Trombone vs Baritone: Difficulty, Difference And How to Choose

Trombone vs Baritone: Difficulty, Difference and How to Choose
Written by Corey Morgan

Trombone vs Baritone 

It’s a very individual decision whether a novice plays the trombone or the baritone. It depends on which instrument sounds best to you for concert bands or marching. Baritones and trombones are both in high demand in performance bands.

Kicking off with the baritone may be a better option for you if you’re interested in both marching and concert bands because trombones are now frequently banned from marching bands due to some reason. Later on, you’ll be able to pick up the trombone rather quickly.

Despite being both made of brass, the trombone and the baritone are distinct musical instruments.

What is the major difference between the trombone and the baritone?

The bell of a trombone is conical and cylindrical in shape. Low air resistance and a slide mechanism are both features. If you pay close attention, it almost sounds like a baritone, but the trombone is brighter than the baritone.

In contrast, the baritone has a bigger portion for the tube’s conical portion. In comparison to the trombone, it has three valves and an increased air resistance. It also has a trombone-like sound, but if you listen carefully, you can tell the difference. Contrary to trombone, the baritone has a darker sound.

The trombone’s sliding tube enables it to perform very impressive glissandos. The baritone player is unable to duplicate this. This is a notable difference in terms of sound. This method is frequently used by composers for bands and orchestras.

The baritone gives higher air resistance due to its construction, which is a distinction that is less visible to the listener but crucial for the players. Playing high notes on the baritone is simpler than on the trombone due to the increased air resistance.

Other factors must also be considered before making the ultimate choice. These concerns range from switching between the baritone and trombone to the contrasts in the two instruments’ construction and tones, as well as whether the baritone will eventually take the place of trombones in performance bands.

Trombone vs Baritone – Which is easier to play?

Trombone players are in high demand at all levels because of how crucial they are to a band’s success. It is challenging to play fast-moving notes on a trombone because there are no keys or valves, despite the fact that it is one of the instruments that almost all students find easiest to generate a sound on.

On the other hand, baritones are among the most simple instruments for most students to produce a sound on and are also crucial to a band’s success, making players in high demand at every level. They are also much simpler to play because they have keys and valves.

Trombone vs Baritone – Which is better for marching?

Trombones are typically employed in marching bands and brass concert bands, but they are also frequently found in symphony orchestras and brass concert bands.

When there is a big contingent of trombones, the sliding mechanism of the instrument makes it challenging to march in close formation. A trombone player’s sliding action may even cause damage to the other band members.

Although carrying a baritone is more difficult than carrying a trombone, it blends in better with marching bands. When marching, it is more maneuverable than a trombone. Baritones have taken the place of trombones in many school marching bands.

Children who play trombone in concert bands are increasingly learning to play the baritone. They can now take part in performances and march with the school band.

Despite the fact that the baritone trumpet is now generally acknowledged to be the superior marching instrument, some marching band connoisseurs will always believe that the absence of trombones is an omission. According to them, trombones have long been a part of marching band tradition.

Because of this, several marching band directors continue to use trombones in their ensembles. In order to maintain the required three-step separation between marching rows without interrupting the band’s formations, the trombone section is kept very tiny.

Switching between trombone & baritone

A trombone player in a concert band must also study the baritone if they want to play in a marching band without trombones. Trombone and baritone players typically find the transition to be rather simple.

Despite being two separate instruments, they have a fairly similar air intake, embouchure, and range. A proficient trombone player typically has no trouble making a solid baritone sound.

The player shouldn’t have any issues with intonation if they can grasp the baritone.

Since attaining proper intonation with the sliding tube is more difficult, it is said to be simpler for a trombone player to learn the baritone than for a baritone player to learn the trombone.

To get their fingers “valve-ready,” trombone players must initially spend a lot of time practicing on the baritone in order to swap instruments quickly. Pressing the valves quickly and in a variety of combinations is necessary for the baritone players.

It also takes some practice to hold the baritone, which is heavier than the trombone.

Can baritone replace trombone?

The baritone can presumably play the trombone part because the two instruments’ ranges are remarkably similar.

The same clefs are frequently used by trombone and baritone musicians. The trombone part is now simple to read and play for the baritone musician.

The baritone, however, cannot imitate some trombone-specific skills, such as a prolonged glissando.

Due to the baritone’s conical bore covering a sizable portion of the tube, tone quality differs as well. The trombone provides a brighter tone than the baritone, as was already established.

The timbre of the music will change when the baritone performs the trombone part. While the trombone is usually assigned the on-beats and off-beats, the baritone frequently gets to play countermelodies and solos.

Baritones can play both instruments, but with a trained ear, the music will sound different.

The baritone player should only play the trombone part if there isn’t a trombone player available, according to popular consensus. The trombone shouldn’t be permanently switched out for the baritone in the symphonic band.