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Brian Kay


Holiday Gift Ideas for Trombonists and Other Brass Players

Many of these are items you might normally purchase as an aid to your child’s musical development, however they also make nice gifts. This list is just a starting point: there are many other great musical gifts, you might think of!  Prices are accurate as of 2021.

My #1 Choice for Holiday Gifts:

Manhasset Model #48 Sheet Music Stand ~$50.  This is the traditional model used in band rooms and orchestras around the world.  A solid metal stand transforms the practice experience.  I am convinced that having one vs. a folding stand is one of the “differences that make a difference” in producing strong and engaged musicians.  Flimsy stand = flimsy practice experience.  Solid stand = solid practice experience.  You can write on your music more easily, and you can maneuver your music without worrying about tipping over the stand.  The solid stand helps you be engaged and active with your music.

Other Gifts Ideas:

Sheet Music: Click here for my list of fun supplementary material.

K & M Trombone Stand (#14990) ~$80. This is the stand I use to hold the trombone when not in use in our lessons. Very stable. For some reason, kids think these are cool. Some feel it helps them to practice to have the trombone out of the case and on the stand, ready for use. The “regular” model stand at ~$46 would probably be fine too.

Lip Balm: Gosling’s Original ChopSaver ~$24 per pack of 6. It is vitally important to protect lips from chapping in colder and windier weather.  But brass players have noticed that standard brands lip Chapstick, Blistex, and Carmex have a negative medium-term effect on our embouchures with repeated use. Hence the need for a natural, brass player approved brand like Gosling’s ChopSaver.

Quality Headphones: Philips SHP9500 ~$75. Learning to be a musician is learning to details of sound, so high quality headphones make a difference.  They are useful for general listening, playing with play along tracks, and online lessons. It is important for instrumentalists to get open back or semi open back so that when you are playing along with the headphones, you can hear your own instrument naturally.

USB Microphone: Rode NT-USB Mini ~$99. These are great for online lessons, and recording projects of all kinds.

Dedicated Metronomes and Tuners.  You can use an app for these, but it is important to put away devices with notifications, such as cell phones, when practicing, so stand-alone devices are very useful.

Metronomes: Metronomes for brass players need to be loud enough.  They should make a traditional metronome clicking sound, or a wood block sound, and not a beep, in order to be clearly heard.  Some recommended models include: Matrix MR-500 ~$26 or Wittner 865061 ~$28.

Tuner: Korg is a good brand to look for.  There are a variety of models, and they are constantly changing, so check reviews and prices.  I prefer the models that are designed to rest on the music stand, but a clip-on style would be fine too.  I would avoid tuners labeled specifically as “guitar tuners”. There are certainly brands other than Korg that would be good choices.  Just compare them to the Korgs for reference.

Yamaha Trombone Slide Lubricant ~$10. Look for the purple and white label. This is by far the best slide lube, and very easy to use.

Trombone Spay Bottle.  A small bottle to mist water onto the slide is very helpful to have.

Tuning Slide Lube: Ultra Pure Oils “Regular” ~$3.00

Trombone Cleaning Snake:  Under $10.  Get one sized for trombone, preferably with a vinyl type coating over the metal.  Good brands include Yamaha, Herco, Venture, Lauren, and others.


Trombone Sheet Music

My Intermediate Methods