Summary: This Mendini Valve Trombone Review and Guide will evaluate the beginner and intermediate models to help you determine if it is a good fit for you.
If you are interested in a valve trombone, then Mendini is a good company for beginners. In fact, Mendini is well known for its beginner instruments. They produce musical instruments, including the trombone, which are affordable and easy to play.
This Mendini Valve Trombone Review and Guide have found that the instruments last a long time and produce a good sound.
Bottomline Up Front
I actually recommend the “beginner” model, the Mendini MTB-43 Intermediate B Flat Tenor Valve Trombone, over the intermediate model. I evaluated both based on their quality of materials, size, sound, and reviews online.
There were many more complaints with the intermediate model than the beginner model, and both seem suitable for beginners anyway. That said, you might as well pick the less expensive of the two since they have the same accessories and sound quality.
Most musicians who play a valve trombone do so as their second (or third, or fourth) instrument. The reason is: the fingerings are the same as a trumpet, just one octave lower. Someone who plays the trumpet can master the trumpet and then switch to the valve trombone (and the bass clef on corresponding music).
Who Should Consider a Valve Trombone
Valve trombones are excellent for people who need to play faster music, especially jazz music. Uptempo passages in sheet music are much easier to play when you can press your valves faster than you can move your long slide with a valve trombone.
That’s exactly what you get. Famous musicians have played valve trombones in the Duke Ellington Orchestra for centuries. It is a popular instrument in Europe, and the video below shows it in an Austrian group in 1969:
- People who already play the trumpet should consider switching to a valve trombone
- People who play jazz music might like the valve trombone
- People who like to play fast music with their band should consider a valve trombone
Beginners can certainly pick up a valve trombone and learn how to play. Many music teachers have recommendations about the order in which instruments should be learned. One of my former music teachers, for example, encouraged students to learn the trumpet first. I do not have such reservations with my students.
If you are a beginner, whether you have played a brass instrument or you are switching from stringed instruments or other acoustic instruments, start with whatever instrument you prefer. Hard work and dedication will more than make up for not having learned to play the trumpet before you learned to play the valve trombone.
Mendini Valve Trombone Review and Guide
Mendini MTB-43 Intermediate B Flat Tenor Valve Trombone
The Mendini MTB-43 Intermediate B Flat Tenor Valve Trombone is sometimes called the “Super bone.”
- Lacquered yellow brass finish
- Nickel-plated lead pipe
- Nickel tuning slides and valve casings
- Standard shank (but it has a large shank adapter)
- Silver-plated 12C mouthpiece
- Comes with a hard case, cleaning cloth, and gloves
This trombone has a good Trombone mouthpiece, so you won’t have to run out and invest in another one right away.
One thing you should know about this particular beginner model is that the valve assembly is located between the mouthpiece and the slide. So if you are a trombonist and already play a different trombone, first position and all other positions will sit a bit farther away than you are accustomed to.
The third position, for example, will be beyond your bell. Similarly, the location of the valve assembly means that the valves are much closer to your face than you might be accustomed to.
There is a standard shank and a large shank adapter included, which I love because you can alternate between the different sounds you get with each. When I play with the large shank, I get a richer sound.
With this valve trombone, the slide section and the valve section are independent sections. You can choose to use the slide alone, the valves alone, or you can use both of them in combination. So, if you are playing a passage with the valves but you need to gliss down a note, you can switch and use the slide to do so.
Similarly, if you play with the slide, you can press the first valve and play that same passage one step lower. You have many different options for mixing and matching how you play with this instrument.
This particular horn is made of very thin metal in terms of material quality, and the valves are not the greatest. However, if you keep your valves well-oiled, they will do exactly what you need them to do.
The reviews are pretty good. Nearly everyone is satisfied with this particular model. 44% of customers gave it five stars, and the other 56% of customers gave it four stars.
This is a solid option for anyone who wants a valve trombone. It’s not technically a pure trombone, but a valve trombone still gives you that same trombone sound, but it allows you to articulate your sound with valves instead of just the slide.
What I like most about this particular kit because you have everything you need to get started, including a standard-shaped mouthpiece that is comfortable for most people, a hard case that protects your instrument, and more. These are great student models that are sturdy and affordable and will last a long time.
This model is one of the cheapest that they offer. It ranges between $330 and $350. The cost is thousands of dollars less than advanced or intermediate equivalence, making it particularly good for students. It is a decent, reliable beginner model.
