Key Difference – Trumpet vs Trombone
Trumpet and trombone are two instruments that belong to the brass family. Although there are many similarities between them, there are also some differences based on aspects such as sound, size, and pitch. The key difference between trumpet and trombone is their size and the pitch-changing mechanism. Trumpet is one of the smallest brass instruments and has valves that can be pushed to change the pitch. Trombone is larger than trumpet and have slides that can be pushed and pulled to change the pitch.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is a Trumpet
3. What is a Trombone
4. Side by Side Comparison – Trumpet vs Trombone
What is a Trumpet?
Trumpet is the instrument with the highest range in the brass family. This instrument is made of a brass tubing bent twice into a rounded oblong shape. It is played by blowing into the mouthpiece (embouchure) and making a ‘buzzing’ sound, which starts a standing wave vibration in the air column inside the trumpet. There are three valves (keys) that can be pressed to change the pitch. Trumpet is commonly used in jazz and classical music.
There are many different types of trumpets such as A trumpet, C trumpet and D trumpet, but B flat is the most common type. A typical trumpet range spreads from written F♯ immediately below Middle C up to about three octaves higher. The smallest trumpets are called piccolo trumpets. Trumpet is the second smallest instrument in the brass family, the smallest being cornet.
What is a Trombone?
Trombone is also an instrument of the brass family. It is similar to a trumpet, but there are some differences between the two in terms of size, pitch, sound and clef. A trombone is typically bulkier than a trumpet, so it is not as easy to play as the trumpet, especially for someone who has never played a brass instrument before. Trombones use a slide to change the pitch instead of valves or keys. The player has to push and pull on the slide to change the length of the tube and change the pitch.
The trombone can play a wide range of notes, and its sound is deeper than a trumpet’s. Trombone is typically considered to produce bass sounds; the notations for trombone are written in the bass clef.
A musician playing a trombone is called a trombonist. Trombones are used in jazz ensembles, orchestras, marching bands, brass bands, swing bands, etc. There are also different types of trombones based on the playing range. Bass trombone, alto trombones, tenor trombone, soprano trombones are some examples of these different types.
What is the difference between Trumpet and Trombone?
Trumpet vs Trombone
|Trumpet is a valved brass instrument having a cylindrical tube with two turns.||Trombone is a brass instrument containing a long cylindrical metal tube with two turns and a movable slide.|
|Trumpet is one of the smallest instruments in the brass family.||Trombone is bulkier than a trumpet.|
|Valves vs Slides|
|Trumpets have valves.||Trombones have slides.|
|Trumpet range extends from written F♯ immediately below Middle C up to about three octaves higher.||Trombone usual range one octave lower than the trumpet.|
|Trumpet is notated in the treble clef.||Trombone is notated in the bass clef.|
|Trumpets are commonly used in classical music and jazz ensembles.||Trombones are used in orchestras, jazz ensembles, marching bands, brass bands and swing bands.|
|Ease of Learning|
|Trumpet is easier to learn than trombone due to its small size.||Trombone may be difficult to learn, especially if you have never played a brass instrument before.|
Summary – Trumpet vs Trombone
As apparent from the above sections, there are many differences between trumpet and trombone. The trombone is larger than the trumpet and produces a deeper sound. The most visible difference between trumpet and trombone is their mechanism to change the pitch; trumpets have valves or keys that can be pressed to change the pitch whereas trombones have slides that can be pushed or pulled to change the pitch. There are also differences in pitch, sound, and range.
1. “Trumpet” By PJ, background cropped by EWikist – File:Trumpet 1.jpg (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Trombone CG Bach42AG” By FlamM at the French language Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
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