Welcome to yet another product review here on Trill Trombone. Today, we’re looking to review some of the best trombone songbooks for beginners.
In particular, I was able to find 4 solid trombone songbooks for beginners. If you’re looking for a book for a child, check out The Real Book for Beginning Elementary Band Students and The Beginning Band Fun Book by Larry Newman. Otherwise, look out for Easy Pop Melodies by Hal Leonard Corp and Easy Rock Instrumental Solos by Bill Galliford.
When it comes to finding a trombone songbook for beginners, there’s just a ton to choose from. Luckily, we don’t have to rely on anyone to tell us what’s good. We just have to listen to the plethora of product reviews across the internet.
As always, I like to leverage Amazon as it has probably the largest database of products and consumer reviews. That way, we know exactly what’s good based on what people like us are saying.
To start, I usually like to dramatically narrow my search by using the following filter options:
- Department: Trombone Songbooks
- Music Skill Level: Beginner
- Average Customer Review: 4+ Stars
Then, I like to sort all of the products by average customer review, so we know we’re getting the best products. In the next section, we’ll take a look at the top 7 songbooks that come up in that search.
4 Best Beginner Trombone Songbooks
When I put together this article, I found that there are a lot of different trombone songbooks that are targeted at beginners. For instance, Larry Newman put together a few excellent songbooks for elementary band students. Of course, there are other books which get students interested in music through pop and rock music. In other words, there a tons of ways to get started.
Naturally, the point of this article is to put together a list of some of the best books that you can find. If you know of any excellent books that didn’t make the list, let me know! Otherwise, let’s get to the list!
Up first on the list is The Real Book for Beginning Elementary Band Students (Trombone): Seventy Famous Songs Using Just Six Notes by Larry Newman. If you’re not familiar with Larry, he’s long been involved in music education for kids since 1986 (according to his LinkedIn profile).
At any rate, he put together a few trombone songbooks for beginners, and The Real Book happens to be the most popular songbook on Amazon. As the title suggests, The Real Book contains 70 famous songs written with 6 notes or less. To aid in playing, the music notation is slightly oversized. In addition, each song is printed twice: once with the note letters inside the notes and once with regular notes.
If you happen to have an interest in any other instruments, this book may also exist for them. As a result, many of the reviews refer to various versions of the same booked. At any rate, I think the reviews are still valuable. For instance, one of the customers was very happy with the book, but they wished that it contained a fingering chart.
Of course, many people were very happy with the book—including one customer who said the book is great for students who are still learning their notes. While I haven’t personally tested out this book, I have to say that I might grab it just to see what it’s all about.
As you can probably imagine, the next book up in the list is The Beginning Band Fun Book: for Elementary Students by Larry Newman. Clearly, Larry does an excellent job with these books because he’s snagged the top two spots in our list.
As far as I can tell, this is more of an educational resource than the previous songbook. Of course, like the previous book, this book features oversized notation with note names in the note heads. Even better, you can find a copy of this book for mini pBones. How cool is that?
At any rate, reviews for The Beginning Band Fun Book are all solid. Unfortunately, they weren’t all that informative. That said, one customer had a few things nice to say about the clarinet version of the book. In particular, they felt the book did a great job for someone who didn’t have a teacher. Apparently, this book also made someone the cool grandma in their family.
If you like Larry’s books, you’ll be happy to know that there’s an intermediate collection as well. In other words, you’ll have plenty of material for awhile.
#3. Easy Pop Melodies: for Trombone – $
If you aren’t a fan of Larry’s books, you might like this collection of pop songs by Hal Leonard Corp. In this book, you’ll find 50 pop songs including:
- Don’t Stop Believin’
- Hey, Soul Sister
- Love Story
- Viva La Vida
And honestly, I only listed the songs that hit me with nostalgia. If you like any of these songs, you’ll probably love this book!
In terms of reviews, the opinions vary. For instance, one customer was only moderately satisfied with the book. While they found the book fun, they didn’t think the songs were very difficult—and therefore not very true to the originals. That said, I think they make a great point in that the book could be easily extended by an intermediate player.
All that said, other customers felt the book was excellent, so your mileage may vary. For instance, another customer was really happy with the size of the notes. In addition, having chord changes above measures is awesome! That’s a great way for intermediate players to get value out of this book as well.
Last but not least, we have the Easy Rock Instrumental Solos book by Bill Galliford, the Director of Instrumental Solo Strategy for Alfred Music. If you’re interested in the repertoire, this songbook features:
- Boulevard of Broke Dreams
- Stairway to Heaven
- My Immortal
- Take it Easy
- And, many more!
Of course, is this songbook any good? According to the reviewers, absolutely! In fact, one of the reviewers mentioned that the book was great because the keys were all reasonable. That said, be careful! One of the reviewers felt that the book wasn’t easy enough for a beginner.
If you want to pick a book full of pop songs, perhaps the previous book is a better pick. That said, this book dives a bit more into rock songs, so that’s at least interesting.
Overall, I feel pretty good about this list. Two of the books—both books by Larry—seem to be directly targeted at children, so if you might want to opt for the other books if you’re a bit older. Otherwise, I don’t think you can really go wrong with any of these songbooks.
All that said, there were a few honorable mentions:
- Easy Steps to the Band Trombone and Baritone B.c.: Trombone & Baritone B.c.
- Accent on Achievement – Book 2 – Trombone – Bk+CD by Alfred
- Classic Festival Solos: Trombone, Vol. 1- Piano Accompaniment
At any rate, hopefully this helped you out! If you liked this review, check out some of my other reviews:
And with that, thanks again! As always, respect the brass.