A trombone is one of the most distinctive instruments you can find in an orchestra or a jazz band.
It is often used in an ensemble, but occasionally you can hear it as a solo instrument. That deep bass sound gives an orchestra its sense of ceremony, a jazz band its sleazy, sensual tinge.
The mouthpiece of a trombone is a very important part of the instrument, you cannot play this instrument without the conduit that connects the barrel to the bell. You can get different sizes of mouthpiece that connect to different types of trombones.
That’s right, there isn’t just one style of trombone. You can get tenor trombones, alto trombones and jazz trombones. Each one of these has mouthpieces that are designated for the distinct tones and pitches that these instruments are made to reach.
For example, you won’t want too large a mouthpiece for an alto, as this generally plays higher notes than other versions of trombone.
You can also get different manufacturers making different styles of mouthpiece, which means you can get a few varieties of mouthpiece for just one style of trombone. Yeah, we were scratching our heads when we read this too!
So, it will be very important to consult the manufacturer label before picking out your next trombone mouthpiece. However, even if you are a seasoned player, you might find yourself still wondering what the best mouth connector might be for you and your distinctive style of playing.
What are the best trombone mouthpieces? What features, dimensions and materials should a great mouthpiece be made out of to give you the best sound for your particular playing style? How much can you be expected to fork out for a decent trombone mouthpiece?
Well, whether you prefer jazz or classical trombone, we’ve got you covered, with our comprehensive list of some of the best trombone mouthpieces currently available on the market.
We also have a buyer’s guide that will help you to determine the great mouthpieces from the not-so-great mouthpieces, as well as some frequently asked questions from both newbies and seasoned players.
OUR TOP PICK
Our first mouthpiece is one that was fabricated by the very well known instrument manufacturer Yamaha, which has thousands of satisfied customers who frequently leave 5-star reviews on their products - and this mouthpiece is no different.
This one in particular is made for bass trombones, so it has a much wider cup size than usual - introducing the Yamaha YAC Bass Trombone Mouthpiece.
This trombone mouthpiece is gold plated, with a larger cup size that will allow you to slacken your lips and reach those low bass notes that we all associate with a traditional trombone sound.
The construction of this mouthpiece reduces the number of bacteria, which is crucial if you’re playing your instrument frequently in hot venues.
This mouthpiece has a semi-flat contour in the rim, which makes it less abrasive to play, allowing you to form notes and hold them for longer without chafing or chapping.
If you have the budget for this mouthpiece, we suggest that you buy it, as it will last you a lifetime, given enough care and attention.
- This is the perfect mouthpiece for bass trombones, with a deeper cup, you can hit those lower notes comfortably, without chafing your lips.
- This is a great mouthpiece for intermediate or beginner players, it breaks your lips in well, you won’t have to purse them too tightly when forming those low notes.
- This will allow for great articulation between notes, allowing you to become accustomed to transitioning through all the notes on the scale.
- The contouring of this instrument will mean that you go much easier on your lips, preventing you from straining it too much if you are new to trombone playing.
- The price - this might be considered a little too expensive for some newbie players who want to attempt a more traditional style of trombone playing such as alto, for example.
Next up we have a mouthpiece that is slightly more challenging, designed for higher pitches of trombone like alto and tenor, with a larger to medium depth of cup.
This is far more generous on the lips, making it the ideal option for beginners who want to get to grips with the basic breathing and mouth positions of the classic trombone.
This mouthpiece is designed to emit a large volume with a compact direction, allowing the more skilled trombonist to control the direction of their notes with less harshness on the lips. The rim of this mouthpiece is semi-flat, with a medium-sized cup allowing you to hit the higher notes.
This mouthpiece can also be used on a baritone and euphonium, allowing the users to tackle several instruments with a single mouthpiece if necessary.
This has a wider bore in the top, giving it a softer quality with fewer harmonics. Jazz aficionados have described this mouthpiece as the best to use for low to mid-range harmonics.
- The medium depth of this cup makes it the perfect accessory for a player looking to increase their range, progressing from beginner to intermediate.
- Users have boasted that this trombone mouthpiece helps them hit the lower end of their trombone with clarity and precision, allowing them to better articulate between notes.
- The composition - this mouthpiece is made from solid silver, meaning a more assured style of playing and less buildup of bacteria and grime that comes from months of live playing.
- With a well-rounded rim, this won’t chap your lips and cause them to distort the notes unduly. If you are still trying to get the hang of certain lip formations, this is a great mouthpiece to help you progress to the next level.
- Some jazz players have complained that this mouthpiece hinders them when they try and reach the higher notes.
This next trombone mouthpiece is made with a smaller shank and, like our last mouthpiece, can be adapted for the trombone, baritone and euphonium.
If you have a broader experience with these instruments and want to use a single mouthpiece to play them, this is the perfect model to use - introducing the Blessing Trombone Mouthpiece.
This mouthpiece is probably the cheaper one on this list, although that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come with exceptional design quality.
This is the perfect option for anyone who is on a budget who wants to still have that professional-grade quality when it comes to their trombone accessories.
Users have reported that after buying this mouthpiece, they are immediately able to reach a much louder note with a much smoother tone.
The deeper cup and the well-rounded rim means that it won’t be too harsh on the lips and you will still be able to articulate notes from the lowest to the highest scales.
- This mouthpiece is made from solid steel construction, with a wider bore that will allow for a deeper and louder note, as a result of the freer airflow from mouth to the instrument.
- Some trumpet players who occasionally dabble in trombone have said that this is the perfect mouthpiece to transition between the two.
- This is a mouthpiece for a multi-instrumentalist, neither being too deep nor too shallow, it is the perfect midway point between a variety of different instruments.
