK ASSEMBLY: Maintenance free! The pBone has a unique design and works straight out of the box! Includes two mouthpieces and a fabric carrying case...
This plastic trombone from pInstruments is a standard 500 bore pitched in Bb. It has a glass-fiber slide and both 6.5AL and 11C small shank mouthpieces. Its sound is low and rich and most closely mimics a brass trombone.
Because plastic trombones are so light, you’ll want to bring them with you. The company includes a fabric carrying case to protect it during transport. Their trombone weighs less than half of a traditional instrument, coming in at 1.8 pounds.
This is the most colorful option on the list. You can choose from blue, black, green, orange, purple, red, white, or yellow plastic for this trombone. The colors are for the bell only, because the slide is black on all models. The whole instrument is high-quality plastic that prevents the growth of mold and bacteria. This type of plastic is recyclable.
pInstruments includes several perks with this instrument. One is six months of membership in the International Trombone Association. You can also take advantage of free online lessons to become more familiar with the trombone.
3. Tromba Plastic Trombone
Tromba’s plastic trombone is fairly standard: pitched to Bb with a 500 bore. The mouthpiece is a 12C small shank option, which is different from the 6.5AL and 11C pInstruments offers. However, any standard mouthpiece will fit.
The body is sturdy ABS plastic to prevent dents. A glossy coating makes it scratch-resistant. This kit comes with accessories that make it worth the expense. You’ll get a padded gig bag and a music stand along with your instrument. It also includes a cleaning kit so you can keep your trombone looking shiny and new.
Tromba offers almost as many colors as pInstruments, though there are a few differences. You can choose from black, blue, white, red, or yellow. The company also offers metallic blue and red versions. This gives you the overall aesthetic of a brass instrument with the comfort of the plastic build.
This comfort isn’t as much as the pInstruments pBone or Vincent Bach models, though. The online listing shows the Tromba weighs five pounds, which is almost as much as a traditional brass trombone. Some reviewers say it weighs half of a brass instrument, so you might have to wait and see for yourself.
4. pInstruments pBone PBONE2R Jiggs Mini Plastic Trombone
- MUSIC TRANSFORMS: The affordable pBone mini plastic trombone comes in energizing colors and is as fun as it is functional! The dual bore Eb alto...
- LIGHTWEIGHT: Half the weight of a brass trombone, the pBone mini is easy to play and hold, resulting in good form and allowing an enjoyable practice...
- QUICK ASSEMBLY: Maintenance free! The pBone mini has a unique antimicrobial design and works straight out of the box! Includes a mouthpiece, a simple...
You might wonder why this plastic trombone pBone is more affordable than pInstruments’ previous option. The price is different because it’s a miniature instrument. As a result, the sound is an alto in the key of Eb. While this trombone is the perfect size for young children, be aware that the positions don’t match those of a full-size trombone.
It comes with a mouthpiece that has a 22mm cup diameter. This size mouthpiece is usually better for bass sounds. In this case, it gives the mini trombone a richer sound than you’d expect. You could trade it out for a smaller mouthpiece if you choose.
You can choose between blue or red plastic for this instrument. The kit comes with a fabric bag for transport and access to free online music lessons.
If you’re buying this instrument, keep in mind that it’s best for young children or beginners. It’s not a replacement for a standard trombone older students or experienced players would use in a band. It’s tuned in Eb instead of Bb, and the note positions are different because of this.
5. Cool Wind CTB-200 Series F-Attachment Plastic Trombone
- Tuning: Bb/F (Trigger) Bore: 0.547" (13.90 mm) Material: ABS Mouthpiece material: ABS w/Brass leadpipe Bell material: ABS Bell size: 8.5" (216 mm)...
- Plastic “brass” instruments have been in the marketplace for a few years now
- First there were plastic trombones, then plastic trumpets
Cool Wind’s plastic trombone includes an F-attachment to extend the range of the trombone. This allows you to hit lower notes without needing a longer slide. It also allows you to hit certain notes using alternate slide positions. Trombones with F-attachments are expensive, so trying a plastic option will keep you from spending too much.
The body is black ABS plastic that’s durable. The slide is carbon fiber and slides into positions easily. The kit comes with a small shank mouthpiece but can adapt to large shank mouthpieces to change the tone. If the F-attachment rotor is stiff, use valve oil so you can trigger it while you play.
This is one of the heavier plastic trombones, weighing in at just over three pounds. However, for the F-attachment and high-quality sound, it’s worth the weight.
How to Choose a Plastic Trombone: A Buyer’s Guide
if you’re looking at buying a plastic trombone, you’re most likely a beginner, so there are a few things you’ll want to look for.
But, don’t let the fact that they’re usually bought by beginners put you off as they’re also very popular with pros who travel a lot and want something durable to take on the road.
In this section of our article, we’ll take a look at all the important elements to look for when choosing a plastic trombone, including the construction, sound, and comfort of the instrument, as well as how those play into your budget.
While you’re addressing the quality of a plastic instrument, factor in ergonomics. For fun, look at the colors you can choose from.
For most players, brands aren’t a big concern when you’re buying plastic instruments but there are few notable brands when it comes to plastic trombone manufacturers. Let’s jump in.
Plastic vs. Brass Trombones
As with all instruments, there are pros and cons to playing on either a plastic trombone or classic brass trombones.
Before deciding on which type of trombone to go for, here’s our list of the pros and cons of plastic trombones over brass ones.
They’re Highly Durable
Compared to brass trombones that can dent or be damaged very easily if dropped or banged against something hard, plastic trombones are almost indestructible.
