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The simple design of the classic trombone is a product of its early origins. Developed before the invention of valves, its designers took the simple approach of adding a slide to change the instrument's length for playing different notes. That made the trombone an enduring instrument, but it does come with one major drawback: it can be a real challenge to play quick and complex passages with a slide trombone. Valve trombones offer a direct solution to that problem by replacing the slide with a valve system that changes notes much more rapidly. They were popular in the 19th century, and even though slides made a big comeback after that, valve trombones are still widely played today.
In the modern-day music scene, valve trombones are easy to find among the jazz community. Since the fingering of the Bb tenor valve trombone is the same as the Bb trumpet, it makes a natural doubling instrument for an experienced trumpeter. Musicians like Clifford Thornton, Rob McConnell, Maynard Ferguson and Bob Brookmeyer are just a few of the notable players who've taken advantage of the valve trombone's dexterity on the jazz stage. Looking to follow in their footsteps, or blaze your own trail with this unique instrument? Then you've come to the right place.
Like other brass instruments, valve trombones come in a few different styles with different material and finish options. The Jupiter 528 Series Valve Trombone, for instance, is available lacquered or silvered in yellow brass, or lacquered with a rose brass bell - and it's a good fit for players from the beginner to intermediate levels. Looking for something more professional-oriented? In that case, check out the Bach V16 Strad Valve Trombone. Playing this smooth, Monel-valved beauty is an enlightening experience.
In fact, it's not a stretch to say that playing any valve trombone is a special kind of experience, no matter which model it happens to be. To have a trumpet-like feel with the unmistakable sound of a trombone is kind of surreal (and a little bit amazing, too). There's no time like the present to try it out for yourself, and any of the valve trombones in this section is a fine choice to make it happen.