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What Are the Different Parts of a Trombone?

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  • Written By: Lee Johnson
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 26 October 2014
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The different parts of a trombone include the bell, the slide, and the water key. The instrument is also held together with the help of several braces, which connect different sections of tubing horizontally. Technically speaking, the trombone also includes a mouthpiece receiver, a slide receiver, a tuning slide, and a slide lock. The bell of the trombone flares outwards to project the sound produced by the instrument. Players blow into the mouthpiece of the instrument, which is a small, cup-shaped attachment found opposite the slide.

The bell is the most noticeable part of a trombone. It is the largest part of the trombone. Mutes can be placed in the end of the bell to alter the sound produced by the instrument and make it slightly quieter. The highest part of the trombone is the bell and the tubing that leads to it.

The mouthpiece is one of the most important parts of a trombone for players. Trombonists blow into the mouthpiece to produce sound on the instrument. It is a cup-shaped attachment found opposite the instrument’s long slide. The mouthpiece is composed of a rim, a cup, and a throat. The specific qualities these parts of the mouthpiece can alter the tone of the instrument.

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Only one of the parts of a trombone can alter the note produced by the instrument, and that part is the slide. The slide is the long section of tubing extending outwards in front of the mouthpiece. It is comprised of a long rectangular section of tubing with a rounded end. Two braces found just in front of the mouthpiece support the slide mechanism. Players move the second brace to alter the note produced by the instrument.

When players blow into the trombone, their breath condenses on the inside of the instrument and leaves spit. Spit builds up until the instrument produces an unwanted gurgling undertone to the sound produced. This can be corrected using a part of a trombone called the water valve. The water valve is found at the far end of the slide, and can be activated to drain excess spit out of the instrument.

Other parts of a trombone are mainly used to support the construction of the instrument. Five different braces hold the instrument in its shape by supporting the tube construction. Two of these braces are found in front of the mouthpiece, supporting the long tube that makes up the slide. The other three braces support the bell of the instrument.

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