The Trombone Hobbyist

I am a trombone enthusiast that knows that in a sense the trombone is a dying instrument. In the States many students learn the trombone in High School and College marching concert bands. Unfortunately, only people associated with American football or music academics listen to these musicians. Much energy , work and time is spent on this endeavor and many thousands of students learn how to play the trombone and other brass instruments leaving thousands of people competing for a handful of paying professional trombone gigs whose chances include 3 or 4 positions per major symphonic orchestra, a handful of studio musician jobs in New York and L.A. and a handful of commercial positions.

When becoming a professional musician your best chances are to learn keyboard, electric guitar, bass, trumpet or saxaphone. There is almost zero demand for trombone players. The trombonists who work are technical wizards and usually double on other instruments that are in more demand.

Yet, I don't think that the trombone will die as an instrument because hobbyists will keep it alive. It is true that one existing venue is the American Community band. These bands are for adults and act as adult replicas of American high school or college bands. But, I am a fan of English Brass bands and I feel that hobbyists can keep trombone playing alive without that massive high school/college band influence.

I do hope there is a future for the trombone in small serious groups especially for average hobbyists like myself and I hope that in the future small ensembles both jazz and legit will proliferate. Seriously, it is my hope that something like the old cornet bands will develop again in America.