- This mouthpiece is great for a soloist or a lead, the decent cup will allow either an amateur player or a seasoned pro to reach a wider range of notes within the mid-tones of the trombone, trumpet or baritone.
- This is not designed for bass trombone players.
Our next mouthpiece is another one with a decent cup size, with a narrow shank that will allow the player to achieve a much brighter tone from their trombone.
This mouthpiece is constructed from silver, meaning that it will be very durable and reliable for long term live playing - introducing the Bach Trombone Mouthpiece.
The silver construction of this instrument will ensure the richness and depth of the sound, as well as being able to withstand the corrosive elements of excessive moisture that can often damage the functionality of a mouthpiece over time.
Hygiene is an important aspect of prolonged instrument playing over time, so it will be important to have a mouthpiece that is easily cleaned.
The rim of this mouthpiece is rounded for extra comfort in playing, suitable for small and larger tenor trombones, coming with an affordable price tag.
This will be a great model for players who want to transition from casual to professional playing but have a limited budget.
- This is a great mouthpiece for newcomers to the trombone who want to expand the sounds they can create. The medium size of the cup will add brightness to the usual deep warm sound of your trombone.
- The solid silver constriction results in a very durable piece that will last you for years, even decades if maintained and cleaned regularly.
- The rounded edge of the rim of the mouthpiece will provide you with some comfortable playing. The shape and smoothness of it are designed especially for hygienic playing.
- The price tag - considering the breadth of playing that this mouthpiece will give you, then it’s probably one of the best value for money items on this list.
- This certainly isn’t a mouthpiece for starters, more aimed at intermediate players who want to increase their volume and the quality and length of their tone.
Our final mouthpiece is aimed at the tenor trombonists, coming in a silver-plated small shank design that will certainly give your deep, low notes that extra brightness.
The shank is pretty standard and will easily mount onto most instruments, giving you a rich, resonant and hygienic playing experience - introducing the Schilke Standard Series Small Shank Trombone.
This one is made from silver, so you can be certain that it will be easy to clean after each use. When it comes to a mouthpiece, you'll want as little saliva or moisture accumulation as possible, as this will cause the mouthpiece to wear down much faster.
The sounds you can produce with this mouthpiece will be a lot longer to hold and far more robust, with a wider cup that will mold itself to most lip shapes.
The silver of the composition will ensure that this trombone accessory will last a lot longer than others made from brass or nickel. You also won’t have to worry about a silver mouthpiece warping after repeated uses.
- The narrow shank of this mouthpiece can be fitted onto most trombone bodies, meaning that you can use it for multiple trombones if you fancy switching it up.
- The silver plating is easy to maintain and perfect to clean, you can use vinegar, anti-bacterial wipes or simple soap and water and this will remain clean and shiny with every use.
- The well-rounded rim of this mouthpiece will go easy on your lips, allowing you to play notes for a lot longer than usual.
- The sounds you can get from this trombone will be solid and deep, the silver allowing for great resonance and articulation between notes.
- The pricing of this trombone mouthpiece is more towards the higher end of the spectrum, which might deter players who are working to a budget.
Best Trombone Mouthpiece Buying Guide
When it comes to buying a new trombone mouthpiece, there are a few important factors that you ended to consider.
First and foremost, you’ll probably be needing to think about the intensity and frequency of your playing. Regular live trombonists will want a mouthpiece that can withstand the sometimes daily bombardment of spit and sound.
Here are a few of the questions you should be asking yourself, as well as a short guide as to what you should bring with you when you’re shopping for a new trombone mouthpiece.
How Loud Is Your Mouthpiece?
Achieving a louder sound is the very reason that a lot of trombonists buy a new model. The most important things you should ask yourself is how comfortable and confident you are when playing, as well as the tone that you’re looking for.
With your first mouthpiece, you should be able to play for a few hours as your embouchure gets used to the feeling. It can often take weeks for your mouth to adapt to a new mouthpiece.
Bring You Own Trombone To The Store
Bringing your trombone will be very important when shopping for a new mouthpiece, as this will be the only surefire way to know that it fits.
Trying out different mouthpieces on your instrument will give you a clearer idea about the type of mouthpiece that you want.
Select Some Music That Will Test Your Trombone
You want to have a piece of music that will test the dynamics of your trombone, getting all the high and low notes that you can muster.
Your embouchure will always have a bit of time to adapt to the new mouthpiece, but you should still get a feel for what your new mouthpiece will be able to provide in terms of tone and volume.
Ultimately, if your new mouthpiece is harder to play, then you won’t want to purchase it.
Pick A Slow Piece Of Music
A slower piece will allow you to draw out the notes and showcase the type of tone that you’re after.
Tone is one of the most crucial things you’ll want from a new mouthpiece. You’ll want something warm and rich, in short, that classic trombone sound.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Brand Of Trombone Mouthpiece?
There are no two brands of mouthpiece that are the same and some brand even manufacturer different styles of mouthpiece for the same type of trombone.
Certain brands offer certain different rim profiles that will make playing a lot more comfortable than others, depending on your physical makeup.
We would recommend that you go with a tried and tested brand such as Yamaha, as they are known for making mouthpieces out of the best quality material.
Most mouthpieces are made from silver, so you won’t have to worry too much about different material compositions.
What Is The Most Important Part Of The Mouthpiece?
A lot of the cup sizes of these trombones come in various depths and sizes, which are meant not only to fit your mouth but also to produce a wide range of sounds.
You will want a mouthpiece that is fairly multifunctional, perhaps even adaptable to different types of trombone or even different instruments entirely.
The shank and bore of the mouthpiece are probably the most important. The shank will determine whether or not your mouthpiece will fit onto your trombone.
The size of the throat of the mouthpiece is responsible for the range of sounds that it can produce.