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How to Ship a Trombone

How to Ship a TromboneThe trombone is one of the most unusual musical instruments because of its odd slide mechanism that separates makes it unique from other instruments in the brass section. There are three types of trombones, namely, alto, tenor and bass. The alto was the most popular type of trombone throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but the tenor took over the top spot in the twentieth century. The bass trombone is today the second most popular.

The instrument is comprised of a cylindrical tube bent into an elongated "S" shape with a mouth piece on one end and a flaring bell on the other. Parts are usually made from brass, nickel or a combination of both.

For portability and easy storage, the trombone's slide can be removed from the instrument's body. The parts can then be placed in specially designed carrying case. Just like other brass musical instruments, the trombone must be handled with care as impact from falls and bumps can create dents that can affect its performance. When shipping, here are some tips on how to properly pack and ship a trombone to ensure that it arrives in perfect condition.

Disassemble the slide from the body. Also remove any loose parts such as lyres, mouthpieces, etc. When shipping in a case, wrap each part in bubble wrap secured with tape before placing each one in the designated section of the case. Also place a cone inside the bell and make sure that the rim is covered with bubble wrap and does not touch the sides of the case. Fill spaces inside the case with more bubble wrap as necessary to keep the parts snugly in place. Close the case and secure with tape.

Then, get a sturdy shipping box that is at least 3 inches larger on all sides than the trombone case. Lamp boxes are ideal for this. Fill the bottom with a layer of packing peanuts or bubble wrap then place the case on top, with the bell pointing upwards. Keeping the bell away from the floor will reduce the chance of damage due to impact. Fill box with more packing materials on all sides and up to the top. Make sure that the box is well packed and the case inside does not shift or move around. Close the box and seal with tape.

When shipping without case, generously wrap the parts in bubble wrap (at least 3 layers is best). Pay extra attention on the bell's rim as this part is prone to damage. Don't forget to put a cone inside the bell or fill it with bubble wrap before wrapping.

Apart from bubble wrap, create a sleeve for the slide using pieces of sturdy cardboard to prevent bending or breakage. Place the parts (bell pointing skyward again) in a box lined with a couple of inches of packing materials. Fill the spaces on the sides and between the items with more packing materials. Top with more fillers to prevent any movement. Close and seal the box with packaging tape.

Address the box and label with "Handle with Care"  and "This Side Up." Take the pa ckage to a post office or shipping company.

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