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Don't Stand So Close to pBone!

May 2nd, 2024 | 4 min read

By Adam McCulloch

Musician Sting plays a red pBone, along with the caption

pBone is the award-winning plastic trombone that has been played across the world, by everyone from beginners to pro players, teenagers to teachers, even Sting.

Wait, Sting?!

The Sting?

The man who has sold over 100 million records, the winner of SEVENTEEN Grammy awards, the lead singer of The Police, and a solo superstar in his own right, is a pBone player?

Yes, he is, and here's the proof:

Sting even got his famous stage name from a trombone player in his early days of making music. You can also find him sharing the stage with trombone royalty, like the legendary Clark Gayton. It's fair to say he has a soft spot for the instrument. And you don't have to put on the red light when you've got a red pBone to play...

To celebrate our latest pBone performer, and offer some insight to other budding brass players, here are some top tips for starting your trombone journey with pBone Music.

Wrapped Around Your Finger

The first step to playing the trombone is picking it up! Your left hand supports the instrument, while your right-hand controls the slide. If an iconic Golden Globe and Emmy winner can do it, so can you!

Keep your head up, look straight ahead - you can picture Fields of Gold if it helps - and then bring the mouthpiece to your lips. Keep your arms relaxed and you are ready to play!

For more tips on perfect pBone posture, check out our article with guidance from expert educator and trombone pro, Chris Fower.

Every Breath You Take

We can't be completely sure if The Police's huge hit was an instructional piece on the importance of breathing in brass playing, but it sure does make for a good subheading!

Breathing and brass go together like Sting and Trudie. Ensure your shoulders are nice and relaxed, and your abdomen is comfortable. Then imagine that you are drawing your breath down into your abdomen, almost like you are sending your stomach a Message in a Bottle.

Ok, so that was a stretch, but STING PLAYED OUR INSTRUMENT.

Anyway, here's another trombone supremo, Liam Kirkman, to give you a quick guide on breathing:



Money for Nothing

Yes, before you say anything, this is a Dire Straits song - but who's that singing backing vocals? You guessed it: (not quite but probably soon to be announced) official pBone ambassador, Sting

A common misconception about the lyrics is that Sting's smooth falsetto cries: "I want my MTV." This, of course, is nonsense. We've spent hours in the lab trying to decipher the true message that Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner (aka Sting, the pBone fan) was trying to get across, and we reckon we've cracked it:

"I want resources free."


Money for Nothing was released way back in 1985, some 25 years before the first pBone was sold. Sting, old pal, we're sorry to keep you waiting, but your wish has been granted.

We have stacks of free resources for brass players of all ages and abilities. Whether you're an educator looking to inspire the next generation, a parent or guardian giving your little learner the best start, or a rockstar with a CBE and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, we've got you covered.

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Every Little Sting: "pBuzz is Magic"

Sting, we don't want to sound rude (because we Can't Stand Losing You) but maybe the best place to start your trombone journey is with an elementary instrument. Luckily for you, we made just that. We even gave it a name that someone called Sting couldn't help but love...pBuzz.

pBuzz helps mini rockstars build up their technique in an easy, accessible way. By focusing on breathing and buzzing, the step-up to trombone and other brass instruments is smoother and simpler. Kids can work on their slide technique, while the insert uses numbers, note names, and colors to understand the basics of pitch. The antimicrobial mouthpiece is an authentic trombone mouthpiece, aiding your transition to the real thing. And, just like Sting, it's made in the UK. 

De Do Do yourself a favor and grab some of our free pBuzz resources...


Sting certainly didn't write this one about our instruments. pBone, pBuzz, and the entire pInstrument range might be light enough to float like a butterfly (STING like a bee), but they are robust and built to last. That's why you'll find our instruments touring the world. Like Sting.

Brass instruments do not enjoy being bashed around. This leads to costly repairs and maintenance. If you're an older pro, then this isn't a problem. But for beginner music-makers, you want a fuss-free instrument that you can drop on the floor, clean in the tub, and that's light enough to carry in your school bag.

pBone and our other beginner instruments are covered by a two-year warranty, and you can pick up spare parts wherever you are in the world (even if you're a certain Englishman In New York).

Speaking of not-so-heavy metal, why not jam along with one of The Police's biggest hits and a host of other rock and pop smash hits with our brand-new books?

Learn to Play Rock & Pop for trombone and trumpet use a fun and easy way to play your instrument: BrassTabs. BrassTabs allow players to get to grips with brass without needing traditional music notation. Use your ears, follow the simple tabs, and before you can say "Roxanne" you'll be your very own horn section!

The books are available from Hal Leonard and include Every Little Thing She Does is Magic. Sting, we reckon you'll know that one.

Thanks once again to Sting for sharing a sneak peek at the fun that you can have with pBone.

Adam McCulloch

Adam is the Content Manager at pBone Music. This should mean that he’s the ideal person to write about himself, but he finds boasting in the third person a little awkward. He honed his word wizardry with a degree in English Language and Literature at the University of Leeds. He has since written copy for clients and businesses across the land, from awards to something beginning with “z”. He also spent a number of years as a musician. He has written pop songs and even jingles for kids, performed more first dances at weddings than you could shake a pBuzz at, and once played a gig for a pie company at The Etihad Stadium in Manchester. When he’s not reminiscing about those good old days, you might find Adam enjoying the football (although as an Everton fan, that can be difficult). He also loves spending time with his partner, Jen, and his family and friends, and sincerely hopes they feel the same way.