- Good price
- Comes with accessories
- Warm tone
- the First position is a bit farther away than normal trombones
- The valves are not high quality, but if you oil them regularly, they work well
Mendini MTB-40 Intermediate B Flat Tenor Valve Trombone
The second option is the Mendini MTB-40 Intermediate B Flat Tenor Valve Trombone. This is, theoretically, for intermediate players, but I recommend it for beginners too.
According to Mendini, this is an intermediate model, although I would still recommend it for beginners. It is slightly more expensive than the other option, at about $500. It has accessories like a case and gloves, but it does not have a trombone stand.
- Lacquer yellow brass finish
- B flat
- Monel valves
- .488 inch small bore
- 8-inch bell
- Standard shank
- Silver plated 12c mouthpiece
- Comes with a hard case, chromatic tuner, gloves, and a cleaning cloth
The entire trombone is in B flat. The slide is not in C as a standard trombone. It uses the same embouchure as a baritone or euphonium. This instrument reads in the same clef as a regular trombone so that you can read it in bass or table clef.
When you look at it, it’s beautiful. It has a nice yellow brass finish, and the mouth place has a lovely silver plated finish. This yellow brass gives it a more forceful sound. It has a slightly smaller bore which means it produces better high notes but not low notes. So, if you play jazz music, this is perfectly fine.
You get the Cecilio 92-D chromatic tuner, a hard case, white gloves, and a cleaning cloth when you invest in this model. Out of everything that it offers, I think the accessories are my favorite part. The accessories save it from being written off because of the thin metal quality.
Don’t get me wrong, I have used both models, and this one isn’t bad, but it’s not great. The sound is acceptable, and it’s a good instrument if you add it to a collection of other instruments, but certainly not as your primary instrument.
The quality of the material is relatively thin, so it’s very easy to Dent it. Arguably that is why they provide the hard case so that you have extra protection when you are not using it.
One of the biggest issues is with the water key. I am 5 ft 2 inches, and I can’t reach the water key. If I can’t reach the water key when I go to blow the spit out, it doesn’t really do me any good.
The slide tube is very long, much longer than you would think if you just looked at a picture of the instrument. To be able to reach the water key while blowing, it’s next to Impossible at my size.
This model received mixed reviews. 65% of people were satisfied with it and gave it five stars, but 12% gave it four stars, 15% gave it three stars, and the remaining 8% gave it 1 star.
Many of the five-star and four-star reviews were parents whose children were thrilled with it because they were beginners, and the thin metal material didn’t really matter. The remainder of the customer reviews has to do with the poor design and construction quality and the water key issue.
- Beautiful finish
- Has several accessories
- Good for beginners
- The water keys are poorly placed, and many users complain.
- Poorer quality for the construction
Answer: The best valve trombone will be the one that works well for you. Remember that no instrument can compensate for lack of musical skill. When choosing your valve trombone, consider how you want to use your instrument. Suppose you plan to use it as your primary instrument and don’t have other musical experience.
In that case, you probably need a basic, beginner model like the Mendini MTB-43 Intermediate B Flat Tenor Valve Trombone. If you want a valve trombone as your second instrument, and it is something you will play with your Symphony Orchestra, as a professional, or throughout the year to earn your living. You need to consider a higher-quality model.
Answer: Mendini is a good brand, especially for beginners and students. They Pride themselves on producing reliable quality, beginner instruments specifically for people with very little musical skill or students. The best valve trombone will match your skill level and the genre of music you plan to play.
If you are a beginner or a casual player, an economical brand like Mendini is excellent. There is no substitute for trying different models and figuring out what you like most. If you can, go to a music shop and try other brands like the Mendini brand to see what fits your budget and your needs.
Answer: A valve trombone can be a perfect instrument for a beginner. Any instrument can be mastered without musical background, so long as you are willing to put in the time and the effort.
A valve trombone can be a fun instrument that opens the door to participation in many different groups like jazz ensembles, Latin bands, or symphony orchestras once you learn how to play it.
The bottom line for this Mendini Valve Trombone Review and Guide is that out of the beginner and intermediate models, you should use the Mendini MTB-43 Intermediate B Flat Tenor Valve Trombone or “superbone.”
This model has the same accessories as the intermediate and the same quality for materials and sound, but it is much cheaper. The intermediate model has more negative reviews and issues with the size, but the beginner model is a good replacement.
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