With brass, it’s a different story altogether, as even the smallest ding to it will make your tone awful and ruin its sound. Brass is also a lot easier to scratch.
They’re Easier to Maintain
Plastic trombones are much easier to keep clean and scratch-free, which, if you’re still learning how to hold a trombone or play it, is an important consideration (avoiding damage means your instrument will last longer).
Compared to brass trombones that need polishing regularly plus all the other work that comes with owning a brass trombone (e.g. cleaning valves), plastic trombones require much less maintenance.
You don’t need to polish it as often, and you can even wipe them down with an anti-bacterial spray if needed.
They’re much Cheaper
The cost of learning an instrument can add up, and so there’s something to consider is the considerably cheaper cost of plastic trombones.
If your child is learning and you’re not sure they’ll stick with it, it’s a good way for them to try out the instrument to see if they want to continue before upgrading to an intermediate trombone.
The Sound and Tone Aren’t as Good
Although you can get some very good quality plastic trombones that produce a nice crisp sound, the majority of models don’t compare to brass trombones when it comes to tone.
If it’s for a child who’s just learning, then the tonal quality will be acceptable, but if you plan on playing professionally or in a brass band, then you might want to consider buying a traditional brass trombone instead.
Plastic trombones are usually made of ABS plastic, which is very durable.
It’s important to choose a sturdy plastic trombone because you want it to last. It’s not a major investment compared to a brass instrument.
Still, you don’t want to throw your money away for a trombone that will break easily.
Since plastic trombones are lightweight, they’re easy to transport. This makes durability important because you don’t want to carry a fragile instrument.
Even though ABS plastic is sturdy, you still want to treat your instrument with care. Don’t abuse your trombone just because it’s plastic.
Not all manufacturers use the same material to make parts on a plastic trombone. Smaller parts and moving parts are more fragile on the plastic trombone. You’ll want to handle it gently to be safe.
As we covered earlier, a plastic trombone isn’t going to sound like a brass trombone no matter what. However, they can create a great sound for the price and material.
Each plastic trombone will sound different than others. It’s best to try them out at a music store if at all possible.
If you plan to order a plastic trombone online, do some research first. You can watch YouTube videos that test the instruments. It will sound different on video compared to in person, but it gives you an idea of what to expect.
Some players choose plastic trombones because they like the sound. It’s something of a novelty instrument.
It can add a unique layer of sound when compared to traditional brass instruments and big bands.
One of the biggest perks of using a plastic trombone is comfort. It doesn’t have the weight of a heavy brass trombone so you can hold it for longer without wearing yourself out.
Because they weigh less, they’re also easier to transport.
The weight makes plastic trombones easy to play with, especially for children. They’re easy to hold and march with so beginners can focus on learning the instrument.
Though plastic trombones weigh less than brass trombones, not all are lightweight. Test instruments if you’re buying from a music store.
Read the item description so you know how much it weighs if you’re buying online.
In addition to comfort while holding up the trombone, you also want an ergonomic grip. You hold brass instruments in a way that can strain your arms and back.
Using a plastic instrument helps you with your grip as you’re able to practice holding the instrument without the added weight of the brass.
Your left arm holds the trombone while your right arm moves freely.
Too much tension in your left arm can affect the way you play. Using a bell brace combats this for brass instruments. But, you probably won’t need one for a plastic trombone since they’re so light.
When you’re buying a traditional trombone, you know you’re going to the signature brass style. But if you’re buying a plastic trombone, you can have a little fun with the overall appearance.
Many of the models on this list come in different colors. You can choose black if you want to look professional.
Kids and beginners might find a bright hue more enticing. Other options include blue, red, orange, yellow, green, purple, and white, something that just isn’t possible with brass.
Plastic trombones are great for children and beginners, but they’re also a good choice if you’re on a budget. They’re a lot more affordable than brass trombones, but not all of them are cheap.
You can spend several hundred dollars on a plastic trombone. This might seem steep, but it’s nothing compared to spending a couple of thousand for a professional trombone.
If your budget is small, you can find plastic trombones closer to one hundred dollars. There are many brands on the market so you’re sure to find a plastic trombone in your ideal price range.
There are a number of great brands that manufacture plastic trombones, so there are always plenty to choose from. Some of the brands with stellar reputations include Vincent Bach, pPlayMusic, and Cool Wind.
Vincent Bach is the biggest name on the list because they manufacture brass instruments and mouthpieces. The company is a division of Steinway, so they have a long, reputable history when it comes to making quality instruments.
pPlayMusic makes the pBone, which is one of the best-selling plastic instruments on the market. They’re part of the Warwick Music Group, which focuses on creating instruments accessible for children.
Another brand to look at is Cool Wind who manufactures plastic instruments that are durable and affordable so everyone has access to music. The company prides itself on using eco-safe plastic to help the environment.
Conclusion: Which One Should You Buy?
Buying a plastic trombone can be a budget-friendly option for children and beginning musicians.
They’re also fun to play and easy to transport, so you can’t go wrong with any of the options on this list.
If you’re still on the fence about which one to go for, we’d suggest looking at either the Vincent Bach for adults or the pBone Jiggs Mini Plastic Trombone for kids.
The Vincent Bach, while plastic, is a quality instrument that will last for years and still manages to get a great sound.
But, if you’re looking for one for kids we’d suggest the pBone Jiggs Mini as it’s smaller than a standard trombone.
It’s got a great sound and is one of the most affordable options on the list, and you can choose between bright red or blue plastic.