Articulation Syllables

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by LaTrompeta, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. LaTrompeta

    LaTrompeta Forte User

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    I've been working a lot on articulation lately. Mostly, I have been trying to overcome some really bad habits that developed slowly over a couple of years. When I was a student in high school, my trumpet teacher (very well-respected, pm me if you want to know who) taught me to tongue with the "du" syllable. Double-t was "du-gu". I know that Arban and his successors abhorred such syllables, opting for a "tu-ku" instead. I feel like there are a number of other syllables that can be used, however. I found that "tee" was good for piccolo trumpet (in fact, in one of my pic excerpt books I wrote "tea time!") Also, I think "toe" can be good for low notes. What are some examples of syllables you use and more importantly what have you found in your teaching to be most effective for trumpet playing?
     
  2. seilogramp

    seilogramp Piano User

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    Keep in mind that Arban was French. His "tu-ku" might not be exactly the way someone from Colorado would be saying it. Either way, du-gu or tu-ku, both will have the tip of the tongue hitting the roof of the mouth, not exactly what should be happening when single or double-tounging on the trumpet. I get my cleanest sound with the tounge is anchored to behind the lower teeth and the arch of the tongue is doing the articualtion against the roof of the mouth. If you actually used that tongue position in speaking, you'd sound like you have a speech impetiment. ;-)
     
  3. LaTrompeta

    LaTrompeta Forte User

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    I actually do use an anchor-tongue now. I made the conscious switch a number of years ago and I *think* it helps.
     
  4. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    Really? Hasn't this technique served generations of good trumpet players?
     
  5. seilogramp

    seilogramp Piano User

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    Yes, you are correct. But if you translate the tonguing action to actual speech, it is not any syllable an English speaking person would use. I think the written syllables are more of a guide than anything. Maybe I'm just taking this syllable thing too literally. :dontknow:
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    The consummate trumpeter needs it all!
    We use:
    T
    K
    D
    G
    R
    L
    to start each tone.

    We use
    aaa
    eee
    ooo
    uuu
    for the "body" of the tone. Additionally we can use language specific vowels like Ü (the French or Swedish/Norwegian u), Ä (like in the word air), Ö (can't think of an english word).

    To end the note, we can repeat the starting syllable, use the next note or end with an "n".

    We need soft, hard, long, short articulation and everything in between. Listen to someone very articulate talk (Royal Shakespeare Company or similar), there you will find all the inspiration that you need!
     
  7. LaTrompeta

    LaTrompeta Forte User

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    That's pretty true. An early trumpeting book from the guild-days taught trumpeter to use the "ti-ri" syllable. That makes no sense to an American...but "ti-ri" is closer to "ti-di" in Italian.
     
  8. gunshowtickets

    gunshowtickets Forte User

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    The sole lesson I've taken for trumpet focused just on articulation and what a difference it made. The first project was putting the tongue in place to pronounce the various syllables and anchoring the edges so it creates a curve downward, like a trough or sluice, for the air to move toward the aperture. The tip of the tongue acts as a valve against the backs of the incisors. The middle-of-the-stave C gets played with the French "tu", but you really have to know a Frenchman to understand how it's pronounced. The notes starting at F at the top of the stave and going up get a flick of the tip of the tongue, barely scraping the bottom of the incisors. There's a small volume of fast-moving air here, so more precision and less tongue pressure (contact area) needed.
    As you make your way down, the volumetric flow rate increases, so you need more tongue contact area, as you get to C below the stave, you say the English article "the".
    Pretty cool stuff.
     

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