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Can A Trumpet Player Easily Play Trombone?

October 31st, 2022 | 2 min read

By Ewan Moore

The only thing better than being able to play one instrument is being able to play several, which means you might be asking yourself whether or not the trumpet has any transferable skills that would make it easier to pick up and play another brass instrument. 

The fact is that if you can play one brass instrument, you'll find it much easier to get to grips with almost any other. That's not to say they're all the same! Each brass instrument has its own unique features and techniques to master, but they're almost all underpinned by the same basic disciplines. In this article, we'll talk you through whether a trumpet player can make the leap to trombone, and vice versa.  

Can A Trumpet Player Play Trombone?

We can't stress this enough: a trumpet player cannot simply walk over to a trombone, pick it up, and start belting out tunes as if they've been playing their whole life. It will absolutely take practice, and although experienced trumpet players will obviously have some advantages over complete beginners, there are also disadvantages to consider. 

The way embouchure (the shape and position of the player's mouth on the mouthpiece while playing) is formed and how a pitch is changed on the trumpet is not the same as on trombone. The slide on a trombone is also completely different to the valves on a trumpet! It may be quite tricky for a trumpet player to "un-learn" some of what they know works on the trumpet to be able to play the trombone. 

In other words: yes, a trumpet player can eventually play trombone - but it won't be as easy as you'd think. 

Take a look at the differences between trumpet and trombone for a more detailed breakdown of why the two instruments require different techniques. 

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Can A Trombone Player Play Trumpet?

If a trumpet player can't easily switch to trombone, you might assume that trombone players can't easily switch to trumpet. You would assume right. 

Remember all the things we just said about very different techniques and disciplines? Well, you won't be surprised to learn that all still applies the other way around. Trombone players can absolutely learn to play trumpet, but they key word there is learn. Just because you've mastered one brass instrument doesn't suddenly mean you can use them all. 

With that said, we would always encourage players of all ages to familiarise themselves with as many instruments as possible! Focus on the one you want to be best at, of course, but don't be shy about learning as much as you can about music and instruments in all their forms. 

Find Out More

Feel free to browse through our comprehensive learning guide, or take a look at the full range of pInstruments to see if there might be a better fit for you. And if you still feel you need to do a little more research, check out the following articles:

The Easiest Instruments To Learn

How Long Does It Take To Learn A Brass Instrument?

pBone Review Roundup: Is It Any Good?

Ewan Moore

After seven years writing about video games, Ewan made the jump to the music instrument industry to stop his family asking when he was going to get a real job. Mostly, though, he adores music and is passionate about its vital role throughout life - especially in education. He also played guitar in several bands with deeply embarrassing names that won't be revealed here. With a degree in journalism from an NCTJ-accredited university under his belt, Ewan uses everything he learned as a writer over the last decade to help answer any questions you might have about pBone Music in an accessible (and hopefully entertaining) way. Because if you can write 1,000 words on SSDs and ray-tracing, you can explain why plastic instruments are accessible, sustainable, and fun.