The trombone is often seen as a supporting instrument in music. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun playing famous melodies and riffs from a wide range of popular songs.
In this article, we’ll explore a variety of easy trombone songs across different styles such as pop, rock, soft rock, folk rock, metal, blue-eyed soul, and more. These tunes serve as a great starting point for beginner trombonists looking to build their skills in a fun and easy way.
We Will Rock You by Queen
Song year: 1977
Queen’s “We Will Rock You” may be commonly associated with sports arenas today, but during its release, it had a more profound impact. The stomps and claps replaced traditional drums and percussion, creating a rhythmic pattern that resonated with listeners. Apart from Brian May’s guitar solo at the end, the song is largely a cappella.
With just four notes, “We Will Rock You” is an excellent song for beginners. The simple sequence of these notes can even be used as a catchy riff. This song is a must-learn for aspiring trombonists!
My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion
Song year: 1997
The highly anticipated romantic disaster movie of 1997, Titanic, propelled the film’s soundtrack, particularly Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On,” to immense popularity. Although some may cringe at the memory now, this song is still considered easy to play. Its recognizable melody and moderate tempo make it beginner-friendly.
Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley
Song year: 1987
Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” may have been regarded as cheesy in the 80s, but it remains a beloved classic. While the song features a happy-sounding backing track and light-hearted lyrics, Astley’s exceptional vocal talents have outlasted many of his contemporaries. If you’re interested in Rickrolling your friends, then learning this song is a must!
Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes
Song year: 2003
Jack White, the guitarist and singer of The White Stripes, drew inspiration from simple minor key rock riffs of the past when he wrote “Seven Nation Army.” This enduring modern garage rock classic is often taught to budding musicians due to its simplicity. The main riff sounds fantastic on the trombone, making it a quick and cool addition to your repertoire.
Iron Man by Black Sabbath
Song year: 1971
Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” is an iconic heavy metal song that set the stage for countless bands in the genre. The main riff, both legendary and accessible, can be played on both guitar and trombone. It’s a great riff to start your musical journey with.
Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple
Song year: 1973
“Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple features one of the most well-known guitar riffs in rock history. Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore demonstrated that simplicity can still result in a killer riff. Interestingly, this riff translates beautifully to trombone, allowing brass players to enjoy its infectious melody.
Dreams by Fleetwood Mac
Song year: 1977
Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” became their only chart-topping hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The easygoing soft rock vibes, harmonies, and atmospheric electric guitar in this song make it an attractive choice for beginners. While it may be more of a project than a quick study, it’s an excellent choice to challenge yourself.
I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas
Song year: 2009
“I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas quickly became an essential party anthem in 2009 and beyond. This catchy tune with its slightly staccato melody is worth learning for brass players. It’s a great way to infuse some energy into your trombone practice.
Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne
Song year: 1980
Guitarist Randy Rhoads left an indelible mark with his work on Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train.” While the song is known for its great guitar riffs and solos, the opening bassline is easy to learn on the trombone. It’s a quick study that can elevate your playing skills.
Master of Puppets by Metallica
Song year: 1986
Metallica’s music may not be the first choice for beginners, but some of their melodies and riffs are surprisingly playable. The iconic melody of “Master of Puppets” is repetitive and relatively easy to learn, especially when played at a slower tempo. While it may take some time to master, it’s a great way to challenge yourself and develop your skills.
Careless Whisper by George Michael
Song year: 1984
George Michael’s soulful “Careless Whisper” is renowned for its irresistible saxophone riff. This famous melody has been covered, quoted, and parodied by various artists. Trombone players can rejoice as the video tutorial teaches you the main riff, transposed to a lower octave for playable trombone enjoyment. For added fun, consider trading licks with friends who play the saxophone.
All Star by Smash Mouth
Song year: 1999
Smash Mouth’s “All Star” became an incredibly recognizable tune for the band. Despite their English counterparts in Oasis being known for creating empowering songs, Smash Mouth managed to capture a similar magic with this track. While the video tutorial focuses solely on the verse melody, sheet music is available online if you want to explore further.
Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
Song year: 2014
Every brass player should try their hand at something with a funky and percussive groove, and “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars fits the bill. This song brings together simple elements to create a complex and catchy whole. With the video tutorial showcasing the vocal bassline and main melody, there’s plenty to sink your teeth into while practicing.
Hey Jude by The Beatles
Song year: 1968
Including a bit of The Beatles in your practice routine is always a good idea, and “Hey Jude” is among their best songs for beginners. When played slowly, the melody is relatively easy to emulate on the trombone. While the song has more elements to it, don’t let that discourage you. Challenge yourself and learn the entire song if you’re up for it.
Take On Me by a-ha
Song year: 1984
a-ha’s “Take On Me” features a catchy synth riff that grabs your attention from the start. Vocalist Morten Harket’s melody rises to impressive heights during the chorus, showcasing his vocal range. While the video tutorial focuses on the bassline in the chorus, sheet music is available if you wish to learn the synth riff. Either way, mastering the basslines of songs is a valuable skill to develop.
Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen
Song year: 1984
Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is a masterpiece that took countless hours to perfect. Although it’s a challenging song for many musicians, it offers valuable lessons in chord progressions, ascending and descending melodies, and lyrics. The video tutorial provides guidance on playing the immortal melody, allowing you to embark on a rewarding musical journey.
Stay With Me by Sam Smith
Song year: 2014
Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” features simple elements pieced together to create a great song. Though its similarity to Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” was noted after its release, both Petty and Jeff Lynne received the appropriate credits. The melody of “Stay With Me” is straightforward and perfect for beginners looking to gain confidence in their instrument.
Now you have a fantastic collection of songs to develop your trombone technique. Remember that mastery takes time and patience, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t succeed right away. Enjoy the process, have fun, and good luck!