Skip To Main Content

Instrument Choices

What Instruments Can I Play?

Beginning Band Instrument Choices

 -At Timberline MS, we will focus on the many different instruments, but we recommend first starting on      these instruments*:

     *For other instruments, see the "Frequently Asked Questions" page

(click on the links to See/Hear the instruments)



Flute, Music, Instrument, Played, Wind

  • Flute: The flute and piccolo (you will meet in high school, maybe middle school) are the highest pitched of the woodwind instruments. The piccolo is about half the size of the flute. Both have an especially beautiful sound that can be light and happy, or quiet and calm. Best known as the bird in "Peter and the Wolf". (scroll to 1:00). This is usually the instrument for those who like high sounds, and like to be part of a group.  Students wishing to learn piccolo must first learn the flute.
    Clarinet, Wind Instrument, Music, Play
  • Clarinet (listen to Eddie Daniels move from Bach to Jazz) This is the most popular woodwind instrument, and has a warm mellow sound. It can play both high and low notes. It is probably best known as the cat from "Peter and the Wolf". Here is Anthony McGill at Pres. Obama's inauguration,    Clarinet is a logical first step to bassoon and saxophone*. Those who choose clarinet like the diversity of many activities, and being part of a cooperative group


*saxophone is assigned via audition in February.  It is a complicated instrument that requires a good deal of self-management and patience to get used to.  These qualities (and others) will be assessed throughout band rehearsals.



Image result for trumpet imageImage result for cornet image

  • Trumpet Cornet : Trumpets are somewhat longer than cornets, but play the same. These are the highest of the brass instruments. Players need a good sense of pitch. If you have a good whistle, and like to be heard individually, this is a good choice.
    Image result for trombone image
  • Trombone: This instrument sounds very brassy like the trumpet, but makes a warmer sound. It plays the notes by using a slide. Very popular and usually in great demand for JazzRock, Concert bands, and Orchestras... it does it all (even the Bumblebee!)   Trombone players have a good sense of pitch, and are pretty strong minded people! 
    Yamaha YEP-321 Series 4-Valve Euphonium Lacquer
  • Euphonium or Baritone: (Literally "eu"=good, "phonium"=sound). Looks like a "small tuba", and is a warm sounding, but very "acrobatic" instrument. It can play beautiful melodies, and fast songs with lots of notes! 


Image result for marimba imageImage result for timpani drums imageImage result for snare drumMeinl Percussion Recording-Combo Wood Tambourine - Double Row with Head

  • Percussion: One doesn't JUST play "drums": A Well-Rounded Percussionist will start on Snare Drum and Mallets (BellsMarimba, Xylophoneor a Mallet Ensemble). You'll also play bass drum and many small percussion instruments (Triangle, Tambourine, etc).  Timpani will be met in middle school.  Often you're part of a larger Percussion Ensemble.(MS/HS). 

*Due to equipment limitations, we can only take 4-5 percussionists.  Percussionists are usually the most "individual" folks, and need to have a lot of self-control and patience. You are often called-on to play many instruments in one song.  Percussionists are accepted via audition to be held in February.