Trombones may not be the largest instrument in the brass family, but they’re certainly not the smallest- and, the larger the instrument is the more important it is to protect it from damage. In fact, providing proper protection is even more essential for the trombone, as its slide system will need to stay perfectly straight during transport and storage. Fortunately, providing your trombone with the protection it needs may be easier than you think. All you need is to do is purchase a sturdy trombone case. If you’re wondering what to look out for when purchasing a trombone case, here’s everything you’ll need to know.
Find the Right Fit
First and foremost, the trombone should fit snugly in its case. If the trombone moves vertically or horizontally while being transported, keep looking until you find one that keeps it snug. As previously mentioned, make sure the trombone’s slide system stays perfectly straight, as the slightest dent or bend can seriously damage your trombone. If movement is an issue with your current case you can fill the gaps and spaces with bubble wrap or soft foam until you can upgrade to a better case. Although this isn’t a long-term solution it’ll help protect your trombone temporarily. If your case is especially old, the padding may have compressed over time. If you think this is the issue, you can save yourself a few bucks and have the padding replaced at a local luggage store.
Soft vs. Hard Trombone Cases
Before you can decide on a soft or hard case you’ll have to ask yourself a few questions. How often do you plan on transporting your trombone? Will you ever be traveling by air or train? How do you plan on storing your instrument? If you’re carrying your trombone short distances a few times a month, a softshell gig bag may be all the protection you need. On the other hand, if you’ll be traveling across the country for marching band competitions on a fairly consistent basis, you’ll need the extra protection of a heavy duty, hard case. Although they’re larger, heavier, and more expensive, most experts recommend hard cases for their durability. After all, a few extra dollars now could save you hundreds of dollars down the line.
Latches & Locks
Once you find a case that you like, examine its hardware and latches. It goes without saying that the case you choose should have reliable latches, otherwise you trombone could tumble out during transport or storage- something you don’t want unless you enjoy costly repair bills. Next, examine the case for flexing. To do so, press down on different parts of the case to see if it allows movement. If it does, you’re practically asking for damage. If you really want to protect your trombone, the case should remain rigid at all times. Finally, ask yourself if you need a lock. If you plan on traveling with your trombone or are concerned about theft, purchase a trombone case with a built-in lock- many are even TSA approved!
What About Wheels?
When it comes to wheels, some trombonists love them and others don’t. Although this is usually a personal preference, in some cases wheels just make sense. Also referred to as wheelie cases, cases with wheels are the best choice for younger students who may not be able to carry the trombone on their own. If you aren’t into the idea of a case with wheels but would still like some extra help, look for a trombone case with thick, padded straps. If you opt for a traditional case and wind up wanting wheels later, you can safely transport the instrument on a small furniture dolly as long as it’s securely fastened in place.
Buy Online & Save
A trombone can be an expensive purchase, which is why finding an affordable and durable case is so important. That’s why so many musicians (and parents of musicians) turn to Music & Arts. With over 130 stores across 23 states and over 50,000 products, you’ll find one of the largest selections of gear, accessories, and instruments on our website- trombone cases included! If you have specific questions about a particular trombone case, contact us and we’ll be happy to help. With one of the largest product offerings in the world, we offer educator-approved band instruments and accessories, including a variety of trombone cases, from some of the most trusted brands in the industry.
Haven’t purchased a trombone yet? Check out our Trombone Buyer’s Guide.