A new range of plastic instruments from British innovators gives children an affordable option to take up trumpet, trombone and more.
When Preservation Hall Jazz Band played a session at Jazz FM recently we marvelled at seasoned trombone and sousaphone player Ronell Johnson’s rather snazzy orange trombone. We hadn’t considered the material construction of his trombone as it certainly belted out a good resonance at our studios, as it did during their gig that evening at London’s Brooklyn Bowl. It turns out it was, in fact, made of plastic!
Ronell had bought it whilst here in the UK as the perfect travel-bone, light and very baggage allowance friendly. It’s known as the pBone and is part of an innovative new range of plastic horns from Coventry based company Warwick Music, who also now produce the pTrumpet.
Their instruments are aimed at giving children the opportunity to own an affordable and durable instrument, to ‘have a go’. Now distributed through fifty music stores around the UK the trumpet costs around £100 and the trombone slightly more. They come in a range of bright colours, of course, and work out less than half the price of their brass equivalents.
The new pTrumpet took two years to develop. The company had to consider the requirements of, “very discerning players”, according to founder Steven Greenall. “We’ve essentially made a car engine out of plastic with this. It’s got many, many moving parts.”
The pBone is now the world’s most popular trombone, with the vast majority shipping oversees. Glastonbury attendees saw one being played by the band Mumford & Sons. Warwick have identified huge market potential and are developing plans for more plastic versions of brass instruments including woodwinds. Perhaps this is the start of something beautiful for many future virtuoso jazz musicians.
For more information about the pTrumpet click here. Watch Ronell Johnson at work with his pBone at Jazz FM.